Calling MGoBloggers: What is the "tweak"?

Submitted by Swayze Howell Sheen on April 5th, 2014 at 1:52 PM

OK, I kind of hate Kentucky basketball right now. But you can't argue they are a tough team to beat. 

According to this silly article on ESPN, it's because of a "tweak" Calipari put in place a few weeks back:…

So I was wondering: what could this tweak be? Any of you watch enough UK basketball to have a serious guess?

Of course, many less-than-serious guesses are possible:

  • No more halftime doobies
  • Pre-game meals must include food group other than pizza
  • Actually try to follow game plan
  • Take it to the hole and crash the boards; really that's all we need to do, have you seen those other teams?
  • Watch fab five videos for inspiration (well not the title games)
  • (your guess goes here)

Anyhow, as much as hate to say it: Go Badgers!




April 5th, 2014 at 1:59 PM ^

Tweak was his young superstars actually coming together in spite of his doing nothing.  That was the plan all along after all.  Oh, and going 65% and 50something% from 3 for two games after shooting 35% all season.  That might help a bit.


April 5th, 2014 at 2:37 PM ^

Until he is a proven cheater? Uh....? Also, he's won a single title and he is only a proven recruiter, not coach. When he actually has to develop a non-5 star roster into a winner, then maybe we can talk about his coaching chops. Telling his NBA-light squad to bull into the lane and throw up shots that his 7 footers will clean up isn't exactly X's and O's.


April 5th, 2014 at 4:39 PM ^

I think you're underestimating how hard it can be to make a team out of individual stars.  They were dreadful for most of the year, but Calipari has finally gotten them to buy in.  I'm not a fan of the one and done approach, but what he's done this year is impressive.  The guy has been to multiple final fours and title games in the last few years.  To call him a bad coach is just silly.


April 5th, 2014 at 5:14 PM ^

I don't know man.  The one thing I will give him credit for is that he appears to identify and bring in pretty good kids who are freak athletes but don't have the massive ego to go with it.  Ones that also fit into a good starting five.  I refuse to give him credit for "making a team out of stars" though.  How hard is it to sell "don't be an ass for one year, try to share the ball some, play this game that you love relatively hard, use your uber-talent to beat lesser teams, and you will be a lottery pick in next year's draft."  He's not developing kids, he's just recruiting the absolute best and letting them do what they do for a single season.  Does this work for him, absolutely it does, but I hated the approach before we played Kentucky and I hate it even more now that his mockery of college basketball coaching took out arguably the model for college basketball coaching in Beilein and his staff.  

I'm sure the guy works extrememly hard at what he does, and I won't even get into alleged "dirtiness" while at Kentucky, becuase that doesn't matter in my mind.  He is exploiting a loophole in college basketball with the one year rule to bring kids who would otherwise go to the NBA to Kentucky for a single season.  He doesn't need to invest in or develop these kids like a normal college coach would, and he only needs to worry about the "student" part of their student-athlete characterization for a single semester to make sure they're eligible to play ball in the winter.


April 5th, 2014 at 6:12 PM ^

I think it's harder than you think.  After all, they did beat Michigan, Wichita State, and Louisville (twice), which I would hardly call "lesser teams."  I get what you're saying, but their game against MSU looked like a crappy version of an NBA offense.  They would just hold the ball until the end of the shot clock and then let an individual try to make a play.  They are a LONG way from that now.  Also, if you watched Cauley-Stein this year, vs last year, you would see that he does make his players better.  And, to be fair, I don't really think there is a huge difference between one and dones and "two and throughs," which UM seems to be grabbing its share of lately (which is an awesome problem to have).


April 5th, 2014 at 10:28 PM ^

I would bet Michigan, Wichita State, and Lousiville have less 5 star recruits on their rosters combined than Kentucky does.  Coaching can definitely even that out, but my point was more that Kentucky generally fields WAY more raw talent at any given time than anyone they could possibly play.  That's HUGE in basketball.  Yes, players can imporve, and Kentucky as a team has improved throughout the year.  However, that looks to be more from a team of studs "coming together" than some big moves and schematic changes by Calipari.  Their main objective is still very rudimentary - get into the lane and let the big guys clean up if you miss.  BTW, Cauley-Stein is the exact same player this year that he was last year (marginaly worse numbers wise), he just has a bit bigger of a role.

