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Some great stuff from Calipari today:
ARCHIE SAID HE THINKS HE'LL GUARD ELSTON TURNER, IS THAT THE PLAN?
"I don't know yet. We'll figure it out. He may be. I know there is one guy not going near him."
DO YOU THINK ARCHIE IS READY TO BE THAT KIND OF STOPPER?
"What we have right now, except for maybe Nerlens, are guys that when they make an error they don't have the discipline to move on to the next play. So if he takes a bad shot, turns it over, slips and falls, and is guarding their best player he will get lost on a screen, a shot will go up and he won't block out, or he'll leave his feet and get fouled. It's where he is, where Ryan is, where Alex is. We have a team full of guys like that.
"Everything we're doing right now, I'm teaching more life lessons than I'm teaching basketball because they have to think different. We talked last night about Kyle Wiltjer again, embarrassed after Vanderbilt, he's worked harder than he even believed he could work, which makes the games easier. So why wouldn't you do what he's doing? Let me tell you why, it's hard (and) I don't want to. I want what I want but I'm not going to work like that. Well, you're not going to get what you want then. I'm just hitting that home every day. I have not changed.Alex, when I looked at the numbers at Ole Miss, his numbers were way up on the effort chart, way up. Still got a ways to go.
"We are what we are right now. Last time we came off a good game or good second half we come out and start the game good and they make a run at us. That's the other thing we have to learn, when the other team makes a run I'll say it again for the world to hear, you take a great shot every time down. Never take a contested shot because they're trying to make a run. Do everything you can to get fouled, ball fake, do whatever you have to, and then because you're driving and not settling for jump shots you should be able to get offensive rebounds. So what do we do (against Ole Miss)? What was every shot we took? A contested jump shot, a quick three. Every time out Im saying the same thing, so again, their habits and their mindsets, instead of gutting it out it's, 'Let see if I can just make this and maybe we'll win.' No, its not going to happen that way. You're going to have to fight until the game is over.
"We've got one guy who doesn't think that way: Nerlens. He has that will to win. The other guys are more, 'Am I going to be that guy to make that mistake' and that's...we're teaching life lessons about you're going to have adversity in life. You're going to be put in a position that you have to risk something to gain something. No risk, no reward. In other words, I'm not afraid to shoot the game-winning shot because I'm not afraid to miss it. I'm not afraid to make the game-winning play because I'm not afraid to flub it and if I do I'll come back next time and I'll win the game. All the great players, that's how they think. We don't think that way right now, but we've got a lot of time. Believe me when I tell you, every conversation, every meeting, I'm meeting them at night for 15 minutes and it's not basketball. It's all life lessons."
WHAT DID YOU THINK OF NOEL BLOCKING SIX SHOTS AFTER GETTING FOURTH FOUL?
"You're telling him you've got to play like you've got three fouls, just make sure you're aware. On his fourth foul, next to the basket, I said, 'Look, give him the hoop. Give him the basket. Don't get a fourth foul. Two points doesnt hurt us, you getting four (fouls) kills us.' But I was going to ride him out because I know he's the one guy with the will to win on this team that you have to have him out there or you can't win.' Now, when we get to the point where we have – like we did a year ago – three or four guys with a will to win that's when you win all the games. Believe me when I tell you, we're not there right now. When a team makes a run we don't have good thoughts. I do, because I've done this for so long and I'm thinking, 'How are we going to win this game, not uh oh, we may lose.' I don't think that way. I'm trying to get those kids in my mindset. You make the play and if you miss a shot do something down the other end to get it back? How 'bout that? If I miss a shot or turn it over do something about it instead of thinking of the missed shot or how many points you have. Just think what you can do to get it back for us.
"But you have to understand that's what we're doing the whole practice, every meeting, mindset, mindset, trying to get them to grown and give them the lessons they need so that when they leave us they're ready for life because you can equate all of what's going on with this team (to life). I told them, 'How many of you are working hard to change?' They all raised their hands. How hard has it been? Real hard. Has it been embarrassing? Yeah, real embarrassing that I don't know this stuff. This stuff has been hard for them."
AFTER THE FIRST A&M GAME YOUR PLAYERS SAID THE COACHES TOLD THEM WHAT TURNER WOULD DO...
"We could have done some different things. We could have trapped him and made somebody else beat you, but we had the wrong guy on him. So you have the wrong guy on him, the kid gets going and now the kid's got beer muscles and all of the sudden he's making every shot.
"Beer muscles, Jerry, mean you're a weakling but you get beer sin you and you want to beat somebody's brains in that's a monster. That's called beer muscles. (JERRY TIPTON SAYS: “I've got white wine muscles”). I grew up in Pittsburgh, it was Iron City beer and a shot."
WHAT'S THE CHALLENGE FOR NERLENS IN MAINTAINING THE DISCIPLINE TO NOT LEAVE HIS FEET ON FAKES BALANCED AGAINST HIS NATURAL ANTICIPATION INSTINCTS?
“Well, we do drills every day on guard play and big guys where we just come down and ball-fake, ball-fake, ball-fake and try to get guys to live their feet. So we start the game against Mississippi, the very first play who left their feet an fouled? (Poythress) Are you surprised? Are you surprised? We do the drills every…Well do them today again. We stay down. We're long, so why would you do that? (Mumbles) What? I can't hear you. (Mumbles). And we foul that way. So we're working every day. You can't cover everything. So you've got to look at OK, what are we doing? That's one of those things that you know early in the year people weren't even trying to make shots, were they? Just get em' over our big guy and you're going to get a lay-up on the weak-side. Well now we're working on a rotation blocking out. So if I'm at the top and he moves, I go hammer that low guy. Well, if we're giving up all these rebounds it's something we're not working on.
