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Calipari Using Scheduling of Louisville Game as Motivation

Kentucky Wildcats head coach John Calipari wanted a call from the officials as Kentucky played Richmond on November 29, 2020. Photo by Mark Cornelison


Only John Calipari could take the Kentucky-Louisville game on Saturday being moved from ESPN2 to ESPN as a jab at his program — but that’s exactly what he did on his radio show Monday night.

“There are a lot of trolls out there right now,” Calipari said during the call-in show with Tom Leach. “And let me say this, they just moved our game from ESPN2 to ESPN.

“Why do you think they did that? They’re hoping, ‘Here’s (loss) number six.’ We’ve got to ruin ESPN’s weekend.”

I seriously doubt that ESPN executives and analysts — who have been very, very good to Calipari and UK during his time at Kentucky — are pulling for Kentucky to lose again. The Cats are already 1-5 without anyone at ESPN to blame for the team’s poor play. That’s the worst start for a UK basketball team in 94 years.

The bad part here is that as big as a win over Louisville always will be for UK fans, I’m not sure even beating the Cards (5-1) is going to make a lot of fans jump back on the Kentucky bandwagon because of what they have seen so far. But a loss to the Cards could sure sink the  Big Blue ship.

Remember not only did Kentucky trail by its biggest halftime margin ever at home to Notre Dame, but a week later the same thing happened to Louisville in a blowout loss to Wisconsin where the Cards had no second-half comeback like UK did against the Irish.

Calipari did not talk about Louisville specifically Monday — he should do that this morning during his pregame press conference — but he said the team had to make a statement that it was not done by winning this game.
“‘We’re going to ruin your weekend. We know why you put this on ESPN instead of ESPN2. You want more people to go to the execution! Well, we ain’t having it,” Calipari said.

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