UK assistant discusses Carolina

Kentucky assistant John Robic came out of the bullpen for head coach John Calipari for the North Carolina game press conference. Robic discussed Carolina's length in the front court, guard play, and more.

Kentucky assistant John Robic was John Calipari's stand in for the pre-North Carolina press conference, due to the death of the coach's mother earlier in the week.

What kind of challenge does the length of North Carolina present with the length of John Henson, Tyler Zeller and Justin Knox?

"Their length presents a big challenge. Zeller is a seven-footer who can really run. The biggest thing for our guys is going to be getting back on defensive transition. (North Carolina) does a good job of getting in an early post position and that is their first look. Everybody who has played them, forever, has focused on defensive transition. You can't allow them to have any easy baskets. You have to make their post players work, and you can't give them angles to the goal," said Robic.

What kind of guard play is expected from the Tar Heels?

Robic said, "Well, I think people are saying their guards are struggling because of the Illinois game. I mean, that was their first true road game. I like their speed. The style that they play enables their kids to get the ball and go. They are at home, so they are going to feel more confident about knocking down shots. They are at North Carolina for a reason; just like our guys are here for a reason. No one is in a slump when you play them."

How does the staff prepare the young Kentucky squad for an environment like the Dean Dome?

"Well it's not like football where we blare the music and stuff like that. We are getting ready to practice here today. Everything we do in practice is getting these guys ready for the next game, and that's how we do it once we get into the season. You game plan, and every drill that you do is specific to the game."

Is the team's communication improving on the floor?

"I thought we got better at it last game both offensively and defensively. And that is important because not only is just your guards but it's everybody. You have to relay calls to one another. You are not going to be able to hear all the time. So, you have to rely on each other and trust everyone."

How do you prepare a team for a hostile road environment?

"These kids understand. I don't know what you could do to get them all together and show them the way. Don't forget Darius (Miller) is really the only player for us that has gotten a start on the road in front of a crowd like this. This is one of the bigger arenas in the sport. I'm sure they will be fine."

What about the struggles of Darius Miller on Monday?

"Well, he was in foul trouble. And when you get in foul trouble, it can be hard to shoot it from the bench. I think he is improving every day. I think our whole team has since we have returned from Maui."

What does it mean to coach more, and spend less time instructing during practice? "I think every coach in every other sport looks to coach more and instruct less. That means that the kids are doing the things we are asking them to do."

How does North Carolina utilize freshman Harrison Barnes?

"Harrison Barnes is a very talented player. I haven't seen him play in person, just on tape. At 6'7", he is a jump shooter that can create his own shots. They look for him for big shots. They will look for him on isolations and he is a good offensive rebounder. I think it's unfair what the media has done with him. He is a pro. We have our hands full with him and his size."


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