The Reason Calipari would leave Kentucky!!!

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UConn Wins National Championship With 60-54 Win Over Kentucky

I have been around Calipari for 15 years and I know how the man thinks. When he hit the big time in Memphis and was the top 5 in the last 4 seasons at Memphis in the last regular season AP polls he brought up how he was mistreated by fans the previous years at Memphis. In fact, the Associated Press reported on the eve of the West Virginia v. Kentucky game in the final eight in 2010, “John Calipari keeps the “for sale” signs angry Memphis fans once staked in his yard in his garage. He has them as reminders that, even when times are good, there were plenty of years when fans wanted him gone.”

Will the disgruntled fans at Kentucky make Calipari feel the heat? Some of the fans I have talked to are sick and tired of the one and done show. The results have been outstanding though. Through 5 seasons Kentucky has a 18-3 record in the NCAA tournament (last year the cats went to the NIT). Furthermore, Kentucky has a National Championship and two more Final Fours on top of that. Who can argue with that record?

Believe it or not there are criticisms and here they are. First, the players are two young and they don’t come together till the end of the year. I disagree with this assessment because that certainly was not true with Calipari’s first and third team at Kentucky. It was true with the second and fifth team at Kentucky and the fourth team never did come around. For instance take those three teams performance against Arkansas. The second team lost to Arkansas in Fayetteville and fell to 6-6 in the SEC but then went undefeated until they lost to UConn by one in the final four. The fourth team lost convincingly to the Hogs and I was at that game and it was never in doubt. The fifth team lost twice to Arkansas but rallied in the SEC tournament and looked great in the NCAA tournament.

Second, Calipari’s teams can’t shoot free throws. Maybe this is a good criticism. However, it also may come back to freshman being put in tough spots. When Derrick Rose missed a big free throw in a key point in the NCAA finals for Memphis he had actually made his 20 previous free throws in a row. Here is more on that issue below:

Memphis Tigers choke away Championship Game

 

Free-throws cost John Calipari once again, UConn near perfect

BY SCOTT GLEESON

(Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports)

ARLINGTON, Texas — Kentucky coach John Calipari came up short in a national championship game for a second time, and the main reason for the loss Monday against UConn was strikingly similar to Calipari’s other title game loss, in 2008  when his Memphis Tigers fell to Kansas.

Both championship games were lost at the free-throw line.

In 2008, Memphis’ Derrick Rose and Chris Douglas-Roberts missed key free throws down the stretch before Mario Chalmers sent the game into overtime with a memorable three-pointer to help Kansas prevail. Memphis went 12 of 19 from the line while Kansas hit 14 of 15. On Monday, the Wildcats shot 54.2 percent from the line, going 13-for-24 and missing pivotal freebies down the stretch, as Connecticut pulled away for a 60-54 victory.

“We missed some shots that we needed to make, some free throws,” Calipari said. “But these kids are not machines, they’re not robots or computers.”

________________

From Twitter

Q. You could argue that you’ve had two national championships that have kind of wilted away at the free-throw line. I’m wondering if you flashback to that Memphis night in 2008 tonight?

COACH CALIPARI: No.

A whole lot of other people did, though.

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UConn, on the other hand, shot a perfect 10-for-10 from the line, becoming the first team to make all of its free throws in the national championship game. It’s been the common denominator in the Huskies’ close wins on the path to a championship. In games against Iowa State and Michigan State, UConn went 41-for-44.

“Late you could say, ‘Why not foul?’ Because they didn’t miss any free throws. Those are the dice I rolled,” Calipari said.

What’s the secret? Cue coach Huskies coach Kevin Ollie.

“We just worked on it tirelessly in practice,” Ollie said of a drill that uses speed and motivation. “It’s competitive every time. We’ve got winners and losers. Losers gotta run sprints. It’s also getting the right people to the free-throw line. … Our guys are so composed under pressure and confident.”

MORE: “5 factors that decided UConn’s championship win

Justin Timberlake – dissing Derrick Rose

 

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