Cal’s Quick Take on the Mizzou Game
“They out-fought us. There’s no excuse for it. It’s kind of disappointing the way we started.” But Calipari knows it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish. “The last part of the game we played well. We didn’t turn it over, we made free throws. We made stops. We got tough rebounds.”
What disappointed Calipari the most was the team’s transition and pick-and-roll defense.
A Call for Consistency
“We have to have a team full of guys that you know what you’re getting when you stick them in the game.”
Calipari is realistic. People have bad days, it happens. Calipari just wants the parameters of their play to shrink. They should only be 5-8 percent better or worse than what they do each game. Right now, the guys aren’t just playing a little worse, they are forgetting how to tie their shoes.
“You can’t go for 25 and then not catch a ball.”
Another Request for Consistency
Cal needs to see more consistency from referees too. He’s not blaming refs for a close game, “Our issues aren’t officiating,” but it does get frustrating. “I would just tell you this, whatever is happening out there, the only thing I want is consistency.”
Quarters or Halves?
The NCAA could soon join every other basketball league in the world and move from halves to quarters. One caller asked for Calipari’s preference, but he really didn’t have one.
“I’ll be honest. I haven’t spent anytime thinking about it,” he admitted. “If it makes our game better, that’s fine.”
A Solution to Humphries’ Struggles
Of all the fantastic suggestions from fans to coaches, this might be the most brilliant. One caller (I believe her name was Sue) believes that Isaac should ride a bike and jump on a trampoline for ten minutes before and after practice, “to get the brain thinking about jumping.” The caller is worried the connections between Isaac’s brain and his jumping muscles isn’t fast enough to rebound.
Calipari (kind of) agreed with the caller, echoing the need for Isaac to consistently play with bend in his knees, so he can be prepared to spring into action.
The Team Watched Tape from the Ole Miss Game
Calipari went back to their first SEC road game, a 23-point blowout, to show them a dozen or so clips of their defense. The tape showed them playing aggressively to win 50/50 balls, something that’s been in short supply recently.
The Great Experiment
Cal discussed the process of experimenting to find the right combination for each team by comparing this one to the 2011 and 2014 teams.
“Every year we go through this. 2014 we lost three of our last four. In 2011, we couldn’t win a road game. We were figuring out how to play,” he said. “When you’re us, the whole season is experiment to figure out how we’re at our best in March.”
The best way to figure it out: by playing close games. “We’re not near where we need to be, but we got tough games coming up.”