Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari has a stubborn streak, but after a serious tactical error against UNC Greensboro this past weekend, Calipari was rather candid about his mistake. The admission has earned Calipari glowing praise from analyst Jay Bilas in the process.
Calipari admitted to mistakenly have SF Keldon Johnson guard Greensboro star Francis Alonso – a move which resulted in a boon for Alonso, who had 11 points in the opening minutes.
In turn, Bilas complimented Calipari for owning up to the mistake.
“The thing that sets John Calipari apart is he admits it,” Bilas said, per Kentucky Sports. “There are a lot of times when things happen. I’ve known things have happened with other coaches. They haven’t admitted it afterward. Like they say, ‘No, no, no. It was all planned.’ They don’t broadcast that (mistake) in the media.
“John is very secure. He doesn’t care that somebody may take that the wrong way. I can tell you he is in the minority of coaches who would do it that way.”
The Wildcats ultimately pulled ahead and cruised to a 78-61 victory, but the early miscommunication issue seriously bothered Calipari and his players.
“We were wrong,” Calipari said. “No, he was not supposed to start on him. And we were down 5-0 because we put the wrong guy on him in the locker room. I’m, like, why is Keldon guarding this guy? Because I knew who was supposed to be guarding him.”
Reid Travis had a double-double with 22 points and 12 rebounds, while Ashton Hagans shut down Francis Alonso and led the team with three assists.