Kanter did not participate in any on-court demonstrations during the UK Women’s Basketball Clinic last week and Calipari said “we don’t know” when asked if Kanter would participate in tonight’s Big Blue Madness at Rupp Arena.
Calipari said athletics director Mitch Barnhart recently reminded him that during his interview for the UK job after Billy Gillispie was fired that he told UK officials he would be a “lightning rod” if he came to Kentucky.
“Some of it is really going to be good stuff, and then they've got some other people out there that won't. I'm going to be a lightning rod. This program is a lightning rod. So now you've got two lightning rods,” Calipari said.
“You could either say I don't want to deal with that, so don't coach here. It's just how it is, coaching at Kentucky. That's why you have 23,000 at every game, you have 1.2 million on the Twitter (following Calipari). I have 200,000 dear friends on the Facebook, and that's part of being at Kentucky.”
Kanter’s teammates said he was dealing with things as well as possible.
“He’s been hanging out with everybody. He was in my room last night and was fine,” freshman Terrence Jones said. “We don’t really talk with him about it. He hears enough. But we want him out here with us. He wants to be out there, too. We know that.”
Freshman guard Brandon Knight said it was hard for anyone to know just how Kanter feels.
“But you hurt for him because he wants to play and thinks he should be able to play,” Knight said.
Dodson gone: Junior Darnell Dodson was told by Calipari that he could not be part of this year’s team for reasons Calipari did not reveal other than to say it was not for academics. At that time, Calipari said he wasn’t sure if Dodson would eventually re-join the team.
However, that is not going to happen.
“He's no longer here,” Calipari said.