Players Learning the Hard Way with Camp Cal

Dec 1, 2012; Lexington , KY, USA; Kentucky Wildcats guard Ryan Harrow (12) dribbles the ball against the Baylor Bears at Rupp Arena. Baylor defeated Kentucky 64-55. Mandatory Credit: Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

For the past few days the Wildcats have been busting their tails with Rock Oliver at 7:00 AM for “Camp Cal” due to what Calipari sees as lack of conditioning and effort. Ryan Harrow himself worked out three times yesterday on his own. Cal is trying to make them fall in love with the gym, something last year’s team had no problem with.

Here are some quotes from the day:

John Calipari:

ON HOW CONDITIONING IS GOING: “Good. Good. It’s really more of a mindset. It’s not going for an hour in the morning. A lot of it is the mental part of training in the morning – mentally tougher, mentally stronger, not letting go of the rope, stuff like that. It’s good. They practiced good yesterday. It’s what we need right now.”

ON RYAN HARROW SAYING HE’S WORKED OUT ON HIS OWN, REACHED OUT TO TEAMMATES: “He’s getting better. He’s getting better. He needs to be in the gym with a coach that’s pushing him, but he’s getting better. He’s gotten better in practice. The team is starting to respond to him, which is what they need to do.”

ON HARROW SAYING HE TOLD THE TEAM HE’S GOING BACK TO HIS OLD-SCHOOL, UMASS WAYS: “Yeah, I am. I mean, I’m just holding them accountable like I’ve had to do young teams. I mean, probably holding them more accountable than any other team. (Of) the team’s that I’ve had here, anyway, this team has the farthest to go. It’s not schemes, it’s not offenses, it’s not defense. It’s a competitiveness, a will to win and then holding each guy accountable for that.

“For example, we’re practicing, shot goes up, guy drives, Nerlens (Noel) goes to help, a guy doesn’t help down, doesn’t help Nerlens. Now, that’s killed us all year. You see it. Oops. Why didn’t you go down? Well, you were what? Alright, everybody on the base line, and let’s run. Alright. Why didn’t you throw it ahead? You took two extra bounces, you know we’re throwing it ahead. On the baseline, run, everybody. So they’re running, they’re being held accountable. So Sunday and Monday we ran 40 suicides. “

ON HOW LONG IT TYPICALLY TAKES YOUNG PLAYERS TO GET IT: “They’re all different. There’s no set clock. Brandon Knight had a comment about how much pressure we put on him that got him to change and got him to think, and he put pressure on himself. That’s the combination that works. It’s not just what I’m doing. I don’t have a magic wand. It’s to put them in the best position I can and get hard workers that are going to compete. Nothing’s given to them here. Nothing’s easy. I like the fact that somebody told me Anthony (Davis) just put out something about coming back to school with Michael (Kidd-Gilchrist). These kids, they’re coming here with an idea that, ‘Look, who knows how good I’m going to be? But I know this: I’m going to come here and work hard, both in the classroom and on the court.’

“It’s kind of like Eric Bledsoe and DeMarcus Cousins – all this stuff, ‘Well, they’re one-and-done, and this guy’s not a one-and-done.’ Let me tell you, we don’t talk that way. We don’t know. No one knew Eric would do (that). No one knew what Josh would do, or DeAndre Liggins. But when you look at those two, they worked their butts off to get themselves where they needed to be. They did it. They worked. We put them in a great position and they were surrounded by other teammates that cared about them. But it’s a combination of all that, and this may take as long. We’ll see. I mean, we’re going to go (one) day at a time, and we got the following week, we got the following week after that. We got more control of their time, and we’ll try to take advantage of it.”

Check out all of Cal’s quotes, plus some videos of him at Ryan Harrow over at Kyle Tucker’s blog.

Topics: Basketball Articles, Kentucky Wildcats

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