Dec 31, 2022; Lexington, Kentucky, USA; Kentucky Wildcats head coach John Calipari claps from the sideline during the second half against the Louisville Cardinals at Rupp Arena at Central Bank Center. Mandatory Credit: Jordan Prather-USA TODAY Sports

Almost immediately after the Kentucky Wildcats took an 80-76 upset loss to the Oakland Golden Grizzlies in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, fans started questioning if Kentucky head coach John Calipari was still the right choice for the program.

Calipari, who has won over 400 games at Kentucky and brought the school a national championship in 2012 hasn’t taken the Wildcats to the second weekend of the tournament since 2019, when they made the Elite Eight.

Monday night on The John Calipari Show, his weekly radio show on the UK Sports Network, Calipari didn’t directly address the rumors or criticism, but he did address the standard at Kentucky and how he’ll do better to meet it going forward at the end of the show.

“That standard of national titles has been here from Coach Rupp on. The only thing I’m saying to our fans is you know I’m going to work. I’ll work for this program, for this state, for this university, really work for these young people. That’s my commitment. I’m not changing. 24/7, let’s go. That is a commitment that I give to the fans and I haven’t changed. This is like wearing a coat. It never goes away, but I love it. This is what I want, this is what I wanted, this is why I never left. This is it. Let’s come together and let’s go do something special. We’ve done it, let’s do it again,” the Hall of Fame head coach said.

USA Today’s Dan Wolken notes that earlier in the show Calipari mentioned he would be meeting with Kentucky Athletic Director Mitch Barnhart on Tuesday, which made Calipari’s impassioned plea on the radio show that much more relevant.

Time will tell what Calipari’s future holds, but it’s clear that things need to change at Kentucky one way or another, and he’s aware of that.

[Tristan Pharis, Dan Wolken]