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LIVE from UK Basketball Media Day

It’s that time of the year again, folks: when we gather around John Calipari and his players to hear what they have to say about the upcoming season. It’s UK Basketball Media Day 2012 and KSR is here to give you all the notes and quotes as it happens.

If you’re interested in following along, open up this post and refresh it occasionally, as I will be updating throughout the afternoon. Feel free to talk amongst yourselves in the comments section, too.

Go Cats.


1:11 — After a delicious lunch of chicken sandwiches and fresh salad in Memorial Coliesum, we are now in the media room of Memorial Coliseum, waiting to hear from the man. Stay tuned.

1:20 — Kentucky volleyball head coach Craig Skinner talking to the media. His team will look to break the national record for attendance at a volleyball game, 17,340,  when they host Mississippi State in Rupp Arena to kick off Big Blue Madness. It’ll be the first UK volleyball game to be played in Rupp.

1:21 — Just thinking to myself… The creator of volleyball shorts is a great American.

1:27 — There are A LOT of people in here, the most we’ve ever seen. It’s like the MTV Video Music Awards of media events. All of your favorites are in attendance and dressed in the new fall collections from Marshall’s and TJ Maxx. The argyle sweater seems to be a hot item. Maybe we’ll do a “Who wore it best?” after the show.

1:34 — Cal has arrived.

1:35 — He opens up by answering a question from Chris Cross, who will not make you jump. Cal said he’s trying not to have too much anxiety with this new bunch.

1:36 — Cal said he’ll always take talent over experience. He said this group is talented, but we won’t know how talented until they play their first game.

1:37 — He doesn’t know how much he’ll play Nerlens and Willie together. “It could be five minutes, it could be 15 minutes.” He said he has a lot of ideas but he’ll have to wait and see how they do.

1:38 — One the one-and-done… “It is what it is. I’m not going to cheat the kids by making them stay.” Cal said he’d like to keep a team for longer than a year, but this is what the system forces him to do.

1:39 — “Maryland and Duke to start, we could be 0-2.” He said the guys at Wheeler’s Pharmacy yesterday told him, “We’re with you Coach. Win or tie.”

1:41 — Cal admits to not knowing how to coach kids when he was 28 years old. Telling a story of talking to a former player (UMass, I believe) last night about how much he’s changed and he’s sorry he didn’t do better in the past. He says he’s now more knowledgable, experienced, and there’s nothing a kid will do or say that he hasn’t already seen.


1:43 — Cal: “Nerlens will practice, and if we played tomorrow, he would play.”

1:43 — Dewayne Peevy interrupts. UK’s policy is to not comment on eligibility.

Cal, laughing, says, “That’s my policy too.”

1:44 — Peevy shot that one down immediately. There will be no talk of Nerlens’ future today.

1:48 — On ESPN’s All-Access feature… “I’m not hiding anything.”   “I sleep good. I sleep like a baby.”

1:51 — He said he doesn’t want the ESPN All-Access feature to be about him. He said he counted “Calipari” in the official press released eight times and he made them take it out. “This is about the kids.”

1:52 — He hopes someone from the Hood/Beckham/Polson trio will get minutes. “We’ll see.”

1:53 — “I like my team. I really do.”

1:54 — Kyle Wiltjer told Calipari that he never thought he’d play on a closer team than least year, but this group is close. It’s a very tight group.

1:55 — He said kids recruit themselves these days. They’re all calling each other, trying to find a place to play together.

1:56 — “We’re going to be experimenting against Maryland and Duke. We could take two L’s and still be good.”

1:57 — “Archie Goodwin is looking more and more like he’s out of the mold of DeAndre Liggins and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.”

1:58 — Compares Ryan Harrow to more of a Brandon Knight. “He can score the ball, skilled, like Brandon was, and he’s becoming a good layup shooter.”

