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December 11, 2010

John Calipari


COACH CALIPARI: Well, let me -- you know I knew it would be a hard game and I knew Tom would have his team ready and I knew he would exploit every weakness we have, which is what he does. He's a great coach. And then we had that one stretch that we got it to 13-15, it was ten, 9, 11 and we got it to one stretch and that's basically all it was.
We won the game on a four-minute stretch. They exploited our weaknesses, they made plays and as I look at it I sat there and I was just shaking my head. But what I told the guys after, any time you win, you're happy. Just, we are happy. Got a week off. Giving the guys three days off. They have got the rest of today off. They have got tomorrow off. And they have got Monday off.
So, they are going to have some time off. I'm going to be taking off. And so all of you out there, I will not be at the radio show Monday night. I'll have my phone and I'll have my staff there. Hopefully no one is upset with me but I have some recruiting to do.

Q. When you talk about that one stretch, how much did DeAndre have to do with getting that going defensively?
COACH CALIPARI: He was good. But again, in the first half, we had it to eight, and here is what we are. We are a young, inexperienced team. Even our veterans are inexperienced. And so we come off, we are running a play and he kind of jogs off and they steal it and dunk it.
You know, plays like that, we were up eight with the ball ready to go to ten, 12, 14, go in at the half, we have got a good lead and all of a sudden it's a one-point game at the half. We get in foul trouble. We have to have some guys perform. You've got to perform.
You can't go into the game and just miss and throw balls up, and then at least defend and rebound and make an easy shot or pass it to a teammate who can make a shot. We had a lot of that today.
You know, I was happy with Josh. I mean, Josh -- like I told Josh, there's not that many dominating big guys out there. Josh can be whatever he wants to be. He can paint his own canvas. He can paint his own masterpiece. He can do whatever he wants. He's in better shape. We play an offense that's perfect for him.
Now, make free throws and make one-footers. You know the two he missed where he missed one and he got one blocked? Well, I said to him, "You dunk every ball, I don't care if you miss the dunk." So then he dunks to it and all of the sudden the whole thing is every different and he makes every basket from there on.
You know, it's the same with Darius. We have to figure Darius out. You know the last play? Jogged after the ball like the other team is not playing. Again an 8-point game, we grab that ball the game is finished. Jogged after it, one-handed it and then fouls, oh, my gosh. It's all that mentality, that Terrence Jones is starting to have, he's in the huddle like this.
I said, "Are you okay? You ready to go? Are you ready?"
"Yeah." He walks out and fouls 12 seconds later.
That's what happens with inexperienced guys; that's what we are fighting the whole game.

Q. Now, did you think those things were better in the second half than in the first half --
COACH CALIPARI: Not at the beginning of the first half, no.

Q. Second half?
COACH CALIPARI: Not the beginning of the second half, no. There was a five-minute stretch where we stepped on it and we played. And again, let me say this. We were picking up, trying to press, make them turnover to do stuff, but again, you are playing with short numbers, so it's hard to do that.
The second thing is Tommy dictated the pace of the game. He did a heck of a job. They did a lot of screening with the five-man and they attacked all five. And when he figured out that our five could not guard their driving guards, he stayed with it and they did it a hundred times and that's why he's the coach that he is.

Q. They have one field goal, the last 9:42, was that anything? What were you doing defensively so well that was getting them out what have they do.
COACH CALIPARI: We stepped it up a little bit, yet, they had shots that they missed. It will always be a combination of that. You step it up a little bit, play a little harder, the game gets a little tense, we make some baskets and start separating. They have to make those baskets. Makes the rim a little bit smaller.
Part of what you want to do offensively, when you go down and really execute and score a couple and create a gap, it puts more pressure on their offense. So now, you can defend, put more pressure on them, they are putting pressure on themselves, and then you go on a run -- another run, three or four baskets.
But what we do, like Terrence took that top of the key three. What are you doing? We don't get it yet. But I liked, again -- I thought that Brandon made strides today. Still not the kind of game I want him to play but he make strides. He broke down a couple of things offensively again.
Let me explain to you. When a 2-guard or a 3-man or 4-man breaks down an offense, like they break it off and go do their thing, it's kind of like the running back, instead of taking this hole, he bumps outside and tries to go outside. Can you get that? Because I know you guys are not basketball bennies (ph) okay.
But if the quarterback decides that he's not going to hand it off where he's supposed to and he runs the other way and he gets knocked out and fumbled, you go, why would you do that? Do you understand, a quarterback, you cannot break down what we are trying to do. You can't. You are going to score on the way we play, anyway.
But when we are running something, you have got to run it, because it breaks us all down if you don't. And he's learning. He made every free throw. Made that open three that busted open the game. You know, we did some good things.

Q. One other thing about Josh. He didn't pick up a foul until deep into the game, which is a departure from the past. Did you see something there that gives you hope for going forward?
COACH CALIPARI: No. Josh had three opportunities for charges that he didn't take. One guy drove baseline and threw to the corner for a three, and he was standing there. We are doing drills right now where he's taking five charges in one set: Charge top, charge baseline, charge baseline, come up, charge, charge down the middle. Still won't take a charge.
Again, you have got to give your body up. But if he will rebound and do what he's doing, we can't ask much more of him. All we are saying now is give us five percent better, where can you improve, how can you draw a foul because you're such a good shooter. Where can we put to you get a couple baskets. He's doing everything.
We have to get Eloy playing better. Eloy is going to have a factor in what we do this year.

Q. What's the best part (no mic).
COACH CALIPARI: In Boston, we are 3-1. That's the best thing. I thought we were going to be 2-2. That's what I thought. It's 3-1. That's one better.
The other thing I'll tell you, we shot 36 percent today and won by ten, 12, whatever we won by. Shot 36 percent and won. That's a good sign. That means we can play poorly offensively and still win.
But we have got a long way to go, folks. Let's not kid ourselves. We have got a long way to go. We have got a week off. We are going to have two days off for those guys. We'll come back and we have got to get better. We have got to get to our camp time. We have got to get to them coming back and us having two-a-days. We have got to work on zone defense. We are going to have to throw zone in. We are going to get in foul trouble.
I can't leave guys in the game like I did today. I just said I'm going to do it and we'll have to figure it out. You have to go zone when you get in foul trouble. We have to do some things. We don't have the time -- we have a little bit of time this week but there's going to be finals so they are not going to be concentrating the way you want.

Q. Can you talk about DeAndre within the five-minute stretch, did he show flashes of last year defensively?
COACH CALIPARI: Yeah, he rebounded the ball. You have to understand, the last game, he had one rebound. You remember the ball in the corner where he fell on the floor and couldn't bring it in? Last year, we know he got every one of those balls and that's one of the reasons I didn't start him in the second half.
So now, he goes and gets all those balls. He's the one guy I've not talked to him about free throw shooting because he was shooting a high percentage but he's winding up like the other guys, the ball starts at the knee and he shoots it. You can't shoot a free throw, you have to raise up the ball and shoot it.
And I told him, I wasn't saying anything to you. I've got Brandon to do it. We have Terrence to do it and now we'll get him to do it. He's just stopping. You're not shooting it your way. You're not going 8-for-16 in a good game; we'll lose. Can't have you on the floor.
So you know, but he was good. There's still -- he needs to jump stop in the lane more. I thought he got fouled on a jumpshot on the elbow in front of our bench and just whacked his arm. He did some things in the three-point play, we posted him against the little kid, we just said, throw it to him in the post, things that we are doing, adjustments that we made because of their personnel. But it was a good win. Let me just tell you, we beat Indiana. It's Indiana. You win the game, you're marching on and figuring out who we play next.

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