Notes and Quotes: John Calipari and Anthony Davis



Notes and quotes from Tuesday’s pre-Radford media session:

  • A lot of talk about Anthony Davis today. Head coach John Calipari reiterated that he has to get stronger, play lower (“It’s not hard to bend those knees,” Calipari said) and be more aggressive if he’s going to hold his own in the post at all. After a few questions about it, Calipari said, “He’s doing great. I don’t know why you keep asking me. He’s the No. 1 pick in the draft, today, going away and you’re asking me about him. I’m not answering any more. He’s got to be stronger, he’s got to play lower, he’s getting opportunities and he’s not making him, and he’s missing free throws. But he’s still fine.”
  • Davis, meanwhile, spent some time talking about his penchant for blocking shots (he has 18 in four games). “I always tried, but I was always too short. When I grew, it became a natural ability. I love it. It’s all about timing. That’s all it is. … You can’t really work on blocking people’s shots. But since I always tried to do it when I was young, that’s why it came naturally.”
  • Davis is still developing low-post moves. While he is, though, he’s being told to focus more on what he can do and less on what he can’t do. “Coach Cal has been telling me to face up, and we’ll work on back-to-the-basket moves as the season goes along. He said if I get the ball in the post, go over my left shoulder or face up.”
  • Davis recognized the college basketball game was more physical than high school as soon as he got to college. “Our first practice,” Davis said of when it hit him. “We used to play 5-on-5. I was guarding Terrence (Jones). He went straight to the post every time. That’s when I went, oh yeah. It’s going to be a long season.”
  • With 18 turnovers in four games, Marquis Teague is not where Calipari wants him. “I have to do a better job with Marquis, getting him to have a better feel,” Calipari said. “Obviously, he’s not understanding because he’s not playing the way I want him to play, so that comes back to me. Because he is listening.”
  • Along that line, Calipari said the entire team is turning it over too much. “Most of them are of the variety, ‘what’s the hardest thing I can do here,’ versus, just throw it to him.”
  • Calipari said Darius Miller’s 13-point performance against Old Dominion may cause a reshuffling of the starting lineup. “He may be starting, the way he played last game,” Calipari said. That was coupled with some “guys playing that passive game,” Calipari said, including Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. “Michael, the first three minutes of the game just wasn’t there. Didn’t play well.”
  • Whoever it is coming off the bench — and “they all better be OK with coming off the bench,” Calipari said — here’s what he’s looking for: “That person has to be able to come in and lift the game. His energy lifts the game.”
  • Calipari isn’t afraid of yelling at his players in practices. It’s all in the name of teaching. “He just has a different way of showing it,” Davis said. “Most coaches talk to their players, all calm. Cal wants to get his point across. He has a good way of doing it.” Davis said the team jokes around about the different voices Calipari adopts on the practice floor when they’re off the court. “We mimic him, because it’s funny. But when we’re around him, we don’t joke at all.”

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