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#pounditThursday, May 23, 2024

Kentucky had concerning quotes after loss to Gonzaga

John Calipari at the podium

Mar 28, 2019; Kansas City, MO, United States; Kentucky Wildcats head coach John Calipari speaks during a press conference for the midwest regional of the 2019 NCAA Tournament at Sprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Kentucky fell to 3-2 on the season with a loss to Gonzaga on Sunday, and John Calipari and his team were not exactly radiating confidence after their tough night.

The Wildcats came out extremely flat and scored just 25 points in the first half. They made some halftime adjustments and got things going over the final 20 minutes, but it was too late at that point. Calipari said one of the issues was that big man Oscar Tshiebwe only recently returned from injury and did not know some of the offensive plays.

“It was so embarrassing. We couldn’t even run a play,” Calipari said of the first half. “I couldn’t get Oscar to run the plays right. Why? He hasn’t been playing with us.”

A reporter asked Tshiebwe why Kentucky has struggled to score against good teams, and the sophomore gave an honest response.

“Most of the time we don’t really run what Coach is asking us to do,” he said.

If Oscar not being comfortable was one issue for Kentucky, that should straighten itself out the more he plays. However, star forward Jacob Toppin raised a different concern.

“If you want the honest answer … it’s a long season. I don’t want to speak for any guys, but in some moments, guys can’t step up,” Toppin said.

Toppin is right that there is a lot of basketball left to be played, but the No. 4 Wildcats did not exactly sound optimistic after Gonzaga handled them. They have more tough games upcoming in the next few weeks against Michigan and UCLA, and it sounds like they have plenty to straighten out before then.


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