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November 2, 2011

John Calipari


THE MODERATOR: Questions for Coach Cal.
COACH CALIPARI: Did we just play an exhibition game? Why are all these people here? World Series is over. Pro basketball hasn't started. Got nothing to watch but me. Get a free ticket to the Kentucky game.

Q. What did you get out of tonight?
COACH CALIPARI: We have a long way to go. I think everyone knows it. We've got a couple guys that play with great intensity. They're going to have to spend a lot of time on the court. That's just how it is. Mad, sad, happy, unhappy, they're going to have to be on the floor a lot because they have that intensity you need to win.
The good news is everybody in this building saw it, anybody that watched it on TV saw it. They also see we're not tough enough. First half, we couldn't post up. We couldn't go in the post and hold a position.
Again, Coach Lane, Transy, I told those guys after, Brian, you should be proud of them. They didn't back away. They started that game, made shots, played with unbelievable emotion, played harder than us, got every loose ball, took charge, did everything they had to do to stay in the game, sagged in. Here we are with a big height advantage. I think probably five of our first six shots were threes.
Am I missing something here? But that's what happens when you have a lot of young guys or guys that aren't playing with that fire that you got to play with. They'll settle.
Why you settle for threes? It's easier. Go in there and get pushed and shoved and grabbed and hit? Stay right out here and shoot this. I hope it goes. If it doesn't, I'm good.
We got a ways to go. Marquis Teague played a good game for a point guard first time out. Showed some good poise. Missed some shots. But that's not what he's going to be doing for us. What he's going to be doing is 9 assists, 2 turns, in a game where he played a lot of minutes and we were flying up and down the court.
I thought we were in shape until we played this thing. We didn't look like we were in very good shape, so we got a lot of work to do there. Defense, we didn't talk. Like I said, there's 60 teams right now, maybe more, that we could not beat if we had to play today. Thank goodness we got another couple weeks before we got to play another game, a real game.

Q. How about Anthony Davis and the way he could contest and block three-point shots? How is his ankle?
COACH CALIPARI: He's cramped up. It wasn't his ankle. He got cramps because he's not used to running that hard. That's why I was laughing when we carried him off.
He's good. But physically, you know, we got to figure out how we play him, where we put him where he can have success. Just throwing him in the post, say, Here, post up, Shaq. That's not who he is. I mean, he couldn't do it today.
Made one play where he went back to his left hand. It looked pretty good. There were others he couldn't get the shot off. The guy was 6'5", 6'4" guarding him.
We have to figure out how to use him. When you end up with a game with eight blocks, pretty good stuff. We only had eight turnovers. They played the way they had to play. They sagged. They're not going to spread out. They're going to sag. Guess what? They're not the only team that's going to play us that way. There's going to be a lot of teams playing us that way.

Q. What do you think Michael gave you?
COACH CALIPARI: Michael Gilchrist? Obviously, you watched the game. He was the difference in what happened. He did what I knew he would do. I would say, looking at today, he's a starter 'cause you have to have him start the game. Can't start the game like we did today. That's what I would say.
I'll watch the tape and watch the game. But I think he solidified one spot with great intensity and fire, which is what we were looking for. He goes for 19, 7 rebounds, 5 assists, 9 for 12 from the floor in 25 minutes. I took him out in the first half because he had two fouls. I want those guys to know, you got two, I'm not going to play you. Then because I wanted him to get more minutes, I put him for about four or five minutes with two fouls. Normally, I wouldn't do that.

Q. Twany gave you a big spark off the bench. Why not use him in that sense?
COACH CALIPARI: Because you can't start a game down. We should be a good starting team. Then you go to your bench. We should be able to get another boost because those guys should be going against a second-line player from another team who isn't is good as they are or a player from another team that's a little tired after four or five minutes.
Again, I don't know who our starting five will be. But I would guess after today Michael will be one of them.

Q. How pleased were you with the way Darius played? When Darius came in, he played inspired ball.
COACH CALIPARI: Yeah, he did. He played good. I thought Doron played good.
Again, I got to watch the tape. We just got to be a better team together. We got to play off of one another. We can't worry about where I'm playing.
I think we thought we were going to win by a hundred. I was so happy the game was close. I was so happy the start was what it was. Then when we started separating, they came back and tied it up again. I was loving it. It's a teaching tool. It's a chance for me to talk to them about, you know, Look, they're a good team, but they're Division III, but they're a good team. But c'mon, think about where we are as a team right now.
That's basically what I said to them after.

Q. What did you think defensively from your guys?
COACH CALIPARI: I'm going to have to watch the tape and really see. Because we had so many blocks, it kind of covers some of the breakdowns. I do know this: we switched, which I do want to do with this team because we got a lot of guys that look the same. But we didn't switch the right way.
Now, I cannot blame them because we haven't worked on it much, so... If we're going to switch and do those things, we're going to have to work on it.

Q. Did you see anything about how you were playing that was a little bit alarming to you or is this exactly where you knew they were?
COACH CALIPARI: It's always alarming to me. I'm an alarmist. Is that a word?

Q. Today it is.
COACH CALIPARI: Okay. When you panic, do you say panicist? No.
We got a lot of work to do. I wish it was easy. Just put a group of guys together, a bunch of freshmen, you throw them together and they just play. That's not how it works. Got a lot of work to do. Got a lot of work to do defensively, conditioning, toughness, execution, understanding you can't settle. It's November 2nd. I've had them for two weeks. Think about that. Had 'em for two weeks.
Still like my team. But I got a lot of work to do. I thought it was going to be easy. It's not going to be easy. It's going to be hard.

Q. What can you tell us about Stacey Poole, whatever his situation is?
COACH CALIPARI: We don't have any roster changes, so there's nothing to talk about right now, so...
All right. Thanks, folks.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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