By LARRY VAUGHT
Communication continues to be a problem for John Calipari’s team even after a week of no classes and plenty of basketball.
“I’ve had other teams that weren’t good, but they got better. This team, they got to understand they need each other. It’s a form of selfishness when you don’t talk. You’re worried about you. You’re worried about how you feel and you’re not understanding the impact that that has on your teammates,” Calipari said Friday. “If you’re really into what they are doing and you’re there with your whole thought about helping your team, you talk a lot. If you’re not into that thought, you’re only (thinking about) how you feel or what you look like, you don’t talk.
“So a lot of times, a player will think, ‘Well, I pass the ball. I’m not selfish.’ Yeah, but you don’t speak. You’re not doing anything to help your teammates. You’re only worried about how you’re playing. So that’s what we’ve been addressing, and they’ve gotten better.”
Calipari said if players don’t talk in practice, everyone runs. No exceptions.
“Now if he’s in the game doing this, I’ll take him out, but it’s not solving the issue here. Say something to him. I’m trying to do some things to empower them a little bit – if they defend and rebound and steal or block, what goes on offensively. Because at some point, this has got to be their team. So we’re trying to do some of that,” Calipari said.
“The biggest thing is just compete and battle. We’re all going to see it. There’s no question, everybody’s watching. Is the guy really battling and diving and competing or is his head down and does he act sad and tired? It’s not just one guy now. Hopefully, we’re breaking through. I’ve been pleased with what we’ve been doing though. We’ve been going early in the morning and ending at dinner time every day, so it’s like they’re putting in a full day.”
Calipari hopes the time the team spent together this week shows on the court.
“It’s all intertwined together. They’re together. They’re pushing each other. They’re eating their meals together. They’re eating all the meals. So they’re doing better,” the coach said.