Calipari discusses playing on the road

Calipari uses a win at home by Tennessee over Florida, and Mississippi State's road loss to Arkansas as examples of life on the road in the Southeastern Conference.

Kentucky coach John Calipari admitted Monday that Tennessee's win over Florida and Arkansas' victory over Mississippi State "caught everyone's eye" on the first day of Southeastern Conference play Saturday.

Both Florida and Mississippi State are ranked in the top 25 and are expected to challenge Kentucky, Vanderbilt and Alabama for the SEC championship.

Calipari says Tennessee's upset "was a surprise" but that both wins by the home teams were not that unexpected.

"Both of those teams are being well coached. Both teams have talent to do it and must have played great basketball games," said Calipari. "I have not seen the tapes and did not watch the games, but those two scores surprised me. But nothing on the road in this league should surprise you.

"Last year we were 2-6 on the road (in SEC play) and were only a basket or two away from winning the national title. People do not give these teams and coaches enough credit. It's hard to win on the road (in the SEC)."

Calipari's team starts SEC road play Wednesday at Auburn and then goes to Tennessee Saturday.

"The good news is that playing at Indiana gives them an idea of what the game are going to be like," Calipari said. "Everyone of them will be like the Indiana game. Sold out. Standing room. One o'clock people out in front of the building (waiting to get into the game). Are you ready for this type of challenge? Do you understand you have to bring it?

"The execution of last year's team cost us more than anything. We just were not ready (for SEC road play). We were not very good and were not playing the right way. That's my fault. I hope this year's team is a little more advanced because I had a better idea how to play. But when last year's team came together and figured it out, we were one of the better teams in the country."


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