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TRANSCRIPT: John Calipari breaks down victory over Auburn

Opening statement…

“This is so hard for these kids, and let me tell you again what I’m proud of. We’re playing a veteran team that have been through wars and have been through games like this, they made shots, were down seventeen and never stopped, but neither did we. Keldon [Johnson] makes a play, Tyler [Herro] makes a couple plays, we make free throws. Again the issue here is they’re pressing about individual play, you can’t for a team and be in that mode, you have to just go with what the team is asking you to do, and if you can’t do what the team needs, you won’t play much. In a game like this it’s fight. The game was physical with a lot of hand to hand combat, that’s how the game is played here. I’m proud of him though (Johnson), and this is coming off a game where he scored no points.”

On the biggest difference in the game…

“The defense that we played in the first half gave us a chance. Auburn started in zone to start the second half and we were waiting on it. We were just waiting on that to start the game. But when you have a team that makes threes like Auburn does they’re never out of the game. My thing was make them drive. We gave them too many threes down the stretch where we had our hand down, and bang. We’re lucky to get out of here alive, we’re lucky he missed that little shot.”

On if he thought game would be close at the end once they got a 16 point lead early in the 2nd half…

“I don’t think that way. I’m playing play to play, looking at the score and trying to get these guys to realize that we walked out of two timeouts and they did what they chose to do and didn’t listen. It led to breakouts, bumps, and dribble handoffs. We said no dribble handoffs and they got dribble handoffs. They do that because they are freshman and their whole lives they choose what to do. I thought Reid (Travis) was really good today, he gave us something around the basket and got us easy baskets when we needed it. We made six threes, only took fifteen, but we made six.”

On recent growth of Tyler Herro’s game…

“Yeah, I am seeing it. He wanted the ball, wanted it to come to him. I like the fact that Keldon [Johnson] was telling me he wanted it too.”

On production coming from several guys, in large numbers…

“Two nights ago I woke up and I said, ‘For us to win Keldon and Tyler are going to have to score baskets. We came up with some stuff to run specifically to Keldon, packages that we’ve been working on. The other thing we did is ask ourselves who we would go to if we need a shot late. Who we would run to, and what are we running. So, this is a work in progress, this is a new team that has never played together so it’s a disadvantage that we have, but sometimes they don’t know what they don’t know. They don’t know that they aren’t supposed to come in here and win, be up seventeen, they’re just playing. The problem is that once the game gets going they revert, and start playing like it’s a high school game. For example, that Tyler foul on Bryce Brown, fouling him, and I asked why he’d do that when we’re ready to bury them? So that’s the kind of stuff where we just have to tighten the ship up. But look, when you win on the road in this league, this league is ridiculous. Some of you remember me saying let’s get to the point where we get 8, 9, 10 teams in, and everyone laughed at me. Now you look and say oh my god we may get ten teams in. You know Alabama had Tennessee on the ropes, and Alabama beat us.

On team’s record at home vs. on the road…

“These guys don’t know the difference between and home and on the road. The way we played today, it was one of our better games and it was on the road. The game at Georgia one of our better games. We may be playing better on the road than we are at home. This is the part of our schedule that is ridiculous, even though none of it is easy. We have every good team in the league twice, so we’ll enjoy this and then figure out what we’re doing next.”

On Tyler Herro’s defense on Bryce Brown…

“It wasn’t bad, he did pretty good. He’s trying, works his butt off and tries. Immanuel [Quickley] was good, I even thought Jemarl Baker went in and played good defense on Brown.”

On explanation for PJ Washington’s late game flagrant…

“I don’t know.”

On late game adjustment discussion with assistant coach Kenny Payne…

“Kenny was telling me that we should run some back doors. Which we were prepared to do, the problem was Auburn’s center was standing underneath the basket so even if we went back door they’d be there. On lob plays they were face guarding the down screens so you just come up and go lob, but you have to clean out the basket first and that’s what I was telling him.”

On not calling timeout when Auburn cut the lead to three late…

“Maybe I’m not a very good coach. No look, you guys that have known me over the years know that I like the players to play through stuff so they can learn to play by themselves. If you notice I took two timeouts before free throws to set up the defense, I normally don’t do that. That’s how worried I was about them shooting threes, and pick and rolls, and how we were going to play. You got to understand we were saying the same things in every huddle and if I would have had three more timeouts I would have called them and said the same exact things. Offensively, If they made that last basket, we probably wouldn’t have called timeout. We were already set up for what we call celebration, where they celebrate and we go right down your neck. We did the same thing at Alabama and Seton Hall and had our chances. That’s just the way I’ll do it normally.”

On strategy of not calling timeouts…

“I learned that from Larry Brown. Why call timeout and let the other coach work with their team? You work with your team and already know what you’re going to do, so what are you going to do besides tell them again. The issue becomes when you have young teams like this, that haven’t been together 3-4 years there are times I’ll do it because I see panic and need to calm them down.”­­

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Article written by Jack Pilgrim

Follow me on Twitter: @JackPilgrimKSR

2 Comments for TRANSCRIPT: John Calipari breaks down victory over Auburn



  1. Robinson73
    11:07 pm January 19, 2019 Permalink

    Finished the game with a big win today on the road. Our team looked locked in from start to finish. Great Job. #9 #BBN



  2. Irish son
    1:14 pm January 20, 2019 Permalink

    Still think it’s dumb not to use a timeout with a young team