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John Calipari explains how he set practice schedule for his team

By LARRY VAUGHT

How does Kentucky coach John Calipari cope with only playing six to eight players when it comes to figuring out how what to do in practice?

“We don’t practice long.  Again, I’m not saying this is the only way to do this.  There are guys that practice four hours, and they win and they do well.  We practice two hours.  If I can’t get it in in two hours, then I didn’t do my job.  Going four hours is okay.  There are some kids that need it, and there are some coaches that are more comfortable going long practices in the full 20,” said Calipari.

“We have 20 hours to practice.  We probably put in about 15 hours maybe.  We have time in the bank.  Is that like vacation time or anything that we can use?  No.  But we’re not trying to ‑‑ look, I need November to be November.  I need December to be December.  I don’t need to bulldoze, and we don’t do it.

“So if you have 10 guys you’re practicing with, two hours is plenty of time.  If you have 15 or 16, you need three hours, three and a half.  We don’t practice with that many guys.

“Somebody says, well, what about injuries?  Well, if the wrong guy is injured on any team, I don’t care if they have 13 McDonald’s All‑Americans.  North Carolina last year could have had anyone else injured except that point guard.  The minute he went down, they were finished, and they had 12 McDonald’s All‑Americans on the team.  Fab Melo goes down at Syracuse.  Anyone else could have been out and Syracuse would have been in the Final Four.  He goes down, different.  The same with us.  We’ll be watching and looking.

“If something happens to Anthony Davis, we’re done.  When the Baylor thing happened with his knee and all that, believe me, I went over there like, you’re all right.  Come on, kid, get up.  I was like please get up.  Please get up.  Come on, mama’s boy.  And I was sick, sick to my stomach; believe me when I tell you.”

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