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#pounditWednesday, March 3, 2021

John Calipari trashes himself for Kentucky schedule after latest loss

John Calipari

The Kentucky Wildcats are off to a 1-6 start, and coach John Calipari thinks he’s at least partly to blame for that.

The Wildcats lost to Louisville 62-59 on Saturday, the team’s sixth consecutive loss after a season-opening win. It came as part of an unusually difficult non-conference schedule for Kentucky, which has seen the team play and lose to the likes of Kansas, Notre Dame, and North Carolina.

Calipari noted that the abbreviated preseason had limited his young team’s ability to grow together, and he admitted he was furious with himself for his scheduling decisions.

“We need more time for all the team-building stuff that we do here all the time,” Calipari said, via Jeff Borzello of ESPN. “We team-build in the summer. We team-build in the fall. We’re making up time. Not where we need to be, but making up time.

“You gotta play games you can win to build confidence. … This was the stupidest schedule I’ve ever put together. I’d like to smack myself in the mouth.”

The scheduling is definitely a factor in what was already Kentucky’s worst start ever under Calipari. The coach typically loads his teams with young, highly-rated freshmen who need time to adapt to the college game. It’s why he usually doesn’t schedule as aggressively as he has this year.

Calipari clearly has a lot of regrets. And the struggles are starting to show — literally.

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