Kentucky basketball has a puzzling mentality and substitutions in loss to Auburn.
Another game, another loss, and more head-scratching decisions seem to be the storyline for each Kentucky basketball outing, and the Wildcat’s 66-59 debacle loss at Auburn on Saturday head true.
The frustrations continue to mount yet the reasons sound like a broken record that keeps skipping and ultimately drives you crazy till you rip it off because you’ve heard enough.
What we have learned is that John Calipari doesn’t seem to have the answers and his post-game conference showed his frustration reaches the boiling point. But he doesn’t get a pass and solely blame the players his coaching decisions, subbing and rotations also draw the ire of fans and media alike.
The bottom line is simply this team is not good at all and most likely won’t make the NCAA tournament unless it wins the SEC Tournament. Something that Calipari dislikes playing in any way, but will be his team’s only saving grace.
Kentucky (4-8, 3-2) now owns the season-worst 12 game start that dates back to Adoph Rupp’s first season in 1930-31. The others were 5-7 (1966-1967), 5-7 (1988-1989), and 5-7 (1989-1990)
Georgia (8-4, 1-4) on Tuesday sits as the last potential winnable game for Kentucky who is about to go through the gauntlet of its schedule including seven teams projected to make March Madness. (LSU, Alabama, Tennesse, Texas, Missouri, Auburn,) until Vanderbilt again on February 17.
Auburn and Kentucky played arguably one of the worst first half of basketball that anyone could recall missing shot after shot in a half that resembled more of a rebounding drill than an actual game.
The Tigers had averaged 92 points their last two games but were woeful to start and Kentucky could not seize or take advantage of the opportunity. They weren’t even in foul trouble and only committed six in the half. Yet they had a mere 25-21 lead.
In the end, Kentucky fell to an Auburn team that missed 14 of its first 15 shots.
Calipari has continued to reference after games and his radio shows each week that he will be playing the guys who want to fight plain and simple.
Thus in the opening half, it was Olivier Sarr, Davion Mintz, Isaiah Jackson sitting on the bench while the lineup was Jacob Toppin, Dontaie Allen, Lance Ware, Keion Brooks, and of course Brandon Boston.
Boston is the most frustrating player for fans yet seems to be Calipari’s NBA project and is determined to leave him in despite a lack of desire to be coached or play team basketball.
Calipari just refuses to take him out. His final stat line of the day in 27 minutes five points, five rebounds, 1 assist, and 5 turnovers. The team combined had 17 turnovers.
The reserves put up the fight in the first half as they usually do along with Askew who listens and plays as instructed by Calipari.
Yet Calipari wasn’t happy with the scoreboard and end result.
“I am disappointed in what we did. We left one slip away on the road. We should have been up big at half. I can’t believe we weren’t.”