During UK Basketball Media Day, Coach Cal found himself talking football. He has a ton of praise for Stoops and the team. He also refers to the red “end call” button on a cell phone differently than I would.
“It’s great. I’m happy for their staff and Mark but I’m really happy for the guys who came back. Josh (Allen) is one of the best linebackers in all of college football. The guy is ridiculous,” Calipari said at the podium.
“What Mark has done and what Benny (Snell) and Josh and the guys have done to change the culture. Players ride the culture. It’s not like you say, ‘this is what it is,’ and they do what they want. They’ve gotta ride it, which means we’re going to compete and fight like heck, but we’re sticking together.”
“Everybody was mad and angry. Do you remember two years ago when we’d be sad and disappointed? It wasn’t no sad now. Everybody, their staff was mad, their players were mad, our fans were mad, the culture has just changed in football.”
“I called Mark after the Texas A&M game. If you’re a coach, when you lose, don’t call me and tell me it was good. I don’t want to hear that. If I see somebody on my phone and I know that’s what they’re going to try to do, I hit the ‘eat poop button.’ I’m not talking to you.
“So I text to Mark what I saw. That the first touchdown they scored was okay. Your defense I thought balled, but they were on the field for too long. It wasn’t your best game, and you still went to overtime with a chance to win. Incredible.”
“The best thing that came out of it was Benny. In basketball we call it touches. He didn’t get a whole lot of touches and he is like a Heisman candidate. Now the game ends, they lose, the last play was…okay. Benny, I can’t imagine what Benny did in the locker room but I know this: in front of the media he said everything the right way because he was thinking about his team. That is big. That is BIG when you’re a Heisman candidate and you don’t get the touches and the team loses because that kid wants a win. He knew if I had the ball — ‘give me the ball twice in that situation, I don’t care, let the linemen fall down’ — but he never said a word.”
“I told Mark that. I said, ‘You guys are in a great place man.’ And I said, ‘Keep reminding everyone it’s taken you six years. That wasn’t a two-year turnover. It’s been six years.’”