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Calipari press conference notes

Coach Calipari was available to the media today following this afternoon’s shoot around. The team was making its final preparations before traveling to LSU to play in the Pete Maravich Center tomorrow at 4:00. He gave much praise to the Tigers and said they are a good team, probably better than their record indicates. Here’s a few notes on what else he had to say.

— Coach Calipari started by praising LSU’s size and skill all-around. He mentioned Kentucky’s 2011 Mr. Basketball Anthony Hickey and Johnny O’Bryant specifically. He said LSU play a lot like Georgia, so much of yesterdays practice consisted of the team working on their own drills, and not as much of a walk-though for the Tigers.

— Calipari continued his praise for Anthony Hickey, and repeatedly said he is good enough to play at Kentucky; the only reason he wasn’t recruited was because of Marquis Teague. He said it wouldn’t have been fair to either Hickey or Teague for them both to be on the squad. Calipari said that Hickey is “going to want to go out and prove himself,” so don’t be surprised if he goes off for 30.

— Johnny O’Bryant makes this LSU team totally different, “he’s big, he’s skilled, it gives them one more big body,” Calipari said. He mentioned that the LSU will want to play physical and utilize two or three big bodies as much as possible.

— Because so many Kentucky players can shoot, Calipari said it’s taking away a lot of extra passing opportunities. “There’s no team in the country that has seven guys over a hundred shots.” Coach wants the team to start making the extra pass to get an even better look.

— Using Marquis Teague as an example, Calipari talked about how the team is developing to compete at the next level. He said players cannot always “do it their way” like they did in high school, and some of the guys are starting to figure that out. That is certainly an encouraging thing to hear just as we’re seeing the team step it up in SEC play. “Play to your strengths,” he says when talking to his players, “We’ll work on your weaknesses in this gym.”

— He went on to talk about the team turning the corner and really becoming dangerous. He said right now they’re too “nice” and they need to get a sense of urgency. He drew comparisons to Derrick Rose and how he had “that edge, that competitive spirit,” and said this team is still not there. He was almost at a loss for words and emphasized he wants the team to “just go.”

— When asked about LSU’s 2-4 record in conference and preparing the team to not overlook the Tigers, Calipari said “All I care about is my team. I don’t care if they play on Tuesday or Thursday, I could care less. I don’t care if they play at nine o’clock and noon. I don’t care.” Maybe a little jab at Vanderbilt Coach Kevin Stallings?

— He said without much hesitation, coaching at Kentucky “may best job in our profession,” and included all levels of basketball, from AAU to high school, to college and NBA. “This is a unique place.” That’s the Kentucky Effect in action.

Coach ended the press conference talking about a letter he was sent by a dog that was “signed” with a paw print on its picture, ranking it among the best letters he says he’s ever received. When asked what it said, Coach did his best dog impression, “’bark bark, bark bark bark,’ and I said ‘bark bark bark!’” It was one of the funniest things I’ve ever heard Cal say. Ms. Tyler, is that you sending Coach dog letters?


Click here to listen to the audio of Calipari barking like a dog.

Article written by Stuart Hammer

B.S. Broadcast Journalism from the University of Kentucky. @StuartHammerKSR

20 Comments for Calipari press conference notes

  1. fish on
    3:05 pm January 27, 2012 Permalink

    arf arf bro

  2. Viren
    3:12 pm January 27, 2012 Permalink

    That’s funny Cal taking a jab at Stallings, he needs to mind his own business.

  3. Eric
    3:16 pm January 27, 2012 Permalink

    oh no, I hope Teague does well and Hickey doesn’t b/c the backlash may not be so pleasant from the negative ones.

  4. Maxwell
    3:18 pm January 27, 2012 Permalink

    LSU is going to have a good game. They are at home, and it’s their superbowl. This is the biggest game of the year for them. With that being said, UK wins by 10 in a scrappy, close game.

  5. ChubbyBunny
    3:20 pm January 27, 2012 Permalink

    This just in from uk athletics:

    Drew…if you get any fatter you will have to register for two press passes; one seat for each but cheek

  6. catman
    3:36 pm January 27, 2012 Permalink

    #5 butt*
    #4 I agree. It will be a close game, but I think UK blows them out in the end. D Miller is going to throw some more daggers.

  7. GhostOfLoftonPast
    3:38 pm January 27, 2012 Permalink

    Rut Roh

  8. nassau65
    3:39 pm January 27, 2012 Permalink

    “throw a rock into a pack of dogs, jerry-the one you hit—yelp, yelp, yelp”
    “i wasn’t yelping”


  9. warrior
    3:39 pm January 27, 2012 Permalink

    I hate LSU with every fiber of my body.

  10. CalifCatFan
    3:56 pm January 27, 2012 Permalink

    BTI was the one sending the dog letters.

  11. cats11
    4:07 pm January 27, 2012 Permalink

    Anthony Hicks one paragraph, Hickey the other.

  12. Al B. Sure
    4:11 pm January 27, 2012 Permalink

    Cal gets it.

  13. Stuart Hammer
    4:23 pm January 27, 2012 Permalink

    11 – That’s because Cal kept calling him “Hicks,” and I don’t know why. I was listening to the audio and just wrote it as he said it. I must have forgot to edit that piece. It’s corrected now.

  14. ColoradoCat
    4:34 pm January 27, 2012 Permalink

  15. NotChrisThomas
    5:11 pm January 27, 2012 Permalink

    that was more “teacher from charlie brown” than dog, coach

  16. memphis wildcat
    5:37 pm January 27, 2012 Permalink

    Letter was from Jerry “the yelper” Tipton

  17. REAL BLY
    5:42 pm January 27, 2012 Permalink

    Where is LSU anyway??? Oh yeah….in a SWAMP!!!!

  18. dave
    5:54 pm January 27, 2012 Permalink

    stu, did u just call tyler a b****?

  19. 2020
    11:08 pm January 27, 2012 Permalink

    Wait a second — Wall and Bledsoe could play together, but Teague and Hickey are too talented to play on the same squad? Either Calipari has no idea that Teague has struggled for significant stretches or this Hickey guy must be the next Steve Nash. Otherwise that comment is ludicrous.

  20. UKBlue
    11:21 pm January 27, 2012 Permalink

    A big problem Teague had walking in day one was he had huge shoes to fill, and comparing him to Cal other point guards put him in a position to fail from day one. Another problem, Teague just isn’t as smart right now from a basketball skills & decision making standpoint as any of Cal past guards. Us UK fans got caught up in the fight between UK & UL for Teague, we automatically thought we would be great because his brother in the NBA, and we never thought maybe he’s going to be a project.

    All that being said; if we have any hopes of winning a championship, then Teague brain better turn into a sponge, and he better get it, and get it like last week. The same goes for Jones & Lamb. If all the major players had MKG attitude, drive, and determination, then they might as well just go ahead & just hand us the championship banner because there would be no stopping UK. The 1996 team was on a mission, they had only one win that mattered to them, every game in between & everything they had to do was for that one game, and nothing was going to stop them. That’s the attitude this team needs.