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November 11, 2011

John Calipari

Kentucky – 108
Marist - 58

Q. Well, what did you think?
COACH CALIPARI: I didn't like how we started. One of the things I had to explain to this team, we've got a lot of young guys, I was just disappointed that the older guys don't understand that anybody that comes in this building, this is a big deal for them to play here, and they play out of their minds, every team we play. So if you let them beat you to balls and you don't play harder than them, that's the kind of effort -- that's what happens. In the second half I think they got a little wore down and weren't able to make the shots they made early, and then you spread the game out.
Without Michael Gilchrist and Anthony Davis, we're down at halftime. Those two were so good at the first half. That's the only reason we were up.

Q. What was your message to Terrence and the team after last night?
COACH CALIPARI: Well, you know, he understands, and the team understands, we have a curfew now. The beginning of every year I give them an opportunity to, you know, figure it out, police each other, do your thing, and they know the night before a game. Come on.
But he's -- he knows. He feels bad of what he did, so we'll deal with it. Now we have curfew. Not all bad. We'll go curfew weekdays and weekends and have these guys in and settle in on what we've got to do.

Q. What can you learn from having -- with all these young players, playing in Rupp Arena with a giant target on your back with all this tradition, what can the players learn from this game?
COACH CALIPARI: Well, what happens is the last game Marquis Teague started so good, our team started so good. This game he was trying to make hero's plays to get oohs and ahhs from the crowd so he turned it over twice in four minutes, three minutes. He's had four turnovers in 70 minutes to this point. He had two in four minutes cross-court passes with guys wide open in the corners, and he held onto the ball too long. He wanted to hold it to the last second before he passed it. That's what happens when you start getting away from how we're playing and reverting a little bit, and I got on him a little bit and I told him I'm not changing, you're doing it.
The other thing is did you see Darius run that court at the end of the game? Why don't you start the game running the court like that? The same thing with Doron. Doron played well; eight assists, no turnovers. He played pretty well. But still, defensively he and Darius are not where they need to be with the rest of these guys. We've got to work an little bit on Kyle on post defense and some other things, but he ended up doing some half decent stuff.

Q. Why do you think Doron and Darius are not where they would need to be? You would think they should be maybe ahead.
COACH CALIPARI: I don't know. I don't know. I mean, I thought Darius at the end of the game played pretty well. I don't know if they were uptight because it's the real season now and the stuff is on and we're this highly ranked team who could get beat by 100 teams in the country right now, and we didn't perform. And again, if Michael wasn't out there and Terrence wasn't -- or Anthony wasn't out there, we're down at half. We're down.

Q. How well does the lobbing -- how big of a part of what you're doing right now is the lobbing to Anthony, how well does that sort of substitute for a low post power kind of thing?
COACH CALIPARI: Well, he doesn't have that game. That's not his game. But Michael does, Terrence does, Kyle Wiltjer does. We have enough post guys. We didn't throw to them and a half in the first half, but we have those guys. But what it does it kind of just demoralizes the other team. Think about it; you play great defense and the guy is falling out of bounds and throws it at the rim and the guy dunks it and smashes it and the whole crowd goes nuts. You play zone, he's hanging around the rim, so you're doing a great job in zone, and all of a sudden your point guard throws it at the rim and he dunks it. It takes the wind out of your sails.
In transition, you're a small guard, you know, I'm getting dunked on if he's running. You're standing there saying I'm going to dunked on here, so usually you'll slow down so you're not on a highlight tape and just let him do it.

