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Miami’s point guard, defense worry Calipari


In John Calipari’s mind, Miami University’s Charlie Coles is “one of the great coaches” in college basketball.
However, it’s Miami’s point guard, senior Kenny Hayes, that really has the Kentucky coach’s attention going into tonight’s game.
“They probably have the best point guard we’ve played to this point. He is a tough, strong, and hard-nosed kid. They put him in tons of pick-and-rolls,” said Calipari.
“This kid will go in the MAC (Mid-American Conference) and average 18 (points per game). If you go under the ball screen, he is making shots. If you try to fight over it, he’ll turn you down. They are running a lot of their stuff through that position. They have a nice little scheme that they are running. It looks a lot like a Florida team. If you try to go under, they roll. They’ll slip the screen. A lot of the stuff is the same as the way Florida plays.”
Hayes was averaging 13.9 points per game and shooting 53.3 percent from 3-point range through eight games last year before he suffered a season-ending wrist injury and was granted a medical redshirt season so he could play this year. He was named to the All-MAC preseason team.
Calipari says Miami will not keep two players inside as it prefers to have an interior player step outside and shoot 3-pointers.
He also said Sunday that Miami’s defense will attack the Cats and use numerous ball screens to free shooters because that is what Coles teaches.
“They give you no gaps, no inches. They play old school, and chase screens. You can catch the ball, but when you catch it, someone is all over you,” Calipari said. “They fight in the post, they double-team and trap in the post, they trap the big men in the post.
“Offensively, they grind it. This year they are playing faster and they are running tons of ball screens. They run them all over the floor. I just watched the tape for 40 ball screens, and I’m not sure we’re ready for that.”
Tonight’s foe also like will try to play physical with UK freshman point guard John Wall, who will be playing in his first regular-season game.
“I would imagine they are going to try to get him to run somebody over. They are probably going to take about 15 charges in the first eight minutes of the game. Some of them may be flops, some of them will be real,” Calipari said.
“ We haven’t played a team that is going to lead the center and try to take charges, and we haven’t played the team that is going to fake and take a charge. So if you pass on the run, you run people over. We’re going to talk about it, but it’s hard if you play at a fast pace.
“It’s another good team where the team can beat us. It’s not a game where you show up and you win anyway.”
Freshman Eric Bledsoe had 24 points running the point in Wall’s absence against Morehead State Friday. However, Wall says his teammates gave him plenty of support while he was sitting out his NCAA suspension.
“No matter how good a player is, he has to have teammates to take the pressure off of him. If you don’t, you aren’t going to trust your teammates, kick the ball out to them or let them make plays,” Wall said. “On this team, everybody can make plays. I don’t mind giving up the ball because I have a teammate who can finish.”
Calipari was not happy with sophomore Darius Miller’s play against Morehead. However, the coach was quite a bit more understanding of Miller’s play Sunday.
“He didn’t play a lot last year. We’re all acting like the kid played 30 minutes a game last year. Well, for a lot of games, he didn’t get in,” Calipari said. “He played eight minutes a game which means he didn’t get in 10 games.
“There is only one way to build confidence and self-esteem — demonstrated performance. That’s it. It’s not me pumping you up and giving you shots. It’s demonstrated performance. In other words, go perform, demonstrate to yourself and everybody else what you are and it builds your self-esteem and confidence. It’s not what I say.”

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  1. Gabe

    I don’t know who said it the other day, but Calipari will make every team we play this year sound awesome. A lot like some other coach we had here that I’d rather not name.

  2. Jim Boyers

    Absolutely correct Gabe. I call him Ol’ Sandbaggin’ Cal because every team is the best team ever with the best player he’s ever played against and his team is always on the ropes and must just muddle through somehow. I’m pretty sure that Eric and John are a lot smarter than to just run over people. I don’t sweat that at all. I know Cal has to find every bad little thing to keep his team on its’ toes, but that isn’t going to be a factor. This may be a very good Miami team, but they haven’t run into anything like this UK team with Wall on the floor. GO BIG BLUE!!!

  3. TRUBLU69

    I Like It!!!He tried to convince these kids that MOREHEAD wasn’t a Gimme’ and turns out they put on a great game, I agree with the building the other team up, It is sooo tuff to keep kids focused on the task at hand..Ask MISS.STATE what happens when you are BMOC..rider takes you down…I think that result was huge for CAL, will help him motivate this team for Rider on the 21st…BG did a horrible job in that area that said GO CATS!! GO BIG BLUE!!!

  4. gmoyers

    Good observation Gabe. Does sound like a certain coach who used to have UK facing 15 lottery picks per year. But have to like that motivational ploy with the troops. Nice to have you posting Gabe.

  5. Linda

    Cal could sell ice to Eskimos! Don’t forget guys, any team on any given day can beat the other team…or however that goes. You just never know and don’t take anything for granted. I just hope our guys continue to play as a team and none of them find that I that some of them want to put in it. GO CATS!

  6. gmoyers

    I think this game will be fine. Little more interested to see what happens Saturday


    On Saturday the Cats will beat UGA by 4 between the hedges. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK. GO BLUE OR GO HOME

  8. cobbycobb

    Correct we could be playing the Southeastern Montana Technical Institute and Cal is going to make it sound like they are a dominant team with an extremely gifted player. Tell the players whatever you want so long as they are motivated and produce.

  9. BarryRussell

    You have to admit we have heard a similar tone from a UK coach named Pitino in 1995-1996 when he had one of the best teams ever assembled. It will fun watching this team!

  10. gmoyers

    Have to agree guys. Cal can motivate and we better get used to hearing this. After all, it’s a lot better than listening to Billy G. trying to explain some of those horrible losses

  11. TrueBlueJohn

    Cal’s comments remind me of Bear Bryant. I remember a bowl game that Alabama played against Nebraska where the Cornhuskers outweighed Alabama about 35 lbs a man across the line. All you heard for weeks leading up to the game was how his little boys couldn’t stand up to that big ole team from Nebraska. The trouble was that his little linemen were in Nebrask’s backfield before they could blink. The final score was something like 35-7 Alabama.

  12. TRUBLU69

    switch strong on the high screen and help from the week side the CATS will be fine, They have shown to be great at helping on the weak side CATS 85-50…GO BIG BLUE!!!

  13. TRUBLU69

    Well I said they switched and Hedged out and helped..Not tonight, This is what happens when you don,t hedge out and switch strong..Kudos to MIAMI..KUDOS to this WILDCATS team..Thats a lose for most recent teams..Stay focused guys It won’t get any easier….GO CATS!!!GO BIG BLUE!!!

  14. KY_Wildcat_AL

    Good determination on our players part tonight.
    Even though down 18, they told Coach they weren’t going to lose it.

    Great effort on both teams… Miami did outstanding.
    We were more determined. Great comeback.
    Learn from this and GO BIG BLUE!

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