John Calipari met briefly with the media today to discuss tomorrow night’s intrasquad scrimmage. Read a rundown of his comments below, brought to you by my friend Claire and her family with Anthony Davis.
Poythress back from knee bruise, just needs to play.
Alex Poythress will be back in action tomorrow night after sitting out the last three or four days with a knee bruise. Cal wasn’t sure if it was the same knee that kept him out last season, but he’ll go in the Blue-White game.
“He’s just gotta play his way through it and start playing.”
Cal wants Poythress to lead the nation in rebounding this season.
“Be a beast.”
No real rotation yet.
Cal will change teams throughout the scrimmage tomorrow night as he continues to toy around with rotations. He did say fans will get a look at the three guards (Ulis, Briscoe and Murray) on one squad, but there is no real rotation just yet.
When I attended practice last week, the three guards played together with Marcus Lee and Skal Labissiere the entire afternoon.
He wants to see Skal fight more.
Skal has done well in his first few weeks of practice, but Cal wants to see him do more. He wants to see more fight, more rebounds and more blocked shots.
“React on offense and defense quicker,” said Cal. “A lot of stuff that he’s done has not been based on that, so this is all new. But he’s good.”
“If you’re going to be any good, you’re going to have to have one or two gamers.”
He defines gamers as players who want to make the play when the game is on the line, guys who are not afraid to miss the game-winning shot.
“I think we have a couple of those on this team.”
Brandon Knights, we call them.
This team benefitted from earlier practice start.
Cal is grateful for the early October start, as opposed to beginning practice in mid-October. With the most inexperienced team in the country, he said he couldn’t imagine putting his team out there on national TV with only two weeks of practice. He’s thrown some things away after four or five days and the extended practice time has allowed a little more patience in figuring things out.
They will press this season.
And some players have already been told they will not play when the team is pressing.
“The train’s moving…”
“… you can be on the train or you’re running from behind and you better run real fast and grab, because this train is moving.”
That’s his message to his team this season.
“Everything around here is moving.”