Vaught: 1-on-1 with John Calipari, Part 3

Calipari:"I don't know, but I would say there would be 1-3-1, box-and-ones, triangle and two, 2-3, sagging man that you will write they played zone and they were just sagging. There will be some say, ‘Let's go after them.'

Question: How often do you expect to see zone defenses this year?

Calipari: "I don't know, but I would say there would be 1-3-1, box-and-ones, triangle and two, 2-3, sagging man that you will write they played zone and they were just sagging. There will be some say, ‘Let's go after them.' But we are really fast. Really fast. My guess would be turn tail and get back there fast and cover that lane. That's why Jodie (Meeks) would have been so dangerous. You couldn't have run back and covered him. I am hoping that Darius (Miller) and Darnell (Dodson) add that to our team where we still have shooters on the floor to where if you don't guard, they are shooting it."

 

Question: Do you wish your older guys were more confident like your younger players?

Calipari: "I ask questions because I wanted to know what they were thinking and I wanted this meeting (before preseason workouts) to clarify in their minds not to have anxiety. They don't have to do 100 things. If they can do three or four things, they will be fine. Every player on the team gave me different strengths. Some of them I had to help them with it. What about you are 6-11? That's a strength. How about that you are physically strong? How about that you are the hardest worker on the team? That is a skill you bring. I had to drag that out. I had to help them define the skills they had to develop. I was honest with them. I told them we talked three areas, not 105.

"My job is to get them to understand we have one agenda. If we win, everyone will get their due and be a star in their own right on this team. There will be a different player that people around the state will says will be the most important player. They will be arguing on who is the most important player on the team.

"We are not going to be great in November. We may not be great in December. We may have people questioning us because we will be turning it over, taking bad shots and arguing and learning. There will be questioning me and them. The point of it is that things don't happen overnight. We are changing a culture that usually takes years. But why waste this year? We have a great group of young men and we are going to try and force the issue. It's not just putting 10 players on the floor to win a national title. That's so far from the truth. They can be talented. That doesn't matter. Talent can actually work against each other and make it even worse. Bad players working against each other it doesn't matter. They are bad. Really good players working against themselves is a torture to see, but everybody sees it and they drop even lower."

 

Question: Can freshman John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins help you get that swagger back?

Calipari: "Freshmen think they poop ice cream until you get out there and get hit in the head. They are going to figure things out. That's the reason our (preseason) workouts were an hour was that I can put them where they have not been before and then stop. Forty minutes they can bust it out. It's that last 20 minutes that gets you. Rather than go three days a week, we go two (days)  for an hour. All I am trying to do is take them to the limits and have them leave feeling good about themselves.


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