Notes and Quotes, pre-Penn (with video)

Some notes from today’s media session as UK prepares to play Penn on Monday.

** Penn isn’t seen as a trap game — The game against Penn comes right after the rivalry game against Louisville and right before SEC play starts. Still, Calipari doesn’t expect his players to overlook the game, mainly because they haven’t done so yet.

“This team hadn’t been that way so I would say not,” Calipari said. “But they run good stuff, they’re going to play zone. They’ll do stuff to bother us. We’ve got to come and play.”

** Look for a different Terrence Jones — Jones started the year tearing up everybody and anybody. He scored points in bunches while adding rebounds and assists, and his performance rocketed him to the top of many Freshman of the Year discussions (and even to No. 1 in Ken Pomeroy’s stats-based Player of the Year formula).

Since then, Jones has displayed some inconsistency, with slow starts and forced shots a large part of that. Against Louisville, although he didn’t score a bunch of points, did the rights things. Louisiville double-teamed him in the post to take him away, and Jones was passing to the open man (often Josh Harrellson) effectively. Calipari said he expects Jones to continue emerging as a player.

“Terrence, I beg to tell you this, watch him the next two weeks,” Calipari said. “You’re going to see an absolutely different player. Because my will is stronger than his. Because I’m zeroed. Now I’ve watched, I can say, ‘okay, this is what we need to do.'”

** Players going in for final minutes of a blowout: Calipari discussed numerous coaching philosophies he has developed through the years. One involves the use of players at the end of games with wide margins of victory. That player this year has been Jarrod Polson (who fans urge to “shooooooot!” as soon as he gets within two steps of half court), although Calipari’s comments applied more to the general role and not a specific player.

“You ready for this?” Calipari said. “If there’s a minute to go, and the young man hasn’t been in and we’re up 25 and I go to stick him in, I’ll say, ‘Do you want to go in?’ If the young man says, ‘No, I don’t want to go in,’ I’m alright with that. You know why? Because I was that guy. I know how that one feels. ‘No, please don’t put me in with a minute.’ Other guys, they could care less if it’s 12 seconds, I got that Kentucky uniform on girls are watching, I’m in. I am in.”

** Players focus on themselves, not opponents — As UK prepared to play Louisville — one of the biggest games on the nonconference slate, regardless of how they decided to handle the rivalry aspect — the players didn’t watch any tape of the Cardinals until the morning of the game, which started at noon.

“They never see a scouting report,” Calipari said. “(Assistant coach John) Robic is preparing me to coach the game, not them. I want them to worry about us.”

Also interesting is that Robic handles all the scouting reports. It’s often customary for two or three assistants to rotate scouting reports on a rotating basis.

** Harrellson needs to stay humble — Josh Harrellson has emerged as a legitimate player on this UK team. He still hasn’t developed as a post player to the point where UK pounds the ball inside and play inside-out, but he is collecting rebounds (and the putbacks along with those) and making himself available to teammates.

As his game and reputation grows — I saw two people wearing Jorts in his honor during New Year’s Eve after the Louisville game — Calipari has a reminder for his new-found success: “Remember what Canada felt like.”

** Blue got in — A post here on the Kernel’s blog about personal experiences with opposite fans in arenas and Louisville possibly tracking down those who sold the tickets to UK fans.


Video of John Calipari with an insightful talk on various coaching ideas, getting the most out of players, comments on Harrellson and Liggins, and the amount of blue in the Yum! Center, along with video of DeAndre Liggins on all things defense.

Video of John Calipari discussing methods of coaching, drawing the most out of players, and being the benchwarmer in his playing days:

Part 2 of Calipari on coaching methods:

DeAndre Liggins on what it takes to be a lockdown defender:

Darius Miller on being ready for Penn