Uncategorized

TRANSCRIPT: Cal Previews Alabama

Coach Calipari met with the media last night to discuss tonight’s matchup against Alabama. Here’s everything coach said:

On if Reid Travis will play …

“Yeah. He’s been terrific in practice. Kind of surprising. Conditioning looked OK. Asked him, ‘How’d you do that?’ ‘I was on that treadmill and that water going hard.’ So he’ll be fine.”

 

On whether the plan is still to use him in short stretches …

“I don’t know. We’ll let him see. He’s farther along than I thought.”

 

On Alabama being dangerous …

“It’s going to be a hard game for us. They did beat us and they did it in a physical manner. Tonight—I didn’t watch the game yet – but they said it was 25 points on second-chance baskets and toughness around the rim. We missed – I showed our guys – we probably missed in that game 14, 15 layups. You can’t miss layups. You can—you can’t miss 15 layups, let me put it that way, and play a team like that. And they shot the ball well. They made shots when they had to, so they’re a good team.”

 

On the idea of Alabama being desperate …

“You look at everybody about this time of the year and everybody’s playing for their lives.”

 

On whether the loss to Alabama will motivate his team …

“I don’t know. It was so long ago. I’ve watched it a couple times because I had nothing to do except watch our games against Mississippi and Alabama. There were points of the game I thought we played well when I watched it. And then there were other points where I’m like, ‘Wow, how did I miss that and then miss this and then miss that?’ We had our chances and then they got us down and we didn’t stop. It was a good win for them today. Good win.”

 

On Tevin Mack …

“He’s a shot-maker and you can’t run gaps, you can’t go under, you can’t — things that we did in that game you just can’t do because he’ll make shots. He’s good.”

 

On what Travis’ presence does for the team …

“Just gives you a toughness that we’re going to have to have. And not just in this game. Any game we play. If you’re not fighting and you’re not physical and tough at this point in the year, you’re losing. Just how it is.”

 

On whether there is anything he wants to work on in this tournament to prepare for the NCAA Tournament …

“With Reid being out for a few weeks coming back, we just gotta see, are we in sync? Is it going to change some of the stuff we’re doing? But we’ll see. When the game starts, we’ll have a good idea.”

 

On the strength of the team because Nick Richards and EJ Montgomery gained experience with Reid Travis’ absence …

“Yeah, it gave those guys an opportunity. I’m not afraid to play anybody on the roster to be honest with you, but it helped those two.”

 

On the anxiousness to return to the floor …

“Everybody that’s in the boat that we’re in, in any league that the team that you’re getting ready to play has played a game. Now if they had played two games, a little different. But they’ve played one game and an emotional game where they’re down and they come back and win, and now all of the sudden they’re like this [flexes] walking in. It’s a hard game. I don’t care what league you’re in, who it is, what the records are because every record is 0-0. Now they’re 1-0. It’s a new season. It’s all different. Again, the first game that you play in all of these tournaments is the hardest game.”

 

On the expectations he has for the three freshman guards …

“We’re young. We don’t know, but hopefully they’ll perform.”

 

On if the team came back refreshed from having a couple days off …

“They were good. They spent time and they came back refreshed. We had terrific practices. What I keep telling them, you have to play to your training. You don’t play to the opponent. You don’t play because it’s tournament. You play to your training because you can do that for 40 minutes. It’s hard to play to another team. It’s hard to play for the emotion of the tournament for 40 minutes. You can do it for a while, and so that’s what I’ve been on them hard. Just, that’s why we practice and we compete the way that we do in practice. It’s because we’ll play to our training.”

 

On the tournament returning to Nashville and how exciting it is to have the fans support …

“Our fans have had a tougher time getting tickets because you’ve got a lot of teams that have high expectations here. So it should be an interesting thing. I’m really happy – haven’t seen it myself but everybody says the crowds, the first two days, have been fabulous. Like, really good crowds, which has been great.”

 

On Travis’ motivation to return from injury to play in an NCAA Tournament …

“I never talked to him about it. I knew he was training. I knew he was going hard. I didn’t talk to the doctors about it. I knew that if he wanted to play, which I thought he did, he’ll be back and he’ll be fine. He’s been – he’s trained that way. He lost the weight that way. He conditions that way. He takes care of his body that way. He’s intense that way. I expect that there will be some jitters. He hasn’t played for two weeks or longer really, three weeks.”

 

On how he got word that Travis would be available and if Travis came up and told him he was ready to go …

“No, I saw the sheet that said he was going full. So every day when I get a sheet I know who’s practicing and who’s not and the sheet always had him out for two and a half weeks. Then it said full, full, full, full when I looked. So I went to the staff, I said, ‘My sheet said he’s going to go full. Is that right?’ Everybody said we thought yeah, so.”

 

On if UK would’ve played better at Tennessee with Travis …

“Yeah, but even with him there I don’t think we could’ve won because they played a revenge game and our young guys didn’t know what that meant. They thought they were just playing another basketball game and that became – when they’re a revenge game it’s, you know. Especially when it was that quick a turnaround. It wasn’t like two months ago; it was days ago. So I don’t think it would have mattered.”

 

On why he didn’t talk to doctors that often during Travis’ recovery …

“In those situations they know their bodies. I don’t want to get in the middle of it. I don’t want anybody thinking I’m trying to force a kid so we can win more games. Whatever the docs say and his body – whatever he says I’m going to roll with. You just don’t want to put yourself in a position that compromises your relationship with the kids because we’re about them and they know it. I mean, he should walk away from this and say, ‘He made it about me. He never pushed me. He never said anything. He never talked to me about it. He let me go at my timeline and my pace. Everybody wanted me for Florida – I wasn’t ready. He never asked me the question. You know I’m ready to go know.’ ”

 

On if that’s how he’s always went about dealing with recovering players …

“They know their bodies better than anybody else. These kids want to play. They want to compete. In most cases I would just – maybe I’d say something to the trainer, ‘How’s it looking?’ ”

 

On PJ Washington playing well with Reid Travis …

“I would say, but, you know, let’s see.”

 

On Ashton Hagans having to deal with defenses dropping off on him …

“Yeah, but he’s been in the gym. He’s spending time mastering his craft. There’s only one way to do it: Get in the gym. And then the other thing to build his own confidence and his self-confidence is demonstrated performance in the game. And he’s doing that, but you can’t get away from what you are. You’re a disrupter defensively. Be that guy, but that’s an energy, effort guy. That’s a guy that’s flying around the court. Getting his hands on balls and deflections and steals. That’s who he is. If he makes shots, OK, that’s nice, but that’s, you know, be who you are.”

 

On if he knew Tyler Herro and Immanuel Quickley were clutch free-throw-shooters during recruiting …

“No, I don’t. Free-throw-shooting is maybe the last thing I’ve ever – I mean, I don’t think I’ve ever asked or looked at it, you know? So, no. But it’s nice to have those two and even Ashton late. I have all the confidence in the world if he’s getting the last couple he’ll make them.”

Leave a Reply