A three-spot from UK’s basketball media opportunity this morning.
1. John Calipari said that Ryan Harrow has “some sort of flu or something” and did not practice on Thursday. He said that Julius Mays was held out of practice to give his injured leg more time to heal. Cal said there was nothing structurally wrong, just wanted to give him some rest.
Cal said he was comfortable with Jarrod Polson playing some at the point. “Jarrod looked pretty good,” said the coach. “I think Jarrod would be fine if we had to play him.”
If Harrow can’t go, Calipari said he would go with Archie Goodwin and Polson at point guard. Calipari said that Polson is “dying for an opportunity, which is what you want.”
2. Kentucky did change its travel schedule because of the weather in New York. After superstorm Sandy, the New York area has been hit by snow.
Calipari said that his usual routine is for the players to go to class, then practice and head out. But this time the team is traveling to New York this morning and will practice either on the Barclay Center court or the practice facility there.
3. Calipari doesn’t like to coach against friends but here he is again, this time facing Maryland’s Mark Turgeon, who played at Kansas while Cal was there as an assistant to Larry Brown.
“Mark I remember coming up to the table, we were having breakfast, and Larry Brown had just gotten the job and he walked up and said, ‘I’m better than any point guard you have on your team.’ We didn’t know who he was. ‘What’s your name?’ He was a confident, like a little (guy), who is this 140-pound kid telling us? So we play our first game against Houston, Phi Slama Jama, and we get killed. Coach Dean Smith called Larry Brown and said, ‘You need to play that Turgeon kid.'”
Cal said that Turgeon’s father just two days ago sent the UK coach all the note cards that Calipari sent Turgeon when Calipari was coaching at UMass.
Calipari outlined his philosophy about playing friends.
“If I’m going to lose, let me lose to this guy, who will really benefit,” he said. “As much as I hated to lose to Indiana, it really helped their program. No question. And Tom (Crean) and I are friends.”