John Calipari met with his favorite media members before leaving for South Carolina, and, in true Cal fashion, had some entertaining things to say. Here’s a roundup, along with a replay of the whole presser.
Calipari likes Frank Martin, but “he ain’t gonna bully me”
Calipari had a lot of praise for Frank Martin on the job he’s done with his team, who he says has “taken on his personality.”
“It makes me smile. He’s a great guy. He’s a salt of the Earth kind of guy, but he’s also a terrific coach. They’ve taken on his personality. He ain’t going to bully me personally, but they take on his personality which is tough. They make faces like he does.”
What, faces like this?
UK may be struggling on the road, but so is everyone
College basketball is a clustereff this season. This morning, I read that #4 Iowa’s loss to Indiana was the 28th time an AP Top 5 team lost this season, compared to 21 Top 5 losses in the entire 2014-2015 season. When asked about UK’s struggles on the road, Calipari pointed out that everybody’s struggling on the road this season.
“I think you look around the country, everyone on the road is struggling. When you’re not a dominating team, it’s hard to win on the road. We’ve won games on the road where I was like, there’s no way we’re winning this game,” Cal said. “This is a great test for us.”
The team practiced for two-and-a-half hours yesterday
This team has been putting in some long, physical practices lately, and Calipari said they haven’t let up, going for two-and-a-half grueling hours yesterday.
“Like yesterday’s practice was two-and-a-half hours. I don’t go two-and-a-half hours in the middle of February. And it was all body to body. I mean, that’s what this team needs. If you remember 2013-2014, we were practicing almost three hours at the end of the year. We had no choice. I mean, that team just didn’t get it.”
Fortunately, Calipari said that, despite the grind, he’s feeling refreshed and ready to go.
“Look, I’m having fun with it. I’m enjoying it. I feel refreshed. I’m knowing now it’s the middle of February. You know what that means? The middle of February, it’s on. This is it. This is why we all coach and play. Or if you don’t, you’re in the wrong profession. This is it. Let’s get this right. Gonna be a really hard game for us to win down there, and we know that. This is about our progress, and we’re making progress. I told them, ‘I’m pleased, but I’m not satisfied.'”
Maybe he’s refreshed because he’s going to bed at 9 p.m. each night
When asked if the challenges with this year’s team make the job more fun, Cal said no, it makes him want to go to be really early. Like 9 p.m. early.
“No. It wakes you up early in the morning though. And it really gets you to go to bed early. Like, I’m trying to go to bed at nine, and my wife is going nuts. ‘You can’t go to bed at 9 o’clock.’ I said, ‘I’m going to fall asleep in this chair or that bed.’ So, it tires you out, but it also wakes you up.”
A 9 p.m. bedtime is the norm at our house, Coach. Don’t let Ellen judge you.