Kentucky Basketball: Calipari's Presser Is ... Interesting

Tired of it. - Andy Lyons

John Calipari's press conference today was very interesting to say the least. A lot more was communicated than was actually said, and a transcript would do it no justice.


Watching this video from John Calipari was instructive in a number of ways. He was clearly sending several messages to his players, and to his future players, although I doubt any of them will see it here. The new guys will probably see it via CoachCal.com at some point.

But here’s some commentary pregnant with meaning in Kyle Tucker's transcript:

ON TWEETING THAT UK NEEDED TO PROVE ON THE ROAD IT STILL WANTS TO PLAY BEFORE FANS PAY FOR ANOTHER TICKET TO A HOME GAME – AND IF HE THINKS THEY STILL WANT TO PLAY: "We’ll see, won’t we? Let’s go. Throw it up. I’m watching a team that plays really hard in Robert Morris. Really hard. Guard play: You ready? Tough. And scramble and shoot threes. Nine threes a game. Top five or six in three-point field-goal percentage, or thereabouts. A lot like Arkansas. (Makes concerned face)."

Maybe it’s just me, but his body language when he said that said to me, "I don’t think we can beat those guys. We’re not tough enough." Judge for yourself.

"One thing is I have no regrets because I tried everything. Humbling because it’s probably the first group in a long time that wouldn’t respond and change, which means that, you know, to say well it’s going to happen every year because it happened eight straight years, now it’s like think back to that year because it didn’t happen. … It’s a great learning experience. Hate going through it. I would rather learn from someone else’s issues than my own. This was hard. I feel good but it was hard going through it. We never stopped coaching them, we never gave up on guys, so I have no regrets with what we did, yet just disappointed that the response wasn’t there."

Translation: He’s not happy. Not at all. Not even a little. Oh, he put on a happy face, but there is no happy there. What he wants to say is, "Guys and gals, this just sucked out loud, and I hated every minute. Every time I watched those kids go out and do the opposite of what I told them, I wondered how bad life in prison could really be. This was like a season in prison."

ON WHETHER ANY PLAYERS WON’T BE WELCOME BACK NEXT YEAR: "Well, we’ll sit down and all that stuff when the time is right and that’s when the season is over."

Translation: "Definitely. Won’t say who, but … definitely."

ON IF THERE ARE THINGS HE’S LEARNED ABOUT THE TYPE OF PERSONALITIES HE WILL RECRUIT: "Yep. Yep. Yep. Guys that can deal with us as coaches, me as a head coach, and can play with a mentality we want them to play with. We’ve got to be more precise in that. You can’t just go – you’ve got to – there’s a certain toughness that you’ve got to have in this thing, and I’ve always had it. When you don’t have it – you know."

I think this needs no translation.

Watch the whole thing, it’s very interesting, or it was to me. His body language was … way different than we’ve seen most of the year. Kind, gentle Cal is being replaced with a guy who has learned something most unpleasant, and doesn’t intend to repeat the mistake.

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