NCAA Basketball

Kentucky's John Calipari Cursing at His Players is a Big Deal?

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Well, the country found something out yesterday that most college athletes find out after their first practice.  Coaches like to swear.  The art of swearing may not be used by every great coach but it is safe to assume most of them are not screaming “god darn it” or “what the heck” when they are displeased with their team throughout the game.

As we have all seen in the Godfather movies (and if you haven’t seen them, you should!) Italians like to use dirty language.  John Calipari is no different.  Multiple times in last nights game versus Alabama the camera would focus in on Calipari chewing out his players.

It’s not always a bad thing to yell at your players and sure a few curse words may flow out of your mouth. Did John Calipari take it too far?

These players know what they are signing up for before they sign their letter of intent.  They are invited to practices and get to see the wrath that it going to be directed at them in the near future.  Calipari must be showing them a good time because for the past five years he has been bringing top tear recruits on to his campus.

Cursing at your players can be used as a motivational tool and after seeing the game last night you will find it hard to disagree that it didn’t motivate the Wildcats.  Down twenty at one point in the game, they clawed their way back into it and had a chance to win the game.

It is a learning process every game with young players and no one understands this more then John Calipari.  He has made his name out of recruiting dominating high school athletes and sucking all the potential he can out of them in their first season on campus.

He also may want to think about holding his tongue a little bit while on national television.  You will always have the older generation that are watching the game (especially in Lexington) and thinking that the language he is using is the voice of the devil.  That type of language is not going to make you friends with very many season ticket holders in Lexington.

Also,  children are watching the game on television and are very impressionable.  The last thing mom and dad want to hear coming out of ten year old Billy’s mouth is “what the #$*!”. Most ten year old’s are professional lip readers and they look up to people like coaches of their favorite basketball teams.

I have been watching John Calipari for the past two seasons and this is nothing new.  He does it to get his players to respond to his challenges.  He may be pressing the point a little too hard.

Last night Calipari was spotted letting f-bombs fly left and right at freshmen forward Terrence Jones.  No one really understood why Jones was being berated and didn’t really know why Calipari was mad at him.

It’s been no secret over the past couple of games that he has been trying to get more effort out of Terrence Jones.  He has started bringing him off the bench and cutting into his minutes.  Jones has seemed to be responding, including last night when he was a man among boys in the second half and was the big reason the ‘Cats came back on their run.

Calipari needs to step off the gas peddle a little bit.  Frustration is evident in Calipari’s eyes but the reason he should be frustrated should be the play in the paint, not Terrence Jones as a player.

He knew he was going to be in trouble if Enes Kanter was eventually ruled ineligible.  Only so much yelling and screaming can be done before the players begin to get annoyed. You started to see Terrence Jones get a little annoyed toward the end of the game.  After he had converted on a tough basket, instead of praise he had his head torn off.

If you don’t understand why you are being yelled at can you really learn your lesson?  Sometimes John Calipari can take it a little far.  I have seen multiple press conferences after games and you are hard pressed to hear him give more then five words of praise to his players and team, even after a big win.

Without a doubt he expects much from his team but if you are going to expect that much from such a youthful team, then you need to feed them some praise when they do something good.  You hardly see him after Jones runs the length of the floor and throws down a dunk, smile at him or throw him some words of encouragement.

Be impressed with what happened last night.  Sure, it was a loss but if there is such a thing as a good loss that was it.  Being down twenty on the road, in front of a hostile crowd with ten minutes to go in the game, they showed tremendous poise and easily could have given up.  Instead they fought and listened to the message of their coach at halftime, “If you want to win, then go out there and win”.

They wanted it and barring the turnover by Lamb on the last possession of the game, they could have won it.  The freshmen had not seen a crowd on top of them like that ever in their basketball career and they fought with perseverance.  If I were John Calipari I would watch my mouth with all the negativity and shoot my team a little bit of encouragement and praise after last night’s game.