UK wins 85-60, Calipari ejected (with Video)

A basketball game was played, at some point, but it was hardly the center of attention.

UK did win 85-60 against Mississippi Valley State, but it was UK head coach John Calipari’s two technical fouls and ejection from the game that dominated talk after the game.

Calipari incurred the two technicals in the second half, which led to his ejection, his first since 1996.

“Took my coat off, put my feet up, had a little drink of water, and said ‘this ain’t so bad,’” Calipari said regarding what he did after leaving the floor.

After receiving his second technical, Calipari followed referee Mike Stuart to the scorer’s table.

“I coach the game, he has a whistle, if he wants to throw me out of a game and that’s what’s in his mind then he does it,” Calipari said.

Calipari said he didn’t feel that he was doing anything more than normal.

“I was surprised, especially since I didn’t say two words to those guys today,” Calipari said.

Brandon Knight said he thought Calipari wanted to get ejected after he saw none of the assistant coaches making an effort to restrain Calipari.

“I saw the first tech, and Coach kept going so I was like, ‘he’s probably going to get tossed,’” Knight said. “None of the other coaches got up to pull him back, so he probably wanted to get tossed.”

Knight didn’t think about trying to intervene.

“Once he gets going, you just let him go,” Knight said. “I just heard a lot of yelling, saw the back of the neck flare up.”

For the players, it was a new experience to see their coach get thrown out of a game. But they didn’t think it was their place to try and calm their coach down.

“I (thought about) trying to calm him down, but I didn’t see any coaches hug him, and I didn’t want to get in his way while he’s angry,” freshman Doron Lamb said.

DeAndre Liggins said he was smiling while the incident was occurring and thought he might get a technical for that. He said he likes to interact with the referees.

“I’ll tell them ‘good call’ when I know it’s a bad call,” Liggins said. “I do it a lot, just to try to keep them guessing, like ‘is he really serious?’ But that’s part of the game.”

The ejection overshadowed the rest of the game, but a specific play provided the highlight of the night. As the buzzer sounded at halftime, Brandon Knight threw up a shot from half court that banked in.

“I thought it was going it when I threw it up, but I knew it was going in when it hit the backboard,” Knight said.

The team practices half court shots every practice, according to the players. Had Knight hit one in practice?

“Nope,” Lamb said.

Lamb said he didn’t think he was going to get it off in time, as Josh Harrellson pulled down the rebound with about four seconds left and tossed the ball to Knight.

“He shot the ball like the shot wasn’t going to count, so I thought he was going to miss, but I looked back and it hit backboard and went it, so I was happy.”

The shot gave UK a 20-point lead that was largely created through a 24-4 run in the last part of the first half. The score was tied at 20-20 before the run.

Five UK players — Knight, Liggins, Lamb, Darius Miller and Terrence Jones — scored in double digits as UK earned an expected win over the 1-9 Delta Devils, coached by former Wildcats Sean Woods.

Woods also had words throughout the game for the referee.

“I was in that same ref’s behind, too, because I didn’t think he was doing a very good job,” Woods said.


John Calipari discusses his ejection:

DeAndre Liggins on the ejection:

Doron Lamb on Calipari’s ejection:

Brandon Knight on Calipari’s ejection and his half court shot:

Calipari, pt. 3

Calipari discusses Darius Miller: