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Calipari to players: “You guys have given me back years on my life.”

John Calipari at Thursday’s press conference in Kansas City. (Vicky Graff Photo)


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.”


  1. About 4-5 weeks ago my mind started changing about this team, 3 weeks ago I was really excited the and the last game oh my, I was on the edge of my seat, it is almost like old times…
    I have always liked Keldon, he is my guy this year, Washington has been special as has Travis, those were my 3 and now it is the whole team. I like the way they have always been a team, they have fun, they are fun, they want me to enjoy watching them play and I do. Wow, just wow…what will be will be and I will not be disappointed, we have a winning team with some of the best young men ever. Cal gives us good boys every year and this year was no exception and maybe the top of his classes. It is not just talent, their attitude, their smiles, their concern for other people and their concern for their teammates. No prima donna’s on this team . Go Cats!

  2. I said this after the Women’s Clinic. I still feel the same.

    “Let’s start with the good. The guys were affable, funny, having a ball being there. Their smiles were contagious. Their dance moves were precise. Regardless of our games, we are going to love this team. I think they have already bonded in a significant way.”

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