home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


November 30, 2014

John Calipari


COACH CALIPARI:  Let me look.  All right, it is November 30th.  Good.  It's my wife's birthday.  I just wanted to make sure this was the day.  Yes.

Q.  John, was this the kind of hand-to-hand game you wanted?

Q.  What did you learn?
COACH CALIPARI:  Well, we got to play with more energy to start the game.  We still, you know -- I've had three Chicago guys do what Tyler Ulis did today, which is change the game.
I had Derrick Rose, Anthony Davis, and Tyler Ulis.  And I -- very rarely do you see a guy walk in and just change the game.
Like change the whole flow of it.  And he did that today.
But let me go back and tell you, Andrew Harrison was really good today.
Four steals, four assist, in 20 minutes.  That's like an eight and eight move.  And he still scored.  And I told him he needed to score more when that group is struggling.  He's going to figure out to be the point, yet he is a terrific scorer.  And when they're struggling he's got to --
I was happy for Alex.  Karl is still struggling a little bit.  Willie was unbelievable, defensively.
It was a good game.  And they did what teams are going to do.  They're going to try to move the ball, try to go into the shot clock, they're going to sag in a man or a zone, they're going to play like everybody else is going to play us.

Q.  What did you get specifically out of Willie, defensively?  And how important was he with what you guys did with Hinton?
COACH CALIPARI:  Well, Hinton's averaging 25 a game, and it's hard when you're a seven-footer with feet like that to really get shots off.
The basket he had, Trey put his hands down and he lulled him and shot a 3, which we had talked about for two days.  That's the move he has.  That's when he gets his three.  Make him put it on floor.
He'll average 25 this year.  Their team is going to be fine.  They're beat up little bit and not really healthy, but they're going to be fine.
And like said, I was happy, we were up at half, and I told our team, this is what we need, and we got another one coming up Friday.
Another team that's going to come in here undefeated and Top-10, and they're beasts.  Their inside game is awesome in Texas, so this is all good.  These kind of games are good for us.

Q.  (No microphone.)
COACH CALIPARI:  Willie also was good in the post today, which gives you the added dimension.  Now he's guarding one of their best players, and he's able to go on offense and score.
It was a tough matchup for them, because a guy guarding him was going to be about six-six, six-seven, and he's about seven-foot one, so.

Q.  As much as you guys started to lock down defensively, they had the ball, down six, they're going to the rim to cut it to four with 10 minutes to go, and Alex rises up and blocks and has a little stretch there.
COACH CALIPARI:  Alex had a block, he had a rebound, and he is still finding his way.  This -- this isn't easy for these guys.
But, I will tell you this:  They don't have time to say, well, it takes me five minutes to get going.  You just don't have time for that.  You got to come in and get after it.
And I -- Trey struggled today a little bit, but he'll be fine.  Trey was great in practice yesterday, so that's why I was surprised.
But, again, there was a loose ball he could have got.  There was two rebounds he could have gotten.  There was another block he could have gotten.  And those are plays that he's capable of making.
Here's what I'm telling my team:  I'm not asking one person in that room to do something that they're not capable of doing.  I'm not asking one player to do something they're not capable of.
Now, you may choose not to do it, you may not want to do it, you may give up before you get to that point, but I'm not going to ask you to do something you can't do.

Q.  You mentioned, again, that this kind of a game is good for you guys.  Why?
COACH CALIPARI:  Because it's how everybody's going to play us, and we got to see where we are when the game's tight.  Who can make shots, who is making plays when the game is the other team -- there's no one going to surrender.
Especially in the first half of games they're coming at us.  They're playing here or even at home and it's a highly ranked team and it's Kentucky.  They're not giving up and we got to see what we can do and how we're going to have to play.
I told them today, I made some substitutions, which I will make.  One guy wasn't playing well enough, you're out, you lose a few minutes, be back and be ready next game.
I went to the small lineup at one point, I shuffled Andrew and Tyler in because of foul trouble, offense to defense, which we can do easily.
But we, again, we got to, we -- listen we got a ways to go.  I loved our execution at the end again.  We made the right plays.  We can finish off a game.  We have proven that.
Now we got to get a little bit more comfortable and confident against the zone.  I thought we held the ball too long at times.

