Kentucky coach John Calipari reaches out to Markquis Nowell after ‘little kid’ remark

·2 min read
Travis Heying/The Wichita Eagle

If you’re a Kansas State basketball fan who spends any amount of time on social media, you have probably seen the video clip of Kentucky coach John Calipari calling Markquis Nowell a “little kid” after they faced off in a NCAA Tournament game on Sunday.

K-State won 75-69 thanks in large part to 27 points and nine assists from Nowell, who led his Wildcats to victory with a sensational performance of deep three-pointers and highlight passes.

With the win, K-State advanced to its first Sweet 16 since 2018 and wildly celebrated the accomplishment inside Greensboro Coliseum. As you might expect, Calipari wasn’t in a jovial mood after the loss. Perhaps that is why his attempt to compliment Nowell and teammate Keyontae Johnson came off as disrespectful in his postgame news conference.

“We did a pretty good job on Johnson, and he makes that three. The little kid makes a three. He made a deep three,” Calipari said. “We miss a couple and all of a sudden it gets out of hand.”

K-State fans did not appreciate the fact that Calipari chose not to refer to Nowell, who is listed at 5-8, by name in that situation.

Jareem Dowling, one of the Wildcats’ assistant coaches, even tweeted at Calipari and called him out for doing so.

But after two days of talking about the “little kid” quote on social media it seems as though both parties have reached a peaceful resolution. On Tuesday, Nowell announced on Twitter that he had spoken to “Coach Cal” and that “we are good.”

Nowell didn’t get into any other details about the conversation, but one can assume that Calipari called Nowell and apologized for not calling him by name.

With that situation now in the rearview mirror, Nowell can turn his full attention to K-State’s upcoming game against Michigan State at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday in his hometown of New York.