1:59 — “We need to play in November like it’s November. And when it’s March, we need to play like it’s March.” —

2:00 — “I don’t even think I’m in the basketball business anymore. I’m in the business of helping families.”

“This Kentucky Effect is there. It’s real.”

2:03 — Mitch McConnell story (again)… “You’re creating more millionaires than a Wall Street firm.”

2:04 — On the old question of, “How does it feel to be the best coach to never win a championship?” … “Ummm… Is that a compliment?”

2:05 — On people getting frustrated by the UK haters… “Well, what do you expect? We’re winning. They’re not going to throw a party us. They’re mad!”

2:06 — Making comparisons of current players to former players… “Kyle Wiltjer is a lot like Kyle Wiltjer, but stronger.”

2:07 — “Comparing this team to (the old team) in March is not fair. Comparing Nerlens Noel to Anthony Davis in March is not fair.”

2:08 — Coach Hall is trying to get him to play a 1-3-1. He mentioned playing Nerlens and Willie on the wings of the 1-3-1 zone. Good God.

2:09 — “Whatever we ask our guys, they’ll do. We just have to make sure we’re asking the right things.”

2:10 — On who will be this year’s vocal leader… “Maybe Archie.” … “We’ve got a quiet team.”

2:12 — When he plays Wiltjer, Nerlens and Willie together, he says he’d have to go zone with Kyle in the middle and the other two on the wings. WOW. Right now that is hard to practice because that leaves him with Brian Long and Jarrod Polson on the other team.

2:14 — On injuries… “Remember Anthony Davis last year at Baylor? I was like, ‘Come on, you’re good. Get up.’ But I was really like, ‘Plllleeeeeaaaassssseee get up. Please. I almost had a heart attack.”

2:15 — That’ll do it for now on the live blog. Time to go to the gym for player interviews. Thanks for following.

Article written by Drew Franklin

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

24 Comments for LIVE from UK Basketball Media Day

  1. MemphisCat
    1:27 pm October 11, 2012 Permalink

    I 2nd the motion that the inventor of Volleyball shorts is a Great American. As I get older I appreciate them more.

  2. OmahaCatFan
    1:30 pm October 11, 2012 Permalink

    I used to make fun of my dad for watching college volleyball. I’ve since realized he was somewhat of a genius!

  3. 502Cat
    1:35 pm October 11, 2012 Permalink

    I have to agree with the volley ball shorts!

  4. Jeremy
    1:42 pm October 11, 2012 Permalink

    Can we turn this into a liveblog?

    1:47 pm October 11, 2012 Permalink

    I’ve been out of the country for the last year… Can someone please explain the references to Brian Long and his appreciation (or lack there of) of being on the team? I’m confused here… I keep seeing references allude to this fact, but any explanation?

  6. BigBlueBallz
    1:57 pm October 11, 2012 Permalink

    #5, it’s an ongoing joke on the radio show. I never get to listen because I’m at work when it is on, but from what I understand it basically refers to the fact that this kid who, well, isn’t the best of talents, is along for a ride that many of us would kill for. He doesn’t seem to realize or appreciate the circumstances that have placed him here. Since this was made, they’ve taken off with it.

  7. Duuuuuude
    1:58 pm October 11, 2012 Permalink

    My daughter plays VB. Don’t make me come up there, where ever yall are…..

    1:59 pm October 11, 2012 Permalink

    6) gotchya – thanks… was there a specific instance of something he said publicly in relation to this?

  9. KSR1080Fan
    2:00 pm October 11, 2012 Permalink

    #5,6 also, during a postgame radio show, with not much of anything else
    to gripe about, a caller didn’t like Brian’s attitude during warmups
    and went on to say something to the effect, “I hope he appreciates…”

  10. J A Brooks
    2:16 pm October 11, 2012 Permalink

    Why wouldn’t you put Noel under the basket and WCS in the middle of the 1-3-1. Dude is 7 foot with a giant wing span. He’d get to almost every pass thrown toward the rim. Anything that got by him you’d have Noel waiting to swat it away.

