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November 14, 2014

John Calipari



Q.  I was just thinking of your guys' energy, just the way it...
COACH CALIPARI:  First half was good; second half was not good.  We never got in rhythm.  We never made extra passes.  We kind of reverted a little bit.
But I expect some of that early.

Q.  (No microphone.)
COACH CALIPARI:  No, that's not what Iwant.  The other thing that happened is they beat us on drives.  In the second half, they just said, Drive the ball.
The other thing that happened is it got physical and it became a little bit of a fight.
We had guys not be able to make plays.  They walked; missed one‑footers when things got physical.  That's going to be an issue for us.

Q.  I think you took the second platoon out a little bit early to start the second half.  You took Karl out at one time.  We're you struggling a little bit?  Can we expect to see more of it when...
COACH CALIPARI:  Some of it.  I hope not, but I'll did whatever I have to do.
Again, I told them when we're playing this way you really have to do your remember job.  You can't break it off and do what you're choosing to do.  If we're having a scheme on defense, you got to do the scheme.
If you're supposed to do something offensively, then you have to do it.
We never posted up close to the basket.  We were posting up seven feet because it got physical.  So we ran from the physicality.  That's why we missed the shots we did.
If you catch it tight and they try to trap, you're getting N1s or wide open shots.  We were catching it; they fought us, battled us, and pushed us out.

Q.  John did it surprise you that the physicality, that you either backed off or didn't handle it better?
COACH CALIPARI:  No.  No.  It's good that it happened because we were able to talk about it and we'll show it on tape tomorrow.

Q.  (Question regarding Willie Cauley‑Stein.)
COACH CALIPARI:  Willie was good.  Willie played well.  Will defended and he was almost a rover.  He was guarding like three guys.  He did some good things offensively.
We just were never‑‑ we never got in rhythm and never made an extra pass offensively.
First half defensively we were pretty good.  That's why we had the gap we had.  Second half we didn't guard.

Q.  (No microphone.)
COACH CALIPARI:  I have to watch the tape.

Q.  When you put Tyler in with the first four at the end, was that your finishing team?
COACH CALIPARI:  No, not necessarily, but I wanted to throw 'em in there and see what would happen.

Q.  (No microphone.)
COACH CALIPARI:  Yeah, I guess.  I mean, like I said, I wish‑‑ you expect when you're doing it this way that they just keep it on.
But it's hard when you're up 25 or 30 to just keep doing it.  And you're playing against a team that is good.
I think early in this game they missed some shots they'll normally make, which is why they're picked high in their league.
Then in the second half when they settled down it was a one‑point game and ended up 13 in the second half.
You could tell they were not afraid.  We were bigger than them and we made some plays, but we didn't shoot the ball particularly well.  Devin didn't shoot the ball particularly well.
You know, but, again, this is‑‑ we need to really focus on the schemes defensively, what our jobs are, sharing the ball, you know, playing with unbelievable energy, and bringing it.
We've got six games now.  This is five games and six games in 11 days.  We got to practice, if you want to call it tomorrow, and then we play Sunday afternoon before we head to Indianapolis.
So it's going to be a grueling few games.

Q.  (No microphone.)
COACH CALIPARI:  It is, but it comes back to you must do your job.  We can't scheme defensively if you're going to do what you want to do.
We had those kind of breakdowns.  We had a couple guys that did not play ‑‑ and this happens‑‑ a guy doesn't play to the level that he is capable of playing energy‑wise and his focus.
Well, it screws up that whole group.  It wasn't that whole group that screwed up when I took them out, but you had one guy wasn't playing.  So, Okay, you guys now talk to him.  Get this thing right.

Q.  (Question regarding adversity.)
COACH CALIPARI:  You look at what we did today.  Think about the second half.  It's a great lesson.  Reason we're doing this is just to keep it on them the whole time.  Let's see how we do.  Keep focused.  When you get in there with your time, do it.
The other side of this, again, what I'll do, if a team gets it going and they can continue ‑‑ like that second group, they didn't score against that second group in the whole first half.
If that happens and they're shutting somebody out, well maybe you leave them in there longer.  You just let them stay in.
Look, I'm figuring this out; they're figuring it out.  I told I our point guard, You have to get us to really gel offensively.  You got to be out there getting people where they're supposed to be, moving the ball, huddling you team, talking to you team, keeping them running.  Which means you got to it throw it ahead quick.  You can't bounce it.  Throw it ahead.  Make those guys run.
Alex missed a layup and he ran a guy over.  Well, you can't do that if we're going to throw it ahead to you.  I mean, those got to be baskets.
Or if it's not there, just bounce it, swing it to the other side, and we'll play.  Didn't post like we could have.  Mainly we didn't post because they fought us.  They just were not going to let us go to a position.
The games we're going to play going forward, that's what we're going to be facing.  I just told them, If you think this season is going to easy, you're out of your mind.  We're going to be in a fight every night.  If you're want to come in like you're not going to play that way, you're not going to be on that floor.

Q.  Can you talk about the three guys you signed and what you like about them.
COACH CALIPARI:  Well, you know, Isaiah is a guy that is one of those Eric Bledsoe, Anthony Davis, whatever I got to do for us to win I'm doing.  I'm not afraid of who is on your team; I'm not afraid who is coming in.  I always wanted to play for you.
Very skilled.  Has some bulldog to him.  Can play both positions and can be a terrific point guard, can guard.  You talk about Charles Matthews, when you saw him playing with Tyler Ulis, he was one of the best young players I saw in the country.
Again, you're talking about a long athletic kid that's just grown into his game.  Can really guard.  Should be a great defender.  A slicing kind of player who shoots it pretty good, but a slicing kind of player.
And then Skal is one of those unique, another kid that went from 6'3" to 6'9".  First time I saw him I said, you were small.  He's 6'9", 6'10".  You were small.
Yep, then I grew six inches in one year.  I've had pretty good success with those kind of guys.  He's a 3.5 student who lived through the earthquake in Haiti.  He lived through it and was there when it happened and was lucky enough to get to the United States.
Like I said, his dream was to play here and play for me.  He said, I did what I was supposed to academically to make sure that happens.  He's like a 3.5 student.  He's a good kid.
So all three of them, I'm excited about all three.

Q.  (Regarding signing a letter of intent.)
COACH CALIPARI:  If he didn't, we wouldn't be able to speak about him.

Q.  Was there something you saw that told you the team needs adversity?
COACH CALIPARI:  No.  You know, I went on TV after and said, Didn't quite look like the two No. 1 teams to me out there today.
So, I mean, again, the biggest thing is the fist fight, the battle.  I'm not giving you an inch.  If you want it, you're going to have to take it.
That's what this team needs.  We need it from every team that we play so that we understand that's how those games are going to be.
I thought Grand Canyon came out in the second half with that like, Look, we can play with these guys.  Drive 'em.  Get to the rim.  Play hard.  Be physical.  They don't want to bang.
All of a sudden they came out and they drove the ball and they were more physical than us.  We started fouling because they were getting by us.
So this is going to be a process just like last year was a process.  It's not any different.  We got a long way to go, you know, but we will see.

Q.  In an odd way are you happy you got pushed around so you can show your kids and they can realize...
COACH CALIPARI:  Yeah, we'll watch it.  We'll watch some of the tape tomorrow.  You know, where we're playing guys 21, 22 minutes, I could practice tomorrow, because really in the next six games they're going to play three and a half games in 11 days.
So I could.  But I want this to be us focusing on what we need to do and coming out with high energy every time with play in what we're doing.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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