John Calipari received a technical foul during the 15th-ranked Wildcats’ 80-72 home victory over Mississippi State on Tuesday night.
The longtime University of Kentucky basketball coach was asked about picking up a ‘T’ during the post-game news conference.
“The technical, deserved or not deserved?” a reporter asked.
As expected, Calipari, who’s in his 10th season at Kentucky, gave an interesting answer.
“Oh, yeah, my thing is real simple. If an official — this is just my belief, I may be wrong in this — but if you miss a call and don’t make a call, it don’t matter what the coach does. Take it. Take it.
“And so, you know, in that case, I did enough to deserve it. But I’m just — we’ve had a couple games now, I’m getting kind of up to in here now and so I’ve got to stand up for these kids. I can’t let stuff happen, or it’s OK to — I’m not going to let that happen.
“Now, this crew tonight did a good job on this game I thought. I mean, if they called a foul down here, they called a foul down here. You can’t take the last 10 fouls they fouled us on purpose. You have to eliminate those. But you know, it was a physical game. They were physical. And guess what? We were physical.”
Details of the disputed play
With 1:16 to play against Mississippi State, John Calipari was T’ed up for raising objections to a basket interference call on Kentucky’s Nick Richards.
Recent ejection for John Calipari
The Kentucky mentor was ejected on Jan. 18 after being assessed two technical fouls with 8:18 left in a Southeastern Conference game at the University of Arkansas. The Wildcats won 73-66.
“I think it happened so fast we couldn’t really react to it,” assistant coach Kenny Payne was quoted as saying by NBC Sports, responding to a question about said when asked stepping into the heated exchanged between Calipari and the officials. “Unfortunate for me especially, sitting there having to coach the game in the end in a critical point in the game where it’s turning in their favor. But these kids are resilient.”