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John Calipari spoke for twenty minutes on today’s Final Four coaches teleconference, and for once, he actually doled out some new material. Here are a few of Cal’s most important quotes…

On Aaron and Andrew Harrison turning it up in the month of March…

“The biggest thing is you cannot be afraid to miss the game-winning shot. It’s not that you want to make it, it’s that you’re not afraid to miss it. You’re not afraid to make a play and it go wrong. You have to have amnesia, you’ve gotta be willing to risk and those two have it. They both have it.”

Cal compared the Harrison’s heroics to Brandon Knight in 2011 and John Wall in 2010. “They’ve gotta be put in those positions and be told it’s okay to miss.”

On Karl Towns’ tendency to foul

“Most cases you’re fouling when you’re out of position. Instead of playing the guy before he catches it, you’re trying to play him after he catches it or after he cuts. Karl has a tendency, as all freshmen do, to stop playing during the game and get screened,” Cal said. “That’s freshmen. Hopefully, the excitement, the focus, is going to be to where we’re playing people before they catch the ball.”

On watching game tape

Last week, the national media picked up on the fact that the Cats don’t watch a lot of game tape. John Robic prepares an 8-minute reel for everyone to see, but other than that, they won’t be staying up late pouring over the Badgers’ old games. In fact, Cal says he told the team not to watch Wisconsin throughout the tournament.

“Now, they may have watched Wisconsin play, they may have watched an NCAA Tournament game. I don’t know. I tell them don’t watch the games, but they don’t listen to me ever, so I imagine they’ve seen them. Our team played them a year ago, so they have an idea how good they were and are now.”

In fact, Cal says he’s not watching any tape either. “I’m starting to get overloaded with it to be honest with you, and then I stop. I don’t need to watch ten game tapes. We all start losing our minds. ‘I gotta prepare! I gotta work harder than the other guy!’ Stop it, just stop it.”

On how Frank Kaminsky has improved from last year

“He looks stronger, he’s working angles better, he’s a really confident perimeter shooter, he’s passing–because he gets doubled teamed so much–he’s passing better.”

This lead to a lengthy diatribe on how Cal likes to see players improve over time. “I imagine Bo has had a ball watching him go from three minutes a game to last season to where he is now,” Cal said. “That’s how we coaches are. It’s not just a guy–even for me. Having a player come in with all this reputation, whether it’s an Anthony Davis or a John or a Demarcus. It’s where are they at the end of the year. What kind of improvement have they made? What have we taught them?”

On Trey Lyles

“Two things happened: he didn’t play in the summer because he had an injury and then he got sick in teh middle of the season, was out three weeks. But his progress as a player has been phenomenal. I’ve said all along he’s been the x-factor for us. At the next level, he’s going to be a four, and he’s going to be a four that spreads the court. We’re training him as a three, which means he’s guarding guards at 6’10”, that he’s being guarded by smaller players, which means he’s being thrown in the post some.”

“He is a finisher, he likes to think he’s a playmaker, which drives me absolutely crazy because his playmaking is turnover making, but when you talk about finishing around the basket, when you talk one-dribble pull ups on the run, you talk about being able to avoid and finish near the rim, making free throws, making pressure free throws, he’s our x-factor, he’s the one guy that can separate our team.”

I love Trey, but I have to agree with Cal on this one. He tried too hard to be a playmaker on Saturday and it just about killed us.

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.