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Calipari has Cats figured out

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Calipari has Cats figured out

Post  BestdamnUKfanperiod on Wed Mar 30, 2011 12:46 am

Calipari has Cats figured out

By Keith Taylor Sun Sports Editor

John Calipari admits that he “doesn’t have it all figured out,” but the Kentucky coach has a blessed feeling heading into this weekend’s Final Four in Houston.
“I don’t think you ever feel validated in this profession because this is kind of like golf — you think you’ve got it figured out, you get humbled real quick,” he said Monday. “I followed up that Final Four (in 1996), within a year and a half I was fired in New Jersey. So I don’t know if it validated anything.
“Obviously it made me feel good at the time. But this is a humbling profession. It’s very, very hard. It can be very rewarding, but it also could be one of those things that you get slapped in the mouth when you really think — I got this figured out.”
Calipari may not have everything “figured out,” but he did a masterful job transforming a Kentucky team that appeared lost during the regular season into a national contender. The same Wildcat team that lost six close games during the regular season suddenly transformed into one that knows how to win down the stretch in the postseason.

During the team’s four losses in the first eight games to open the Southeastern Conference, Calipari was beginning to wonder whether or not his team was capable of duplicating the success his first team at Kentucky achieved.

“One of the reasons we lost six close games in our league is I was trying to figure it out with my team,” he said. “We wanted to put it on individual players. It wasn’t about our team. We didn’t know how to finish a game yet because I hadn’t figured out my team yet.
“As we went forward and we started believing in each other, figuring out each other, how we're going to play, the team did better.”
The change started with the team’s veterans — Josh Harrellson, Darius Miller and DeAndre Liggins — and trickled down to the newcomers. A shift in individual habits resulted a change that produced big-time results.
“This team is becoming that kind of team, the one I’m coaching now,” Caliapri said. “That’s the challenge of this.”
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