Tuesday was nothing short of a shocking loss for the Kentucky Wildcats.
It wasn’t that Kentucky lost that wa a surprise, as the Wildcats were only favored by two points at game time. The shock was how poorly Kentucky played against a Duke team that looked like the best team in college basketball.
But even the best teams don’t embarrass ranked teams the way Duke did Tuesday, so some of that 34-point loss has to be on the shoulders of Kentucky.
John Calipari wants all of that blame to be placed on him. It was clear from the jump that his team wasn’t ready for the big stage, so of course, the head coach is going to fall on the sword.
I’ve been in early season games like this one and been on both sides. Duke deserves a lot of the credit. They were outstanding. Having said that, we weren’t prepared physically or mentally as I thought we would be, and that’s on me.— John Calipari (@UKCoachCalipari) November 7, 2018
I can assure you this has humbled our team and our staff. I can also assure you that I wouldn’t trade this team for anyone and I can’t wait until we start clicking collectively.— John Calipari (@UKCoachCalipari) November 7, 2018
When players try to establish themselves, that kind of game is usually what you get. One unit, one heartbeat, and it’s always a process.— John Calipari (@UKCoachCalipari) November 7, 2018
It’s clear that everyone needs to rethink their expectations for this Kentucky team, but as we saw in the Bahamas, they still have a world of potential when they’re clicking. They clearly aren’t doing that right now, but thankfully, this was just Game 1 in what hopes to be a 40-game season for the Wildcats.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking these Wildcats can’t still have a special season. It’s just clear now that it will much more enduring of a process than anticipated, which could just make it a more special and unique journey when it’s all said and done.