Calipari: “It’s nice that we’ve got veterans.”

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INDIANAPOLIS — Here is what Kentucky coach John Calipari had to say after UK’s win over Wichita State Sunday.

COACH CALIPARI: I’m really proud of the guys. Hard game to play. They really grind it out. The offensive rebound, I thought we rebounded with them, did good stuff.

It was great to have Malik back. Haven’t seen him for a while. He’s on that path, still not all the way back, but he’s on the path that we need him on. And these guys up here, they’re young, but they have a will to win and play with courage and are skilled basketball players and great kids who share. So proud of them.

Q. Coach, how big were the seniors in this game?
COACH CALIPARI: Well, in the first half, Dom just played outstanding. I was thinking about starting him in the second half, but we got a good group that sticks together so I just went with what I was doing.

Mychal Mulder made a huge 3. I put him back in to play the four. I was going to play he and Derek as the fours. I played Derek almost the whole half. He played well. Then Derek made the 3 in the corner, made a couple of 3s, rebounded pretty good. Ended up with eight rebounds and nine points. Think of that. Three steals. Derek Willis.

I mean, it’s nice that we’ve got veterans like Isaiah and those seniors playing. Isaac did all right. I didn’t play him a whole lot, but he did fine.
Q. John, you spoke highly of Landry Shamet before the game. Did he do anything in this one that exceeded even your expectations or praise?
COACH CALIPARI: He made big-time shots, like those are gutty shots. Like the game was over, and he makes a 3. He makes a 2. We got it to seven, ready to bust out and he made plays. He’s good. He’s a good player.
Q. Shamet picked up his fourth foul with four and a half minutes to go. Do you change your offense to attack a specific player like that or just run your offense?
COACH CALIPARI: Any time I’ve done that, it screws up the game, so I don’t. Every time, go at him, go at him. All of a sudden, you take yourself out of what you’re doing. I’m not worried about the other team, I’m worried about my team. If these guys are out there knowing a guy’s got four fouls and I’m going to drive him, that’s fine.

But I’ve done this 30 years, and every single time I’ve done that, I’ve screwed up a game. So no.

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