John Calipari kind of explains what has happened to Brandon Boston

Brandon Boston was a top 10 recruit but has not played that way this season. (Vicky Graff Photo)

If you saw Brandon Boston play in high school you would have seen a confident, explosive player who dominated the majority of games he played no matter who he was playing against. He moved from Georgia to California his senior season to upgrade the competition he would play against but still had a McDonald’s All-American season. He was a consensus top 10 player in his recruiting class.

However, he’s not been the answer Kentucky coach John Calipari or UK fans were expecting this season. He does lead the team in scoring at 11.5 points per game but he’s taken 38 more shots than anybody on the team. He has the lowest shooting percentage (34.7) of UK”s top 10 players and one of the lowest of any UK regular in the shot clock era. Boston has missed 33 of 40 3-pointers, has just 15 assists in 12 games and has been to the foul line only 40 times in 360 minutes played.

So what has happened to the “can’t-miss prospect” who was projected as an NBA Draft lottery pick before he even got out of high school?

“The competition is different, so you’re not playing now against high school players. You’re playing against somebody who is three years older than you. More physical, more trained,” Boston said.

“He had no summer here. The fall was, might as well throw it out. And so now you just start playing basketball, and what you do, the habits you need to create, he really hasn’t created yet.”

Like what?

“The ability to draw fouls versus avoid contact and flip balls. Which one are you seeing right now? The ability to get the ball by the man, which you can do, or, ‘I’m going to play with the ball.’ All of those kinds of habits that he’s got to have different habits. ‘I’m a downhill runner. I’m a free-throw drawing beast. I don’t have to be strong but I’m drawing free throws,'” Calipari said.

“And then, really consistent in how you train so that when you walk in the game it’s the same. It’s just taken him more time, and we’ve given a lot of room to go. He’s scoring points but they’re not in an efficient way. I haven’t given up on him. But he’s not playing the way he needs to play for himself or for us to win ball games.”

He may not be playing the way UK needs to win games, but he has played at least 26 minutes in every game and has played more minutes than any other UK player this season.

In the losses to Alabama and Auburn, he had a combined 10 points on 4-for-16 shooting from the field (1-for-5 from 3) and 1-for-3 at the foul line. He had 10 rebounds in 53 minutes played but had six turnovers, including five in 27 minutes at Auburn. He had one assist in each game but did have three steals against Auburn.

In five SEC games, Boston is 14 of 45 from the field with just 18 rebounds. The game before he was 3-for-11 against Louisville.

Calipari said after the Auburn loss he could not “steal” a player’s heart by benching him when things were not going well, a statement most UK fans did not agree with.

The coach double downed a bit on the same concept Tuesday when he was obviously talking about Boston.

“A kid comes here and three games you decide, ‘Well, he can play or not play.’ I can’t do that, and I’ve done this 35 years. It takes me time. Maybe you (media) can or our fans can. I can’t,” Calipari said.

“So I’ve got to let it play out a little bit. Do I wish kids would jump up more? Yeah, I do. But they’re not robots, they’re not computers. The cream also rises. It always does here. And sometimes it affects guys where, ‘OK, I’m not, I can’t.’ But in most cases, they know we did this, everybody had an opportunity to show.”

14 thoughts on “John Calipari kind of explains what has happened to Brandon Boston

  1. David F polston

    Cow needs to take his clown show somewhere else I’m sick of it I don’t even watch Kentucky no more this isn’t Kentucky basketball

  2. Paul Fields

    This team is terrible and Cal has done a poor job this year for sure.I for one would live to see him recruit SHOOTERS instead of just athletes.They remind me a bit if the Noel-Goodwin team but even worse.That being said…..the last 10 year overall have been a Golden era for UK hoops.How many other coaches have more wins and final 4s in the last decade than Cal? He did manage to put together a few decent teams after that bad Goodwin team too……im not ready to kick him out yet.Remember the Gillespie years?? Roy Williams has had a couple of terrible years at UNC too……im not panicking yet.But we do suck right now.

  3. Jack Gross

    The real problem is a lifetime contract which means no accountability for a headcoach. UK is a land grant college in a poor state where a basketball coach with a lifetime contract has decided that UK will be a training school for NBA millionaires and any homegrown player lucky enough to be blessed with comparable skills will always take a backseat to the one and dones because Coach Cal has sold his and the programs soul to convince these one and dones to come to good ole UK and nothing can change that mindset.

  4. Tim

    Im ready for the uk traditional teams again. I can name most of the 1978 championship team but not 2 players from 2 years ago. The one and done was great in its time but the party is over. GO CATS !!!

  5. Bobby Scott

    Let’s not talk about the kids, not the problem here. An egotistical snake oil salesman who talks more gibberish than a drunken carnival barker is the problem. Coaches are more than X’s and O’s teachers, but teachers of life, responsibility, counselors, mentors, of which John Calipari is none. All this guy cares about is getting players for one year and then feeding them into the grinding mill of pro basketball. Who gives a crap about pro basketball. Stupid dope doesn’t understand Ky basketball, and if you haven’t figured that out yet, you don’t either. He needs to go, like 4 years ago gone. Disgusting pied piper.

    • Wildcatwoody!!

      Where were you when Ky, lead by Caoch Cal. Was winning and the kids were only staying one yr. Some of these kids should still be in high school but, they aren’t. I don’t love the one and done but he has not failed us (the fans) yet. These kids had a disadvantage this yr. And it is going to take time with them. Give him the respect he has earned.

  6. John Turner

    Only reason that Boston is playing is because Cal wants him too. The Privilege get a pass, Here’s my take on Cal and this UK team, Cal would rather lose his way then win by playing the players that deserves to play . Allen, Toppins, and yes Fletcher .. Fletcher spoke up about Boston’s playing time and you see where it got him. Last take Cal says he doesn’t promise playing time, but I’m calling B.S. on that ,you have to earn playing time. No way Please someone tell me why Boston gets to continue starting and playing the most minutes on this team …oh yeah because Cal says so.

  7. Cat fan

    He says these kids have to earn playing time when they come here. Well I never hear any positive things come out of practices about how players are " Getting It". Sometimes you miss on a player but making the whole team suffer because you’re driven by the NBA or bust motto is getting old. As a fan I’m tired of the one and gone. Can we get some kids that stay and play for a few years. That would be nice.

    • Goaty

      That Isaiah Jackson is tough and raw he doesnt plan to leave at all he is growing and Cal wont let him or Fletcher play their game without being taken out the Boston kid needs to learn like anyother player he coached he clearly is not rising up to college star or leader potential

  8. nostalgic33

    Professor, you are spot on! Its time for this Charlaton to go the the NBA or Vegas. His smoke and mirrors act has grown old here.

  9. TheProfessor

    “A kid comes here and three games you decide, ‘Well, he can play or not play.’ I can’t do that, and I’ve done this 35 years. It takes me time. Maybe you (media) can or our fans can. I can’t,” Calipari said.

    I saw this quote in another thread and let it pass, but what a crock of smelly stuff this quote is.

    This coach decides long before any player has played 3 games who he believes can or cannot play, and once he makes that decision (based on what?) it it etched in stone. Fans also make those kind of judgments, but frankly, this fan, and I suspect most fans, base those judgments on watching these players play, and in my case a scrutiny of what the players get done while on the floor, both individually and collectively.

    This is yet another back handed slap at the UK fan base, and I am sick of this man’s arrogance and his bloated ego.


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