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Notes and Video from Coach Cal’s Pre-Auburn Press Conference

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John Calipari took time out of his busy day to speak to the Lexington media about the current state of his basketball program and its upcoming game at Auburn.

I assume you weren’t there, so here are some notes from what you missed…


Derek Willis is struggling defensively.

Coach Cal said Willis lacks confidence defensively and it shows in his inability to do the fundamental things. Willis isn’t lunging, he’s lost on pick-and-rolls and his hands stay down, among other things.

Cal said, “His habits are so bad — like, what’s another word that’s below ‘so bad’? We’re working everyday for him to create better habits but they are what they are right now.”

“It’s like we’re teaching a different language to him.”

Cal did note that Willis has contributed on the offensive end.

No player hit the Powerball, but Marcus Lee and Alex Poythress “still have a ticket.”

After checking in with his players to see if any of them won last night’s Powerball, Calipari told Lee and Poythress they still have a ticket, meaning they can still become millionaires.

“You still have a ticket, you” he said to them. “You got a ticket. You gotta scratch it. You got the ticket.”

“We got time, we got a month, month and a half maybe. It’s not like we’re in the last week of the season.”

Jamal Murray is still learning.

“He’s learning how to play winning basketball,” said Cal. “He’s learning. You see it every game, he’s getting better. You’ll also see signs of the old Jamal. Still in there, we’re just trying to keep it in there.”

His plan to keep Marcus Lee out of foul trouble is simple.

“Not foul.”

Can you be more specific?

“Not foul.”

He supports the new NBA draft entry rules.

It’s no surprise Calipari is fully behind the new rule allowing guys to return to college after testing the NBA draft waters. He believes kids deserve to get the right and the real information from the league before deciding whether or not more time at the college level is necessary.

Now he expects everyone to enter their name into the NBA draft, to see where they stand before finalizing a decision. In years past that decision had to be made before the combine and meeting with NBA teams.

A former player turned down his help going into the NBA draft.

Without mentioning a name, Cal told the story of a former player turning down his help while weighing the decision to go pro or return to school.

He said he asked the player’s parent, “Do you want my help?”

“No, we got this,” the parent told him.

“Okay, tell me how I can help you,” he offered, knowing the kid was likely leaving.

The parent, a mother, told him, “No, we got this.”

I will bet you any amount of money in the entire world that player’s name rhymes with Schmakari Johnson.

And that’s all for now. I’ll take that in cash or check.


Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

17 Comments for Notes and Video from Coach Cal’s Pre-Auburn Press Conference

  1. Sentient Third Eye
    3:53 pm January 14, 2016 Permalink

    I love the way Willis shoots the three fearlessly, but his “D” really was terrible against Mississippi State. It was Richie Farmer bad at times.

  2. inside info2
    3:59 pm January 14, 2016 Permalink

    I bet that player’s name rhymes with Daniel Orton

  3. Long Dong Silver
    5:09 pm January 14, 2016 Permalink

    Ok, why is that last one awaiting moderation? Are you drunk again, Drew?

    • UK Big Board Update
      5:55 pm January 14, 2016 Permalink

      Because your posts are annoying them.

    • Long Dong Silver
      9:34 pm January 14, 2016 Permalink

      And I’m sure yours aren’t. Assert an original stance, or gonaway. You sniping jackass. You really are an inbred son of a bitch. And Drew sucks.

    • UK Big Board Update
      11:18 am January 15, 2016 Permalink

      Awwww. Don’t cry, pu$$y.

  4. 2thepoint
    5:44 pm January 14, 2016 Permalink

    It is probably Teague, but the untamable Archie Goodwin was my first thought. James Young was my #2 thought.

  5. jahanc2uky
    5:54 pm January 14, 2016 Permalink

    Your both wrong Daniel Orton.

    • UK Big Board Update
      5:55 pm January 14, 2016 Permalink

      In English, please. Thanks.

    • Willis Wolf Tattoo
      12:50 pm January 15, 2016 Permalink

      Orton’s mother passed away before he made it to UK, read closer.

  6. msnthrop
    6:03 pm January 14, 2016 Permalink

    Willis is a junior so Cal has had him as his student for two and half years now…he has played in practice against at least a dozen NBA level players…and even now after all that teaching and experience he can’t keep his hands up on defense?

    • UK Big Board Update
      7:48 pm January 14, 2016 Permalink

      You can tell it frustrates Cal…..

  7. Hale
    12:01 am January 15, 2016 Permalink

    Love cal but doesn’t doesn’t it say something about his staff if a 3rd year player who was a too 100 recruit has defensive “habits” that are still bad after 2 full seasons in the program. Ability and talent can limit what players are capable of doing but aren’t quality coaches supposed to be able to correct “bad habits” ?

    • Wildcat Sheli
      8:16 am January 15, 2016 Permalink

      Yes, and not sure trying to find a word below “so bad” would help any kid’s confidence.