CRAWFORD | Where is Trey? Calipari Tweet stirs up fans on eve of LSU game
Kentucky coach John Calipari got Big Blue Nation stirred up via Twitter when he asked if anyone had seen Trey Lyles. Eric Crawford reviews from Baton Rouge.
Tuesday, February 10th 2015, 3:45 am EST by
Tuesday, February 10th 2015, 8:28 am EST
BATON ROUGE, La. (WDRB) — Now, this is more like it. We've seen the many moods of John Calipari over the past several weeks, including but not limited to Swaggy Cal, Confident Cal, Professor Cal and even Defensive Cal.
We're back to my favorite one now. Playful Cal.
I've said it before, this UK team suffers a bit, perhaps, from its own efficiency. Blast their well-behaved hides. Karl-Anthony Towns, last week's national player of the week, is becoming one of the worst among them — saying nothing but intelligent and engaging things in interviews.
They are not fighting. They are not pouting. They are not dramatic. They are just a Big Blue Machine, grinding through a season — play, win, repeat — while giving no one a real, tangible reason to dislike them. You know, except for their success. If they were a reality TV show, the plug already would've been pulled, or would be perilously close to it, unless they could get Devin Booker to date a Kardashian.
Into this still water cannonballs Calipari, with his 100-pound coats or his “everybody's Super Bowls.” This week, a fresh bit.
Freshman Trey Lyles has been sick. He has missed three games. Calipari hasn't talked specifically about his mystery illness, and when asked about it on Monday, he said, “I don't have any sense right now. It's just, I was like (looking at) the training sheet which says he can go limited today, which is the first time. So, I'll see him today. Don't know if he's going to travel yet. If I don't think we're going to use him or he won't play in the game, I probably won't have him travel.”
Then the team's charter lands in Baton Rouge, and Calipari Tweets, “I thought Trey got on plane but we can't find him.”
An hour or so later, he Tweets, “Has anyone in Lexington seen Trey? If anyone sees him, please let us know. #WhereIsTrey”
It let Calipari play around with the rampant speculation about Lyles, And it let him throw a touch of misdirection out there on the eve of the team's game Tuesday at LSU. Fortunately, nobody in Big Blue Nation went all that crazy over it. His Tweets only got retweeted 3,000 or so times.
UK fans put Lyles on the box of the “Home Alone” movie and on the cover of “Where's Waldo.” There was a “Where in the World is Trey Lyles” takeoff. He was the guy in the left shark costume next to Katy Perry. There were Brian Williams memes. Nobody, of course, asked the most salient question: Was Williams on that team flight? Let's face it. The only winner in all this is PhotoShop.
All this for a guy Kentucky doesn't really need all that much at LSU. Now, they need him in the long run. His length on the wing makes a big difference. He's a really good basketball player. When they asked Louisville coach Rick Pitino on his radio show last week what one recruit in his career hurt him the most to lose, he said, “Trey Lyles to Kentucky.”
Fortunately, WDRB has obtained Lyles' whereabouts: He's sitting in the Cafe du Monde in New Orleans until such time as beignets and chicory coffee can work their healing influence. No, wait. That was me.
Anyway, look. There's little doubt Calipari knows exactly where Trey Lyles is, even knows his vitals, right down to his pulse.
But he also has his hand on the pulse of his team. If it needs to have a little fun, if it needs a short distraction to remind his players that there's more to life than just 40-0, this might be the right time to do a little something. It's also a reminder of just who is running this three-ring circus.
It's not quite “Paul is dead,” but it got the job done.
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