Notebook from Calipari media session


John Calipari could only flip to the National Championship game for a second.

“It made me sick to my stomach,” Calipari said.

That’s because UK had lost in the Final Four, a one-point defeat to eventual champion UConn. Calipari said the enormity of the game got to the players that day.

“I told them, we’re going to treat this like a practice,” Calipari said. “And they walked out there and went, ‘holy s***. This isn’t practice.”

Calipari denied the size of Reliant Stadium, which is an NFL dome, had any effect on UK’s poor shooting in the game. He said UK took more bad shots in that game than its four previous games, but that having a chance to win on a last-second shot was all he could ask for.

Even though Calipari said he hasn’t had time to reflect on the year, he clearly remembered the sequence of events that led to defeat in the Final Four.

“Blocked shot, bad three, blocked shot, baseline drive and layup, and the game changes,” Calipari said. “And we still had the last shot to win the game.

“After the game, I said you gave us a chance to win. And that’s all I could ask for.”


UK assistant coaches Orlando Antigua and John Robic should remain on UK’s bench next year.

Antigua was recently linked to the vacant Miami job, and Robic has been a college head coach before.

“Within the next year or two, we’ll have some rollover,” Calipari said. “But you’re at Kentucky. You don’t leave this for just any job.”

Calipari said it would need to be a top “two or three” job in any conference to be considered a “great” job, and one worthy of taking.

“They’re at the place that now you make sure whatever job you’re getting is a great opportunity,” Calipari said.


Calipari dismissed the NBA rumors that always seem to crop up every summer.

“The rumors will be out there,” Calipari said. “But I have a great job. One of the best in our sport.”

He said some of the rumors got started in an attempt to mess up UK’s recruiting, although UK had already signed its four recruits long before the end of this season. Regardless, he’s at the pinnacle of the college basketball world — so at least half of the rumors are now gone.

“The good news is they can’t say I’m going to take other college jobs,” Calipari said. “Which I’ve been involved in my whole career.”