John Calipari met with the media this afternoon to preview his team’s first two games of the season. Here’s what we learned from his comments…
“If we’re giving up layups and open shots, we will not press.”
Calipari’s biggest concern entering the season is his team’s defense. He wants to press, but they may not be ready to do it to his liking at this time. He’s also concerned about getting back on defense, especially when the point guard penetrates. He’s worried opponents will get too many easy buckets in transition.
Alex Poythress is coming around.
“He’s been great the last few days. He’s becoming the elite athlete — like, if he doesn’t try to dunk the ball, I stop practice.”
Calipari isn’t sure if Poythress will start tomorrow night, but he doesn’t plan to hold him back in the days leading up to Duke.
“He and Marcus Lee and Skal are going to play as many minutes as they can possibly play. Isaac may steal some minutes there, maybe Derek will steal some minutes at the position too, and maybe at the three.”
Isaiah Briscoe is day-to-day.
As I mentioned in the injury report just south of this post, Briscoe banged knees with Dominique Hawkins and he is listed as day-to-day. Cal isn’t sure if Briscoe will go tomorrow and Saturday.
Hawkins is back from his broken hand; while Ulis is walking around in a boot, though not believed to be a concern.
Jamal Murray never thinks he takes a bad shot.
Because it doesn’t register when Calipari tells him, Jamal Murray has to tell Cal every time he takes a bad shot, even if it goes in.
“He’s not told me yet,” said Cal, when asked how often Murray takes credit for a bad shot.
Cal shared a story (with a reenactment) of Murray hitting a wild shot while falling down in practice recently. Col told him, “Son, that’s not a good shot… You’d make that one out of 10 times. The rest of us wouldn’t make it one out of 10.”
Murray said to him, “You haven’t seen me play enough.”
“We’re gonna figure out. There’s gonna be a lot of answers that we’ll have answered.”
… Cal’s description of the next five days for Kentucky basketball.
Let’s go 3-0.