Q. What are you expecting or maybe what are you hoping to learn from your team with the game with Kansas in New York and then the end of next week the back to back games?
COACH CALIPARI: Well, the biggest thing is will we, one, play the way you have to play for us to win. In other words, as a point guard, will you play the way you've played, or will you revert? Will guys play for numbers or play for us? I really think we'll be fine. I just don't know if we're ready to play a team like Kansas or maybe a team like Penn State, a team that's a -- you just saw the first half of this game, you had to walk away saying, maybe he's right. Then you see the second half and say, well, they can beat anybody. What the about the first half? What if we play two halves that way? Anybody in the country can beat us.
So we've got a long way to go. Defense we got beat on the dribble in the first half I'm guessing ten times, just beat on the dribble, just caught it and drove by us and laid it in. We didn't stay down, we didn't stunt, we didn't help, we didn't talk. There was just a lot of ugly stuff in that first half.

Q. What did you think of how Terrence played when he got in there?
COACH CALIPARI: He played pretty good. Played pretty good. Obviously he was -- you understand embarrassed and all that stuff, and I expected him -- I was surprised he played as well as he did because it's hard. I mean, you're walking in there and thinking everybody is looking at you and talking about you. I mean, it's a natural thing. The kid is 20 years old. But he'll be fine. He made a mistake. I don't throw kids under the bus. I don't -- this one became public, so I responded in a public way on the website. That's all.
And the rest of it, anything I do with any of these kids in any situation is always in-house and I don't -- you all don't know when I punish kids. You won't know.

Q. Marist didn't drive the ball nearly as much in the second half. Was that just an effort thing or some adjustment --
COACH CALIPARI: Well, we played better -- we stunted off the ball better, we helped off the ball better. By I think part of it is they got a little tired. I thought in the second half they wore down on shots -- they shot 50 percent in the first half. I'm going to say it again, do you remember we played Miami of Ohio, we're down 18 in the first half? Teams are going to come in here and play out of their mind. Penn was up, what, 16 on us last year? Penn won like ten games, nine games. They come in here, they're up 16. They go out of their mind, and our team, I'm not sure we understand that yet.

Q. What's the best thing you guys are doing?
COACH CALIPARI: Winning. It's nice. I love winning. But we're still -- execution and what we're doing, spot at this. We didn't run the court wide again. We had guys run down the middle. But we are long and we are big, and when you put Terrence at three and you've got Anthony Davis, Kyle Wiltjer and Terrence Jones and Michael Gilchrist in with the point guard, this is as big a team as there is in the country. There is no bigger team, which means you should be able to offensive rebound, you should be able to get to the rim. It doesn't mean you have to post-up, it just means defensively you're huge. It makes it hard for them to score.

Q. Seems like Doron Lamb, he had 15 points, but it was kind of under the radar. Is that what he wants to do? Is that what you need him to do?
COACH CALIPARI: You know, he just started -- he started sluggish, the game. He didn't have the fire. Not everybody can play like Michael Gilchrist, but you want them to strive to do that. If you're not used to playing that way and you start playing that hard, sometimes you won't play as well because you're not used to playing that hard, you're not used to catching it, running that fast and making that play. I call it playing outside your comfort level, and that's why you want to practice that way. Be uncomfortable, make yourself uncomfortable. But he did well; 15 points and eight assists is pretty good stuff, especially when you have no turnovers.

Q. Does that give you -- I don't know the circumstances, but does it give you a little more confidence in Doron if you've got to run him at the point a little bit?
COACH CALIPARI: He's fine. We had a screwed-up rotation because Terrence didn't start, but when the rotation in the second half was better, it was a little bit easier. And by the way, it's my son's -- you imagine 11/11/11, my son's 15th birthday today, so happy birthday, Bradley.

Q. You had made a point yesterday about how Marquis was not hunting shots, and obviously not turning the ball over. What do you suspect was the reason why he sort of --
COACH CALIPARI: Because it's real and it's television and it's first time in this environment, my first game out of the gate, and he lost his mind a little bit. And I got on him during the game. He's not used to being -- but I told him, hey, I've coached point guards before, and the ones that listen to me do fine. So just listen to what I'm saying and stop arguing with me and just do what I'm asking you to do. I've got you, I've got you, coach. He's a good kid. We've got players that are good kids, now we've just got to make sure they understand the fire and the intensity they've got to play with.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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