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The Five Best Things John Calipari Said in Boise, Presented by Bojangles

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I regret to inform you that donuts were the hottest topic at John Calipari’s pre-NCAA Tournament press conference.  Members of the local media were interested to hear Coach Cal’s insights on the city. He directed most of his praise toward DK’s Donuts.

Before sharing his favorite selection, he told the audience multiple times, “I am not a donut eater…but I ate some of those donuts.”  He liked them so much, he bragged about them on Twitter.

Even though he’s not a “donut eater,” Calipari sampled three different donuts: a maple chocolate bowtie, an apple fritter and a bacon long john.  Even though Coach Cal split them with others, “There was so much sugar that I won’t sleep tonight.”

2. How Davidson Beats Kentucky

To put it simply, make threes.  Davidson will shoot them early and often.  If Kentucky does not defend the spot up shot, Cal’s Cats are in trouble.

They’re going to take 30 3-point shots. If they make 20, it has been a heck of a season for us,” Calipari said. “We’ve got to make them difficult. But they run some good stuff and they move that ball. And their assists to baskets made. So in other words, it’s not one-on-one basketball; they’re creating shots for each other. This is one of the most efficient execution teams I’ve seen in years.”

Davidson isn’t just a good three-point shooting team (39 percent). They’re a team that executes against a proven competition.

“They are a really efficient team. They’re an execution team. We’re an inexperienced team. We’re not an execution team,” he added.  “They won their tournament. They beat St. Bonaventure and Rhody back-to-back nights. They’re not a 12 seed. This will be a hard game for us. We know it and our kids know it.”

3. Kentucky Needed a “Crap Hole”

No, they didn’t need to find an outhouse to use in Idaho.  John Calipari just used colorful language to describe how his team’s midseason struggle was actually a good thing.

“They’re young men. They need this experience. For them to grow they needed to fail.” Cal asked them: “How many of you — and I called it a crap hole — you go down that crap hole and you’re fighting to get out? In other words, you can’t make a shot, you can’t make a play, you stink. And every one of them raised their hand, at one point in the season they were down in that hole. And they had to figure out how to come back out of it without being enabled.”

Each individual learned how to get through personal adversity the hard way.  During the four-game losing streak, they collectively learned how to use each other to obtain success.

“They also needed to fail as a team because we weren’t coming together. We weren’t playing it for each other. We had more turnovers than assists, because everybody was trying to make plays for themselves.” He added, “These kids needed it. It’s a great group of kids and their parents who have entrusted me with their sons, good people, and we’ve been able to survive it.”

4. Shai is a Model Worker

Gilgeous-Alexander has grown exponentially since he arrived in Lexington.  There’s no secret to his success.  Calipari said he put in all the work, and then some, to become the player he is today.

“We had a young man this year on our team, Shai Alexander, who was in the gym at 7 a.m. shooting, who would come up in the office and want to watch tape of his turnovers. Who never missed a class. Never missed a tutor. Was always on time. Worked harder than anybody in every practice. Ready? Who works the hardest in the weight room? Shai, and it’s changed who he is and his opportunities.

This will not be the last time you hear Coach Cal brag about SGA’s work ethic.

5. Is a Potato a Fruit or a Vegetable?

You could ask Cal about donuts or crapholes, but potatoes are off limits.  “You can’t ask me those kind of questions. People get mad. Vice presidents get killed. They spell the thing wrong. Don’t ask me. I’m here to play basketball.”


Article written by Nick Roush

"Look upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole." @RoushKSR