John Calipari talked to the media in an SEC teleconference this morning at 11:35 AM and I had the opportunity to listen in. Here are notes from that teleconference. They are not direct quotes from Cal, I paraphrased what he said in response to the questions:
John Calipari Press Conference Notes:
On this weeks Match Ups:
Calipari: Alabama really defends and have great guard play. Releford is a great shooter and scorer.
Alabama is really physical on defense and will try and disrupt everything Kentucky tries to do with physicality.
Status on WCS:
Calipari: Don’t know if he will make the trip. Haven’t practiced today yet. If he can’t go he will not travel with the team.
Where is Poythress right now as a player?
Calipari: He is averaging 13 or 14 points, 8 rebounds but they need more. Needs to sustain more effort, increased it 25% against Auburn. He is getting better and better. He’s just a freshman. Alex is no different that Marquis Camby in the fact that it was tough to get him to push through pain and sustain effort.
Is Nerlens the leader?
Calipari: He is but I was pleased with Archie’s play. His shot selection was better and he passed instead of looking to score. He took pride in his defense as well. Really pleased at his effort. He is more efficient and playing for his team. His scoring will come but he is taking more pride in seeing his teammates succeed.
How did the team make strides and buy in?
Calipari: Each team needs to buy in as individual players and do what they are asked. Then they have to buy in together and do what it takes as a team. Can’t coach basketball if you have to coach intensity and effort. They had fun for the first time this year against Auburn. Trying to convince them to play for each other. Players are judged by their effort and scrappiness.
What they are doing has never been done, taking on veteran college teams with freshmen.
This program is not for everyone. It’s not just come in and come out but this program is more than that. The reason you come to UK is to be prepared to reach your dreams. You have to be prepared to take on sold out crowds every away game. Seven players have graduated in the last three years. This current team posted a 3.1 GPA this last semester. There is more to this program than just one and done.