— Isaac Humphries is helping himself, and the other Bigs. The play from Isaac Humphries was a pleasant surprise on Saturday, contributing solid minutes in the absence of Alex Poythress. “He didn’t know if he would have an opportunity, and when he got his chance he grabbed it by the throat,” Calipari said.
The best part for Cal: Isaac’s play forces Skal to either step up, or sit down.
“You know the great thing about Isaac playing that way, who’s he putting pressure on? Skal. ‘You better start my man.’ It now is, ‘(If) You don’t get it done Skal, I’m playing Isaac.’ He’s proved it. He got six rebounds and made a basket. I’m trying to win, I don’t play favorites.”
With that being said, Calipari described Skal’s performance over the last two days, “as good as I’ve ever seen him.” With Poythress’ status considered day-to-day, all of the post players must seize the moment.
— Cal used the Super Bowl as a teaching moment. Because of course he did.
The old “defense wins championships thing” rang true last night, with Denver’s DLine suffocating Cam Newton. Cal’s best teams have been great defensively. He believes this team is capable of playing great team defense, with an emphasis on “team.” After all, it worked for the Broncos.
“They counted on their line and their linebackers to really put pressure on the quarterback so he could not see the open guy. That’s team. You do your job, I’m gonna do my job,” Calipari said.
If he can get all five on the same page, the improvements will speak for themselves.
— Cal is pumped to watch his former Cats during All-Star Weekend. He is proud of the numerous accolades his players received, even though he doesn’t understand how some were left out of the Rising Stars Challenge. He was quick to brag on his three post players in the Skills Challenge, listing the competitors by name: ” Karl Towns, DeMarcus Cousins, Anthony Davis and someone else who’s not going to win. I don’t even know who the fourth guy is, nor do I care.”
— Tyler Ulis is the Team’s Most Valuable Player. I think it’s pretty obvious too.
“If you’re comparing anybody to Tyler Ulis, you’re not giving anybody any justice here, because this guy is so unique,” Cal said. “He plays with that energy that entire time he’s out there, and a will to win, and a fight to win and an emotion to win that is just not normal.”
The energy he plays with is becoming more infectious. He sees Briscoe and Murray giving more fight, yet they’re still learning how to play without taking possessions off.
— How Jamal Murray can build off a career-game. Like every Wildcat fan, Calipari wants to see him play better defense, bringing energy to both ends of the floor. Offensively, he knows that hitting eight threes isn’t going to happen every time he hits the floor. To make up for that, he wants to see Murray be more aggressive by attacking the basket and drawing fouls. “He should be a guy that get’s to the line 8 to 10 times a game.”