John Calipari on youthful Kentucky: ‘We’re not a good basketball team’

Kentucky coach John Calipari has been here before. He doesn't like a lot of what he's seeing from his collection of prized recruits in tough games where circumstances require them to play together as a team.

Calipari said his team has a lot to learn in that regard after its third loss of the season at North Carolina on Saturday. It was a game the Wildcats very easily could have won with a little more maturity. Heck, they almost did win without it.

The Tar Heels prevailed 82-77 but the youthful Wildcats fought for it deep into the final minute.

"What we are right now is we're not a good basketball team and we're not a good team because our emotion is all based on our individual play, instead of our team play like, 'We just got a great stop. Let's all five chest each other and let's go nuts,'" Calipari said. "We're not close to that right now. Our stuff is all based on, 'Did I miss a free throw? Did I get beat on the dribble? Did I miss a shot?' I mean, it's just we got to get through this."

Calipari was asked how he goes about changing the selfish mentality to get his collection of former star recruits to do for others what they want done for them on the court.

"You want to keep losing? Keep acting that way," he said. "We're not a good team and players aren't looking real good."

You can watch all of Calipari's postgame remarks here courtesy of the Louisville Courier-Journal.

Calipari's reaction to the loss and the way his team played wasn't entirely negative. He noted that his team still had a chance to win despite being out-muscled and out-hustled at times and missing several dunks.

He also noted that he has been through this sort of thing before with young teams and understands its a process the players have to work through and ultimately choose which direction the team goes. He said he went through it as recently as 2011 when he thought his young team eventually became the best team in the nation by the end of the year and lost to UConn in the Final Four.

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Kyle Ringo is the assistant editor of The Dagger on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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