On Friday, Kentucky Coach John Calipari suggested that smirking contributed to Willie Cauley-Stein’s recent struggles. Apparently putting his marketing degree to use, Calipari said he told Cauley-Stein, “Smirking ain’t working.”
After helping UK beat Georgia Saturday, Cauley-Stein pleaded guilty. He’s been getting in trouble for smiling at the wrong time since being sent to the principal’s office in elementary school, he said.
“I think Coach Cal’s funny,” he said. “When he’ll be on you, it’s kind of funny. . . . They (the coaches) take it the wrong way. Like I was being a jerk about it. That’s how I’ve been since I was little.”
Although coming off a more productive game, which he acknowledged came as a big relief, Cauley-Stein made no promises about keeping a poker face when Calipari or an assistant coach volunteers, uh, animated instruction.
“Coach Cal is crazy about it,” Cauley-Stein said of the smile/smirk. “So eventually it’ll start sticking in my head. All right. Just look at him. Wait till he looks away.”
And then smirk.