John Calipari believes UT's NIT success depends on attitude

Kentucky head coach John Calipari yells in directions to his team during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Vanderbilt in the championship game of the 2012 Southeastern Conference tournament at the New Orleans Arena in New Orleans, Sunday, March 11, 2012. (AP Photo/Bill Haber)

Kentucky head coach John Calipari yells in directions to his team during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Vanderbilt in the championship game of the 2012 Southeastern Conference tournament at the New Orleans Arena in New Orleans, Sunday, March 11, 2012. (AP Photo/Bill Haber)

Cuonzo Martin expects Tennessee to be motivated tonight, and stressed the importance of getting off to a quick start in tonight’s NIT game against Savannah State.

Kentucky coach John Calipari believes if the Vols do that, it could lead to a trip to New York City, site of the NIT’s semifinals (March 27) and finals (March 29).

“I would suggest they will have a good run in the NIT -- if they choose that,’’ Calipari said on Monday’s SEC coaches teleconference. “A lot of teams go in there and they’re mad about having to play in the NIT. I’ve had teams (at Memphis) that loved it, because of where we were at that time.

“We were trying to make statements; we finished in the (NIT) Final Four a couple times and then we won the NIT. Our teams went in with something to prove.’’

Calipari took Memphis to the NIT Final Four in 2001, won the NIT championship in 2002 and returned to the NIT Final Four in 2005.

Martin believes the Vols (18-14) have plenty to prove in tonight’s game (TV: ESPNU, 8 p.m.) against the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference champion Tigers (21-11) in the teams’ first-ever meeting.

“You have something to prove because you’re playing basketball and representing the University of Tennessee,’’ Martin said. “As long as I’m here, that should be the case every time we step on the floor.’’

Calipari said he was disappointed the SEC only got four teams into the NCAA tournament, but he suggested it was a case of bubble teams not taking care of business at the league tournament in New Orleans.

“I was sick to my stomach when Mississippi State lost, I was sick to my stomach when Tennessee lost, because then I felt Mississippi was gonna have to beat Vandy to get in,’’ said Calipari, whose Wildcats fell to the Commodores in the SEC tournament title game on Sunday.

“I felt Tennessee, if they had won that (Ole Miss) game, they would have been in,’’ he said. “Some of it falls on us coaches, we have to take care of business, and there are games our teams have got to win.

“The things Tennessee did all year, I’m still convinced they are an NCAA team.’’

The Vols lost in overtime to the Rebels in the quarterfinals of the SEC tournament, 77-72, on Friday night.

Hall Out: Martin said UT junior center Kenny Hall will not play in tonight’s game against Savannah State, and his indefinite suspension will continue to be evaluated “day-by-day.’’

This will be the eighth game Hall has missed since being suspended on Feb. 15, prior to UT’s 77-58 home win over Arkansas. Hall was suspended for conduct detrimental to the team.

Streaks snapped: Vols’ power forward Jeronne Maymon had his streak snapped of scoring 12 points in every SEC game when he was held to 11 points against Ole Miss prior to fouling out in overtime.

Maymon was named second-team All-SEC by the Associated Press on Monday. He was also a second-team All-SEC selection on the SEC coaches’ team released last week.

UT point guard Trae Golden had a string of 27 consecutive made free throws snapped at the 7:39 mark of the first half of the Vols’ loss to Ole Miss in the SEC tournament last Friday, splitting a pair of free throws to tie the game at 16-16.

Big Ring: Savannah State coach Horace Broadnax was a teammate of NBA Hall of Famer Patrick Ewing on Georgetown’s 1984 national championship team as well as the Hoyas’ 1985 national runner-up squad.

Mike Griffith covers Tennessee men's basketball. Follow him at http://twitter.com/MikeGriffith32

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Comments » 67

thevoice writes:

I sure hope this team can conquer the tourney bug. Hard to explain why they can't play good in post-season. Kinda glad they're in the NIT: more potential games and valuable experience for Golden, Jordan, Stokes.

MothershipChip writes:

Coach Cal giving the Vols props, who woulda thunk it?!

Southland writes:

well duh,,..... Stokes has something to prove after the last game since Ol Miss shut him down

V_O_L_S_GO_VOLS_GO writes:

I still hate the slimebag. But thanks for the props. :)

VolJunkie writes:

Came into this article thinking why do I care what Calipari has to say about UT's chances in the NIT. I admit I was wrong. Cal makes a great point when he says "A lot of teams go in there and they're mad about having to play in the NIT. I've had teams (at Memphis) that loved it, because of where we were at that time."

