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John Calipari explains why Kentucky didn’t foul at end of game

John CalipariThe last minute of competitive basketball games generally takes a long time to play out because the losing team tends to foul to try keeping the game close. That did not happen in the NCAA Tournament title game on Monday night between UConn and Kentucky, and John Calipari explained why after the game.

The Kentucky coach told CBS’ Tracy Wolfson that Kentucky didn’t foul because UConn was too great at their free throws.

“I needed to do a couple more things to help [my team], to get them over the hump, and we just didn’t have enough,” Calipari said.

He then went on to explain why they didn’t foul.

“We couldn’t foul late. I know everyone’s [asking] ‘why didn’t you foul?’ Because they’re not missing! Those two guards never miss! Our best chance was two-possession game, stop them, make a basket, timeout, try to steal — that was our best chance.”

Calipari also added that he thought at halftime that they would win the game. They came close, but fell short.

Calipari’s reasoning actually makes sense. UConn went 10-of-10 at the free throw line in the title game and set a tournament record for highest free throw percentage. Hoping for them to miss at the line was a longshot. The real problem was the same one Calipari has experienced before; his team couldn’t make free throws.

Rex Chapman: John Calipari is going to coach Lakers

John Calipari KentuckyFormer Kentucky star and NBA player Rex Chapman created some major waves on the college and pro basketball scene when he tweeted prior to Monday’s National Championship Game that current Wildcats coach John Calipari would be taking the Los Angeles Lakers coaching job.

The feeling has long been that Mike D’Antoni, fairly or unfairly, would not be back as Lakers head coach next season following this year’s disaster. The rumor received more credibility when another report said Kobe Bryant did not want to play for D’Antoni.

As you could imagine, the Lakers have denied the rumor.

“I spoke to [General Manager] Mitch Kupchak and he said the rumor is untrue,” Lakers spokesman John Black said via the Los Angeles Times. “Mike D’Antoni is our coach. There have been no conversations about any specific names for any replacement.”

D’Antoni is currently employed by the team, so what would you expect them to say? Yeah, we’re firing Mike and hiring John? Of course they were going to deny it.

The question is would Calipari actually leave Kentucky for the Lakers? Cal is only 55 and still has plenty of years left in him. His run with the Nets did not go the way he wanted — he was fired during his third season — so maybe he would want to prove he can coach at the highest level. Plus, let’s be real here, it’s not like he has huge ties to Kentucky; this is only his fifth season there and he’s already won one title and been to two championship games and three Final Fours. Maybe he felt more inclined to leave after all the fans started crushing him amid the shaky season at Kentucky this year.

John Calipari: I know nothing about UConn

John Calipari MemphisJohn Calipari is back in the NCAA championship game after leading his Kentucky Wildcats to an improbable run in the NCAA Tournament.

Freshman Aaron Harrison stepped up for the third straight game and hit a huge 3-pointer in the final minute to help the Wildcats advance, and now they are set to face UConn in the championship game Monday as a 3-point favorite.

In his interview with TBS after the big win, Calipari praised Huskies coach Kevin Ollie and the UConn program while admitting he knew nothing about them.

“I don’t know anything about them,” said Calipari. “The issue now I gotta be up all night watching tape getting ready for them. I know their guards are good and I know I recruited a bunch of their guys, so I know how good they are, but I don’t know how they play.”

Are you buying that from him? If he’s telling the truth, then he really won’t have much time to prepare for the game on Monday night.

We’re guessing some of his assistants have been watching tape on the Huskies and will have him up to speed before long.

John Calipari ejected from Kentucky-South Carolina game (Video)

John Calipari ejectionJohn Calipari has seemed frustrated with his Kentucky team all season, so it was pretty fitting that he ended up ejected from the team’s game against South Carolina on Saturday.

Calipari may have been upset that no foul was called when Alex Poythress attempted a baseline leaner with just under 11 minutes left and his Wildcats trailing by 12. He could have also been upset that no foul was called when Julius Randle had the ball stolen from him after Poythress’ airball. Cal stepped out to around the 3-point line to confront the referee, and he was immediately given a technical foul and ejected.

The way that disaster was going for Kentucky, it was probably just as well to have him watch the ending from the locker room instead of the bench.

John Calipari’s hilarious reaction turns into a meme (GIF)

John-Calipari-faceKentucky came away with an 84-70 win over Ole Miss on the road Tuesday night, but John Calipari did not enjoy his team’s performance from start to finish. Someone did something to piss coach Cal off at some point, and the end result was one of the best GIFs you will ever see in your life.

Calipari gave a classic puzzled look and appeared to say, “Whaaaaaat?” to one of his players who presumably made a mistake. Naturally, the internet immediately began doing its thing by turning the Calipari face into a meme.

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John Calipari seemingly takes shot at Indiana fans

john-calipariKentucky will likely never play another game at Assembly Hall as long as John Calipari is the coach of the Wildcats. Calipari has expressed a willingness to play Indiana at a neutral site, but he has no interest in a home-and-home series with the Hoosiers. One of the reasons for that dates back to a major upset during the 2011-2012 season.

Indiana defeated then-No. 1 Kentucky back in December 2011. Hoosiers fans went ballistic and rushed the court after the win. Earlier this week, Calipari seemed to take a shot at Indiana fans during his radio show.

“We don’t have obnoxious — well, we may but I never hear them — we don’t treat the other team with disrespect,” Calipari said, via Kentucky Sports Radio. “If we won a game against the No. 1 team in the country in Rupp Arena, would people charge the court? No. You’re supposed to (win). This is Kentucky. We don’t do that here.”

Calipari is not the only head coach in the country who believes his fans should not rush the court, but it seemed pretty obvious that his comments were aimed at Indiana. Calipari does not like the Hoosiers, and I’m sure the hatred is mutual. Unfortunately for Indiana, that hatred has resulted in a quality opponent freezing them out.

H/T Courier-Journal

John Calipari says Kentucky players were crying after loss

john-calipariKentucky Wildcats coach John Calipari says some of his players were crying following the team’s 78-74 loss to Michigan State on Tuesday night, and he believes that’s a good thing.

“We had guys crying in there, which is a good thing,” Calipari said after the game. “That was Michael Kidd-Gilchrist after Indiana last year. So you had kids crying in there, and I want it to hurt like that. I knew this would get their attention in the first half.”

Calipari feels that the emotion shows how much his players care, and he believes that is a good sign for the future.

“The biggest thing is if you don’t do this together, you will not win. You’ll never be a special team. So you gotta truly do this together, and that’s both on defense and offense.”

Losing the game probably didn’t come as much of a surprise for Cal. He complained leading up to the game that his young team wasn’t ready for the contest so early in the season. Spartans coach Tom Izzo retorted that Calipari could always forfeit if he were that opposed to the game.

In the end, it was an extremely close and exciting game. Highly-touted freshman Julius Randle went for 27 and 13 and looked great, so nobody will hold it against Kentucky for losing to Michigan State by four in November when March rolls around. Like Calipari said, it’s a good sign that his players felt that badly after the loss.