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Calipari never worried about emotional letdown against State

Keldon Johnson (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Assistant coach Tony Barbee insisted Monday that facing No. 22 Mississippi State Tuesday night after a win over Auburn last week and before facing Kansas in a national showdown Saturday was not a trap game for the Wildcats, who blasted the Bulldogs 77-66.

So how concerned was UK coach John Calipari about UK’s emotional focus for Mississippi State?

“Every game we play, there’s emotion to it, so it’s a different feel for this program. Because whether it’s at Auburn or at Vanderbilt, they are all sold out and it’s a huge game, and so, we need to be more steady in how we do this, and we are,” Calipari said.

“

I said the next, the Kansas game, is really, really big, because it’s the next game. I mean, we weren’t worried — I have not watched one thing on Kansas. I watched a little bit of maybe Iowa State, maybe. I think I watched maybe four minutes of them, live TV. I can’t tell you one thing about how they play.

“This was about beating a top 20 team (tonight), a team that’s played well all year. A team that makes nine 3’s per game, missed some shots today, thank goodness, and then they rebounded like crazy. They are one of the best rebounding teams in the country. They missed a lot of shots that they normally make.

”

 

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  1. Vandy got screwed on that foul called on Brown with 6 point lead. That was momentum changer and UT’s maturity carried them to tie in regulation. I do not see us being able to handle UT. The Admiral will not have down night like tonight, and we don’t have anyone to stop Williams.

  2. we only bleed blue but live in Nashville. we watched the Vandy game as neutral folks but it was a disgraceful thing to see. Tn charged to make the basket that caused the terrible hook and hold ridiculous flagrent one. we were expecting the refs to throw the game but it still ruined the evening for us!! poor Vandy. that is the 3rd time in sec play where we have seen ???? calls to save Tn from a loss. let 5 win – not 8!

    1. Bad calls happen in all sports, but it seems to happen far to much in basketball today. Fouls should be called, but many times some fouls are not. The game has become so physical that the refs just seem to try and even the calls up IMO. The game was never intended to be played the way it is being played today. All the hand checking, grabbing, pushing, shoving. Don’t get me wrong, I like the physical game it has become, but the refs seem to miss many a call on purpose. Sometimes the call that is made can cause a team to lose. This is why I am not a huge basketball fan.

    2. Understand what you are saying. Hope all the calls don’t go back Vandy’s way next week when UK visits

      1. I agree.
        Perhaps it’s just my imagination, but refs seem to have a way of trying to make up for what they know were bad calls.

  3. Don’t have any proof, but I would not be surprised if the SEC office has communicated in some way that they want someone else besides KY at the top of the league. They definitely want more NCAA tourney teams as is evidenced by the soft schedules the conference gave to TN, Auburn, and LSU. I wouldn’t blame KY for leaving the SEC and being an independent. They would have no trouble scheduling quality opponents.

    1. Never happen. UK needs the SEC and the football revenue it generates. UK is a basketball power house in a football driven conference. That said, basketball in the SEC is rising. This year is proving that. UK will oy waltz through this league anymore.

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