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Preseason Conversation: Brad Calipari raising expectations in third year

Brad Calipari wants to be more than the victory cigar. He’ll never be a go-to guy or even a regular contributor at Kentucky, but he wants to play meaningful minutes and be more than the “Shooooooot!” guy at the end of the game.

Last year he saw real time that mattered: first in the first half of Kentucky’s home game against Texas A&M, and then again on the road at South Carolina. Both were very close SEC games, and he got thrown into the action before halftime.

“Being able to get first half minutes last year was nice,” he said in his preseason interview with KSR last month. “I wanted to work up from just getting in at the end of games, the less meaningful minutes. Being able to get in there and hold my own and show people I can get in there and keep the flow looking normal is always nice.”

“Then going into the games this year in the Bahamas and being able to show I can be out there too, it’s reassuring,” he added.

Calipari played in all four games in the Bahamas, highlighted by a three-pointer in the first game against the Bahamas national team.

Now going into his third year, his old man wants more.

“He expects a lot out of me, especially, he told me how much better I got from last year,” he said. “That was important for me to hear and I believe that I got better. Just knowing how hard I work consistently, it gave me confidence going into this year, especially these first practices… He’s been on me more this year in these 10 practices than he has the past two years.”

Considering he’s one of the oldest players on the team and has been around the program as long as anyone, there is no better player to ask about the new team. He sees a competitive bunch, more so than in his first two seasons on the team, and their hard work is producing results.

“It’s a lot more competitive spirit in this group, I think,” he said. “It’s a lot of hard work outside of practice; before, after, whatever it may be. A lot of these guys are spending time in the gym late at night, trying to get themselves better, so I think it’s another thing that’s important for individuals and for us as a collective unit.”

Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

22 Comments for Preseason Conversation: Brad Calipari raising expectations in third year

  1. davis2319
    2:11 pm October 12, 2018 Permalink

    I have never in my life witnessed someone who looks as out of place on a basketball court than Brad Calapari. I actually feel sorry for him. You can work as hard as you want but if you don’t have talent, you just don’t have talent lol. So if he plays this year it will either be a really good sign or a really bad sign.

    • DelrayCat
      2:48 pm October 12, 2018 Permalink

      Such a dick thing to say. Brad works as hard as anyone. And if he were at Georgetown or Centre, he would be a star player. Sure, he’s smallish for D-1 but he has shows you know nothing about basketball to say he has no talent.

    • davis2319
      4:54 pm October 12, 2018 Permalink

      Lol you must not watch games or must not know anything about basketball. Dick thing to say or not it’s the truth

    • davis2319
      4:55 pm October 12, 2018 Permalink

      He would not be a star at any school you clown

    • cats646
      3:11 pm October 12, 2018 Permalink

      He’s not very good Delray. But if he “earns” minutes, I’m all good with him playing.

    • UKLugo
      3:26 pm October 12, 2018 Permalink

      I second all of that.
      He was TERRIBLE in the Bahamas and he pouted the entire time he was on the floor.

    • JASUN74
      3:27 pm October 12, 2018 Permalink

      I like brad a lot and appreciate that he works his butt off , but he would be no star anywhere. He could sure help us in a game or two this year with a couple big threes though.

    • Luether
      3:50 pm October 12, 2018 Permalink

      It’s always tough being the coach’s son if you get any playing time.

      I’m good with Brad jacking up a 3 at the end of blow out games but not OK with him getting any meaningful minutes simply because there’s too much talent ahead of him.


    • runningunnin.454
      4:29 pm October 12, 2018 Permalink

      I don’t think Brad is worried about minutes in the games…I’m sure he wants to coach someday, and he’s preparing for his future.

    • J. Did
      4:55 pm October 12, 2018 Permalink

      @runningunnin.454: I agree 100%. Playing time is icing on the cake. if you are going to coach, you need some minutes. And, he can shoot. But you are correct. At the end of the day, he is learning a craft (coaching, educating, recruiting, the business side of collegiate athletics, etc.).

  2. damage_control
    2:15 pm October 12, 2018 Permalink

    I’d settle for him making just one three in garbage time this year. I hear he’s “the best shooter on the team!” Shouldn’t be too much to ask.

    • UKLugo
      3:35 pm October 12, 2018 Permalink

      I keep hearing this “best shooter on the team” business and all he does is throw up brick after brick. It’s gotten to the point where he doesnt even want to shoot it. He’s out of his league out there.

  3. Mathlete
    2:16 pm October 12, 2018 Permalink

    Brad, I say this as a fan of yourself, your team, and your family in general…

    Please shave. It’s a poor attempt at facial hair and not a good look at all. It’s really OK, not everyone can grow a good beard, but it’s important for people to recognize their weaknesses and adapt accordingly. In your case, your weakness is that you can’t grow a respectable beard. You’re going to be in front of tens of thousands of people tonight and millions on TV soon, and you’ll regret it more than your tattoo someday if you don’t go back to shaving.

    • ibescootch
      4:52 pm October 12, 2018 Permalink

      Hahaha! I couldn’t have said it better myself. There are some people you meet in life, and there’s something off, and you just want to say, “What are you thinking?” I like Brad as well, but it’s things like this and the shorts that make me scratch my head. When NBA players wear bizarre outfits, I can see that they’re doing it for attention, to stand out, or as a joke. But having a beard that starts below your chin, just objectively looks terrible. And I say that with love. I won’t start on the shorts. I could go on for several paragraphs about that.

    • J. Did
      5:22 pm October 12, 2018 Permalink

      If he grew his hair a bit more – and kept it dishevelled – and got rid of that ‘stache, he’d look like the last honest Republican President.

  4. Larkin123
    2:51 pm October 12, 2018 Permalink

    The shaving part I agree with. I could not stop looking at his neck where the beard spikes down. Then again I am getting older…. There were times last year we couldn’t hit anything offensively. There were times I would’ve sacrificed defense just to have a three go in the basket. I don’t think it’s going to be like that this year. It seems to me we have a boatload of guards who can shoot. However, the guy deserves credit for transforming his body and making an effort at this level.

  5. Irish son
    3:23 pm October 12, 2018 Permalink

    NO! NO! NO! This little ham legged midget should never get a minute of playing time unless it’s mop up duty only

  6. Rick_S
    4:35 pm October 12, 2018 Permalink

    Brad can shoot the 3..He needs to drop about 20lbs..Next year he may get some clock

  7. J. Did
    4:50 pm October 12, 2018 Permalink


  8. Blue Bill
    7:51 pm October 12, 2018 Permalink

    Could someone also tell him to stop going with the diaper look too please? Why he tucks his shorts up drives me crazy.

  9. michaelb
    9:43 pm October 12, 2018 Permalink

    I don’t know what y’all are talking bout. Ellen’s kid is a perennial all star on the hard wood.

  10. Tom Bombadil
    11:15 am October 13, 2018 Permalink

    When Brad is old and a coach someday and then the broadcasters look back on his player days picture at the University of Kentucky….these line beard Brad pics is what they are gonna pull up!!! Lmao!!