1. Camp Cal will be a time for reflection
“Camp Cal” starts Wednesday after finals, and assistant Joel Justus said it’s a good chance for the players to reflect on their performance so far this season and readjust their goals heading forward.
“Whenever classes end and you can focus solely on basketball, going a couple times a day, getting a chance to work on your skills, allow the coaches to really focus at that time of year after playing 10-11 games, to really just settle and say, ‘okay, this is what I look like when I’m at my best,’ if you embrace that and you’re excited about it, it’s a fun, fun time of year. And then after that, the game maybe seems to slow down for our freshmen.”
2. Briscoe thinks Camp Cal is fun
“This time coming up is very important because we only really have to worry about one thing and that’s basketball,” Briscoe said. “If that’s what you want to do for the rest of your life, this Camp Cal — or whatever y’all call it — should be fun. Last year it was fun for me. No school, just all basketball and getting better. That’s the things I live for and I’m sure the freshmen, great group of guys and I know that they love basketball, so I’m sure they’re looking forward too.”
Spoken like a leader and not someone who’s exhausted after their second of three practices in one day, but I love the enthusiasm.
3. This group has a “tremendous thirst” to improve
Justus said there isn’t an established “breakfast club” as in years past, but that’s because this team is already in the gym 24/7.
“This group loves to be in the gym, they love to be around each other. They drag each other, whether it be to the weight room, whether it be to watch some film, whether it be to get extra shots. This group is working hard and it’s contagious. They love to be in the gym and they have a tremendous thirst for it.”
4. Briscoe continues to advocate for Mychal Mulder
“Mike’s my guy, we’re cool,” Briscoe said. “That’s my roommate when we’re on the road. Mike, he just needs somebody to encourage him because Coach is on him pretty tough because he’s a senior. He’s expecting a lot out of him. I think Mike likes the message when it’s coming from me rather than Coach. Whenever Coach is getting on him I’ll pull Mike to the side and let him know, ‘Yo, just do this and this and you’ll be fine. He won’t say nothing to you,’ and things like that. Mike’s been playing well, he’s been getting after it, and he’s been working on playing defense. Like I said, I’m the leader of this team. I’m trying to keep everybody on board and trying to get Mike better.”
5. Briscoe admits the team went into the UCLA with a big head
When asked what the team learned from the loss to UCLA, Briscoe had a simple answer:
“That we can be beaten. I think that some of us thought we were so good that we can just come out and play and they’ll see that it’s Kentucky and think we can just get the win based off that. UCLA is a good team. I’ll give them credit. But also we didn’t have our best game, and we didn’t play to our full potential. We let that one slip away from us, but like I said, that one’s over with. We’re judged on what we do from here on out.”
6. Fox is not used to the snow
The Katy, Texas native said he’s used to “100-degree weather, not seven,” so seeing the snow outside of his window last night was a bit of a shock.
“It’s different. It’s different. I looked outside at one in the morning because it looked like it started snowing. So I looked outside and the whole car was white. I think is was supposed to be blue. It’s different. I’m not used to this.”
7. Calipari’s trying to get Fox out of “chill mode”
“Sometimes I’m just out there in what I call ‘chill mode,’” Fox said. “I’ll be on the court sometimes some people say I’m playing good, but I just know there is more in me that I haven’t shown. It’s really just the energy part. Sometimes I’m not focused. Other than that, sometimes I’m just chilling on the court.”
Obviously, Calipari is not a fan.
“Oh, he hates it. He calls it causal. I call it chill. He’s just trying to get me out of that. Creating habits.”