Before loading up the bus and heading to McCarran International, John Calipari spent five or so minutes talking about his team’s win over seventh-ranked North Carolina. You can see the entire video of the press conference below, but first, let’s do a brief recap of the key talking points.
He made two players hug Malik Monk after the game.
Calipari wouldn’t say who he called out in front of his team, but two players were singled out for their poor performances. He said, “I made two players in our locker room stand up and come up and hug him because he saved them. Their breakdowns, they’re like, what did you just do? And I made him hug them because he saved them.”
Cal also pointed out that he was the first to hug Monk after the game.
He admitted to calling for Monk to take it inside for the final shot.
Just as Monk said in his interview, Cal confessed to yelling for Monk to drive, not take the three-pointer. He said, “I said ‘drive that ball, drive it,’ and he shot a three and it went in. I said, ‘great shot, kid, way to shoot that ball.'”
It would’ve been the end of the world if Kentucky had lost the game.
“If we had lost that game, I’d be saying it’s December 17th,” he said. “And this is who we are on December 17th against a really good team. Good enough to beat them. Good enough to lose to them. That’s who we are.”
“Now my thing is: Where are we going to be one month from now? Now we’ve got another war in three or four days after we traveled half a country away to go back home and play Louisville on the road, which is going to be another war.”
He will never take his team to Hawaii.
In talking about Las Vegas as the CBS Sports Classic’s host site this year, Cal made a point to reiterate that Kentucky will never play in Hawaii as long as he is the Wildcats’ head coach.
“I’m not going to Hawaii,” he said. “So there you go. As long as I’m coaching at Kentucky, I am not. When I leave, the first thing that next coach can do is take a trip to Hawaii. I’m not. No disrespect to Hawaii. I like to vacation in Hawaii. I don’t want to take my team there, it’s too far. But this, what we did in the Bahamas, our fans come with us, and this becomes a great environment.”
See for yourself…