The Kentucky Wildcats are nonetheless one of many higher groups within the nation at 16-7, however there might be no doubting that John Calipari’s bunch goes by way of some rising pains.
It is trial and error for the Wildcats, who’ve discovered themselves on the latter facet of that spectrum far too usually recently. Kentucky has misplaced three of its final 4 and 4 of its final six — a horrible run that included a 89-85 loss to Gonzaga earlier this week that marked Kentucky’s third-straight loss at Rupp Area.
It is the primary three-game shedding streak at dwelling for Kentucky since Rupp Area opened in 1976 and the primary such streak since 1966-67.
Kentucky is struggling, little doubt, and to some half, Calipari is blaming his staff’s youth and lack of expertise. With a extra veteran staff, he might lean right into a extra “hearth and brimstone” method as a head coach.
With this squad, although, he must stroll a positive line.
“I’ve been right here with younger groups the place we needed to kick it in gear and go. As a lot as I’m feeling it arduous, robust, I can’t stand shedding. How do you suppose they’re feeling? So, I’ve to ensure I’m centered on them and maintaining them in the proper mind set,” Calipari said in a information convention (h/t On3).
To the pinnacle coach’s level, his roster options eight freshmen and 4 sophomores.
Kentucky’s main scorer towards Gonzaga was freshman guard Reed Sheppard, with 21 factors. The Wildcats’ main scorer this season has been senior guard Antonio Reeves (19.6 ppg), however he is certainly one of solely 4 seniors on the roster. Tre Mitchell is scoring 12.3 factors per sport whereas senior ahead Brennan Canada and senior guard Kareem Watkins are barely registering taking part in time or stats.
In all, that is completely a younger squad that wants a while to determine all of it out. That is why Calipari — a school head coach since 1988 and Kentucky’s head man since 2009 — believes the entire blame for the Wildcats’ struggles this season ought to fall on him.
“You understand you’re going to have a number of the unfavorable Nellies on the market attacking and that’s positive. I instructed them the opposite day I hope they simply assault me and go away you [his team] alone,” Calipari mentioned.