Three-spot from Kentucky’s Kentucky State preview

With Kentucky basketball back in action Friday night for the second and final exhibition game, this time against Kentucky State at 6 p.m. at Rupp Arena. Freshman centers Skal Labissiere and Isaac Humphries were available for interviews, followed by head coach John Calipari.

1. Labissiere talked about continuing to fight in the post. The center admitted he would like to play more out on the floor, but Calipari wants the rookie to be more of a presence in the post. The coach said that Labissiere is on the similar path to the one Karl-Anthony Towns followed last season. (That path worked out well for KAT.)

Humphries said he and Labissiere make each other better in practice. He’s trying to make Labissiere tougher and that now Skal hits him with some “throat shots” during practice. That seems to hard to believe from a guy who seems as nice and seems to be always smiling. Calipari said he just wants Skal to get position and catch balls in the post.

2. Calipari said he was pleased with the three-guard lineup of Tyler Ulis, Jamal Murray and Isaiah Briscoe he started in the first game, the 117-58 romp over Division II Ottawa. Calipari said that because the guards passed so well, they could play more “random” instead of relying on set plays. He was also pleased with the tempo and pace of the game.

Cal said that Isaiah Briscoe texted the coach about Cal’s comment that Briscoe could be the best defensive guard in the country. Briscoe said he wants to be that. But Calipari said that Briscoe is more than that, he’s an excellent basketball player. In fact, Cal even termed Briscoe as something of “a pleasant surprise” so far.

3. Cal wants more blocked shots. And he wants more “blocked shots at the rim.” Labissiere blocked two shots on Monday. Cal said he wants to get Alex Poythress back to where the senior was blocking shots. Of course, Poythress is still working his way back from that torn ACL suffered last season.

Asked about the fact that Kentucky State coach Darnell Williams will be making his debut Friday night, against No. 2 Kentucky, in Rupp Arena.

“Got a chance to do something crazy,” Calipari said. “That’s what I’d be thinking.”


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