Tag: John Calipari

Zion Harmon-D.J. Jeffries matchup likely Dec. 2 at Marshall County Hoop Fest

D.J. Jeffries with UK coach John Calipari and assistant Tony Barbee.

By LARRY VAUGHT

The Marshall County Hoop Fest is annually one of the nation’s best prep basketball showcases and this year certainly is shaping up to be superb.

While exact pairings for the four-day event Nov. 30-Dec. 3 have not been released, several sources have confirmed one Dec. 2 game that will match Zion Harmon, the top-ranked player in the 2021 recruiting class, against D.J. Jeffries, a top 20 player in the 2019 recruiting class. Both are UK recruiting targets.

Calipari, Stoops Sign Two-Year Extensions

John Calipari

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky men’s basketball head coach John Calipari and football head coach Mark Stoops have each agreed to two-year extensions to their respective contracts, Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart announced on Wednesday.

The amendment to Calipari’s contract extends his deal from March 30, 2022 to March 30, 2024. Calipari’s total guaranteed compensation – including base salary, media/endorsement payments and retention bonuses – will be $8 million for the amended term. The total guaranteed compensation will increase to $7.75 million for the 2017-18 season and $8 million for each season thereafter.

John Calipari: “I’ve got to do a better job.”

Tennessee coach Rick Barnes beat UK for the second straight time in Knoxville Tuesday. (UT Athletics)

By LARRY VAUGHT

For Kentucky coach John Calipari, he hopes that Tuesday night’s 82-80 loss at Tennessee turns into a “great learning experience” for his team.

“I’d rather do it in a close win than a loss like this, but sometimes it takes you to get knocked in the head to say, ‘Please, let’s come together,'” Calipari said.

Calipari on officials: “If you make a call, then you better make that same call for my team.”

Tempers flared at Mississippi State Tuesday. (Keith Taylor/Kentucky Forward)

By LARRY VAUGHT

What is causing so many fouls in Southeastern Conference games?

There have been 233 fouls called in UK’s last five SEC games, and 144 in the last three including 52 in Tuesday’s win at Mississippi State.

“If they’re going to call 144, just make sure they’re on both of us. Don’t just make them on our team. Call them on everybody,” Kentucky coach John Calipari said. “If you’re calling hand checks, call them all. If not, let them all go.

Izzo “embarrassed” by way UK defense overwhelmed his team

John Calipari (Vicky Graff Photo)

John Calipari (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Just how good was Kentucky’s defense in Monday’s 69-48 win over Michigan State in the Champions Classic in New York? Let Michigan State coach Tim Izzo tell you.

“Well, I’m actually a little embarrassed. I felt like we competed defensively for the most part, we just didn’t do anything offensively,” Izzo said. “We looked like a team that was an AAU team; just went one-on-one, didn’t move the ball, got frustrated. I think some of it was that we were a little fatigued and I think John (Calipari) did a hell of a job. I do think that is one of his better defensive teams. They did a very good job.”

Cats know they have to earn playing time

Mychal Mulder had 20 points and 12 rebounds Sunday. (Vicky Graff Photo)

Mychal Mulder had 20 points and 12 rebounds Sunday. (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Kentucky opens regular-season play Friday against Stephen Austin, a NCAA Tournament team last year. After two easy exhibition wins, UK coach John Calipari said having his team ready for Friday’s game will not be a problem.

He is giving the team today off before hard practices on Tuesday and Wednesday.

“Thursday I’ve got to back up because we play three games in five days, including travel.

 So, there are things we’ve got to get done, and I think they know it,” Calipari said. “The things we’re doing in practice are bringing out that will to win. But everybody’s going to have to understand, you’re responsible for you and how you play.

Asbury kept pressing, so UK kept passing and scoring

Derek Willis had 14 points, five rebounds and three blocks in 15 minutes Sunday. (Chet White/UK Athletics)

Derek Willis had 14 points, five rebounds and three blocks in 15 minutes Sunday. (Chet White/UK Athletics)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Kentucky had eight players score in double figures against Asbury in Sunday’s easy 156-63 win and had 34 assists, a number it will not come close to again any time soon.

Calipari said playing unselfish is what players have to do at UK.

“Every one of these guys could try to get 30 (points). You’ve got every one of them that have that kind of ability, and they know they have to do it together,” Calipari said.

Calipari to fans: Bring kids to Bahamas to see Cats for open practice and more

John Calipari wants fans to bring families to the Bahamas to interact with his playes.

John Calipari wants fans to bring families to the Bahamas to interact with his playes.

By LARRY VAUGHT

Kentucky will be in the Bahamas Nov. 28 to play Arizona State in the 3,800-seat Imperial Ballroom at the Atlantis– Paradise Island resort on Nassau’s Paradise Island, the site of the yearly Battle 4 Atlantis tournament.

Friday UK coach John Calipari encouraged, or maybe even pleaded, for fans to make the trip and also bring their children because of special opportunities he has planned for fans.

Calipari wants to update Joe Craft Center

By LARRY VAUGHT

Kentucky’s basketball facility — the Joe Craft Center — is now 10 years old. It’s still regarded as one of the best facilities in the nation, but Thursday coach John Calipari said it was time for some renovations.

“Let’s go through and make it more modern. There are some other ideas that I have. Again, you want to stay the gold standard,” Calipari said. “You want to tie all of what we’re doing together on the campus and other things.

Calipari enjoys beating generational poverty

John Calipari with John Wall at Big Blue Madness Friday. (Vicky Graff Photo)

John Calipari with John Wall at Big Blue Madness Friday. (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Kentucky coach John Calipari constantly talks about how difficult the head job at UK can be on a coach because of the pressure and demands on the head coach.

“What this job does is every morning you wake up to put your feet in your car, you sit down in that chair and say my team has a chance to win the national title. That’s every year. You know you do,” Calipari said. “The second part of this job that keeps you going and makes you excited is at no other time in the history of our sport has a program done what we’re doing for players. You can all say what you want.