Extra games and experience for UT players ... this is a good thing, especially if they get to MSG. I suspect it will also make a big impression on the outlook of next year's team.

Go Vols!

movinonup writes:

"I was sick to my stomach when Mississippi State lost, I was sick to my stomach when Tennessee lost, because then I felt Mississippi was gonna have to beat Vandy to get in,'' said Calipari

Wonder how he felt when his mighty Cats lost to Vandy?????? Somehow I don't think he cared anything about us or State and doubt very seriously if he was at all sick to his stomach (nor do I really care)

Zalweed22 writes:

in response to movinonup:

"I was sick to my stomach when Mississippi State lost, I was sick to my stomach when Tennessee lost, because then I felt Mississippi was gonna have to beat Vandy to get in,'' said Calipari

Wonder how he felt when his mighty Cats lost to Vandy?????? Somehow I don't think he cared anything about us or State and doubt very seriously if he was at all sick to his stomach (nor do I really care)

(nor do i really care)
I guess that's why you took the time to read the article AND to comment on it

keepitreal4vols writes:

The captain of the SEC mothership has spoken and given his stamp of approval to our team. What a wonderful day this is.

Voloyalty writes:

in response to Southland:

well duh,,..... Stokes has something to prove after the last game since Ol Miss shut him down

Wow, the kid is still supposed to be in high school and did not play well in his first post season tournament game, yet you feel the need to call him out. You are exactly why I hate UT fans.

BankerVol writes:

Kinda wondering who really GAS what Calamari thinks?

westknoxrepub writes:

well who wouldn't be motivated to play for 69th place.

Zalweed22 writes:

in response to BankerVol:

Kinda wondering who really GAS what Calamari thinks?

again...the kind of guy that takes the time to read the article and then comment on it.....

VolunteerLifer writes:

I don't care what Calipari thinks of my team. I only care what my team does. We don't need Calipari to validate us. We will accomplish what we accomplish without him and his need to be the Godfather of the SEC. He needs to mind his own team's business, as was evident by his loss to Vandy

tennrich1 writes:

in response to Southland:

well duh,,..... Stokes has something to prove after the last game since Ol Miss shut him down

Really? You really believe that? Really? or are you just talking because there's absolutely nothing at this point that JS has to prove...Silly boy!!!!

givehim6 writes:

Spoken from Yota hiself, He is wright if UT comes in pissed at the world thay will not last. But if UT playes there game at home there will be a orange glow in MS NY!

KevDVol writes:

Calipari is the best Juco/Community College Coach in the land. No one can match what he is able to do with those young guys - who are playing great basketball while working on their various certificates and associate degrees. It was fantstic to watch the upstart KyJrCC almost beat Vanderbilt - a 4 year University which has several 3rd and 4th year student athletes.

tennisvol writes:

Nice things being said about the Vols from ole
Calipari. Hope they do well in the tournament.

murrayvol writes:

Thanks Cal. We needed that.

UTbassdrummer writes:

in response to westknoxrepub:

well who wouldn't be motivated to play for 69th place.

you're the absolute worst. Hate.

Vol43 writes:

in response to givehim6:

Spoken from Yota hiself, He is wright if UT comes in pissed at the world thay will not last. But if UT playes there game at home there will be a orange glow in MS NY!

?

volboy81 writes:

who cares what he thinks? he cheats!

Zalweed22 writes:

in response to VolunteerLifer:

I don't care what Calipari thinks of my team. I only care what my team does. We don't need Calipari to validate us. We will accomplish what we accomplish without him and his need to be the Godfather of the SEC. He needs to mind his own team's business, as was evident by his loss to Vandy

Mind his own business?? He's being asked these questions about Tennessee....not bringing it up himself. And you see evidence that we lost to Vandy because he is concerned with other teams??? Laughable!

Razzle writes:

in response to Vol43:

?

You know, Yota is the Russian multinational telecommunications services provider of mobile broadband, with video, television and music services.

Dougb-VFL writes:

You have to admire Cal going out of his way to talk about our program.I can't stand the mildcats but I am glad to see Cuonzo has the conference's best team and their coach thinking about our team!Every true UT fan needs to come together and support all our coaches,enough with the Cuonzo and Dooley bashing. VFL

Razzle writes:

in response to westknoxrepub:

well who wouldn't be motivated to play for 69th place.

West, now that Bruce Pearl is gone, do you pull for or against Tennessee?

easleychuck writes:

in response to westknoxrepub:

well who wouldn't be motivated to play for 69th place.

