By LARRY VAUGHT
Question: How hard was it to wait for twins Aaron and Andrew Harrison and James Young to finally get on campus, and did they miss much?
Calipari: “They had academic stuff they had to finish, which they did. Again, it was nothing crazy, but you have to understand our summer school, they overlap. I haven’t talked to our president about it, but we almost have to do something. I have never heard of two summer schools overlapping. Now why would that happen? We don’t even know why.
“Why wouldn’t you have a June summer session and then one that starts after July 4, which is what everybody in the country does. So if you are in Chicago, those schools don’t let out until the 23rd or 24th of June. Guess what? Those kids can’t even get in our summer school. Either one. You can’t come to summer school.
“The way we do this, we knew, ‘OK, I don’t think those two are going to get done, those three are going to get done with this class or whatever they had to finish up. And they didn’t. So that was the issue. We knew, and we were comfortable through. Somebody said there were all kinds of rumors, and I said there were always all kinds of rumors at this place. They are fine.”
Question: Did they have any problems meshing with the other players?
Calipari: “They all know each other. This group, they want to win and they know they need each other, and we have been kind of clear with individuals about what we are having to do and what we are trying to do. They’re good.”
Question: Is there anything that could speed up or slow down the chemistry mix?
Calipari: “Speeding it up is you just get in games and they start feeling it faster than they normally do. There is a process here. Don’t know how many freshmen we will start, but you could start anywhere from three to five. They have not played together.
“We are right now already showing them more of the dribble-drive than we have had since my first year here. I am showing them tape of some of my Memphis teams and how we played. But when I look at it, those guys had played three years except for Derrick Rose. But those other guys had played three years.
“It takes time for things to develop. You hope it is quicker than it should be. You hope your veterans, your sophomores, Alex and Willie, elevate so they can drag. But you just don’t know.
“The biggest thing is the conditioning, the toughness, the mental toughness. If that is not where I think it is, that will slow it down. But the other thing is just through experience. You have to get on the court, build your own self-esteem, your confidence through demonstrated performance and you have to get on the court and do it. “