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John Calipari remains “confident about this group of great kids”

Tyrese Maxey (Jeff Houchin Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Late Wednesday it was time for Kentucky coach John Calipari to give Big Blue Nation a bit of a pep talk after Tuesday night’s shocking 67-64 loss to Evansville, the most unexpected loss of the Calipari era at Kentucky.

Calipari took to social media to see if he could help put the loss in perspective for Kentucky fans. Calipari tweeted the following message.

“Left the office a little bit ago. Losing any game stinks but losing at home is even worse. As always, we grieve for 24 hours and then we move on. The two areas I’ve said for weeks that this team needs to improve on is TOUGHNESS and offensive cohesion.

“Adversity has hit, but it’s also an opportunity to grow. We have work to do but I’m confident about this group of great kids. This will get us more focused and more together. #BBN, this is always a journey so enjoy the ride and support these kids. Let’s do this together!!!”

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  1. The Kentucky basketball team has 3 games in the books, and the numbers are not pretty.

    • Shooting has been weak, at best, shooting 44% overall, and 24.5% from outside the arc.
    • Free throw shooting percentage has been strong, but the other night at crunch time they missed 3 critical free throws including a front end opportunity.
    • In 2 of the 3 games, this team has been out rebounded, and on the offensive glass, this team has been AWOL when compared to nearly every previous Calipari team at UK.
    • Opponents have been taking the ball away from these players to the tune of 5+ times per game, and EKU had 10 steals despite losing to the Cats by 42 points.

    This team was ready to meet Michigan State, and they took care of business against EKU. Therefore, they have shown everyone what they can do, but no UK team should ever lose a game to a team like Evansville at Rupp whether the coach is Billy Gillispie or John Calipari. That is inexcusable!!

    The only UK player that has performed at a reasonable level in all 3 games has been Nate Sestina. That is it. None of the other players on this team currently have an individual efficiency in black numbers.

    That means every other player is a net liability to the team while on the floor. Yes, Nick Richards had a terrific game against EKU. Yes, Tyrese Maxey has a terrific game against Michigan State. Those single game flashes must become sustained, repeatable levels of performance.

    Oh, but wait.

    They are so young. This is a process. They will be there at the end. Enjoy the ride.

    Is this all Calipari has to offer the fan base?

    Coach, we have heard all of that before.

    How can we enjoy the ride when the ride is completely unacceptable AND with the exception of 2012, does not produce championships. And btw, that 2012 team was not truly young, That 2012 started out strong, and finished strong. The process with the 2012 group was focusing on winning at every turn through the ride. That season was a ride that all Big Blue Fans enjoyed.

    1. Professor, how about waiting until the season plays out before you just write this team off as your above post seems to suggests. You, Mike, and Catmandoo better hope UK don’t win No. 9. Some of us will remember what has been said on this site. As UK fans, and let me be clear, I have my doubts about some, we all hate losing, but it happens occasionally. Evansville deserved to win that game. Why my goodness, Duke even lost with the mighty ZW. It does happen. UK will be just fine. If it don’t pan out in the long run this season, I would still take Calipari over any other potential candidate I see out there. Just a week or so ago, you were singing the praises of the UK victories. Wow, how soon you changed your tune after a bad night and a big let down by a talented but young UK team! See you at the end of 2019-20!!! Go Cats!!!!

      1. I have been somewhat critical of Calipari at times in the past. He is obviously not perfect. He makes mistakes like the rest of us. However, I said it the day he was hired and I still say it 10 years later, Calipari is the perfect fit for Kentucky and Kentucky is the perfect fit for Calipari. It’s a match made in basketball heaven, IMO.

        When you’re on top, you become a target for those who are always reclining in their LayZBoy, ready to pounce. Even coach Nick Saban is going through some of that same thing at ‘Bama. There are critics who say he’s lost his edge and he’s losing the recruiting wars. A few are already speculating about a possible replacement.
        It’s all nonsense as far as I’m concerned.

  2. The “Professor” appears to have joined the anti-Cal coalition and I must say that I’m surprised.
    Yes, I’m surprised that the “Professor” is so quick to hitch his wagon to the Catmandoo train, but that’s the way of things these days in sports, politics, marriage, and many other things.
    So many folks today are quick to demand perfection out of everyone but …
    Oh well, I think you know what I’m saying.

  3. My message here is consistent with my message over recent seasons.

  4. Professor, you have been very consistent. The Rah Rahs will say up is down and left is right to avoid saying anything less than flattering of Calipari. Their fragile vision of the truth does not allow them to say what the rest of the world is saying. All of this talk of reverting is another copout. The truth is they have wilted from the heat of the bright lights that always are focused on us. If Langford had been healthy and played for MSU it would have been a different outcome just like if Maxey had got hurt in the first half, we would have lost. EKU was nothing more than playing a fifth year high school team just like UVU, MSM, LAM, and FDU will be. UAB, GT, OSU, Utah, and UofL will be different stories. If Calipari is the coach the Rah Rahs claim he is, we will get through the next 9 games with 1 or 2 more losses. If Calipari keeps making excuses about reverting, being too young, and injuries we will have at least 5 losses going into SEC play where things will really get ugly. Calipari has been living off talent for starting 11 years. In the first 6 years, he always got the best players. Now he is getting 2nd and 3rd tier talent and it is showing. This team has the makings of being another NIT team. Hopefully we won’t get matched up Robert Morris again in the first round.

    1. Save this one for us Hornet1. Catmandoo sounds like he has blown a gasket. Go Spartans!!! Right Catmandoo? That game must have broken your little heart.

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