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John Calipari responds to Rick Pitino’s social media comments

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Frenemies John Calipari and Rick Pitino are at it again.

Earlier this week, some comments that Pitino made about the use of social media went viral. The irony of it? Twitter is the reason that his comments made it to every blog and every website, with social media being the catalyst for words being taken out of context.

Essentially, what Pitino said was that, for an athlete, it’s a waste of time to sit there and read through the responses that come through on twitter. It’s either over-the-top praise or vulgar, and at times racist, hate-speak.

He had a point, and a valid one.

Calipari was on Mike and Mike this morning, and he was asked about social media use among college athletes. Here is his response, in full. (If you’d rather listen to it, it starts at the 4:45 mark here):

“This is no disrespect, the coaches you mentioned, I respect them all. They know nothing about social media. Nothing. They don’t do it. They feel it’s another job. What I’m trying to tell our players, we train them, we bring in professional people, we talk about it, we oversee what they put out. If they put out something dumb, we talk to them and tell them why [it’s dumb]. ‘Why would you do that?’ We tell them, if you’re into reading the responses, don’t go on twitter!”

“Twitter is an opportunity. Facebook is an opportunity. To say what you feel. To try to pick people up. To try to be positive. To try to add something to society. To let people see you transparently. You cannot be defined if you’re on social media by someone else. You will define who you are, and if you’re negative, that’s your fault. But here is who you are. If you are negative, it will come through. Five years of being on twitter and facebook, are you gonna lie for five years? You are who you are. But we’re trying to tell those kids, you build your brand or you break your brand down. You are who you are through social media.”

“I’m not going to hold my team back from twitter or facebook, I’m going to teach them. How do you use it for a positive. I don’t read one response on twitter or facebook. There are a lot of bullies and haters on twitter. I don’t read them, I don’t see them. I give out information, I’m transparent to our fans. I tell them how I’m feeling. I talk about the last couple of practices. There are things I want my players to read that I’ll put out. I also have things that we do that only go to our players, that I put out that I want them to see and hear. Videos and different things. Social media, for anyone to say don’t do it, it’s crazy. I don’t know what you’re talking about. I go home, I got a 17 year old son, he doesn’t watch TV, he’s on the computer all day.”

Here’s the irony: Cal and Pitino basically put out the same message.

Both of them essentially said that it’s pointless to read through any response that comes through from anonymous fans on the internet. They are called trolls — or, as Cal put it, bullies and haters — for a reason.

The difference?

Cal is selling his program. He’s always selling his program. Saying ‘we teach our players how to build their brand through social media’ is a soundbite that will play better when recruits see it in headlines than ‘the great class of underachievers live on the Internet and social media’.

PHOTO: N.C. State’s bus breaks down on way to game

SYRACUSE, NY - MARCH 27:  Head coach Mark Gottfried of the North Carolina State Wolfpack reacts to their loss to the Louisville Cardinals during the East Regional Semifinal of the 2015 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at the Carrier Dome on March 27, 2015 in Syracuse, New York.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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N.C. State, whose season has been something of a disaster to date, face a must-win game against Wake Forest in Raleigh on Saturday afternoon, and since nothing can be easy for Mark Gottfried’s club, they’ll have to find a way to win the game after their bus broke down en route to PNC Arena:

This is why you can’t have nice things, N.C. State.

WATCH LIVE: Atlantic 10 basketball doubleheader Saturday on NBCSN

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 13: A detailed view of a Spalding basketball during a quarterfinal game between the Davidson Wildcats and La Salle Explorers in the 2015 Men's Atlantic 10 Basketball Tournament at the Barclays Center on March 13, 2015 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City.  (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)
(Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)
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The Atlantic 10 invades NBCSN and the NBC Sports app on Saturday with two games that will air as part of a doubleheader.

It starts with Fordham at UMass at 12:30 p.m. and concludes with Rhode Island heading to Duquesne at 2:30 p.m.

CLICK HERE to watch the Atlantic 10 on NBCSN

VIDEO: North Carolina ball boy makes three straight halfcourt shots

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During North Carolina’s blowout win over N.C. State on Jan. 8, the Tar Heels weren’t the only ones in the building who were feeling it.

As it turns out, North Carolina ball boy Asher Lucas was the hottest shooter of anyone in the building that night.

During halftime of that Jan. 8 game, Lucas nailed three consecutive halfcourt shots, as his father, Adam Lucas, a North Carolina columnist, released the video this week to YouTube. The video quickly went viral as Asher’s unreal streak of shots was all over TV and the Internet.

The Tar Heels have been struggling to find consistent perimeter shooting for the last few seasons, so maybe they need to start scouting Asher for a future roster spot.

 

VIDEO: Milwaukee wins on Brock Stull buzzer-beater

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Milwaukee picked up a Horizon League win on Friday night as guard Brock Stull knocked in a buzzer-beater to topple Cleveland State.

Stull only had four points on the night as he played 30 minutes and finished with five assists and six rebounds.

Oregon’s Dillon Brooks is ‘in a walking boot’, status still unclear

EUGENE, OR - DECEMBER 11: Dillon Brooks #24 of the Oregon Ducks shoots the ball over Ar'Mond Davis #22 of the Alabama Crimson Tide during the first half of the game at Matthew Knight Arena on December 11, 2016 in Eugene, Oregon.  (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
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Oregon released a statement on Friday afternoon that said star forward Dillon Brooks had seen doctors and was in a walking boot, but gave no further update on his condition.

Brooks suffered what the program termed a “lower leg injury” on Thursday night against Cal. The injury was to his left leg – on replay, it looked like he rolled his ankle – which is concerning because his left foot is the foot that he injured over the summer, which caused him to miss the first three games of the season.

“He’ll be evaluated in the next couple of days and see where he’s at,” head coach Dana Altman said after Thursday’s game.