Q.  Could you just elaborate a little bit more on Tyler's play.
COACH CALIPARI:  Yeah, just his energy.  That's all it was.  Came in with unbelievable energy and bothered their point guard.  Took him out of all the stuff they wanted to run.  They couldn't get in a rhythm.
To start the game they were in a rhythm.  They came down threw it to the wing, they threw to the elbow, he dribbled around, he went off a pick and roll, he did.
Well then it was like, oh, my gosh, you're almost pushing off to keep this kid away from you and then it makes us more confident defenders behind him.  So now we're taking some chances.
It's like I said, it wasn't all the other stuff.  I think he made a couple shots.  You know, he makes a couple baskets, doesn't matter, only had one assist.
But the energy.  Now, after he came out, you saw Andrew and Aaron energy go up.  And that's when you start beating teams down.
But the start of the game wasn't what we needed it to be.

Q.  Can you talk about how this platoon system wears out the opponent, especially in the second half?
COACH CALIPARI:  I don't know if it does.  All I know is we're trying to keep energy on.
As the season goes on, there are going to be teams that will play eight or nine guys that can take this.
I just want to see us do what we're supposed to do and play with high energy and share the ball.
Again, we had 13 assists only seven turnovers.  Didn't shoot a whole lot of threes.  I thought Devon passed up a couple threes.
But, you know, we're, we are what we are right now.  Aaron Harrison has four assists and six points, but he's still, he missed a couple basket he usually will make, but he's getting better.

Q.  What do you want to see, when you talk about being comfortable and confident in a zone when you're watching out there, what do you want to see?
COACH CALIPARI:  That you're not putting the ball above your head.  See, the minute you put the ball above your head the zone sags.
You have to be an aggressive player catching it on the perimeter like you're going to make a play and then make a pass.
That means you got to be willing to make plays.  You can't just say I'm giving it up and let somebody else do it.
We're, right now, with Alex and Trey, we're trying to get both of those guys to get a shot before they catch the ball.
In other words, you know where you're going before you catch this.  Not catch it and then try to make a play.  They're not, they're not as effective that way.

Q.  When the other team is trying to grind it down, slow it down, is there anything you can do to impose your Will and say, no, we're going to force this tempo?
COACH CALIPARI:  You could do the old stuff that they used do at Loyola, you stick one guy down the other end and then they still hold the ball, put two guys down the other end, say, shoot it.
But this, I like this.  It makes us grind it out.  It makes us have to stay in a stance 30 seconds, it makes us have to put more pressure, so they turn -- you can't let them hold the ball 35 seconds and get an easy shot at the end of a clock.
And what happens is, if they're holding it and they take a tough shot, and you run it right down at them, they start wearing down.
You could say we start wearing down, but, okay, then we put another group in.
So, I just say, hey, if that's how you want to play, that's fine.  We're trying to be more playmakers off the ball, trying to get them to do that.  In other words, deflect the ball from the guy you're guarding.  Everyone else, you're a playmaker, blocks, steals, do stuff off the ball.

Q.  Alex is playing similar minutes as last season, has similar numbers.  What's he doing differently or what's he doing better than he was last year?
COACH CALIPARI:  Well, he's going to get better and better.  He's doing some of the same stuff.  We just, he's got to -- we got to get him more comfortable in, offensively, where he's taking shots, plays he's making, and offensive rebounding like crazy. 

That was the biggest thing that I'm saying to he and Trey.  I want those two to offensive rebound.  Trey got two, Alex got one.  I want those both to have three a half, between them.  So you have six offensive rebounds between you two.
There's no reason for not.  You're six-ten and you're six-eight and you put your head on the rim.  Every shot that's taken you don't have to go back, go rebound.
So those are the things we're trying to -- but we're not there.  Look, this is a work in progress.  It's going to, it's a, it's no different than last year.  The difference is we got some vets, so we're a little bit ahead of where we were.  But it's still a process.  It's a brand new team.

Q.  How big is, in the overall scheme of how what you guys are doing, like Willie, who can guard up in the perimeter, how good was that?
COACH CALIPARI:  Willie was good today.  He took on the challenge.  Took on the challenge.  And again, I, you have to talk to him about it, but I was proud of him.
Still think he should be a double figure scorer.  He's a good enough shooter, he can make free throw.
He gets too small in the post, he doesn't get a wide enough base at times, so he could be aggressive.
We got to get Karl to stop fading away.  They will never call a foul on a fade away.  Stop fading away.  He's missed 10 one-footers now and he looks around like, "They hit me," they ain't calling -- you fade away they're not bailing you out.
So we got work to do with him.
Dakari was better later in the game.  Early, he struggled.  Basically they out fought Dakari early in the game.  As the game went on he started out fighting them and he played better.

Q.  What's the situation currently with Tod Lanter and Sam Malone?
COACH CALIPARI:  They're fine.  They're with our team.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297