A three-spot from today’s UK basketball media opportunity previewing Saturday’s game with Auburn.
1. More of the same. John Calipari’s press conferences of late have all been pretty much the same. He doesn’t talk much basketball. He talks about teaching life lessons. He talks about getting his team to play for each other. Today he brought “love” into the subject matter. He said that last year’s team loved each other. He said that when he visited John Wall this week the former UK guard talked about he keeps in touch with his former teammates here. That’s what Calipari said he wants for this team, but that there are still a couple of holdouts. He didn’t name names.
2. Tony Barbee’s assistance. Auburn coach Tony Barbee played for an was an assistant coach under Calipari. The two have known each other since Barbee was 15 years old. They still talk often. In fact, Calipari said today that it was Barbee who convinced him, the night before the game, to switch on screens when playing Ole Miss to guard Marshall Henderson. Without even practicing it, Calipari decided the night before the game in Oxford to use that strategy. Henderson scored 21 points, but was five-of-19 from the floor.
3. Video lessons. As an illustration of No. 1, Calipari said he is not watching video with his team this year. The staff does that. He did say that he was going to show his team a couple of video clips before practice today, however. Neither is a UK clip or an Auburn clip. Instead, Calipari said he is going to show Indiana’s Victor Oladipo hustling back after a turnover to block a shot. And he’s going to show a similar hustle play by a Michigan player. Cal said too many of his players hang their heads after mistakes. He wants them to see what can happen if a player doesn’t hang his head.