Your statement is inaccurate on most every level.

Cal should stick to coaching his own team. If he fails to win the championship with this bunch; he will have failed again. I really believe that karma has a firm grip on him and his one and dones. Rose did not belong in school so it was Rose who missed critical free throws against Kansas.

HopeisNotaCourseofAction writes:

in response to KevDVol:

Calipari is the best Juco/Community College Coach in the land. No one can match what he is able to do with those young guys - who are playing great basketball while working on their various certificates and associate degrees. It was fantstic to watch the upstart KyJrCC almost beat Vanderbilt - a 4 year University which has several 3rd and 4th year student athletes.

Now that's funny I don't care who you are.

Another funny moment will be a a year or two when it is again determined Canipayee cheated and payed kids or their parents and will have to forfeit any games, titles, banners etc he picks up this year. Of course his bald-headed bugg-eyed big-mouth piason on espn will still think he is great, even though ole tricky dicky could be ohhh so righteous and quick to trash Coach Pearl last year every chance he got.

Vol43 writes:

in response to Razzle:

You know, Yota is the Russian multinational telecommunications services provider of mobile broadband, with video, television and music services.

Whew. Yeah, I didn't get that at all!

FLORIDAGATORHATER writes:

in response to Southland:

well duh,,..... Stokes has something to prove after the last game since Ol Miss shut him down

You mean Jarnell "Butterfingers" Stokes?

lafollette37766 writes:

in response to volboy81:

who cares what he thinks? he cheats!

And Bruce Pearl lies. I could care less what anyone in Lexington, Starkville, Nashville or anywhere else thinks but a fact is a fact.

westknoxrepub writes:

in response to Razzle:

West, now that Bruce Pearl is gone, do you pull for or against Tennessee?

I'm a UT grad and a UT fan, I can pull for them and be disappointed that after six years of NCAA tournament bids we didn't get one this year. I can be disappointed in the recruiting job our current coach is doing, and I can worry that after next year (which is no lock for an NCAA tournament berth) we're going to have sub par basketball players filling our roster because all Pearl's recruits will be gone and we're left with guys who got offers from low major bottom feeders. Remember folks, Missouri and Texas A&M next year, that's three additional SEC games and I highly doubt this team would have defeated Missouri, and it's questionable whether or not they would have defeated Texas A&M.

CrankE writes:

Disclaimer: did not read the article.

Gee, it sure seems like Cal has a lot of free time on his hands to comment about UT. I bet he wouldn't feel that way if it were UT that just beat his team instead of Vandy. Just saying.

Razzle writes:

in response to westknoxrepub:

I'm a UT grad and a UT fan, I can pull for them and be disappointed that after six years of NCAA tournament bids we didn't get one this year. I can be disappointed in the recruiting job our current coach is doing, and I can worry that after next year (which is no lock for an NCAA tournament berth) we're going to have sub par basketball players filling our roster because all Pearl's recruits will be gone and we're left with guys who got offers from low major bottom feeders. Remember folks, Missouri and Texas A&M next year, that's three additional SEC games and I highly doubt this team would have defeated Missouri, and it's questionable whether or not they would have defeated Texas A&M.

But you must admit they did much better than you predicted.

MilitaryBrat writes:

in response to Razzle:

But you must admit they did much better than you predicted.

What...and have him say something positive about the Vols?

Just because he states that he is a UT grad and a "fan", doesn't mean that it is true. All he does is spew a bunch of negativity about Tennessee. And makes predictions hoping the Vols fail, then when he is wrong, he disappears for a couple of days, then back at it again.

Why would anybody believe anything he writes?

Razzle writes:

in response to MilitaryBrat:

What...and have him say something positive about the Vols?

Just because he states that he is a UT grad and a "fan", doesn't mean that it is true. All he does is spew a bunch of negativity about Tennessee. And makes predictions hoping the Vols fail, then when he is wrong, he disappears for a couple of days, then back at it again.

Why would anybody believe anything he writes?

I know. Since he isn't very good with his predictions, what he says sounds more like wishful thinking on his part.

orangecountyvols writes:

in response to MilitaryBrat:

What...and have him say something positive about the Vols?

Just because he states that he is a UT grad and a "fan", doesn't mean that it is true. All he does is spew a bunch of negativity about Tennessee. And makes predictions hoping the Vols fail, then when he is wrong, he disappears for a couple of days, then back at it again.

Why would anybody believe anything he writes?