    This also allows you best on ball defenders to be on the wings with Goodwin and Poythress and then Harrow at the top.

    Then its 6’10 in the back

    6’8 7’0 6’5 in the middle

    6,0 up front

  11. bigcuz15
    2:21 pm October 11, 2012 Permalink

    #5 Yeah, KSR1080Fan nailed it. During a postgame show, there was a string of extremely negative callers. If I am correct, I believe this came after a victory so it was really bizarre. One of the last callers was this guy who found the most random thing to complain about.

    He said something along the lines of, “You know, Matt, Brian Long’s attitude during warmups was unacceptable. I really hope that he appreciates what he has here at Kentucky and his role on the team. It really bothers me.”

    This set off Matt because just when he thought the calls couldn’t get any more bizarre and negative, he gets this guy. It was really hilarious, especially hearing it live.

    And now it is a part of KSR lore. Good times.

  12. SaulSmithatTheEndofThebar
    2:22 pm October 11, 2012 Permalink

    Anyone know where I can pick up that sweatshirt Coach Cal had on? Damn, it was nice.

  13. Blue Balls
    2:22 pm October 11, 2012 Permalink

    #5) Its actually a reference from a post game show last year. I can’t remember the game but it was after a blowout victory this old guy called in and was very upset with Brian Long’s body language and said he’s not sure if Brian appreciates where he is. It’s basically a joke making fun of how people will always find something negative no matter how good things are.

  14. St. Paul Raiders
    2:38 pm October 11, 2012 Permalink

    Far Cal!! Hire #10

  15. Hmm
    2:42 pm October 11, 2012 Permalink

    We don’t draft them because they play for Cal, we draft them because they’re great. And he recruits great players that we want

  16. bsquared
    2:48 pm October 11, 2012 Permalink

    #5) I hope you appreciate that explaination haha

  17. Will S
    3:09 pm October 11, 2012 Permalink

    1:56 — “We’re going to be experimenting against Maryland and Duke. We could take two L’s and still be good.”


  18. Biglaw Dawgin'
    3:11 pm October 11, 2012 Permalink

    1:21 – A great American indeed.

  19. UKalum
    3:37 pm October 11, 2012 Permalink

    I dated a girl that played volleyball at georgetown while I was at UK and yes volleyball shorts are great 😉

  20. mike
    3:37 pm October 11, 2012 Permalink

    think we could hire one of our former bigs as an assistant coach so he could practice with the team when we wanna see how kyle, willy, and nerlens play together? I wonder if perry stevenson needs a job.

  21. Carl
    4:01 pm October 11, 2012 Permalink

    It is becoming somewhat redundant but….yes, the designer of female volleyball shorts should receive some type of award.

  22. RealCatsFan
    4:34 pm October 11, 2012 Permalink

    #7, BOTH of my daughters play volleyball, and I coach them (they are 10 and 8). That being said, I have to go along with the other guys and say that volleyball shorts (we call them “bun huggers” in the VB circles) are a great thing. And the players even like them too!

    Also – don’t lose sight of the fact that these young ladies are serious athletes, who put a lot of time, sweat and effort into their sport – much like basketball players. They just happen to be a lot more aesthetically pleasing than most basketball players.

  23. snarkster
    4:36 pm October 11, 2012 Permalink

    A 1-3-1 with Harrow at the point, Wiltjer in the middle, Noel & WCS on the Wings and Archie running the baseline could be scary. If Poythress was in the lineup, I’d put him on a wing and move WCS to the middle. When JoeB picked his spots with the 1-3-1 it could be deadly.

  24. snarkster
    4:39 pm October 11, 2012 Permalink

    22 – I agree, UK’s Women’s Volleyball Squad are a group of serious athletes (which happens tocontain some serious hotties). Can’t complain about the shorts either.