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Calipari on twins playing harder, Randle, wall sits, legwork and more


Kentucky coach John Calipari covered a little bit of everything to start his press conference after the win over Eastern Michigan today.

“All in all, to play a team, they were holding people to 33 percent from the floor. They were first in blocked shots in the country. They were shooting almost 50 percet from the floor. We hold them to 36 and can’t make a jumper   James Young … and still played okay,” Calipari said.

“I thought, again, we got better. We got better because the twins (Aaron and Andrew Harrison) played harder, longer. They’re still a ways away. Let me tell you, they’re a ways away.

“I thought Julius (Randle) in the second half ran the floor and did what he had to. I’m going to tell you, we’re going back to old school. Any of you ever played basketball or do you just write? If you ever played, did you ever see when they used to tell you to put your hands behind your back and defend that way? That’s how we were all taught. They made you put your hands behind your back, both hands, defend the guy if he’s trying to go around you. The only thing you could do is move your feet.

“Guess what we’re going to do? We’re going back to that. You may say, ‘That’s seventh grade.’ I don’t really care. What we did prior to, legwork. Do you know what wall sits are? Do you know? So when you went away to camp, they made sat you against a wall because you were a bad kid or whatever.

“My talk to the team before practice five, six minutes, they’re wall sitting and they’re carrying a 50 pound sack that they’ve got to pass to each other for like six minutes. Why? Because I can’t get them into a defensive stance. At least seven minutes, they’re going to be down.

“Then we did legwork. Remember when you’re competing against the guy, slide, slide, slide. We did that. Now we’re going to put lines on the court and you got to keep the guy in front of you and not let him around you with your hands behind your back. It’s what we got to do.

“I mean, again, we’re getting better. We’re showing signs. Coach (Joe B.) Hall made me feel really good yesterday. Said, ‘Would you stop. You have the youngest team in the country. Not always going to come on your terms. It will hit them at some point and you’ll say, ‘Wow, they’re finally figuring it out.’’

“We’re not there yet”


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  1. Mike

    Guess Cal continuing to put a little reverse psychology on Poy. He said he played a good game. He looked good on D but to have all that size and ability and only end up taking 1 shot and scoring 3 pts. well…..judge for yourself. Poy continues to take 1 step forward and 2 back. Young’s scoring very, very subpar as well. You could with ea. shot that he launched that it wasn’t going in. Cal said we would be a good shooting ballclub?? We continue to have big problems feeding the post. It is still nice to pick up the W, and they looked better in 2nd half.

  2. Little Baron

    Shooting woes…
    Sure miss Wiltjer!
    Hope Willis gets some PT since he can hit the 3. Don’t want to lose another one who can get it done from 3-land.

  3. somerset bill

    i would have missed wiltjer if he had left after the first season. then i would have said too bad he was going to be good. but then he came back the second season no better than the first in terms of defense, mobility, moving without the ball, etc. so now i wish him well instead of wishing we had him back. willis, i believe will be better than wiltjer. when we are clanging shot after shot i’m thinking he could come in and knock down a couple and get things going in the right direction, but then i know if you don’t let the main guys work through the problem on the court they will have to work through it next game, against a better opponent. so many people with big basketball brains say you can’t play 10 guys and win that there must be some truth to it. i think willis will be a major contributor next year. one of the top five to seven.

    but then again, when i look at poythress’s play i sometimes think, hmm, maybe there is a spot for him this year after all…

  4. Phillip Barker

    It takes Cal a little time to see how he wishes to utilize his talent and he honestly gives his guys a chance to come forward. I think we’ll see the cream rise to the top shortly in Derek with his overall size and skill set.

  5. Jim Harris

    Poythress has always made a play now and then that you could only call “wow!” Just enough to keep me watching him closely. But then he fiddles, or piddles, around until he is boredom to watch. If I was his Mama I’d come to Lexington and give him a good shaking (or spanking if it works better) and remind him that he’s frittering away $millions if he doesn’t get on with it while he has the opportunity of the UK big stage.

    But then it always seems easier for a fan such as myself to readily forgive a lack of physical talent than it is to understand the mind games that go on inside some athletes’ heads. Must be harder for coaches to understand and deal with too. Maybe the kid only needs some big hugs and home cooking.

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