The KSR Crew is front and center at John Calipari’s Media Day press conference. Follow along on the live stream in the post below and refresh this thread for updates.
— Calipari on Jarred Vanderbilt’s foot injury possibly not being as bad as first thought: “We don’t know and they’re going to re-evaulate here in another week or so and figure out where it goes. It would be an unbelievable blessing for him or us if he was able to come back and play.They wanted to look at it a little more before they make a decision.”
— Calipari is wearing khakis and an unbuttoned white dress shirt. CASUAL CAL!
Calipari on FBI investigation: "I don't want to come off as uneducated or dumb. No one knows where this thing is going."
— Jack Pilgrim (@JackPilgrimKSR) October 12, 2017
— Calipari acknowledges FBI investigation as a “black eye” for the sport. Says he doesn’t want to comment on anything before learning more about it.
— Alan Cutler asked Cal if he believes players should be paid. Cal’s answer:
“This is like him chasing me down the hallway at a sprint. Again, there is so much stuff — treating kids fairly — I have some ideas, I just don’t think it’s the time for me to talk about that stuff.”
— Calipari keeps preaching the need for fairness in NCAA reform.
“Being fair doesn’t mean you treat every kid the same. When I coach my basketball team, I try to keep it real and I try to keep it fair. That doesn’t mean I treat everyone the same. One play may have not done anything and others who have tripped up a couple times. Every player is treated fairly as though they’re a starter. There are a lot of players on a lot of levels and a lot of different capabilities.”
— Calipari says UK has not been contacted by the FBI or anyone regarding the college basketball bribery scandal.
— When Matt asked Calipari to comment on Rick Pitino being fired and what that would do to the UK/UofL rivalry, Calipari threw his hands up in frustration. “It’s unfortunate, all the stuff that’s gone done, but let’s talk about my team, please.”
— AWKWARD JERRY TIPTON ALERT! After several questions about the ongoing FBI investigations in college basketball, Louisville, etc., Calipari requested the questioning go back to his team. Jerry Tipton didn’t like that.
“This is a Media Day, not a coach day. I have a right to ask a question. You are free not to answer.”
–Calipari says Quade Green and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander are in a battle for the No. 1 point guard spot. Says UK may go with two-PG lineup to get both players enough playing time.
— When asked about veteran leadership, Calipari confirmed thatÂ Tai Wynyard has been out since the Pro Day due to injury.
“Wenyen is way better. Part of the thing is you’ve got to perform. People are not going to follow if your’e not out there doing your job. Wenyen is better, Sacha is better, Tai is better, although he’s hurt now. Tai has been out since the combine. Those three have gotten way better.Â Leadership can come from anywhere, though. It doesn’t have to be returners.”
— Cal says this is his wife Ellen’s favorite group.
“This is the best group, she said. I said, well now all the other teams will be upset you said that. She said, I’m telling you, I just have a feeling about this group, how together they are.”
— When asked where this team ranks against his others in terms of athleticism, Calipari said somewhere behind 2010 and 2012:
“2010 was ridiculous. It wasn’t normal, so to compare them to that is not normal. I think the team in 2012 athletically was ridiculous, just not normal. So fast, long, and strong. Those two teams stand out in my mind.Â There’s a length to this team.”
Then he went on a rant about zone because it slows both teams down, and this team’s strength is speed and athleticism.
“We talked yesterday, I told them, why don’t I like to play zone? Because it doesn’t prepare us. If you left here today it would be the last time you’d play zone…What’s it going to make the other team do? Play slower. Now, they play slower, that means we get less possessions.Â If we play zone it’s against a team that plays real fast.”
— Kevin Knox had his “I got it” moment yesterday.
“Kevin Knox was unbelievable yesterday. He had a breakthrough yesterday. I took my foot off the panic button yesterday. My hand’s still on it, but my foot’s off it after yesterday’s practice.”
What led to the breakthrough?
“He was rebounding ball, playing tougher, driving lane, taking hits,” Cal said. “Yesterday, he just got it. ”
–Calipari says the best five defenders will likely be the lineup he uses most often. Says he values that over other skillsets.
Will this team be a shooting team? Calipari says that will not be their “forte,” but there are a lot of shot makers.
Calipari said this team will not be known as a shooting team, but admits not many of his Kentucky teams have been considered that.
— Jack Pilgrim (@JackPilgrimKSR) October 12, 2017
-Calipari says a lot of recruits and their parents come in looking for 25+ shots a game, he “wishes them well,” but admits they will not be getting that at Kentucky and sends them on their way.
“You’re here to set yourself right for the rest of your life,” he said. Cal says “don’t come here” if you’re looking to make the team about yourself.
— When asked what the most interesting pushback he’s ever gotten from a recruit or their family is, Calipari paused for a moment.
“There have been families that want their child to shoot 25 times a game and that’s the best way for them to become a pro and I wish them well because you’re not going to do that here. It’s not how we play.”
— Calipari said if Jarred Vanderbilt was healthy, this team could be completely interchangeable.
“If we had Jarred Vanderbilt playing, you could play without a point guard because he could be the point guard. So, we were really interchangeable and when you take him off, you’re not quite as interchangeable.”
–Calipari threw a subtle jab at some of the recruits that claim offers from Kentucky that they don’t actually have. Says he only offers six or seven, maybe eight scholarships a year. Doesn’t throw offers out unless they are 100% deserving. (Jaxson Hayes?)