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Calipari says Cats can’t give up easy baskets or quit passing if they want to win

P.J. Washington (UK Athletics Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Now that Southeastern Conference play has started and Kentucky lost its first league game at Alabama on Saturday, Kentucky coach John Calipari wasn’t shy Monday about pointing out some things that went wrong before his team plays Texas A&M tonight in Rupp Arena.

“We had some guys that were upset they missed shots late, and I said, ‘Listen, you gave up two offensive rebounds for baskets late. If we didn’t give those up, that game wouldn’t have been at 11. It would have been seven. Now, all of a sudden it’s a different game and you get it to two or three and instead of with 1:25 left. It’s a different ballgame,'” Calipari said.

“Again, young kids don’t understand that every possession matters as you wind down that clock and you can’t give easy baskets. They’ll make tough baskets. Live with it. But you can’t give them second shots. You can’t miss one-footers. You can’t walk on breakaways where you have a layup. You can’t do those things, but it wasn’t one guy.”

Wait. There’s more as he noted the team didn’t have “willing passers” against Alabama.

“We threw 270 passes versus 325 against Louisville. How does that happen? Why so many less passes? Our spacing wasn’t as good as it has been. But again, your spacing is good because you’re worried about the big guy. Your spacing isn’t good because you don’t have the ball and you really don’t worry about anybody but where you’re standing,” Calipari said.

“So, all that kind of stuff we hit on. We came back yesterday and practiced, and they did great. We’re shooting free throws and walking through some stuff and we’ll practice this afternoon and get ready for a tough game.

“I watched (Texas A&M) play Arkansas. They had Arkansas beat. Arkansas made four 3’s down the stretch, and they went 1 for 4 down the stretch from the 3. That’s why they lost or they would have beat Arkansas, so it’s another tough game for us.”

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  1. I folllowed along to the “every possession counts” point, but Texas A&M is going to be tough because the almost and perhaps should have beaten Arkansas on TAMU’s home court, but didn’t, and took the loss. Just like the same TAMU team lost to #180 Texas Southern by 15 on the very same home court the game before.

    Coach, give us a break. You know and often say your team needs to worry about what it does, and for tonight’s game, never has that been truer.

    Building up a weak TAMU team to give your team some cushion on expectation is bad form.

  2. Our success should not be that difficult to figure out……challenge and test the “manhood” of both Richards and Montgomery.

  3. Why be alarmed? We are into conference play and this team has not come together. You should never have to coach effort. There is a collective team IQ that is missing from this bunch. They don’t know how to play together and don’t want to play together. All they want is their minutes and their shots. Thanks to the conference, we have the most difficult conference schedule in the country. A well oiled, seasoned team would have trouble with a schedule like that. This team is in for a long season and a short post season.

  4. Looks as though couch coach Mikey has a new student here.

  5. PK……you really add nothing to this site whatsoever other than some occasional sniping. I know you have some intellectual challenges but why don’t you try and add some positive and accurate opining like Coach Mikey??..LOL

  6. Lets see what tune PK is playing come tournament time when we are in the wrong one.

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