The Kentucky Wildcats suffered yet another painful loss Tuesday in Oxford to Ole Miss 70-62. In what has been a headscratcher of a season, it seems like John Calipari is finally at a loss for words on what ended up being a poor night all around for his team.
Calipari admitted in his postgame press conference that he simply doesn’t have an answer for Kentucky’s struggles.
Calipari: “How about we have 16 assists and 7 turnovers? What’s that usually mean for us? Not when you get outrebounded and just totally – it’s so disappointing. We’re trying to be cute. I don’t know. I don’t have an answer.”— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_ATH) March 3, 2021
This season has stunk, but honestly, watching this game might have been the hardest it has been all season.
Offensively, the team was on their heels all night besides a few bright spots of showing signs of how to breakdown a zone defense.
Defensively, they brought it once again, but when you get hammered in the rebound category, it ultimately will be a backbreaker. That stat is ultimately what lost them the game, as they were outrebounded 42-28.
Calipari would be the first person to tell you that this isn't acceptable. No matter what school he is at, he knows his teams should be producing better than what his current team is.
He added “I’m the coach at Kentucky... we’ve got to do better.”
Coach Cal has come to a crossroads as most blue-blood programs have this season. Ultimately that crossroads is referring to recruiting and roster management. It is not secret that the One-and-done era was created and has been perfected by the system that has been put in place in his time at Kentucky. Each and every year his teams have had the best player on the court any given night, no matter the opponent. This season they just haven’t had that.
You can see adjustments already being made to his philosophy by recruiting and pushing for commitments from likely multi-year college players such as Nolan Hickman, and Bryce Hopkins. He is going for experience with searching the transfer market as he did with Oscar Tshiebwe and likely more to come this offseason. He is also trying to find that high level five-star talent as well. Now it is has to be ensuring that those prospects stick, and develop on the right track to ensure their success, as well as making sure that all of these pieces compliment each other well on the court together.
Each season we see a tweak that is made to ultimately propel this team to the next level. Unfortunately, that tweak just hasn't hit this year. The effort is there. Now this is going to come down to how Cal can get his guys to play as “one” going into what could be the final two games of the season.
With South Carolina coming up this weekend, Coach Cal is going to be digging through film to try and find the answers to hopefully save this season from having such a lackluster ending.