While meeting with the media via Zoom Monday, Calipari questioned whether or not he focused enough on teaching his team to fight during the offseason.
“The mistake I may have made with this group...I should’ve worried more about fight and less about the specific x’s and o’s,” Calipari said. “You try to balance it, but I think I went a little too much...‘let’s be prepared to look like a basketball team.’
Not only did Calipari voice concern over his teams’ lack of fight, but said multiple times that his hands and feet are “on the panic button” and that a recent scrimmage was the worst he’s seen since becoming the head coach at UK.
With no preseason games or a Blue and White Game, it’s hard to tell whether Calipari is simply trying to motivate his team or truly concerned, but we’ll learn more on Wednesday when his Cats take on the Eagles at Rupp Arena.
Speaking of the scrimmage, senior transfer Olivier Sarr also spoke with the media today and may have revealed what Kentucky’s starting lineup will be when the season begins.
What’s concerning is the lineup, which is unsurprisingly Sarr, Devin Askew, Terrence Clarke, Brandon Boston Jr. and Isaiah Jackson, apparently lost the scrimmage battle with the second team.
Olivier Sarr says the second team beat the first in yesterday’s scrimmage.— Maggie Davis (@MaggieDavisTV) November 23, 2020
Devin Askew, BJ Boston, Terrence Clarke, Isaiah Jackson and Olivier Sarr
Sarr didn’t say who the second team considered of, but with Brooks out, it was likely Davion Mintz, Dontaie Allen, Jacob Toppin, Cam’Ron Fletcher and Lance Ware. While those guys certainly have potential to be good college players (Mintz is already a solid veteran lead guard), it’s concerning that they were able to beat the lineup that includes Boston and Clarke, two top-10 recruits potential lottery picks in the 2021 NBA Draft, as well as an all-conference big man in Sarr.
One final note: Mintz also spoke with the media and gave his take on Sunday’s not-so-good scrimmage.
Davion Mintz says of the terrible Sunday scrimmage, "Hopefully we wrecked the car yesterday" and now can fix it before Dad gets home.— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_ATH) November 23, 2020
"It was a humbling experience." Says a big reason for that might've been, "I think we're tired of playing each other."
Hopefully, Sunday served as a much-needed wake-up call that will get the team more focused for the upcoming season.