Calipari on Woods: No harm, no foul

Publisher
Posted Nov 20, 2012


Kentucky coach John Calipari and the Wildcats responded to criticism they received earlier this week from former Wildcat guard Sean Woods, whose Morehead State team they'll face on Wednesday night at Rupp Arena.

No harm, no foul.

In hardwood jargon, that’s what Sean Woods’ seemingly inflammatory remarks about Kentucky’s players amounted to the day before the No. 8 Wildcats play the former UK star’s Morehead State squad.

Woods, who played at UK from 1990-92, said during a Monday teleconference that he did not like the “vibe” surrounding this year’s Wildcats. He used the term “sense of entitlement” and questioned whether today’s players know or appreciate the tradition of basketball at his alma mater since John Calipari began signing classes filled with “one-and-done” talent.

He later clarified his statements via the Twitter social network, stating “In no way were my comments meant to offend or insult the current players at UK. Simply an observation of today’s youth everywhere. I greatly admire Coach Cal and what he has done for the University of Kentucky and college basketball. I will always be proud to have worn a Kentucky Wildcat uniform and to be the head coach at Morehead State University.”

That was good enough for the UK boss.

“Knowing Sean, I figured he misspoke,” Calipari said during his press conference Tuesday. “I chalk it up to that, and I move on. I’m not taking it personal.”

Still, the comments took some of the Wildcats by surprise.

“I don’t think he’s been around us enough to judge us,” senior guard Julius Mays said. “He’s entitled to his opinion. I don’t think it really affects us at all.”

Others, like junior guard Jarrod Polson and sophomore forward Kyle Wiltjer, claimed they weren’t even aware of the comments.

Calipari said players who come to Kentucky have to develop thick skin due to the “fishbowl” environment that surrounds the program. “Do you know how much has been said about this program and me personally?” he quipped.

But the UK coach, now in his fourth season in Lexington, has largely been pleased with how his players have handled themselves.

“I love what our kids are about, what they’ve done academically, what they do in the community,” he said. “Being here is a big deal, and it’s hard to deal with all the stuff that goes around, but these guys seem to do it pretty well.”

Kentucky (2-1) plays Morehead State (3-1) on Wednesday at Rupp Arena. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET on FoxSports South.

Harrow Update:

Calipari said sophomore point guard Ryan Harrow, who has not played in the last two games with an unspecified illness, is showing improvement.

"I guess better," Calipari said. "... He'll be at practice today, but I guess better. He's lost weight (about 7 pounds) so he's going to have to get some weight back. We'll see from there.

"He's obviously the low man on the totem pole. You have to start from behind, and that isn't all bad for him, either, because now he's going to have to fight for time. He's behind everbody, which means you have to earn it in practice."



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