Just as he promised, Kentucky coach John Calipari held an open practice in the Bahamas today for UK fans who made the trip to watch Monday’s game against Arizona State. Not only did he open practice, but he also let fans get in a team phot.
“I asked them to raise their hands if they’ve ever seen one of our practices, and they all were like, no. I said, ‘You add about another hour to our normal practice, but that’s the pace of the practice. That’s how these kids are challenged.’ So it’s pretty good,” Calipari said.
“Then to be able to have them each take a picture with the team – I think for them to make an effort to be here and be with us for a few days is good.
“We’ve had two good practices. Doesn’t mean we’ll play great, but we have a bunch of guys in a great frame of mind about playing for each other, about being more about their teammates than themselves, yet being responsible for themselves. What we’re trying to do is have them develop the habits they need to win. It’s each individual, and it’s our team – to develop those habits, so it’s been good.”
Calipari joked Friday that he scheduled the game so UK fans could have a holiday trip. Sunday he said he would not mind playing in the Bahamas every year so fans could travel to watch UK play.
“They get around the team. They watched us practice. They took a team picture. Who could take a picture with our team. (Only) the fans that came on this trip,” the UK coach said. “I think that makes it kind of neat. And we get to travel a little bit, which is good for them, but not at the expense of playing three games back to back (in a tournament setting).”
Calipari said the team photo idea was nothing more than to treat fans who made the trip.
“It took us 15 minutes to take all those pictures. Come on, what’s the big deal? So I’ll go out here in the hallway (and take pictures after the press conference) because I tried to stay away so they’re not just taking me by myself and then jamming up the pictures,” Calipari said. “I wanted everybody to get a team picture.
“But now I’ll go out and sign autographs and do what I have to do. I just wanted to get the team out of there. That’s what I was trying to do.”