Responding to anonymous quotes attributed to an NBA scout via Adam Zagoria's well-known basketball blog, Calipari gave a strong defense of Labissiere and fired a bit of a warning shot of sorts to those who attack his players on a personal level:
Labissiere, a 6-foot-11 center/forward from Haiti, came to UK as Scout's No. 1 prospect in the Class of 2015, but his transition to the college game has been a difficult one. After a solid start to the season, Labissiere has scored only 22 points and grabbed just 15 rebounds in the Wildcats' last six games. During that span, he has made only six of 22 field goals (27 percent). In UK's win over Arizona State, he had no points and no rebounds before fouling out.
Calipari brought Labissiere off the bench for the first time in Saturday's win over Louisville. Labissiere had two points, three rebounds and a steal in 10 minutes of play.
"Skal, I wanted to leave him in the game," the UK boss said. "That one (second-half) rebound he could not bring in. We got to win the game. I told him, you're getting better, you're way better, let's just keep this going and see what happens."
Despite the struggles, many NBA mock drafts still have the UK big man in the Top 5 for next year's draft, a sign of his enormous potential.