Calipari reacts to loss at LSU

John Calipari's post game comments after Kentucky's 87-82 loss at LSU.

On adding Dakari Johnson and Alex Poythress to the starting lineup…
“We are at the point right now that guys have to understand they didn’t come out and match the energy of the other team, and this is what happens. If Dakari (Johnson) plays like he is playing, he will play the most minutes, which is what he did today. Alex (Poythress) did some good things, but it was the breakdowns that killed us. When you get the game down to five or six and then have breakdowns that put you back down thirteen, you can’t win. That is the stuff we are talking about, mental discipline, which this team does not have.”

On what went wrong for Kentucky tonight…
“We are fine. We are playing teams that it means something to them to beat us, and we just think, ‘Well I’m ok individually’. When you watch it, we’re not fine. We will go from here. Johnny O’Bryant killed us. We started the game, and I didn’t want to trap. I wanted to see what could happen. That was probably a mistake on my part. We should have trapped from the beginning of the game. They played the zone. We were tentative. They offensive rebounded, and we didn’t. Alex (Poythress) is the only one going after offensive rebounds. They gated anything Julius (Randle) had. They sent two guys at him. They played good. You have to give them credit. They played well. We don’t have many teams that shoot 50 percent against us like this team did. We are a good defensive team. Not only that, they had 10 offensive rebounds and created 10 turnovers on us. Most of them were in the zone where they had hands in the middle of the zone. They did a great job. You have to give LSU credit.”

On what LSU did tonight to secure the win against Kentucky…
“They switched the starting lineup. I said they must be playing zone then. They went to a bigger lineup, but we didn’t know before. I thought they would play mostly man because that is what they play. The minute they went big I told the staff they are playing zone. Normally, we are better against a zone than we are man. So it didn’t bother me, but we weren’t ready for the physical part of the game. We weren’t ready for the energy of the game and the viciousness of the game. They beat us to every 50-50 balls from the beginning of the game to the end. That is why they won the game.”

On what Kentucky needs to do to improve…
“When the other team outworks you, this is what it looks like. It was amazing we were in the game. We got down 16. It could have been 30. We fought to get back in it. We got back to where we were fine. We came out the second half and did the same thing. I had to call an immediate timeout. This team is in progress. It is all about the process. The process we are at right now is will we have the mental toughness to break through and be the kind of team we want to be. We didn’t show it tonight. Now, we go to the next game and continue to work on what we need to work on for us. Us not doubling Johnny early probably got him going. The rest of it is you can’t let another team outwork you every ball, possession and free ball to win a game. Teams are too balanced, especially in our league.”

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