De’Aaron Fox and Malik Monk are receiving all the glory for last night’s win over UCLA, but before John Calipari began taking questions at today’s press conference, he had to praise his center.
“Normally I wouldn’t do this, but I want to make sure that I don’t forget,” Calipari said. “I’m getting old; I do forget stuff now and then.
“The impact that Bam had on that game yesterday, some of you who write about basketball don’t really watch it, may not have understood. UCLA came in with one thought: We’re going to make this really hard on Bam. So he sacrificed. He had five assists. He created shots for both Dom and opened up the lane for De’Aaron Fox. He still tried to fight and rebound. Never says a word. So the impact on the game that he had, unless you really understood what was going on, they made that decision, and he rode with it.”
But Cal wasn’t going to let Bam get by without a little criticism too.
“Now, he did walk a couple times. He should have scored a couple more baskets. But the reality of it is he played well.”
Adebayo didn’t score until he dunked one in the final five minutes and he pulled in just four rebounds, but his five assists led the team. Calipari also used the time to shine a light on Isaiah Briscoe’s contributions. The sophomore guard had 5 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists, but that’s not what mattered to Calipari.
“When we talk on that court, when we’re talking, we are really good. When we don’t talk, we are really bad,” Cal said. “He gets the other guys to talk.”
More to come from Memphis.