By LARRY VAUGHT
Maybe it was just John Calipari being John Calipari after Kentucky beat Hofstra Sunday in Brookyln. Or maybe it was Calipari making sure recruits, including several from the New York area, understand what he expects from players.
“Coming in here, there’s a couple things you know: that you better bring it every day in practice because there are other guys that can play. This isn’t just about you shooting balls. This is about getting better. That’s why you come here,” Calipari said. “You challenge yourself to say, how good can I be as a player?
“And then the second thing is, the other team, they’re coming at you. Every game. If you’re cool. Like, I’m cool. I’m going to run with my thumbs up and stuff, you can’t come to Kentucky. You’ll get killed. I mean, you gotta know it’s a dogfight, a rat race, here I come. He either jerks it from me or I jerk it from him and I gotta fight and battle and then I’m exhausted when the game’s over.
“What we’re trying to do – and I did a really poor job – and, please, not to take anything away from UCLA. Everybody knows now how good they are. But we had no substitution pattern. I knew they weren’t going to sub a lot, so I decided not to sub a lot. Well, these guys aren’t ready to play eight straight minutes. Not like we play. They’re ready to play about four or five and I just gotta start rotating guys in and out.”