“These kids are just…I'm just telling you, everything is new to them. Everything is a new experience to them. I just want to make sure we're doing what we're supposed to. Forget about just basketball, teaching them the lessons of this. Stuff's not always great, but life is good. Life is good. It's not always pretty, but it is good. Better than the alternative. The other thing is things aren't going right, what do you do? You take the next right step. Everything looks awry. Well then what's right step to take? Then keep taking that one right step to try to get yourself on a different path. When you don't want to accept that things aren't right or you don't want to change or you don't want to think in those terms, you can't change what's happening to you. I'm telling them, 'Later in life you're going to go through some of this stuff and you might as well learn it now.' The greatest thing here is you're learning under the glare of all this media and all the attention. These kids, you start getting ready for life now, it's thrown at you.
“I'm talking about separating yourself from anybody that's in your ear that's negative. May have to fire some people. Don't, can't, let's take a month and a half and I'll see you in a month and a half. May be a girl. May be a friend. It may be somebody from back home. If they're negative, push them away. If you're in a business and this guy's negative and all he is is negative, negative, negative, and our business is going down because he's negative, eventually you've got to fire the guy or who's getting fired? You're getting fired. So, you just tell them, 'You got to stay positive, and if there's anyone that's dragging you the wrong way, separate. Just tell them I love you to death but you need to stay (away). Give me a month and a half, we'll talk again.' So there's all kind of lessons that we're going through.
“But I'll tell you, they've made strides. They were great in practice. They want to do this. They listen. They're coachable. It's just that it's amazing what they don't know, nor should they know.”
WHAT'S THE DIFFICULTY IN INSTILLING TOUGHNESS IN PLAYERS IN ENVIRONMENT WHERE THEY ARE TREATED LIKE ROCKSTARS?
“Well they used to be that here. Now they're not being told so much they're great and all those things. Again, if you've never been tough and you have to change that attitude, that habit, that's hardest thing. Now, if you look at a guy that has no choice but to be tough -- maybe because of his frame or size -- if you're not tough, you're not making it. You're not going to make it at this sport. But that person has to accept that, you know what, it's right. So then you start that change to 'I'm going to play more aggressive.'
“Well, how do you do that? You play a guy before he catches it. You have to be more alert. How bout this one? You have to be lower. 'But my legs hurt. My legs hurt when I'm lower. I like to stand straight up and down. Why would I bend over?' Because you got leverage when you're down. You can wedge the guy. As a guard, you get lower, you get open easier. The guys not blowing buy you. You're not going to grab and foul. 'I know, but it hurts my legs to get down there and low.' That's what we battle right now: to tell them you've got to get tougher.
“Then the mental toughness -- I'm going to say it again -- you cannot be afraid to make the game-winning play. What's the worse that's going to happen? We lose, next game. If we lose, I tell them the same thing. I'm taking responsibility for also, you're going to get the glory for a win, so who cares? If you have a play to make, make it. We came out of a timeout, pick-and-roll, dude falls of the floor, he doesn't want to shoot it, he passes it. Do you remember two years ago down at Mississippi? The ball went to wing with five seconds to go, just shoot it, don't even make it. They've got no timeouts. They've got nothing. Hold it, five-second call, they take it out, throw it and we lose. Well, don't think we didn't have that a couple years ago. We had the same thing. We're working through exactly the same kind of stuff right now. When they get it and they understand this is not as bad, falling in love with the gym.
“I told them, 'If you don't love coming to practice and you don't love being around men, you're not making it at this sport.' Now it's time, how do I make a living? It ain't going to be at this sport. If you don't love walking in there excited and then you leave you're sad…You can't be the other way: walking in the gym (pretends to whine) and then when you leave, 'Hey! What are we eating tonight? What's going on?' Well, you're not making it at this sport.
“How bout you don't like to be around men? You're not making it at this sport. It's like going underground in the coal mine. I was up there and I watched one guy walk and kick the other guy in the but and they laughed like crazy. They're going underground and it's life or death, but they love being around each other. They're men! Men like being with other men! Love it! Pick-up football on Saturdays. You're still playing and you're married. 'I broke my finger hunny' How'd you break your finger? 'We're playing and then we're going out for beers tonight. Can you pull this finger out because I think I broke it?' You're men! You love being around men! It's the battle, that's what it is. If you don't like being around men, you shouldn't be playing this sport…I don't know where that came from. I have no idea.”
WHAT'S WILLIE CAULEY-STEIN'S STATUS?
“Willie went on-and-off yesterday. He'll be a game-time, but he practiced yesterday. I didn't have him practice the whole time. I wanted him in and out. We'll see how much he does today. My expectation. would be he may play a little bit, but if I don't feel like it or the game's not going like I want, we may just let him out another game. We'll see.”
This post was edited by Matt May 14 months ago
Here is audio, courtesy of Jon Hale of KyForward, on Calipari's 'MEN!!!!' tangent at the end:
John Calipari needs his team to enjoy being around men more as evidenced by this rant at the end of his news conference Friday.
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