By LARRY VAUGHT
NASHVILLE — Kentucky coach John Calipari always likes his team, but now he really likes his team going into NCAA Tournament play and explained why after Sunday’s win over Arkansas.
“The only way that happens is if all these guys are, one, comfortable in their own skin. They’re comfortable with what kind of player they are becoming. They like the path they’re on. They are not being judged by numbers, points, shots, minutes. They don’t get judged that way at Kentucky. You don’t have to score 30 a game. Ask Anthony Davis — should I go through that litany of 25 names? You don’t have to,” Calipari said.
“Then the second thing is you are naturally a gatherer of other people. Like if I walk in the gym and I see a kid by himself, warming up by himself, everything by himself, I don’t want that kid on my team. I just don’t. I need a guy that’s a gatherer, that they enjoy being together.
“This is six months. Every game we play is a Super Bowl, T-shirt night. I’m going to get into the T-shirt business. Every game we go to is white out, blue out, black out, it doesn’t matter. These kids have to come every day and they’re going to class and they got to handle themselves in the community the right way.
“If something happens with my kids, it’s on the ticker and they’re doing a 30/30 on it. So it’s a hard deal and they come together, they got to be about each other. They got to cover for each other. They got to be each — they got to be their brother’s keeper.
“These kids like Bam, is the nicest kid maybe I’ve ever coached. I mean, he’s — somebody said Cal, you’re playing him and he could be playing 4. So could Anthony Davis and Karl Townes. So could DeMarcus Cousins. They all could have been playing 4, too. They’re doing fine. The kid can shoot. He can handle it, guard five positions. He’s fine.”
But he’s not complaining why don’t you play me? What do you need me to do to win?