Kentucky Wildcats Basketball: John Calipari selects 3 players to “run this team”

This is a season like we have never seen against John Calipari. The Kentucky Wildcats are 1-5, they turn the ball constantly and no one seems to be enjoying themselves … especially the fans. In an effort to correct the course, Calipari decided to appoint student leaders to take control of the team.

“I’m going to have fun,” said Calipari during media availability earlier this week. “We nominate three guys to be leaders to end all non-negotiable attitudes, as you accept coaching. I’m not dealing with any of this. Players will negotiate. So this is off my plate. “

Although most teams have leaders among the group of players, this is usually something that happens organically based on experience and leadership skills. And it is certainly admirable of Calipari to ask his players to be accountable to each other, but it is somewhat disheartening to see him stepping away from that responsibility.

I am sure he will not withdraw completely, and these comments were probably made to encourage these leaders to take action. But for me, this is not a good look for a John Calipari who now wears pullovers for the game and hasn’t cut his hair since Andy Beshear closed the first barbershop.

Calipari did not name these three leaders, but his comments made it clear that experience is the most important factor.

“You needed to have guys with experience in this to give you a hint, but the goal of that is to forget about leading and worrying about playing better,” said Calipari. “It is concerned with being more engaged with our team. But these three – and the reason I made three, I want them to support each other and basically run this team. ”

The most likely candidates for this role are Keion Brooks, Olivier Sarr and Davion Mintz. They have more experience at the university level, and Sarr and Mintz tend to be the most composed players on the court. But what are the non-negotiable items that Calipari was talking about?

“Controlling your attitude,” said Davion Mintz. “Controlling, can I make this move for someone else? He said something like, don’t think less of yourself in terms of who you are as a person, but, at the same time, think less of yourself when it’s time to help someone else. Many of these things are non-negotiable. “

I leave you to decide if you think it is a good idea for Calipari to pass the responsibility on to his veterans. But at this point, nothing else seems to be working. If the Cats manage to defeat Louisville on Saturday, it will go a long way towards saving the season and potentially giving this team some confidence. On Saturday, be sure to look for three players who are more vocal during the game. Hopefully, these same guys are also holding their part in the business.

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