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John Calipari responds to anonymous coaches criticizing his players

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“I would take every one of those kids to battle with me.”

Sea of Blue

A recent article published by The Athletic focused on Kentucky’s NBA prospects, and it had some scathing remarks for several Wildcats by college coaches.

Among them were Tyrese Maxey being called overrated, EJ Montgomery called soft, Nick Richards being a flopper who’s not tough enough, and Ashton Hagans being “trash.”

As you can imagine, this caught the ire of John Calipari, who sent a message on Twitter in support of his Cats.

“It always disappoints me when coaches talk anonymously about kids,” said Calipari. “I would hope that no coach would try to hurt a young person just to hurt a program. But I’ll just say it’s hard to bet against our guys because of the success we have had!

“And this particular group? If we would have been able to finish the season, I truly believe this would have been one of the last teams standing. Great group, wonderful and talented kids, and SEC champs! I would take every one of those kids to battle with me.”

As Calipari alluded to, this was a successful team that accomplished a lot with no postseason, including 25 wins, a fourth-straight win over Louisville, one of the best road records (8-2) of any Power 5 team, an SEC regular-season title, and a win over then-No. 1 Michigan State.

Sure, this group might not produce long-term NBA stars, but this was a really good college team and great group of kids that deserved better than what these anonymous college coaches had to say.

Go Cats!