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Five Notes and Quotes From Coach Cal’s Press Conference


John Calipari pushed assistant Joel Justus aside to take his rightful seat at the pregame press conference throne in the bowels of the Joe Craft Center today. Among the topics Calipari discussed in his unscheduled appearance: Malik Monk, Isaac Humphries, the Alabama-Clemson rematch, The Jetsons, and more.

Here are five things to know:

1. Malik Monk should be getting double-doubles.

With almost 23 points per game this season, Monk is the highest-scoring freshman and falls in the top 10 of all scorers nationwide. Scoring is obviously not an issue, but his rebounding sure is, Coach Cal said today.

“He’s got to take it up a notch rebounding the ball. He’s got to go after balls. He’s got to check out. In my opinion, he should be a double-double as a guard. Like, what? Yeah, he should be a double-double and it should be rebounds and points. He could be that guy, but he’s got to focus on that.”

Cal also said he wishes Monk would draw more fouls because he is the team’s best shooter at the strip at 86.4 percent on the season.

2. Isaac Humphries was “really good” in Thursday’s practices.

The birthday boy shined in yesterday’s practices, according to Cal’s comments.

“Isaac looked really good yesterday,” he said. “Like, really good.”

Humphries said the scrimmaging during Camp Cal has really helped his play because he and Bam Adebayo are going at one another.

3. Outside of Humphries, everyone else had a slow Thursday.

“Yesterday they weren’t as focused,” he said. “We worked out in the morning, had a great workout and then they came back in the evening and we started slow and got going and then they kind of lost focus a little bit. So instead of just getting mad I just had them condition. So we just did conditioning for 15-20 minutes, because like I told them, I said, ‘You guys, I’m enjoying coaching you and I don’t want to get mad so we’re just going to condition instead.”

He told them they could come back on their own time at night to play pickup and “shoot hook shots and do what you want to do.”

4. Briscoe has changed his shot to avoid getting blocked.

Cal said, “He’s changing, because we’re doing it in practice. He’s shooting it higher now, because he’s got a big ole thing out in front of him and it’s blocking him if he doesn’t shoot it higher. See, last year, he made those. He didn’t get shots blocked.”

The whole team worked on that yesterday:

5. Monday’s college football championship will be a good game.

In talking about the incredible job Nick Saban has done at Alabama, Calipari noted it helps that Saban keeps his star recruits for more than a year.

“The advantage they have over us is they have returning guys — some leave and then they’ve got a mass group returning that can really teach the new guys. You have redshirting and different things that make the kids older, and you get more of a chance to teach them.”

But he warned everyone to not sleep on Clemson in the title game.

“People are acting like Alabama is just winning. I’m sorry. That other team is showing up and they have an expectation that they’re going to win.”


Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

5 Comments for Five Notes and Quotes From Coach Cal’s Press Conference

  1. RealCatsFan
    3:11 pm January 6, 2017 Permalink

    Worlds apart in talent and intensity, but I can identify with what Cal deals with when it comes to having players lose focus during practice. I coach HS girls volleyball, and we do the same thing when they lose focus and start goofing off – go straight to conditioning. Works every time!

  2. Angelo
    3:24 am January 7, 2017 Permalink

    Live by the Monk, die by the Monk…
    this concerns me. I know Cal knows what he is doing, but has he ever had to depend so much on one player?

  3. 4everblue
    5:20 am January 7, 2017 Permalink

    Hate the auto play feature on your site. Just as I begin reading the first article, I am pulled half way down the page. Do you think your readers are not smart enough to play if for themselves?