Calipari accepts come blame for loss

Give John Calipari credit for not being afraid to admit that he deserves part of the blame for Tuesday's loss at South Carolina, too, and for admitting that maybe he's been unfair to junior Patrick Patterson and freshman John Wall, Kentucky's two top players.

Give John Calipari credit for not being afraid to admit that he deserves part of the blame for Tuesday's loss at South Carolina, too, and for admitting that maybe he's been unfair to junior Patrick Patterson and freshman John Wall, Kentucky's two top players.

No, his players did not play particularly well individually or as a team in the 68-62 loss that ended a 19-game UK win streak and likely will cost the Cats their brief No. 1 ranking next week. However, maybe this game was a learning lesson the veteran coach needed, too, based on what he said Friday as he prepared his team to play Vanderbilt Saturday.

"After really sitting back and looking, I have to get more involved and call more timeouts. Stuff I haven't had to do in the past, or didn't choose to do because it was a veteran type of team," said Calipari. "There were two or three situations I can't believe I let unfold.

"I'm putting way too much on John (Wall) and Patrick (Patterson). I'm saying to them that this should be on me. Let me get these guys playing right, because they are trying. We went down there and it looked like there was some anxiety from some guys. We talked about that a little bit."

However, he also talked a lot more to his team in hopes of taking pressure off them, especially Patterson and Wall, and putting more on himself.

"I hate to lose. I hate losing. I would have like to have won them all," he said. "But what you do is prepare for it if it happens. I was prepared to do two things. One, tell them that was a win for me. We played well, they had the last shot. But, I couldn't use that. So, what happened was we got beat to everything. I don't want them to feel the responsibility of all of this. A lot of this has got to fall right to me. I want them to understand that, so it's less on them and more on me.

"I've probably done Patrick and John a disservice by saying how good they are. All that does is put more pressure on them to perform every shot, every bounce. That's not fair."

He also says he got "intoxicated" by UK winning so much when he said after the victory over Arkansas that no team in the country could beat the Cats when they played that way. Of course, South Carolina beat UK in its next outing.

"I got a little arrogant and said some stuff I don't need to say. So, hopefully we'll get back here and figure all of this out," Calipari said.

Calipari said Wall, who had over 80 fans at the game, played "awful" and that he didn't appreciate that fact until he watched the game tape.

"He did not run our team, broke off plays and stopped on defense. John Wall really hurt us. He had a breakout that he tried to dunk instead of getting an and-one. We had a lob that he didn't come down with. He tried to shoot it from his hip. They are not machines," the UK coach said.


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