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Tyrese Maxey’s playing time proves John Calipari will not bench a player for missing shots

Tyrese Maxey (Vicky Graff Photo)


How often has Kentucky coach John Calipari say he won’t take a player out of a game if he’s missing shots as long as he’s doing other things to contribute to the team?

I’ve lost track because he says it over and over and over. However, if you tend not to believe him, then just go back to Saturday’s win over Georgia Tech and take a look at Tyrese Maxey’s statistics.

The freshman guard was 0-for-9 from the field. Yet he played 38 minutes compared to 20 for EJ Montgomery, who was 0-for-4.

What was the difference? That’s easy — Maxey got the foul line six times and went 6-for-6, pulled off a career-high seven rebounds and tied his career-high with six assists. He was also solid on defense just like he has been most of the season.

“Again, he’s just learning and, again, I keep telling him, you cannot avoid contact and try to flip balls. You’re not playing St. Aloysius anymore. These dudes, when you go like that, they block it. And if you go like that, the official’s not going to call a foul. He’s not,” Calipari said.


If you go into him like he did the two times he went into them, they will call that a foul. He’s never played that way. Everything is a throw and a flip. They give him no call. So, we’ve been all over it, and he’s responded.

“He’ll text me, keep coaching me, man. Keep coaching me. And believe me, I’m, like, people that have watched us in practice know I’m just holding him to a high standard and holding him accountable.


Yet he also stuck to what he’s said because Calipari didn’t like the flip shots or any misses bring Maxey to the bench because of everything else he was doing in the win over Georgia Tech.


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  1. “Tyrese Maxey’s playing time proves John Calipari will not bench a player for missing shots” …. if the player is a Freshman and not a Senior or Junior or even a Sophomore.

    Calipari has proven year after year that his prized freshmen are going to play!!!!

  2. I’m glad Maxey was on the floor too against GT, missing shots and all. He accounted well for himself in other valuable ways in that game. Maxey needs to play. His performance against MSU shows what he is capable of both on Offense and defense. This young man will be a star before this season ends if he don’t get injured.

  3. Since Calipari measures his success by the matriculation of the freshmen into the NBA under his tutelage, he gives inordinate attention to the young studs at the expense of the players that have been around more than 1 year.

    As for Maxey, he has had 2 strong games out of 9. His other 7 games would not be worthy of great playing time for any UK coach prior to Calipari, and I doubt that the contributions at this level will satisfy UK’s next coach when Calipari decides to move on.

    As a basis of comparison, Nick Richards has had 7 outstanding games, and two games that were not so outstanding, but stronger than Maxey’s typical performances. Yet, Maxey has had more playing time that Richards.

    Richards is the anchor of this team, and the offense should be run through him, but Maxey is using up over 13 possessions per game and Nick under 9. This is frankly turned on its head, and it is not uncommon during Calipari’s OAD Players’ First Era. (Players First should be Freshmen Players First).

    So, why does he do this? He does this to continue loading the recruiting train for the next annual round trip. Just as quickly as this group arrived and will leave, he has another group cued up and to load that train, Calipari must convince the next group that each of them will get his place on the big stage to showcase his NBA potential and he does that by pointing to freshmen that have already made this trip, like Maxey.

    This costs UK wins, and as each year since 2012 (& 2015) passes, the distance between the last championship becomes a larger and larger issues. It has now been 7 years, and this is the 8th season since the last championship.

    1. I guess then according to you Professor, Maxey should ride the pine, and UK ought to fire John Calipari. Kind of sounds like that is what your are hinting at. I find it laughable.

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