Kevin Knox on John Calipari: “He’s just trying to get us to change our mentality.”

John Calipari doesn’t want his players taking “stupid shots” like they did at times Saturday. (Vicky Graff Photo)

Some of what Kentucky players had to say after Saturday’s win over Harvard in Rupp Arena.

#22 Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, G
On how they played overall…
“I think we played OK. We let them back in it a little bit at the end. We’ve got to cancel that out to be where we need to be, but I think we played OK. We played well defensively in the second half to really stretch the lead out.”

On how comfortable they feel in zone…
“I think we’re comfortable, we do it every day in practice for a good amount of time. And with our legs and our athleticism, that it is just going to really help and we’re comfortable with that.”

On picking between zone or man to man…
“Man to man, because I think we’re all just really competitive. We like to take it to teams and we like to pick up full-court and stuff like that, and man to man allows us to do that.”

On what it is that makes them switch over with defense taking foot off gas…
“I think it is because we are all so young. We think that once we get ahead we can take our foot off the gas and take it a little easy, but Division I basketball at this high level, you can’t do that and teams will get back in it. And in some games, teams can win, and we’ve got to cancel that out.”

#5 Kevin Knox, F
On what Coach Cal is trying to get across to the team…
“Just when we go up 20 or go up 30, just being able to put our foot on their throat, be able to get good plays and good shots and not turn into a selfish team. I think that’s what we do when we start to get up, people start to get their own. Then, next thing you know, they’re down eight. What Coach is trying to get us to do is, when we get up by that much, be able to put your foot on their throat. Then we go up by 50 and have fun.”

On Coach Cal screaming, ‘Why!’ during the game…
“Oh yeah, every time we take a stupid shot, that’s when he’s always asking why are we taking that shot when we’re up by 20. Why we’re not getting a good shot. Running the offense, we’re playing good team ball and we’re up by 20. Why not make it 30? Then next thing you know they go down and hit a couple 3s and it’s a close game.

On how often the team takes stupid shots…
“It’s happened a lot this year. There have been a couple of games where we’re up by 20 or 30 and the dudes came back. Then, next thing you know, we’re losing or they’re only down four. It’s happened quite of few times. He’s just trying to get us to change our mentality.”

On Coach Cal saying this is not a winning team…
“We play solid in the first half. We have to grow on that. Defensively we did really well in the first half. But second half we gave up too many 3s. I think we’re starting to gel as a team, dudes are starting to figure out how to play with Coach Cal. Nick (Richards) had a really solid game for us. We need him to have a really good effect in the post for us to have a good season. A lot of players are stepping up and taking their roles. I think we’re getting better every game.”

#1 Sacha Killeya-Jones, F
On Coach Calipari saying the team still not playing its best…
“I mean, yes, because he knows we can be better. We have potential to be a great team and that’s what he’s pushing us to. It’s his job to push us to be better and we’re going to do that.”

On being really tired after the first half…
“Oh yes, for sure. It’s a good part of the game I guess. Go out there and give everything you got, and just try to stick it out for the rest of the half.”

On things the team needs to improve on…
“I think we just need to keep taking strides. It’s really all over. Offensively, we’re forcing things, forced turnovers, stuff like that. We’re still having small breakdowns on defense every now and then, and we need to clean up. I think it’s just going to be a process, keep going and keep learning as we go.”

On how the team is pulling themselves out of stretches they’re not playing well…
“Just by leaning on each other and talking to each other, helping each other through it. It’s never everybody messing up, it’s a couple guys, and we’re all there for each other. We’re brothers and we’re going to fight through that. We’re never going to let that take us down for a whole game.”

1 comment

  1. yada, yada, yada.

    I attended the game yesterday, good lower arena seat, and this team is not getting it done on either end of the court. defense is lax, and lacking. On offense, poor shot selection, too much 1 on 1 activity, and on the Boards, no real gut effort.

    Color me concerned.

Leave a Reply