What does Kentucky coach John Calipari do to prepare his team for each game, and keep them from overlooking opponents?
Calipari said, "We approach every game the same and I'm going to go in there today like we played North Carolina or anybody else. We're going on the road. It's going to be a hard game. I watched their game (Thursday) night with Florida. They shouldn't have been in the game and then all of the sudden you turn around and they've got the ball and it's a five-point game. I watched their game with Alabama. They beat Alabama. I watched their game with Mississippi. They had Mississippi beat. If you watch the end of the game, you thought they won. If you didn't see the score, you said, ‘South Carolina won.' And they lost and it was the same thing. They're good enough to beat us and if we don't come and play one of our better games, we get beat."
Have the Gamecocks improved since they played Kentucky in Lexington?
"They've got two or three guys that are really playing well. Whether it's [Anthony] Gill who can really get it going offensively, or obviously their point guard, (Bruce Ellington), he can get it going. They have the other wing player who is really scoring baskets, their leading scorer, or their leading rebounder. And then the one kid blocks shots. They have a little bit of everything. I'm a little bit surprised at their record but I'm telling you, when you see they beat Alabama, had Mississippi beat, played Florida on the road and had their chances to win the game, and now have us, I think you see them moving in the right direction and I think you're going to see them start knocking people off. I just hope it's not us and that we're not the first," said Calipari.
Does Bruce Ellington look different than he did in early January?
Calipari said, "Yes, when he missed a few it led him to miss another one, another one, another one. He's not doing that now. He'll miss two shots and come back and make a shot or two. He's playing physical, he's better with the ball, his decision making is better than it was then. He'll be an issue for us."
The Kentucky coach was asked about the job South Carolina coach Darrin Horn is doing for the Gamecocks.
Calipari said, "(Horn's) been doing fine. It's a hard job. He's set the stage for where he wants this to go, he went from man to zone. He's not afraid to try things. I think he's doing a fine job. It's just, South Carolina is hard. It's a hard deal to get going and that's why you have to stick with a guy and give him seven or eight years and give him something to get going. I think the last guy to really do some stuff down there may have been, what, Frank McGuire? It's a good program. It's a great school, great facilities. It just takes time to get it going right." On his thoughts on his team bonding on the road … "The best thing about when school ends and we have that time together and we're going three times a day, including a breakfast meal and an evening meal. Then you go on the road and you're 24/7 for two days and you're together at meals, at shoot around, at film sessions. They start coming together and that's why this time of the year, I like it and I really don't mind going on the road, especially when you're just trying to bring your team together."