By LARRY VAUGHT
When he wasn’t talking about the Flintstones or Jetsons — and yes, John Calipari did both Friday — the Kentucky coach was asked if he thought his team was as good as he thought it would be when the season started.
“We’re figuring out what we have to do. Individuals are figuring out what they have to do to get better and where they are right now. And then as a coach I’m figuring out the biggest thing was discipline. That’s the biggest thing I had to zero in on,” Calipari said.
“We have to get a couple other guys playing better. We’ve focused on that. Then we’re looking at every player, whether it’s Isaiah: shoot it higher. Whether it’s Malik: get fouled. Whether it’s De’Aaron Fox: play faster. Don’t jog the ball up. Each individual, Wenyen (Gabriel), you and Derek (Willis), you’ve got to stay in front of people. How we’re playing pick and rolls now. With our team that we have right now.
“All the things. Being simpler on offense. Giving them a little more room because they react better. Learning to post the ball. Early on we weren’t doing it. Now you’re seeing us learning. If we don’t teach them they’re not going to just do it on their own and figure it out. That’s what we have to do. But their competitive spirit, their togetherness – I mean, people are sending me pictures of our bench (celebrating). When the starters are in – the bench. When the starters are out – the bench. When the last guys are on the court are in – the bench.
“We’ve got a group that’s sharing, but we’re playing Arkansas. It’s going to be a hard game. They’re good. They trap. They scramble up the game. They play reckless, which means they can come in here and make a bunch of 3s and beat you because that’s how they play. They went to Tennessee. Not many people went to Tennessee, and they won the game. And they won pretty handily. So we’ve got a ways to go, but I’m happy that we’re on the path we’re on.”