As part of his “reboot,” John Calipari is demanding that his players play with confidence. In fact, he’s given assistant Kenny Payne the task of pulling players the minute they slip into hesitant, lackluster play.
“I like what Kenny [Payne] is doing, Kenny’s watching and if a player’s not playing with confidence either on defense or offense, he’s out. Kenny’s taking them out. So, you either play with confidence or you’re coming out. ‘What does that mean?‘ You play with confidence. You can miss a shot. You can miss a shot — confidently miss a shot, confidently play defense, but if you’re out there and you don’t breathe, you don’t breathe for four minutes at a time, you shouldn’t be out there. Be confident. Get yourself in practice, work on it, walk in that game knowing I want to play and I’m going to play confident.”
Calipari paid Derek Willis a compliment when he said he set up the play for Derek’s big three in the closing minutes of the Alabama win because he knew Derek could make it.
“I put Derek Willis in that play to give him that shot because I know he’s capable of making it. There are other guys I would not put them in that play because they’re capable, but I’m not sure they’re very confident they can make that play.”
Any guesses as to who those other guys are?