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January 6, 2015

John Calipari



Q.  Andy said that this would make your guys better, probably that you would have their full attention now.  Is that how you see it too?
COACH CALIPARI:  I see it as his team played out of their mind and we, we kind of didn't have the fight we need.  A lot of young guys not knowing, even some vets not understanding that there's no one going to surrender.  They're playing their hearts out and that's what you saw from Mississippi today.
I thought Andy coached a great game.  If Moody doesn't cramp up, we probably lose the game.  I mean he was just ridiculous.  We couldn't do anything with him.  We tried some different stuff.
Shoot, we go 11‑20 from the three‑point line and just escape.  What?  Now if we go 11‑20, you're going to say we won by 40.  We went 11‑20 from the three‑point line and just escaped.  Like we just wanted to make sure the time ran out.  We ran off the court.
They fought us, they battled, they played plays.  They didn't miss free throws until we got to pick their free throw shooter.

Q.  Do you like this, for your team to maybe play like this?
COACH CALIPARI:  This is fine.  Look, the bigger picture for us, we need to be in overtime games, I need to see who can do what.  You saw we had an issue, they went after Tyler, his size.  They took him right to the middle of the lane and just jumped up over him.
So that's why I went with a bigger lineup.  I saw what he was doing and he played good.
But there are times that if a team does that to us we got to figure out what they're doing.  I've been there before and I know that is an issue because now they don't have to play.  They just dribble it down and jump over a guy and shoot.  There's no real defense to that.
So, but I thought that guys did what they ‑‑ again, when you get a lead, you look like you're going to bury them and you let your foot off the gas, couple guys weren't ready to play, go in and all of a sudden it's 18‑11, 18‑12.  What?  What just happened?  Then you turn around and you're down 2 at halftime.
But you got to give them credit, they played.

Q.  How but Devin's defense on Summers late.  How much?
COACH CALIPARI:  He did good.  He did good.  And he made the basket.  I'm going to tell you the biggest play of the game, it was Andrew jumping to tip the rebound free.  And Devin running down the ball.  Biggest play of the game.  That gave us our chance to win the game.  Did that have anything to do with skill?  No.  That's just what I kept telling them.
Putting guys in to rebound, they didn't rebound, you're out.  I put you in for one reason, to rebound and you're not getting the ball, you're out.  They really went body‑to‑body on us, so we weren't ready to really bang.  We out‑rebounded them by two, but again, I thought that were we more aggressive than we have been?  I guess.
We just, you know, every game is going to be this way.  Every team is going to come after them.  And now that they saw what Mississippi just did to us, we're going to Texas A&M, they're having parties down there waiting for us.  I would.  They're practicing free throws right now.

Q.  Is this the most, so far, you've missed Alex?  Was this the kind of game?
COACH CALIPARI:  He would have made plays physically.  Ands his surgery went real well.  He is out, so I have not talked to him yet.  But word got back that the surgery went real well.

Q.  Why were they able to do so well with you on the boards, just physical effort or what?
COACH CALIPARI:  I don't know.  I'll watch.  I just thought there were times we didn't block out.  We ran in and the ball went wide and I think there were other times that we needed to have some physical contact and we didn't.
There were one‑handed rebound attempts, which you don't get any of those in a game like this.  You got to go grab it with two hands.
Our guards, who we need to rebound more, Aaron had four, Andrew had one.  Devin had one big one.
But we didn't rebound.  Our guards didn't rebound enough.  We only had 10 turnovers in a game like this and Willie had five of them.
So short of that, we didn't turn it over.  We gave ourselves a chance.  The greatest thing is, we made plays and even though we missed some free throws, we made the ones we had to make.
Trey, again, you see guys in these situations, you want to know, are they going to make that basket?  That free throw?  Are they going to be strong?
Now the play he made was we ran and trapped them at half court and he rotated up and stole that ball, where Aaron got that basket, which stopped them from beating us and we're now coming at them.
So they all made some plays, but we're still learning and I think this is a wake up call for them that, look, teams are coming after you.  So, again, we didn't play great, but you got to give that to Mississippi.  They played.

Q.  Andy mentioned Moody's quickness is something he thought they could use against you guys.  How much is that something that you guys have to deal with, size versus quickness?
COACH CALIPARI:  Well, it does, but what he did was he made every shot.  Like every shot.  One he missed, he cramped up and he plugged it.
Other than that, I mean‑‑ and he jumps high.  So, I'm the one that switched Tyler on him and my staff said, he does well against littler guys, because he jumps over them.  And what did he do?  Basket, basket, foul.  And I looked at my staff and I said, that's my fault, not his.  Because usually Tyler, against a smaller guy, has a big advantage.  Well, he didn't in this game.
So then we had to go to a bigger guy on him and then we tried to switch some.  So we were switching our bigs on him.  So we played him a little bit in the second half like Marshall Henderson how we used to play him.

Q.  Why did you pick Rhett to shoot those free throws?
COACH CALIPARI:  I didn't, my staff did.  I didn't even know.  What I said was, why is he shooting?
Like I'm telling you, UCLA, I did not know the score.  You guys think I'm crazy, but if you were at the game, I did not know the score.  Not as smart as you people ‑‑ well you don't think that, but go ahead.

Q.  Can you talk about the tests you guys had tonight, especially going to overtime, and talk about what y'all learned.
COACH CALIPARI:  I got a team with a will to win.  They fought.  They had every chance to let go of the rope and pout and feel bad for themselves and they didn't.  They all made plays.  That's a good sign.
But we didn't fight for an entire game.  We didn't battle.  We fouled when we didn't need to.  We got out of stances, we hit screens.  We had, they he gave two, three pointers in the corners and we hit a screen and died.
You can't do that.  You fight.  That guy catches it, he's going to have to bounce it.  He didn't.  He just went to the corner and shot a three.  Which gave them a chance.  We're up five.
Willie missed some free throws, Trey missed some free throws.  And in those situations, that becomes tough, especially when you look down the other end and they're missing no free throws.
But it was, like I said, this is, this is all good for this team.  This team needs to keep getting hit in the mouth.  I don't even know how good we can be.  I don't.  I mean, there's things we're going to have to do if teams try to do this kind of stuff to us spread the court and, all right, now how are we going to play?  We talked about, they're going to try to beat you from the three‑point line and the free‑throw line and they almost did.

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