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Notes and Quotes from Tony Barbee’s press conference

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Tony Barbee met with the media this afternoon to preview tomorrow’s game against Missouri. It’s the first time Barbee’s met with reporters before a game this season, so it was interesting to hear his perspective on the Cats’ improvement, along with some ten-cent vocabulary words. Here’s a breakdown…

The latest on Dominique’s ankle?

“He kind of tweaked his ankle again yesterday. I haven’t seen him today so we’ll see how he goes today. He said he was feeling better last night so we’ll see how he progresses today in practice.”

The high-ankle sprain has to be the trickiest of all basketball injuries, right?

One reason Barbee is concerned players might look ahead to Kansas?

Saturday’s game against Kansas is pretty big, but first things first: Kentucky must take care of business vs. Missouri. The Tigers only have one win in conference, but it’s over Auburn, a team that embarrassed Kentucky a few weeks back. Is Barbee worried that his players may look ahead to Kansas? He said with younger players, it’s inevitable.

“Yeah, you can, you can, but that’s why you rely on your veterans and your focus in practice. There’s been no talk of the next game around here, but it’s kind of inevitable for younger guys to possibly look ahead. But we’ve got to focus on Missouri,” Barbee said.

One reason Barbee’s not concerned that players will look ahead to Kansas?


“Obviously it’s a challenge with younger players. The consistency of not worrying who your opponent is but just preparing to play your best. We lean on our veteran players to bring it every night. I think Tyler is the guy who brings it every night and plays with a sense of urgency. We’ll just have to get our freshmen to catch up to speed.”

More praise for Tyler, because we can’t ever get enough…

Barbee was asked if he’s ever coached a player like Tyler Ulis. It won’t surprise you that he has not.

“No, especially given his size in the so-called disadvantage that it brings for any player. We always say it’s not how big you are; it’s how big you play. Tyler is one of those guys that looks in the mirror and he sees a guy that’s about 6-10 and 280 pounds. That’s what he thinks he is and that’s how he plays. He doesn’t see that as a disadvantage in any way, and that’s a good trait to have. We wish more players had that.”

I wish all players had that. Basically, I wish Tyler Ulis would be like Peter Pan and never grow up or lose his eligibility, but that’s selfish.

Derek Willis does not have that “laissez-faire” type attitude anymore

Barbee broke out the big words to explain Derek Willis’ attitude shift in recent weeks.

“The biggest change isn’t that Derek has gotten the opportunity; the biggest change is Derek has changed his mental approach to the game. That’s been the biggest change. And then Coach, and as a staff, we saw it in practice. Now all of the sudden Derek deserves an opportunity to play because of his mental approach. He would admit that he’s been a little laissez faire-type attitude and approach to practice. We’ve been on him about it and for some reason it clicked about a month ago. He must have just told himself, ‘I’ve got to change for this to work.’”

In case you just assumed Laissez Faire is the name of Derek’s show poodle, here’s Jerry Tipton to help out:

Thanks, Jerry.

Look for more Skal tomorrow night

Skal Labissiere only played four minutes vs. Vanderbilt, which Calipari chalked up to a bad matchup on his call-in show last night. Barbee said fans should expect to see more of Skal tomorrow night since the matchups are more in his favor.

“It’s possible. They don’t have the–in terms of style of offense, it wasn’t more so individual matchup, but in terms of the style of offense for matchup for Skal. So this should be a game where he can be more impactful.”

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.

13 Comments for Notes and Quotes from Tony Barbee’s press conference

  1. mrsaturdaypants
    4:26 pm January 26, 2016 Permalink

    No biggie, Mrs. T, but you left a “not” out on the header for Willis.

    Thanks for your write ups on SEC basketball venues, by the way. They make me realize I’ve been curious about those places for years.

  2. Shawn Kemp
    4:34 pm January 26, 2016 Permalink




    • WeareBBN
      6:11 pm January 26, 2016 Permalink

      Not news….happens everywhere….Duke, Mich St, UK, UNC, Zona and even the bad teams have done, and probably are still doing, the same thing.

    • UK Big Board Update
      8:53 pm January 26, 2016 Permalink

      ^ You sound exactly like Louisville fans (except their school does none of this, just everyone else)

  3. kyle heavy
    4:42 pm January 26, 2016 Permalink

    Laissez Faire means “hands-off” in French. I think I learned of this economic and political doctrine in like 8th grade history class.

    • UK Big Board Update
      4:51 pm January 26, 2016 Permalink


    • CATandMONKEY
      6:40 pm January 26, 2016 Permalink

      Adam Smith

  4. somerset bill
    6:02 pm January 26, 2016 Permalink

    off camera, tony barbee also noted:
    – when tyler ulis probes your defense, your defense walks funny for a week.
    – tyler ulis doesn’t set screens because cleaning up all the blood holds up the game.
    – now people ask john calipari if he will sign their basketball ‘tyler ulis.’
    – when tyler ulis misses a shot, its because he’s running a rebounding drill.
    – tyler ulis doesn’t need to dunk, he has people for that.
    – eskimos have 18 different words for ‘short’ and ‘tyler ulis’ ain’t none of them.
    – tyler ulis has boiling ice water in his veins.
    – other guys make plays harder than they should just to keep tyler ulis entertained.
    – the shot clock watches tyler ulis.
    – tyler ulis has the heart of a lion, the eyes of an eagle and the gonads of a bull elephant… for supper three nights a week.
    – the weak side is the side tyler ulis isn’t on.
    – tyler ulis knows what laissez faire means.

    • RealCatsFan
      8:24 pm January 26, 2016 Permalink

      That’s good stuff there, Bill.

  5. WeareBBN
    6:05 pm January 26, 2016 Permalink

    “Barbee said fans should expect to see more of Skal tomorrow night since the matchups are more in his favor.” What this really means is the players on Mizzou are bad enough we can play Skal. I still don’t get why we would not play Skal more in the Vandy game late, it was in control and he could use the experience. I know some say so he does not lose confidence but I would lose more confidence by my coach not playing me than me getting out there and learning.

  6. mobile2
    7:40 pm January 26, 2016 Permalink

    Since Missou doesn’t have bigger, smarter & stronger bigs we can expect Skal to get on the floor…what a joke. By Cal’s own admission Skal isn’t ready to play against anyone…well…in college. Cal knows he’s a bust and he bought a bill of goods from Skal’s handlers. Skal barely deserves s scholarship let alone an NBA contract.

    • Bertway
      8:24 pm January 26, 2016 Permalink

      Come on man. Any and every program in the country would’ve gladly accepted his commitment. No, he’s not as good as the recruiting rankings suggested, but he’s not garbage either and does have/show potential.

    • UK Big Board Update
      8:52 pm January 26, 2016 Permalink

      No shit. mobile2, you need to calm the fcuk down…..