Calipari says Cats must play with confidence

John Calipari.<br /><br />The University of Kentucky men�s basketball team falls to UCLA 97-92...
John Calipari.<br /><br />The University of Kentucky men�s basketball team falls to UCLA 97-92 on Saturday, December 3, 2016, in Lexington�s Rupp Arena.<br /><br />Photo by Chet White | UK Athletics(WKYT)
Published: Feb. 13, 2017 at 6:11 PM EST
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John Calipari says his players must play with confidence at both ends of the court. The Wildcats are going for their third straight victory Tuesday night against Tennessee and associate coach Kenny Payne is in charge of pulling players out if they seem to lack confidence.

"So you either play with confidence or you're coming out. So what do that mean? You play with confidence. You can miss a shot confidently. Miss a shot, confidently play defense. But if you're out there and you don't breathe – you don't breathe for four minutes at a time – well, you shouldn't be out there. Be confident. Get yourself in practice. Work on it. Walk in that game knowing I want to play and I'm going to play confident."

Kentucky defeated Alabama Saturday 67-58 but again the Wildcats again let a big lead slip away. Calipari said he's studying tapes to come up with a solution. He's not blaming his players.

"Look, you can sit there and go crazy when they give up a lead or you can figure out, ‘Why are they doing this?’ Because we’ve done it five times. Top 25 and all of the sudden you’re like, ‘Oh my gosh, we could lose this.’ If we haven’t talked about it, we haven’t really worked on it and shown them – you can’t blame them. Dudes are in high school six months ago. Trying to play what we’re doing against veteran teams?”

Kentucky and Tennessee tip at 7:00 p.m. Tuesday night on ESPN.