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Calipari says freshmen players will be “coached and challenged” by veteran players

By LARRY VAUGHT

John Calipari said there was one hidden blessing from his recent hip surgery after he hobbled through much of last season.

“I’ll tell you what it did: It made me slow down,” Calipari told ESPN’s Andy Katz. “I rested for the first time in like seven years where I had to sleep some. It made me slow down.”

Calipari also told Katz that his next team, which will have 10 days of extra practice this summer plus a trip to the Bahamas to play several exhibition games against national teams, should be better prepared starting the season than last year’s team was.

“We didn’t get the (Harrison) twins and James Young (on campus) until September (because of academics), so that meant two months of conditioning and development they didn’t go through,” Calipari said. “They weren’t able to. So now all those kids, it took them half a year before conditioning and all that other stuff kicked in. And then playing the way we needed to play – we couldn’t train them, we couldn’t do anything.

“We’re gonna have guys who have been here now for a while. And they’re gonna be able to lead the young guys. The young guys we have coming in are talented, all four of them. And they’re going to be able to be led and coached and challenged by those guys.”

Calipari said his next team will play faster.

“We want to be an even better defensive team than we were. We should be the best rebounding team in the country, on offense and defense. There are certain non-negotiables we’ll have with this team, real simple. The first three steps on offense and defense, we should be flying. If you’re not, you’re not in,” Calipari told Katz.

 

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7 comments

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  1. Catmandoo

    A perfect example of upper-class players helping make their team much better was last year when Poythress called a team meeting near the end of the year to talk about what they as players needed to do to get better if they expected to do well in the NCAA tournament. It was from that point on that they played decidedly better and started to show improvement and made their run all the way to the NCAA final game. It’s something that the press didn’t take note of but if you go back and check it was obvious that those team meeting had a lot to do with the betterment of their play down the stretch.

    1. Larry T Clemons

      OH ! Alex did the ” tweek “…..Coach Cal molded this Team, stood behind them and Like Pitino of Old, Coach Cal had them READY for The Tournament….( or it could have been Catdoodoo/Barry & Mike’s bashing all Season that changed the Team) LOL’s !!!

  2. dandr

    I missed it. By these comments it appears that the newcomers will be in summer school, conditioning and working out with the team, and will be able to go on the trip to Bahamas. Is that so?

  3. Karen sprinkle

    Yes, teams are allowed to take an out of the USA trip every 4 years. The NCAA allows extra practices to prepare.

  4. Bob

    Team leadership is what wins basketball games .I hope this trend continues of players hanging arround 2/3 years .A team like UK has this year will take the pressure off the freshman and i think they’ll play better .I am very excited about this team and can’t wait to watch them in action agaisnt UCLA it’s been such an long time . An 25 point victory over UCLA would be an highlite for me this season . Guys question do you think Alex and WCS are hooked on Blue 4 years would be great ! The advancement in our football program has me flying high and please God let us beat Tenn and Florida in football i owe some friends . GO CATS !!!

  5. lunchbox

    larry an barry u2 sound like me an my ex gf……no meeting in the middle. i think both of ya love kentucky basketball. i jus think we should start over an all be friends

  6. jim

    Good luck, coach and team from a 73 year old fan in KNOXVILLE. Born in Frankfort 1940

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