Mil. Brat and Razzle,

You guys have the champion of negativity pegged.
The 'grad and fan' is anything but a supporter of the Vols. Just an overbearing bore.

brokendownoldvol writes:

They didn't show up again for their own conference tournament even with a one win chance to go to the NCAA. Why would they show up for the NIT?

Vol_Jokes writes:

Yes, i'm sure Cal was just sick when those other SEC teams lost. Cal worries about Cal not other teams. He proved it several years ago when he took Memphis's number 1 recruiting class in the country and moved them over to Kentucky and left us with nothing. He had made sure the players he signed had clauses that they could transfer if the coach left. Let's not even mention that he recruited them while getting paid by Memphis. If he did that to the school that paid his salary for years do you think he really cares that UT is 18-14 and playing mighty Savannah State?
You trolls that hang out over on the Memphis site better hope you win this one. You lose and you'll never live it down. Then again that won't stop you from talking trash over there.

gillblog writes:

in response to Razzle:

You know, Yota is the Russian multinational telecommunications services provider of mobile broadband, with video, television and music services.

Thanks for translating Yota, but what can you glean from the remainder of this encrypted message?
For example; "..playes there game..."

tree_em_smokey writes:

I've got a lot more respect for Cal now. Thanks for giving us props Cal!

Now go kick some asssssss in the NIT VOLS!!!!

BankerVol writes:

in response to Zalweed22:

again...the kind of guy that takes the time to read the article and then comment on it.....

I read the article Richardweed. Still wondering...

STLVOLS writes:

in response to keepitreal4vols:

The captain of the SEC mothership has spoken and given his stamp of approval to our team. What a wonderful day this is.

And what he says about attitude is true. If Vols go in with poor attitude, they will bounce out.

tovolny writes:

in response to Voloyalty:

Wow, the kid is still supposed to be in high school and did not play well in his first post season tournament game, yet you feel the need to call him out. You are exactly why I hate UT fans.

We have a quality educational institution in UT. We are definitely a proud and humble alumni. We expect every student and every athlete to strive to be their best. We ask for commitment and dedication. When we notice a decline or a carefree attitude, we will react and demand a fresh focus. Could it be that you fell short of an attempt to be among the UT stream of success stories? Could you be a victim of Aesop's fable concerning the fox and the sour grapes? On he other hand, the good news is that Jarnell Stokes is a wonderful young man that has been burdened with an assignment that puts him in the limelight to perform to the heights with which he is destined. Remarks that you have made and the remarks of the person whom you have scolded will only serve as a stimulant to keep Stokes on track to be one of our best athletes of this decade. In other words, if you don't like UT and UT fans, then for goodness sake sever yourself from us and move on to another institution. I suggest you move to New York (a place where fans are fanatic and vocal ...and I love them dearly) and leave us the “hexx” alone.

Boll_WeeVol writes:

in response to westknoxrepub:

well who wouldn't be motivated to play for 69th place.

I don't like to respond to comments because I know people on here have wet dreams about how many re-posts they get.

However, I really want to point out to this dude and others that share his sentiments, only TWO teams in the NCAA get to finish their season with a win. I wouldn't complain about that opportunity.

AppreciativeAlum writes:

If you don't win the NIT, you have no excuse to complain about not making the NCAA.

wycoller writes:

And Vol fans should give a RA what Calipari thinks because......?

rbut5252#220065 writes:

Why was this article printed? Nobody is interested in hearing anything from this cheater. Everytime anyone puts in print or broadcast anything he says, it tends to give him some sort of mythical
credibility....that's something he lost when they jerked away his Final Four apparance at U Mass and was reinforced when they forfieted the season at Memphis.

eVOLved writes:

Coach Cal is bigtime, but reminds me of the slimy, successful Coach Pearl. I appreciate and agree with his assessment, and I'm glad we have the scrupulous, successful Coach Martin now. GBO! Taking the NIT by storm and NCAAs in the years to come.

BradleyJKinkaid writes:

in response to Voloyalty:

Wow, the kid is still supposed to be in high school and did not play well in his first post season tournament game, yet you feel the need to call him out. You are exactly why I hate UT fans.

I agree with you totally. I'm a lifelong UT fan, but the garbage I hear from many fans is unbelievable (especially on this forum it seems-it's the worst for dumb comments).

To put it in the common Tennessee vernacular of the Cracker Barrel IQ peg game concerning the stupid comments, "Your just plain eg-no-ra-moose!"

volcraze writes:

in response to Voloyalty:

Wow, the kid is still supposed to be in high school and did not play well in his first post season tournament game, yet you feel the need to call him out. You are exactly why I hate UT fans.

No need to hate all Vol fans.

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