Notes and quotes pre-Transylvania exhibition

Notes and quotes from John Calipari’s press conference before UK’s Wednesday exhibition against Transylvania.

  • Calipari said he’d rather have a scrimmage than an exhibition because he can work on more specific situations. But, he understands why the exhibitions have to happen because of fan interest and revenue. Calipari said the game brings UK $700,000.
  • Calipari said his team still faces the same issues it faced before last week’s Blue-White scrimmage. He specifically cited pick-and-roll defense, post defense and rebounding as areas he’s working to improve. “Against each other, rebound attempts were just awful,” Calipari said. “Guys didn’t even try to rebound defensively.”
  • Freshman forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist has a reputation for defense, but Calipari said not to overlook his slashing abilities. “I’ve already made a policy, if he’s ahead of you on the break and you don’t pass the ball, just come out,” Calipari said. “Just walk over the bench. Even without the horn blowing.”
  • Calipari said freshman guard Marquis Teague just needs game experience to improve. “You can talk them through it, you can drill them,” Calipari said. “But they have to get in there and feel it, when to push it, when to pull it back, when to throw the lob.”
  • Calipari said his team had the “worst practice” of the year on Monday. “But they had practiced so good up to that point, it’s hard to get mad at them,” Calipari said. “I told them I would give them a pass.”
  • Kidd-Gilchrist had “as good a practice from any player I’ve seen on any team I’ve coached two days ago,” Calipari said. “He was just vicious.” Calipari pointed out a play where Kidd-Gilchrist was blocked by F Anthony Davis and went straight back up with the ball.
  • Calipari said of Anthony Davis: “I’m coming up with a new zone offense. It’s, stand him under the basket, the rest of you move around. And when you can throw a lob, throw it to him,” Calipari said. “You’re laughing. But — he had his teeth on the rim the other day.”
  • Calipari on if he has settled on a starting five: “Don’t know yet. I think what will happen is we’ll play a couple exhibition games and everybody will know. … It will be obvious. Who should be in the game at the end will be more important than anything else.”