Dec 8, 2012; Lexington, KY, USA; Kentucky Wildcats head coach John Calipari reacts in the game against the Portland Pilots in the second half at Rupp Arena. Kentucky defeated Portland 74-46. Mandatory Credit: Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

Kentucky Wildcats Basketball: John Calipari talks after 74-46 win over Portland Pilots


Q. On Ryan Harrow’s play.

COACH CALIPARI: I liked it. He had two lapses of his old self. I absolutely jerked him out of the game because he’s not playing that way. The other parts of the game I thought he did fine. Got to run the team a little bit better, like yelling out what we’re doing. But he was good. It was great to see. I’m happy for him.

Q. How do you compare this to the other night?

COACH CALIPARI: We got better. But we’re still a ways away, folks. We’re still doing the same things only a little bit better than we were doing them.

Q. It’s late in the game when this happens, but Archie Goodwin gets those dunks late. Is that what you get if you get Ryan in the game?

COACH CALIPARI: We don’t get any easy baskets when he’s not in the game. The head of the pack. That was at the very, very end. But, you know, we scrambled a little bit better, we helped down a little bit better. All the stuff we’ve been working on. But there were still lapses. Again, the start of the half, I may be trying a different starting lineup at halftime because of the one that starts in the second half right now. If you look at the numbers, we’re getting outscored in the first five minutes and second five minutes probably by five points every game we’ve played,
every single game. So maybe we have a different lineup. I don’t know yet. We’ve got to figure it out.

Q. Could you elaborate when you said Ryan sort of reverted to his old self.

COACH CALIPARI: Jogs the ball up the court, standing straight up and down, not moving as the ball moves on defense. Just absolutely standing there. Okay, you’re out. The rest of the game he didn’t do it. He pushed the ball ahead, flew it up the court, stayed in a stance, bothered the ball. When the ball drove, he went level with the ball. But it’s really hard to play that way. Same
with Alex (Poythress). Alex is up to about three minutes and five seconds at a clip. He went from three minutes to three minutes and five seconds. But he’s moving in the right direction.

Q. Did you give your guys a chance to answer when you asked them about where they wanted to be?

COACH CALIPARI: That team meeting you had, have another one, try to figure this out. Come back and tell me. If you don’t, don’t let me go nuts by myself. Just tell me: We’re good, cool
down, we’ll jog it up the court, help each other Did you want them driving in the when we feel like it, have some big threes sometimes. Just let me know. As I say this jokingly to you and sarcastically, I like my team and I like our players. What are they choosing to do? Did you see the fans gave Kyle Wiltjer a great ovation? Can you tell me what that was for? Tell me why they did it. He rebounded a couple balls. You know he didn’t have a rebound in the first half. Our fans will cheer him. He only had three rebounds. Acted like he had 12. But he got three in traffic that they haven’t seen in eight games. Well, that’s what we’ve been doing in practice. There were loose balls he didn’t get, he had to sit down, you’re not playing. Loose balls that Ryan didn’t get, you’re sitting down, you’re not playing. I’m holding them accountable. I grabbed a couple of them after. It’s hard, isn’t it? Hard trying to be special. Easy being mediocre. It is really hard to try to be special. I can help you or you can say, I don’t know what I’m doing. Maybe I don’t. I never prepared anybody. I don’t know. Or you can listen to what I’m saying and do it. You know, I’m not afraid to tell the media what I’ve said. I like our fans to watch and say, he is exhausted, my gosh, look at him, so these guys understand. It’s hard playing here and it’s hard playing for me. You don’t come here unless you want to be special. Don’t do it. Don’t torture you or me.

 

Q. You said many times that you don’t
believe in the early morning workouts that
coaches do. Now Coach Cal, 7 a.m.
COACH CALIPARI: It’s not basketball practice. It’s conditioning. It’s conditioning.

Q. What’s the difference?

COACH CALIPARI: There’s a big difference. The reason I’m doing it, it’s not how much we’re killing them in the workouts, it’s that you’ve got to get up at 7:00 and do it, which means you’re up at 6:30. The biggest fight you have is that early morning wake up call. That’s the biggest fight of the day. If I can get them when they feel like that, having to condition and get their heart rate up, that means in a game when they don’t feel like going, they know they have something in the tank. I told them, I’m working more on you mentally than physically in the morning. I’m
making you get up, sweat, get your heart rate up. Now we’ll practice. Hopefully we’re going to get this thing right. When they come back for school, we’re back to the normal two hour practice a day, which is what we do. I’m not a three hour guy. Even now we’ll go two hours. I may go 2 hours 15 minutes, but normally it’s two hours.

 

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