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John Calipari on injuries, defense, Alex Poythress, and more


John Calipari met with the media this afternoon in the bowels of the Joe Craft Center to look ahead to his team’s regular season opener against the Fightin’ Kenny Georges of UNC Asheville.  Below you’ll find a brief recap of the press conference…

Andrew Harrison returned to practice on Wednesday and he’ll be ready to go tomorrow night.  “He makes us different,” Cal said of his starting point guard, who missed the team’s two exhibition games with a bruised knee. “We’re a different team.”

Cal compared the loss of Andrew Harrison to a football team using a wide receiver at quarterback, something Kentucky fans know all about. In this case, Aaron Harrison, the shooting guard, was the wide receiver filling in for the point guard/quarterback, Andrew. Calipari said it was good for Aaron, but he’s glad to have his starting QB back and healthy. I can’t imagine UNC Asheville shares that enthusiasm.

— James Young did not practice on Wednesday.  He did run, though. Cal said he made Young run for being late to his treatment. His status for UNC Asheville is still unclear for now; they’ll have a better idea after today’s practice.

The team has only had two or three practices with both Andrew Harrison and James Young on the floor.

— Cal said Young being out gives Alex Poythress more opportunities, and he likes what he is seeing from his sophomore sixth man. “Alex has been really good. He has narrowed his game and tried to play harder. He’s not caving in and stopping. There’s no excuse, he’s playing.”

— Where is this team defensively, Coach?  “We’re not close,” he said.  “I got four months to get this thing right. And if I try to do it in two weeks, I’ll cheat the kids and drive myself crazy.”

He said he needs to see more effort, more intensity, more fight and more concentration.

— The team will spend a lot of Thursday’s practice working on playing against zone defense. They can expect to see a lot of zone in the upcoming games, so they’ll need to be ready. Three goggles on deck.

— UK announced that it will renew its deal with the Champions Classic today, but there’s still another big event in the works, according to Cal. He said fans can expect to hear something in a couple weeks. “It’s rolling down the pipe the way we want it to.”

— After seeing Anthony Davis become the first player since 1992 with 15 points and three blocks in the first five games, Cal called him and told him, “You never would’ve done that if I had let you shoot more.”  Remember, Anthony Davis took the fifth-most shots.

And that’ll do it for now.

Go Cats, everybody.

Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

26 responses to “John Calipari on injuries, defense, Alex Poythress, and more”

  1. Doron Lamb

    So idk if anyone else saw this, actually made me kind of sad if it is true. Here was a tweet from Doron Lamb within the past hour or so…

    Doron Lamb‏@DLamb2045
    Wow that crazy my college coaches can’t tell me Happy Birthday lol it cool tho I Remember everything

    1. cracka

      that is not doron’s twitter, his is @dlamb20

    2. Blue42

      It actually is from Doron’s @DLamb20 account. I saw it in my feed. That’s just a copy/paste error in the handle above.

    3. Linda Taylor

      It was on @dlamb20 too. But Cal doesn’t actually send his own tweets out. Whoever is responsible for the twitter account is falling down on the job. DeWayne Peevy did just ask him if he got his KYMBB package yet so he should be feeling the love soon.

    4. HeardItBefore

      How much does the KSR resident excuse maker earn? Linda?

  2. Jason25

    Julius Randle need to play 15 feet and in. He is virtually unstoppable in that area. Trying to play him at 3/SF does not fit him well and he does a lot of teams a huge favor by playing out there. Do what works.

    1. Jeffrey

      You don’t pay attention much, do you?

    2. jch67

      Thank you Captain Obvious…

      Where do you think Cal should play Dakari?

  3. ChicagoCat

    I listened to a little bit of the live feed and Cal was talking about having 7 players in the regular rotation again. 7 seems low with this roster so I’m thinking it will be 8 with how fast this team will run, but who do we think will be the 7-8?

    And. Harrison
    Aar. Harrison


    1. cracka

      i think willis, lee, hood, polson and hawkins could all regularly come in and get min, but basically just for resting those 7 guys you listed … and they’ll be right back out there

      who knows … thank goodness there is some good college football on tonight to help get us to the opener tomorrow!

  4. BrownStar25

    What is it with people older than 18 that feel the need to be recognized on their B-day. B-day’s are like halloween in that at some point in your life you must grow up.

    1. We're The Monkees

      My thoughts exactly.

    2. Rei

      you sound like a very fun person

  5. ho hum

    I look for 8 man rotation with a different one in the back two spots due to competition purposes. That keeps practices tough with playing time in the picture. Could possibly see even a steady 4-5 with any of the remaining players subbed in and out at various times. Competition is a wonderful thing.

  6. Ridge Runner

    “Washing my face like 5 times in the shower and realizing…what am I doing?” –Cal

    Ha!…classic -mainly because even though I’m not thinking of plays to run for the Cats as Cal, I am thinking of what my “honey do” list is and can relate to that example!

    1. Mark

      ridge, yea I thought that was funny too when he mentioned it in the presser.

  7. Hondo

    Poythress and WCS need Cal chewing on them to get them
    to produce. He does the best chewing at halftime.
    i fear we are in for weak first halves from these two, all season.

  8. do da

    well, maybe jarrod needs to tell cal pull his lip over his head and swallow.

  9. Hondo

    Ridge Runner is back!!
    I thought you were banned like Sexnnursing homes and so many other greats.

    1. BlueRedNeck

      SNH has been banned? Say it ain’t so!

    2. Linda Taylor

      Are you sure he was banned? He talked about having cancer. He might be very very ill or no longer with us. I have wondered if he was ok or not. If you’re still out there Sex’nnursinghomes (or however you spell your screen name), I hope you are doing well.

    3. BlueRedNeck

      Did not know that, Linda. Hope he is all right – his posts were usually entertaining – in a NSF kind of way. 🙂

      BTW – I’ll be in Memorial Coliseum to watch our Lady Cats VB team seek revenge against Mizzou on Nov 24. Hope Marcus and some of the boys are in attendance!

    4. Linda Taylor

      BlueRedNeck – That’s great to hear. I know you and your daughters will enjoy yourselves. I think you will have an excellent chance of seeing our guys at some point. We went to the women’s basketball exhibition game on Sun. and the men apparently were having a practice while the game was going on. James Young’s mother was there to watch her son practice (she goes to practice every day) and she had to have someone open the door for her to get into the men’s gym. Late in the 2nd half of the ladies’ game some of the guys came out onto the MC sidelines in their sweaty practice jerseys, obviously a little tired and they were immediately given chairs to sit in to finish watching the ladies play.

  10. jengland

    Speaking of defense and playing as a team in general…same as it ever was. We go through this every November and early December. Last year’s team was the only team that never figured it out.

    1. BlueRedNeck

      We had our bumps in the road even during the first part of the 2012 season. Not worried about it at this point. Hoping to see them put together a complete game pretty soon, but I sure wish we had a little more time to get some games under our belts before playing MSU!

  11. BlueRedNeck

    Hate seeing all these nagging little injuries this year, but I guess it is better to have them at this point in the season rather than later. Hopefully this little rash of injuries will run its course and we can get on with the season.