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Five soundbites and an Alan Cutler .gif from Cal’s press conference

John Calipari met with his favorite media members this afternoon to preview tomorrow night’s game against Mississippi State. Here are the five things you need to know:

1. Camp Cal helped the team come together off the court

Cal said that having his players out of class and fully dedicated to basketball for two weeks made them closer off the court, but he won’t know for sure if it will translate to on-the-court chemistry until tomorrow night.

“Every team I’ve coached has come together. Now, don’t know what that means on the basketball court, but I know they know each other better, they have a better feeling for each other. It starts there, in my mind.”

Cal added that he hopes that cohesion will result in a better effort defensively and improved pace throughout the game.

2. Rust could be an issue

Cal pointed out that the Cats have played two games in 19 days, and now they’re facing three games in seven days, two on the road in tough venues. “For us, again, let’s see what steps we’ve taken. Not playing, we may be rusty,” he warned.

3. Cal wants more points and rebounds from Alex

A common theme from Camp Cal has been the impressive play of Alex Poythress. Cal said Alex has been killing it in practice, but it’s time to bring that to games.

“I just want to see that there’s carry over, there’s certain guys that are playing so well right now, go do it in a game,” Cal said. “Alex, I want a couple more baskets and a couple more rebounds from him. And he is absolutely like ‘Whoa’. I’ve never seen him like this. Ever. I mean, now go do it in games.”

Everyone’s happier Alex is playing well, including Alex. He even smiled yesterday:

“Alex smiled yesterday, did something, dunked on somebody. Just grabbed the ball and just. He was smiling. And I stopped and said ‘Can you imagine? Alex is smiling.’ And I said, “did he smile at all last year?’ Coach O said ‘yeah, when he was leaving the gym.'”

4. The new motto is “Run blind”

Fail fast, brother’s keeper, yada yada. It seems like Cal has a new motto for his team each week. The new flavor? Run blind. And no, it doesn’t mean run with your eyes closed:

“It’s like a football player who’s a wide receiver that’s not receiving the ball but runs his pattern like he is receiving. I’m trying to get these guys to run the wing blind. Don’t jog like ‘I don’t think I’m getting this one.’ And the big guy, run blind! Fly. And maybe you get the ball and maybe you don’t.”

5. Even the 2014 signees are impressed with Dominique Hawkins

Has there been a more surprising player than Dominique Hawkins? The Madison Central star has become an integral part of the team because of his hard-nosed work ethic, and relentless effort. Cal said that Dominique has been so impressive that the 2014 signees (Karl Towns, Tyler Ulis, Devin Booker, and Trey Lyles) have texted him to tell him how much they love his play.

“I have some of the recruits that we’ve signed hit me on the text after a game and say ‘I love Dominique’s game.’ So you have everybody watching. It’s a good lesson that when you come with energy and when you come to compete, you stand out.”

Now, if only Alan Cutler would get out of the way: getoutofthewayalan

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

12 Comments for Five soundbites and an Alan Cutler .gif from Cal’s press conference

  1. jezz
    2:53 pm January 7, 2014 Permalink

    Every single day you guys use gifs from other people without ever crediting the source but the one time you actually make your own of course there is a shitstamp on it to ruin the thing because, you know, some other people might use it otherwise. Pathetic.

    • BlueRedNeck
      3:10 pm January 7, 2014 Permalink

      What’s to keep others from using it just because of the stamp? Maybe the others should put their own stamp on their GIF’s if they are worried about getting credit from others who might use it.

    • Dacci
      3:26 pm January 7, 2014 Permalink

      For the love of God please find a new website. We don’t need or want you here. Why go to a site where all you do is complain?

    • Wi Tu Hi
      10:00 pm January 7, 2014 Permalink

      Who are you, the GIF police?

  2. BlueRedNeck
    3:09 pm January 7, 2014 Permalink

    Just once during one of Cal’s press conferences, all of the people present, including Cal, should wear a set of the Groucho Marx style false eyeglasses and mustaches in Cutler’s honor. That would be priceless!

  3. James K
    3:38 pm January 7, 2014 Permalink

    White balancing.

  4. Ukcatzfan
    4:57 pm January 7, 2014 Permalink

    Who does the schedule? maybe HE should take the blame
    Quit making excuses

    • big bus
      12:38 am January 8, 2014 Permalink

      I really wish annoying bitchalot UK fans like you would get hit by giant bus tomorrow. We’d be better without you.

  5. Issel's two front teeth
    6:19 pm January 7, 2014 Permalink

    If Cal would let Poythress stay in the game to get into a rhythm, he might be more productive?
    The fact that the team won without Randle playing the second half, hopefully sends a message to Randle to be more of a team player.

  6. Issel's two front teeth
    6:26 pm January 7, 2014 Permalink

    Why not challenge the team in practice to shoot free throws, make a game out of it with a reward\penalty for their results? That puts them in a pressure type situation!

  7. UKfanNowinNC
    6:47 pm January 7, 2014 Permalink

    I love Cal as a recruiter. I like Cal as a Coach. Since his hire he has done nothing but great things. But two things have stood out to me since his hire.
    Feel free to call me a couch coach and roast me for it. Im used to it I live in enemy territory in NC.
    1. Cal’s attack on a zone defense is absolutly atrocious. Im not in their practices but it is completly clear that the boys are lost
    2. Great teams make the hard stuff look easy and the easy stuff automatic. Free throws and turnovers are the easiest part of the game. Knock em down and communicate. For a team that does such a good job with the midrange pullup jumper. I for the life of me cannot understand why they cannot hit a freethrow.