Lastly, you can't compare Kentucky one and dones to Michigan two and throughs.  Michigan is losing sophomores BECAUSE of player development and coaching.  Trey, Darius, and Stauskas were 4 year players before Beilein and staff got their hands on them (same with Timmy and possibly Caris leaving as juniors).  These are all low/mid 4 star or 3 star recruits we're talking about.  All of the Kentucky blue chips are gone before they even set foot on campus (by and large).


April 5th, 2014 at 2:46 PM ^

If you honestly believe Calipari is clean, then I've got a financial guy who you should have manage your money. His name is Bernie M., and while he's currently living in a group facility, he would be happy to invest your savings for you. The return is unbelievable.

Sweet Life

April 5th, 2014 at 4:01 PM ^

No sour grapes - didn't like him before Michigan played them and still don't like him.  Two vacated final four appearances at two different schools is enough to convince me he's a cheater.  And no, I wouldn't love to have him in Ann Arbor.  Better to have a very good clean program than a great dirty one.

The Denarding

April 6th, 2014 at 4:39 PM ^

I'm not sure Calipari figured this out or the team did but it was a few fold:

1)  Two gaurd offense where both could initiate was really problematic because Andrew is a great drive and dish gaurd but not a great spot up shooter and Aaron is exactly the opposite.  The real killer is Aaron wasn't shooting well most of the year allowing teams to double the post, pack the lane and stagnate their offense.  Aaron initiating the offense also was a huge turnover issue and their poor transition defense compounded problems.   This new configuration allowed Aaron to occupy the wing, let Andrew initiate from the top and got Randle isolated with the option of passing to Aaron or Young on the wings where they shoot an extremely high percentage.  Having Aaron initiate the offense and drive to the goal takes one of the best shooters off the wings and Aaron truly is much more lethal as a spot up shooter than anything.

2)  They gave young the green light to shoot or pass.  This spaced the floor much better as young is actually the best shooter on the team (contrary to popular belief) and the best wing shooter in particular.  This gave a ton of space for andrew to drive and have both young and his brother on the wings to shoot.  It also allowed whichever guard wasn't shooting if they were running isolation on one side to get back and slow down transition as the bigs crashed the boards.  

3)   The big men are doing a much better job defending the pick and roll and the guards are using their length to challenge shots on the outside and prevent dribble pentration.  The later was the big problem because they really spent a large part of the season blaming each other on P&R plays and trying to out run the other team rather than committing to defense.  The key has really been that they have committed to the half court defense and force others to shoot over their length because their athleticism makes getting cheap baskets difficult if they are zoned in.




April 5th, 2014 at 2:34 PM ^

Pretty sure he instituted a bonus system where everyone gets a bonus above their normal salary for each win. Pretty ingenious really.


April 5th, 2014 at 2:53 PM ^

USA Today talked about this a couple weeks ago, buildin a theory based on things that various Wildcat players said, so take it for what it is worth. If the "hints" given were at all accurate, then what Calipari did was make the practice a very physical practice, even up to pummeling players with pads, but the idea being to make them more aggressive. Kentucky also - again, supposedly - made massive changes to their approach to ball movement, which I can believe based on seeing our loss versus a couple Kentucky games earlier in the season (not much to go on, of course). 

El Jeffe

April 5th, 2014 at 5:02 PM ^

I dunno, but

The twerk is a type of dancing in which an individual, usually a female, dances to popular music in a sexually provocative manner involving thrusting hip movements and a low squatting stance.

The twerp is a small or puny person; one regarded as insignificant, contemptible.

The teak is a tropical hardwood tree species Tectona grandis. The species is placed in the family Lamiaceae. Tectona grandis is a large, deciduous tree that is dominant in mixed hardwood forests. It has small, fragrant white flowers and papery leaves that are often hairy on the lower surface.



April 5th, 2014 at 8:54 PM ^

He had the audacity to claim that their last shot against us went off just as he "drew it up" in the timeout. "Take a long three, they won't guard you ". I call bullshit.