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March 1, 2012

John Calipari


Q.  Fiften 3‑pointers, how difficult is it going to be to deal with you guys when you're doing that?
COACH CALIPARI:   We'll beat you by a bunch when we shoot it like that, and that's what happened today.  I told Mark after, I said, we are a team that makes six 3s a game.  Not even six; we make five; in a half, 3s a game, we make 15; that's 30 points, and what did we beat them by, 30 points.
I mean, obviously it's‑‑ we shoot a high percentage of 3s, so probably we should shoot more, but you know, I just like layups and dunks better than 3s, and so we want to get to the rim.  And today we shot‑‑ well, I'll tell you who I thought, Michael in the first half was ridiculous.
But I thought Doron Lamb was unbelievable in his floor game, how he defended pick‑and‑roll.  Darius, you know, was just tremendous obviously.  And I like the fact that other guys were willing to step back to let Darius and Eloy have their day.  You know, Anthony Davis, he could have gone nuts.  We've got a good team.  Kyle Wiltjer was really good today.

Q.  Can you talk about the pregame, your decision to have your wife and Orlando's wife go out with Eloy and what went into the thinking?
COACH CALIPARI:  Ellen's done that a few different times if we've had players that families could not get there or whatever.  Ellen has done it.  And Orlando and Dano are really close to Eloy, so we just said, why don't we both do it.  And so I just wanted him to have a couple people out there with him.
You know, his mother couldn't get here.  She's in the Dominican Republic, so it was hard for her.  Again, I felt bad for him, because I haven't played him a whole lot.  Probably not being fair that I'm trying to work in Kyle and there's only so many minutes.
But what happened was, he got tired.  I mean, he did.  He missed shots that he wouldn't miss.  He would have dunked them.  I said, "I'm not even mad at you."  Because guys, he has not played enough, and he tried ‑‑ it was funny, 11:20 the other night, he was in there conditioning, because he knew.  It's hard to stay in great shape when you're not playing that much.  But he did fine.  He did fine.  Great teammate.

Q.  Have you ever had in all your years of coaching a team that made six consecutive 3s on six consecutive possessions and it was seven of eight in that stretch in the second half?
COACH CALIPARI:  I don't know, but I've had some pretty good basketball teams, so maybe.  I've had some pretty good shooting teams, so it might have been there.  But you know, what this team is doing, they are playing together.
Again, 16 assists, only eight turnovers.  We are back to where we were a year ago at this time with a totally new team, freshmen and sophomores and Darius and we are not turning it over.  And think of the turnovers we had, Terrence threw one into the first row and Marquis threw a lazy pass to the wing where they have to layup deep.  That's two of them and that's in the last part of the game.  Short of that, we had six turnovers.  Are you kidding me?  As fast as we are playing and as much as we are attacking, they are making easy plays.

Q.  Michael has struggled a little bit from the perimeter but not tonight, he seemed to find that. Is there something you're working on?
COACH CALIPARI:  He works every day.  I told him at some point, if you miss a shot, you'd better quit looking over at me.  Just play.
My question to him, again, this was yesterday:  What do you do to help us win when you're not scoring?  Well, you all know what Michael does.  He doesn't have to score a basket; Anthony.
But I'm asking them all, what do you do when you're not making baskets and you're not scoring to help us win?  Because there's going to be games that you're not making shots, so you've got to make sure you're doing other things.
And tonight, I thought we defended well.  They didn't shoot it particularly well.  I think that‑‑ coming off that good shooting performance they had against Florida, I was a little bit thinking they would come in here and do it again but they didn't make shots, which is why we had the margin we had.

Q.  One regular‑season game left, after tonight's performance, do you feel like this team is ready for postseason and this may be the best game they have played all season?
COACH CALIPARI:  We have had‑‑ South Carolina, we had a couple really good games this year.  The biggest thing is, we had not had any duds, and normally, you go through a season, you're going to have two or three duds, and you hope they are against teams you can win, anyway.
So we go to Florida, it's going to be a really hard game.  It will be a sold‑out arena.  They are going to be going crazy down there.  You know, my thing is, look, let's just make it hard for them and see what happens.
Then we go down to New Orleans.  And again, you know I'm not a big tournament guy, don't like tournaments before the NCAA Tournament, I don't like three games in a row.  But, guess what, we'll be there with bells on and ready to go.
But you know, tomorrow we are going to do film and individual work and then we'll practice Saturday before we get on a plane and go to Florida.

Q.  What did you think about just was it satisfying for you to see Darius play so well in his last game here?
COACH CALIPARI:  Well, I'm trying to get DeWayne to find out:  Where does he rank in wins as a player here; where does he rank in like home wins; does any other player here that played have‑‑ in the modern era, 50 straight home wins like he has.  Think of what he's done, along with scoring, along with rebounding, how many NBA players has he played within his time here.  Incredible stuff.  Incredible career.
And he did it by sacrificing some of his game so the team could step forward, doing things that he needed to do, and he grew each year.
Now, you know, we do what we are supposed to and he continues to go and he's going to have the opportunities he wanted.  He's going to be able to chase his own dreams.  But he's a great teammate, and the guys here stepped back so he could have a big day, which is neat, too.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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