I’ve already shared a lot of news from John Calipari’s press conference today with you, but Cal spoke for almost 40 minutes, so there are plenty of leftovers to dole out. Let’s do it.
Stop worrying about scholarships
A lot of fans are worried that if Marques Bolden comes to Kentucky, there won’t be a scholarship for him. Cal was asked if the scholarship situation would work out if Lee returns, and even though he didn’t mention Bolden specifically (he can’t), he said it shouldn’t be an issue.
“I don’t think it will be an issue for us here,” Cal said simply.
Charles Matthews is better
Matthews recently had a minor procedure performed on his hip, which Calipari said was desperately needed, strong words from someone who’s had two hips replaced.
“He looked so bad. He came in my office and his walk and his gait made my hips hurt. Five days later, he came in to go home and he’s still tender. He’s probably about three weeks away, four weeks away, but he’s going to be fine.”
How good is Skal’s potential?
Calipari said Skal made it very clear that he wanted to stay in the Draft, and even though Skal was on a different timeframe than other players, he’s still got the skill set to make it in the league.
“What I would tell any team is that if he had stayed in school another year or two, then he would’ve been the No. 1 pick. He would’ve figured it out, blocked shots, run better, and been more physical. Now here’s what I’ll tell you, in 2016, whatever pick you get becomes your 2018 or 2019 No. 1 pick, should you take him? That’s why he’s going to go in the lottery because they’re saying, ‘If we waited a year or two and got him, then he would be the No. 1 pick.”
His only regret from last season?
“My only regret is that last game,” Cal said. “When I look at it, what else could I have done? Could we have gone small? And I’ve run that through my head. Could we have just played all five small guys?”
Despite the abrupt end, Cal said that he thinks the season “played out perfectly” in terms of what the team was able to do considering all of the injuries they suffered. And the draw they got from the Selection Committee.
“And again, should we have been playing those guys in a second-round game? No. No, but we did.”
His comments about coaching until age 75 were “more joking”
When asked, Cal admitted that his comments about coaching at Kentucky until he was 75 were mostly joking.
“But when you’re 57 to say that, it was more joking. I didn’t think I’d ever coach to age 60, but you know what? I’m at a place now–it took me 20 years to get to this place. It’s the Carnegie Hall of basketball. And what I mean by that is if you put players on this stage, they make it. This is that stage. And I get an opportunity to go beyond basketball. I want to win a championship every year I coach and if you know me you know that’s true.”
DeMarcus Cousins called him to ask him to be his coach
When asked if he hears from DeMarcus Cousins often, Cal said Cousins called him up recently to ask if he’d consider taking the vacancy in Sacramento:
“Yeah, it’s funny. He calls me and says, ‘You want to coach in this league.’ I said, ‘No.’”
He reference the Billy Gillsipie/Alan Cutler foot race
Calipari joked about how much he’s aged in his seven years at Kentucky, looking around the room and teasing that the only person who looks older than him is Alan Cutler.
“Do you guys feel bad how much I’ve aged? Does that bother anybody here? When you look at me, other than you, Alan (Cutler), you look older than I look,” Cal laughed. “Chase me down the hall, that was the other guy, the other guy.”
There’s a clause in my contract that says I must show this video whenever the chase is mentioned:
Impossible to top that.