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November 23, 2011

John Calipari

Kentucky – 88
Radford – 40

Q. Could you talk about Teague's play tonight?
JOHN CALIPARI:  It was good.  I told him I'm going to give him one flub a half.  He had one where two guys ran out, he looked away and threw it and it didn't quite go out of bounds and he had one in the second half right in front of our bench where he tried to say, Michael, like, ooh, you left your feet and threw it.  But one a half we can deal with.  So he five assists, two turns.  He would have had three other assists but guys weren't prepared to shoot the ball.  He thought he played in control, he went when he had to, and now he scores points without trying to score points.
But look, I've got to do a better job with him.  This kid is going to do whatever I ask him to do.  He's a great kid.  I've got to do a better job.  I've got to coach him better.  I've got to be more prepared to really break down tape with him and show him and talk to him during the games.  He's got to be right near me, at least for the next month, and then he'll be fine.

Q.  What did you think of Sam Malone's stutter step and then move to the basket?
JOHN CALIPARI:  The one he turned over or the lay‑up?  It just makes you laugh.
You know what was funny?  I walked in the office yesterday night, and he was in the gym shooting.  One more of my stars, because you know what, he didn't get in practice that much.  If you've been to our practice, he doesn't get on the floor and practice, so he wants to get ready for his opportunity.  Brian Long better start doing the same thing.  If you want to get out there and do something, then you're going to have to get yourself ready because you're not getting on that floor that much.  But I was happy for him.  He's a good kid.

Q.  You guys posted Joe early on.  Is there anything to read into that?
JOHN CALIPARI:  No, no, and he missed some baskets he needs to make.  But you know, again, we're‑‑ we are what we are right now.  We're trying to figure out what we are.  I've gone to seven guys, and then Eloy, I'm getting him some spot minutes, but I told Eloy, you have two good games this season knocking people around, blocking shots, you're fine, so don't worry about it.  I've got to figure out, and I told Kyle, if you don't come up with balls, Kyle I'm taking you out.  Now, he had eight rebounds but he could have had another three or four rebounds.
You know, like I said, we've got a ways to go, but it was a good sign that our point guard was doing what he was supposed to, our zone offense was better, we attacked, we didn't throw it around the perimeter, we got it into the lane.  But we've got a lot of work to do.  I've got a lot of work to do with this team.

Q.  Can you talk about your free throw shooting, how much more improved it was tonight, and also about what you just thought of your brief time you played in the zone?
JOHN CALIPARI:  Well, when you're up 30, you can make free throws.  I need to know when it's a two‑point game with two seconds to go and you're on national television who's making those, but up 30 you can make them.  It's deceiving.  I'm happy we did it because when teams look at our stats they start saying, you can't foul them.  Good, don't foul us, because that's how they've been playing us to this point.
What was the other question?

Q.  About your zone.
JOHN CALIPARI:  The zone I wanted to put in, and I think it's something that we need to think about doing some.  And we've got to get better than we are right now.  We got out of whack a little bit a couple times, but we're‑‑ I'll look at the tape again, and we're going to try to figure out how we've got to play.  Because we're long, you think you've got a shot, and someone has got a hand on you, but then we got a rebound.  Kyle got that ball jerked from him, and Eloy went in there and rebounded, so maybe Eloy is the middle of that zone if we go zone.

Q.  What does a game like tonight do to help you down the road when you play schools like the North Carolinas of the world?
JOHN CALIPARI:  I don't know, but here's what I would tell you:  After Old Dominion you had a lot of players in there wondering if they were any good and wondering if our team was any good.  We play Penn State, we're world beaters, we're beating anybody, where's the Lakers.  Then you go to ODU and you're like oh, my gosh, we're not very good and I'm not very good and what is wrong with me.  You want them to play well.
For me I've always been this way as a coach:  I want people to look at individual players on my team and say, that guy is good and that guy really plays and this guy plays and that guys plays, and yes, I want them to say my team plays hard, they play great defense and they play together.  Short of that, I want it to be about individual players playing well.  If I can get them to play well and I can get them to play together where they're a team, good things will happen.
What happened up at ODU, we all went our own way and then everybody looked bad.  There wasn't a player on the court except Darius that looked like he was a good player.

Q.  If Marcus gets one flub per half, what happens on the second flub?
JOHN CALIPARI:  I'll probably be very aggressive with him.  Depending on time and score, I may take him out, I may not take him out.  I had a young man at UMass named Anton Brown, and I used to have three of those flubs in my pocket a game.  I knew he'd spin and get it stolen, and he was my only point guard.  He was a freshman.  He was a two guard in high school.  He would spin and get it stolen, and I'd be all right, on the third one, you're all right, and on the fourth one I'd start getting mad.  Fifth one I got really mad.  But you've got to‑‑ as a kid is learning you've got to give him a couple a half ‑‑ or a couple a game, not a couple a half.  One a half‑‑ and he tried.  He's trying.  He's listening.

Q.  Slow start on offense, seemed like defense kind of got things going.  What did you like on both ends of the ball?
JOHN CALIPARI:  Well, there's two things you can do when a team tries to hold the ball, which is what they were going to do until the shot clock winds down, hopefully make shots:  You've got to really bother them.  You can't let them just do it because they're not trying to score.  So try to steal balls, try to get up in people, try to be active with your hands, block balls and run.  After a while you're wearing them out more than they're wearing you out.
But we didn't‑‑ we came down and we walked, we missed a shot, we got a ball tipped from us.  It was 4‑0 versus being 12‑0 and then we got going a little bit offensively and made some plays.
But like I said, we are what we are right now.  We're still trying to learn, we're trying to figure things out.

Q.  You've said a couple times now that you think you've got to play some zone.  Why is that?
JOHN CALIPARI:  Because I think there's some teams that you can zone that we're going to play that I think we can come down and they want to get into their rhythm of play and we can play some zone.
It's also‑‑ I don't see us giving up wide‑open shots because we're so big.  You know, I just don't see it because we're so long and big.  I would probably do it with a big lineup so that every shot is a contested shot and it's not bad.  I've never had a big zone like that.  You think about it, we're 6'10" across the line and Michael Gilchrist has a 7'2" wingspan at one guy, and maybe it's Doron or Marcus at the other guard.  I mean, that's a big zone, very big.

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