John Calipari understands that Big Blue Nation is frustrated with Kentucky’s early exit from the NCAA Tournament.

The Wildcats were bounced after a shocking opening-round loss to Saint Peter’s on Thursday night. UK was expected to bounce back in a big way this season after going 9-16 in 2020-21, missing last year’s Big Dance. With the cancelation of March Madness in 2020, Kentucky hasn’t won an NCAA Tournament game since 2019 when the Cats made the Elite 8.

On Saturday, Coach Cal took to social media with a message for BBN. He called the 2021-22 squad a special group, saying fans should direct their “disappointment and anger” toward him.

To the BBN:

I feel for our team, our fans and our staff. This team deserved something good to happen because of how they worked and what great teammates they became. Our fans deserved it too. You stayed with us when Covid shut down the tournament two years ago, and we all wanted to see that team make a special run. We all went through last season, which started late and never really got going, and was disappointing to all involved.

We were all ready for this year. This team didn’t disappoint and I remain proud and fond of each of these players. Please steer your disappointment and anger toward me. These kids did this for all of the BBN and I wish I could have dragged them over the finish line.

My focus is on these kids and recruiting so we continue being a program that has a chance to do something special EVERY YEAR. The culture we’ve built in this program expects that and demands it.

I love and appreciate our fans!!

Calipari has been at Kentucky since 2009, posting a 365-101 record with the Wildcats going 173-54 in SEC play.