Coach John Calipari backtracks after calling his Kentucky players ‘uncoachable’

Kentucky Wildcats head coach John Calipari gives instructions to his team in the second half of the game against the South Carolina Gamecocks at Rupp Arena. Kentucky defeated South Carolina 77-55. (Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports)

Following an utterly embarrassing loss at the hands of Tennessee on Saturday, Kentucky coach John Calipari called out his players in a big way. The defending national champion coach deemed a number of his new crop of freshmen as being “uncoachable”.

However, emotions can get the best of competitive men such as Calipari after suffering 88-58 losses. The highly-decorated coach literally had never suffered a loss of this magnitude.

Thus, on Sunday, Calipari himself backtracked on the statements made in the heat of the moment.

I went to Mass this morning and had a chance to reflect on where we have come from this season, what we have been through and where we are right now.

I believe in this team if our players will compete and battle, which they have the ability to do. I’ll say this again: Confidence is from within. It’s developed through hard work and demonstrated performance during games.  They have showed it in spurts this year, but no one is going to give us anything. We are going to have to earn it and fight for it, which I believe we can do. …

I refuse to believe they don’t have the fight in them to do this. I refuse to believe they aren’t coachable. I refuse to believe either one of those because we’ve got good kids.

There has to be a reason why guys are walking out of timeouts and not doing what they are supposed to. I may say publicly they are “uncoachable,” but I refuse to believe that because I believe in these guys and I believe they can change. I say it to get them to change, to prove to themselves and others that they can do this.

Further, he told Big Blue Nation that the team’s now-improbable journey back to the NCAA Tournament is not going to be easy.

No life raft is going to be thrown at us. We’ve got to swim back because this is going to be hard. But if we want it, it’s still there for us. Now let’s go get it.

We don’t want to say that Calipari just equated his team’s 2013 season to a sinking ship but — he may have just called this season a sinking ship.

The Wildcats’ next game on the docket is a Feb. 20 home showdown against Vanderbilt.

Will his Kentucky squad sink or swim in front of thousands upon thousands of members of Big Blue Nation?

MORE: Ole Miss’ Marshall Henderson provides us with more Words of Wisdom