By LARRY VAUGHT
During his first exhibition game at Kentucky, freshman Brad Calipari hit two 3-pointers that his father, Kentucky coach John Calipari, claimed after the game was nothing special.
Once the coach got him, he apparently found out it was a big deal from his wife, Ellen.
“I walked in the door after that game and I thought I was George Clooney. I said, ‘I’m going to have to play that boy more,'” Calipari joked Friday as UK prepares to host Asbury Sunday night in its final exhibition game.
Brad Calipari said his first 3-point was a “good opportunity” while he got lucky on the second one. It didn’t matter to teammates and friends.
“They were all happy for me. They were just telling me how lucky they thought it was. We all want to see each other succeed. It just shows the chemistry we have and the bond we have as a team,” the UK freshman said.
And what did his mom think?
“She’s loving it. I’m sure she’s glad to have me back just because I was away for a couple years. I’m the baby in the family, so I know she’s happy,” Brad Calipari said.
The coach would not commit to how much he might play his son Sunday night.
“We’re still trying to figure out combinations. I’ll do the same thing that I did last game, play a lot of combinations. I don’t know if I’ll start three guards. I might start three guards this time and then figure out some sort of rotation of how we want to do this, and have time to go back,” John Calipari said. “Like I said, I’ve been real specific.
“This guy moved behind this guy and I’ve told them, and you’ve moved behind this guy. Then practice got even more competitive, so we’ve got some ways to go. My thought is that the first week of the season, probably the first two weeks it’ll be a limited package of what we’ll do. Limited baseline. Limited sideline. Limited what we’ll do versus zone. Limited man offense. We’re just trying to get good at some things right now.
“I just put a press in. Just put it in. Which means I just put a press attack in, so I’m trying to go at the pace that these guys go. I don’t want to throw too much; I want them to worry about competing at a high level versus worried about ‘What am I supposed to be doing out here?’ Compete.”
John Calipari likes his freshmen players.
“It’s a very smart group. A very driven, wired group. A competitive group. And then there’s Brad,” John Calipari said and laughed.
Then he added, “I’m not George Clooney tonight.”
My guess is he was right about that.