John Calipari is famous for consistently saying, “I like my team.” He actually says that many times when nobody else likes the Kentucky Wildcats.
Another comment he made earlier this season that caused him to take some heat was when he told his team to pretend they beat Seton Hall, even though they lost in dramatic fashion. His intention was to let them know that he was pleased with their progress, although his word choice was not well received in the public.
In an effort to be consistent, though, he told his team to imagine what it would have been like if Jared Harper had hit his last second shot at Auburn on Saturday.
Would their effort in that hostile environment have been somehow minimized had that one shot gone in?
During his call-in show on Monday, Calipari said he posed that very question to his team.
“Would you have thought of us as a team, or yourself as an individual, any different if that kid (Harper) would have laid the ball in? When it’s about process, you shouldn’t.”
I am sure the “pretend you lost” sentiment will not be as well publicized as the “pretend you won” remarks he make several weeks ago. But it is a bit refreshing to see that he is consistent, and that his focus is on the progress of this team instead of just the day-to-day results.
“We’re in this together,” stated Calipari. “It’s hard to stop a team when there’s six, seven, eight guys that can do something with the ball. We’re making strides, but it just takes time.”
Time is something that Big Blue Nation does not give generously when it comes to measuring a team’s potential. However, this team is improving as quickly as any Kentucky team we have seen during the Calipari era.
Will that progress continue?
John Calipari seems to think so.