Coach Cal’s “reboot” was going along fairly well against the LSU Tigers Tuesday night in Rupp Arena and then the final seven minutes of the game happened. Kentucky got the W by a score of 92-85 but there were still some glitches that emphatically manifested themselves.
Everyone has seen Cal’s post game interview with Kaylee Hartung. The thing that struck me was the way Cal changed up his tone and tune for the last sentence. For the bulk of the conversation he was still his usual gregarious, outgoing, personable, affable self. This was the case even when he was saying “You won’t want to be at that practice tomorrow.”
When he said “if anybody wants to quit, they can quit” he was the same old Cal that we’ve grown accustomed to.
But watch his expression and his tone when he says “because this has gotta stop at some point.”
He flipped the script real quick. You can just see the seriousness oozing out of him because he was sick and tired of what he has been seeing the last few games.
The “this” in the “this has gotta stop at some point” covers a variety of issues. The ability to get early leads (8-2 vs. Tennessee, 23-11 & 29-17 vs Kansas). They have allowed opponents to go clean off on them in the second halves of games of late. LSU went for 58 in the final 20 minutes Tuesday night. Kansas scored 52, Florida hung 54 and also outrebounded Kentucky by 25.
The culmination of all of these things is the reason John Calipari wanted to go old school and have a hard practice right after the final horn sounded in the LSU game. The rules now won’t allow that so Cal did the next best thing the next day.
Just got out of 3-hr practice. It was 90% D. Carried each other off floor. Nobody puked. Well, may have in locker room but not on the floor.
— John Calipari (@UKCoachCalipari) February 8, 2017
Good to hear that everyone was able to keep everything down, at least why they were on the court anyway.
Cal wasn’t able to go old school the night of the game but he has reached the point of becoming ‘throwback’ Cal this week and the remainder of the season if need be. I tweeted this thought to former Cal guy and UMass big man Marcus Camby.
He emphatically agreed.
— Marcus Camby (@MarcusCamby23) February 9, 2017
The big fella replied with “facts!” in all caps. He was there for Cal’s really young days as a head coach when he was still establishing himself in the profession. Marcus Camby can definitely attest to what Cal was like back then. He’s mellowed some now but he can definitely still get turned up if need be.
Cal often says that you can’t hide when you come to Kentucky. Playing for Big Blue is a challenge in good times and bad. When things aren’t going as well as everyone would like everyone must work through it. Cal is doing his best to make sure that happens.
The “reboot” will resume Saturday afternoon in Tuscalossa.