By LARRY VAUGHT
Just like he often does, Kentucky coach John Calipari tried to explain the pressure that UK players often feel because of the passionate fan base that can panic over any loss — early in the season or in the SEC Tournament.
He was also dealing with the stress Thursday in Kansas City of not knowing if his leading scorer/rebounder PJ Washington would be healthy enough to play against Houston tonight or not after missing two NCAA Tournament games last week.
Calipari simply says it is a “different deal” at Kentucky for players. That’s why what he said Thursday about this year’s team jumped out at me more than the medical update on PJ Washington.
“I told this team, you guys have given me years back on my life coaching you, this team. I’ve had others that have added years to my life, okay, but it’s not this team,” Calipari said.
Why is that?
“This team, they’ve tried, they listened. They’re gym rats. If I go in the office at 10:30 at night, they’re still in there. I’ll have four guys in there. What are you doing?” Calipari said.
So here you better adapt to your team and you better figure out defensively and how do you play offensively? Like no one knows, because I don’t know until we start and we get through a season.”