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Calipari Talks about Miami (OH) and Players Speak

caliappir

From today’s press conference:

UK Head Coach John Calipari

On Miami University …
“I’ve watched a lot of tape of Miami from a year ago and their game against Towson (this year). They probably have the best point guard we’ve played to this point. He is a tough, strong, and hardnosed kid. They put him in tons of pick-and-rolls and their four-man is a step-out shooting four-man. In other words, they aren’t going to have two men inside. One of them is like a guard stepping out shooting threes, and he may be their best three-point shooter. Their inside guy sets whopping ball screens and he rolls into people. Again, they are a good team. It’s another good team where the team can beat us. It’s not a game where you show up and you win anyway. Charlie Coles is one of the great coaches. Charlie has been doing it defensively and 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. They fight in the post, they double-team and trap in the post, they trap the big men in the post, and 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, at half court, side, and middle. I just watched the tape for 40 ball screens, and I’m not sure we’re ready for that.

“They are different than Morehead State. They have a couple of guys that may have been better at the point guard spot. [Morehead’s] point guard was good, but this kid will go in the MAC and average 18 [points]. 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.”

On preparing for the game against Miami University …
“I get butterflies every game I coach. I need to make sure we are thorough in our preparation the day before in practice and in game day shoot around. The guys that perform out there normally, I’m going to say 98 percent of the time, perform in the game. The guys who think those days aren’t important play bad then blame everybody. A guy that misses four free throws in the walk through will miss his free throws in the game.”

On how Miami University will guard John Wall…
“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. 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.”

On playing Eric Bledsoe and John Wall together…
“If you have your two guys, who are your best two players, you figure out how to play them together. That is what we’ll try to do. The greatest thing is they’ll have to figure out more than I do. They were out there yesterday talking to one another saying, you take it here and I’ll take it there, throw it ahead to me, I’ll throw it ahead to you. They are like two brothers and they really like each other. Eric had seven turnovers, but the point guard can’t have seven turnovers, and we all know that. Hopefully, with John out there, he won’t turn it over so much.”

On Darius Miller…
“A lot of his thing is, 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. He played eight minutes a game which means he didn’t get in 10 games. He’s not a guy who played a whole lot. 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.”

#1 Darius Miller, So., G

On what Coach Cal has told the team …
“He just told us that we have a lot of work to do. We looked slopped at times. We didn’t do everything exactly the way we were supposed to.”

On where the team is right now …
“We’re not where we need to be yet. We need to work on everything, defensively, offensively, rebounding and stuff like that.”

On Eric Bledsoe and John Wall playing together …
“They’re both great players and can do a lot of good things for us. I think a lot of teams are going to have trouble with those two.”

#5 Ramon Harris, Sr., G/F

On whether it’s a difficult transition moving to college ball …
“You’re used to being the guy, but you’re also playing guys with big names as well so you just go out there and try and do the best that you can.”

Will it be different team than what we’ve seen on the court so far??
“I think so because now we have two guys that can push the ball and they’re going to be very fast with it. Now other teams are going to have to do something with both of them in there at the same time. We’re going to be running because they’re going to get the ball up. That’s one thing about John and Eric, they’re not selfish with the ball at all. The big men know if they run the floor they’re going to get ball so that’s just going to make everybody else run.”

On Coach Cal’s defensive talk …
“I’m just going to go out there and try to continue what I’ve been doing, just try and play defense and rebound and make it easy on offense.”

#11, John Wall, Fr., G

On getting support from teammates…
“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. On this team, everybody, one through 13, can make plays. I don’t mind giving up the ball, because I have a teammate who can finish.”

On the offense of Darius Miller and DeMarcus Cousins against Morehead St…
“The other night, everybody was trying to get involved. But, Darius [Miller] wasn’t making the shots he usually makes, so I think his confidence was down. It was hard to get DeMarcus [Cousins] the ball because he had so many fouls. He couldn’t get into the flow. [Darius] does everything in practice. He makes shots, he doesn’t hesitate and he goes to the basket. I think in the game he was nervous and he wasn’t making the plays he makes in practice. It’s all about him getting his confidence back, and that’s what we’re trying to work on because we need him to make shots and plays for us.”

On earning a starting position with Eric Bledsoe and Patrick Patterson…
“It feels good and it means we worked hard. It makes the other players work hard too, because they want the starting position too. Just because you start, it doesn’t mean your spot can’t get taken away.”

Article written by Matt Jones