    I think our team is moving in the right direction. Looking forward to conference play. If it plays out like we want and we bring home #9 Randle may need to average 4 assists a game.

    My 2cents. Feel free to explode with anger and hate messages.

    • zone defenses
      1:39 am January 8, 2014 Permalink

      I see nothing wrong with “couch coaching” every now and then. Its why we are fan. I believe it makes significantly more sense to ‘couch coach’, at least to me, when you state that Cal has done many great things in his time here. All the UK fans that still find reasons to bitch endlessly are ridiculous. If a person isn’t happy with things under Cal (3 Elite 8s and a title in 4 yrs), those people are NEVER GOING TO BE HAPPY. JC himself could coach the Cats (you know, the “other” JC), and those people would still complain about it.

      But you seem to be a reasonable sort…so I’ll give you my 2cents in response to your 2cents.

      1) It does look like our attack on a zone often leaves much to be desired. Of course, I want it to be better…especially knowing that nearly every team will probably use a 2-3 or 1-3-1 zone against us for the rest of this season. Teams know they can’t match up physically with our size and talent.

      That said, I think UK’s offensive approach against the zone is on-par with nearly every other team in Division 1. That might seem like a cop-out…like I’m letting Cal off-the-hook. However, I’m a lifelong Syracuse fan (grew up near there) and a UK alum. I watch every game, of both teams, every year. As you probably know…Syracuse has gone almost 100% Zone for the past 10+ years. I can’t even count the number of games where the opposition looks absolutely befuddled as to how to penetrate it or find open looks inside the 3-point arc. (I literally can’t count it because it numbers somewhere between 200-300 teams.) The opposing coaches know its coming…and they look as if they have never seen it. Guys stand around. Guys settle for 26 footers, etc etc. [And I’m not just talking about the “long” Syracuse teams that are talented and play it well (like last year), but even when the ‘Cuse guards are both a hair over (or under) 6-foot and not terribly athletic….opposing teams still don’t know what to do. I think its epidemic. (Heck…even since the NBA started allowing zone defenses a few yrs ago, I’ve seen a number of teams go 5 to 8 minutes without a point when a team throws an unexpected zone at them.)

      It is the same reason I’ve wanted Cal to use zone with the length he has this year. If he could “coach up” the zone this year, with three 6’5″ guards (AH2, AH5, JY) and the tremendous length and athleticism on the backline (ML, JR, WCS, AP, DJ), I don’t think UK would win by LESS THAN TEN the rest of the way. (Cal actually called Boeheim a few weeks ago to talk about the zone.)

      To go back to the Syracuse thing, there are many a great coaches that have had good teams fall victim to not knowing what to do against the zone. If I was Cal, I’d pull out tape of the teams that pick apart Cuse’s zone. Temple made SU’s defense look very bad in MSG last year. I think they scored 85. Pitino’s UofL teams usually kill the SU zone every year. I really think you find a couple teams that find the right spots in the zone and show that tape to the guys. Hopefully Cal’s already doing this stuff. [[[As an aside…if you ever want to watch IU/Crean suffer…watch last year’s IU vs ‘Cuse Sweet 16 game. Not sure if you saw it….but IU looked terribly unprepared! Even the game announcers were making fun of Crean by the end. He looked clueless. And then he had 8 months to correct it before they played again 6 weeks ago…and IU looked WORSE while losing by 20.]

      In the end though, you GOT to make jump shots to defeat a zone (1-3-1 or 2-3). This is where I fault Cal on the zone stuff. I kind of fault his substitutions and lack of playing time disbursement. If JY is 0-4 and AH2 is 0-3 and AH5/AP/JR are combined 0-3 on 3s….why not try Willis? Give Willis 2 or 3 stabs to make a baseline jumper and force the bottom of the 1-3-1 out. We lost to WVU in ’10 because we couldn’t hit wide-open 3 pointers all night long…as they packed into their 1-3-1 and rendered Cousins and Patterson completely useless.

      If every team is going to use a 1-3-1 against us….then these guys got to get better at hitting the corner 3. Its the toughest shot in basketball (unless you are Kyle Korver or Donyell Marshall), and it can’t be mastered overnight….but its where the open 3s are going to come from.

      2) Free Throws. Don’t really have anything for you. Its all mental. There were people on these comment boards upset that Cal said “I’m not worried about free throws”. If they really believe he “isn’t worried”, then they are big idiots and I have some swampland I want to sell them. No doubt Cal is worried. But free throws are mental…and if he says on a radio show that he is worried…the team percentage won’t go up, it’ll go down b/c guys will “grip it” that much tighter. He needs the players to be practicing them, but do so in a way that doesn’t show he is white-knuckling the subject.

      Turnovers- I think this is a case of guys trying to do much. The best thing about getting 6 of the top 10 players, is that talent will eventually win out in most games. The bad thing, they spend the first month or 2 thinking they need to be absolute studs to get to the NBA (not true). They try to do too much. But I think AH5 is settling in now and I think the turnovers are going to level off. (Even over the last 3 games, he has just 9 turnovers in over 90 minutes of court time. I feel that one turnover every 10 mins from a freshman point guard isn’t terrible.) Of course, if he can get that down to 1 every 15-17 mins, that would be other-worldly!

      My 4cents.