This was the first time in a while that Kentucky’s offense played at a high level and the first time the team looked like they were having fun.
Maybe this was the game that John Calipari figured out how to play with this group.
After the game, Calipari kept stressing one word, “deliberate” when describing how this team needs to play.
“I’m mad at myself because we needed to be playing more deliberate. Playing faster, quicker, shooting threes, that’s all good, but you’re scoring 60. We played deliberate, which is what my teams have done historically.”
Calipari continued, “We scored more points playing deliberate. You could say well, it’s Louisville. If my team plays this way, deliberate, we’re flying.”
Kentucky has struggled this season, but Calipari is taking the blame for this team’s issues so far.
Another thing we saw today was a shortened rotation from Cal. He typically rolls is 7/8 guys at this stage of the season (aside from 2015) and it sounds like he might be starting to trim his rotation.
“Most of it is my fault. I’ll figure it out after a while. You see I shortened the rotation today. Maybe that’s what we need to do. But it was about deliberate play.”
Another thing that could change this team’s fortunes?
Being more positive, according to Oscar Tshiebwe, who thinks this may be a group of players who respond better to positive motivation instead of frequent criticism.
Oscar Tshiebwe talks about Calipari becoming more positive with this team.— Tristan Pharis (@TristanUda) December 31, 2022
"I tell coach 'You want to be so hard on them, sometimes you really mess up their mind, make it worse.' Now he's motivating more... players start stepping up because they hear more positive stuff."#BBN pic.twitter.com/DuYC0OybU3
It sounds like Kentucky is going to go away from pushing the pace and will be playing at a slower pace going forward, while Calipari will also see if being more positive and motivational could help these Wildcats with confidence, which has clearly been lacking outside of today.