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John Calipari to players: Go have fun with family before returning to deal with losses

John Calipari wants Nick Richards and other players to forget basketball for a few days and enjoy Christmas with their families. (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

After losing two games in Las Vegas in four days, Kentucky’s coaches and players get a four-day break — just like they do each year — before returning to campus to prepare for the Dec. 28 game against Louisville.

Kentucky coach John Calipari said the break was “good for me” after Saturday’s 71-65 loss to Ohio State.

“I don’t know if it’s good for them (UK players). Nine of them are already going to the airport, going separate ways home,” Calipari said. “Johnny’s (Juzang) got the shorter trip to L.A.. He’s laughing, ‘I’ll be home in 30 minutes.’ The rest of us got long flights.”

The players did but getting away should be good because a two-game losing streak in late December its not normal for a Calipari team — or UK fans.

Still, the coach wants the coach to enjoy the break.

“I grabbed each of them individually and talked to them and just told them, maybe gave them a critique a little bit but I said, ‘Go have fun with your family, we’ll deal with it when we come back,” Calipari said.

Say amen Kentucky fans. That was the perfect thing to say. Basketball is a game. Christmas is life.

“We do this every year (take a break),” Calipari said. “The NCAA’s made it not an option any more. You got to take four days. Well we always took four days.”

Why?

“I basically did it because I really cared about my own family. I wanted to be with my family for four days. I don’t care. I’m not playing over Christmas, I’m not, we’re taking four, five days, three days, this year we’ll take four, but now the NCAA makes everybody do it,” Calipari said.

“I thought it was an advantage for us. Because we were playing teams that were given no Christmas break and they would play and get ready and I thought it was our advantage because of how we did it. So now it’s no longer an advantage,” Calipari said.

2 comments

  1. Cal Ball looking down the barrel of 0-3. UNC tasted it last week or so and Cal about to taste a Big Mack attack unless play and coaching improve.

  2. North Carolina actually lost 4 in a row, and have lost 5 times in 12 games.

    They lost to Wofford at home by 4 points in the midst of their 4 game losing streak that included losses to #1 Ohio State, #12 Virginia, and #6 Gonzaga, and also included a win over #10 Oregon after a loss to #13 Michigan.

    That is a 6 game string of games against #1, #6, #10, #12, #13, and #130 (Wofford). It is unfair to UNCCheaters to compare the UK schedule with the Tarheels’ schedule. UK’s losses have been to #1 Ohio State (last night), #108 Utah, and #208 Evansville. Yes, UK does also own 1 impressive win, over #5 Michigan State. Yes, UK does run the risk of a 3 game losing streak when Louisville comes calling next Saturday. That would be 8-4 heading into SEC play and the trip to Texas Tech remaining on the schedule in about a month.

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