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Transcript: Coach Cal joins SEC teleconference with two weeks left in regular season

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With just two weeks remaining in the regular season, John Calipari and fellow Southeastern Conference coaches called in for the league's weekly teleconference.

His team is set to play Mississippi State and Arkansas this week and Coach Cal talked about those games and other topics on Monday, including advances in video technology and Archie Goodwin's play. Below is a transcript of his comments as well as relevant quotes from other coaches.

First, congratulations are in order for Willie Cauley-Stein, who has been named SEC Freshman of the Week after he averaged 13.5 points, 9.5 rebounds and 5.0 blocks in two UK victories last week over Vanderbilt and Missouri.

Coach Cal

On this week's games ...
"Well, we've got four left and Mississippi State at home and gotta go on the road to two teams (Arkansas and Georgia) that have played very well and have been well-coached and end up with Florida, one of the top two, three, four teams in the country to finish up the year. So we got a tough road. What I'm trying to do with our team is stay in the moment and let's see how we improve. I think we have gotten better and just try to keep on that path right now."

On advancement in video technology and its impact on scouting ...
"The biggest thing that we're able to do ... These iPads are ridiculous and you can really get stuff on those iPads for your staff and team quickly. You can blow through tapes much faster and with less frustration - you press a button and it goes too far ahead. They've got it down to a science so it is much easier. I can really blow through tape in like 30 minutes and rush through stuff I don't need to see and get a good feel for it. But also your team, you can put clips and different things and stuff for them on the iPads so that they can see it too. There's no reason for a player not to know tendencies of another player he's playing or watch himself and get a true evaluation."

On whether there is an information overload ...
"Not here. The truth for us, the only real tape that we'll show that's not themselves is at the pregame meal prior to the game, which is four hours before the game. So they don't see highlights or anything. Now, if they choose to watch tape, they'll ask the video guy for it. I'm worried about us and I've always been that way. I think, again, there's a thousand ways, but for me it's fresh minds and fresh legs at the end of the year. And the only way you do that is you don't overload 'em with video and those kind of things."

On how Archie Goodwin has played this year ...

"He's played good. He's a freshman. He's one of the youngest freshmen in the country. He's 18. He just turned 18 earlier in the year, so he's learning his way. We're trying to figure him out. He's trying to figure himself out. Too hard on himself, a la Derrick Rose. If he misses one shot, it leads to three more misses. If he turns it over, he can't defend down at the other end. Hasn't put the emphasis on rebounding yet, but he's a freshman and he's doing well. He's gotten better as the year has gone on. But opening up his mind, playing through mistakes, playing through turnovers, being in better balance and control, slowing down your mind, it takes years to learn that."

On the best thing Goodwin has done this season ...

"He's an unbelievable worker. He's in the gym just about every night. He's the first one at the practice, the last one to leave. He's got the work habits and the drive you need to be special. Now, that mentality of playing, that feel for the game, that takes maturity and time. It doesn't just happen in two months. It's a lot of trial and error. His right now, there's a little bit of trial and a lot of error, but that's part of being a freshman."

On why Goodwin and Ryan Harrow have struggled with their 3-point shooting in conference play ...
"I haven't seen it. I don't know what the numbers say. Obviously they're not the two that we're relying on, so I'm good with it. That's not what's going to define their game. Ryan had eight rebounds and six assists last game. We've got to get 10, 12, 14 points from him. We can't have games like Tennessee and Florida where he doesn't want to get into plays and doesn't shoot balls. When he plays the other way, we're pretty good, and he's pretty good. He can go 0 for 5 from the 3 and still play a great game, and the same with Archie. Now, if they make those and the other guys are making them, then we win by 25. They're not going to be evaluated on 3-point shooting. It's all the other parts of their game."

Mississippi State head coach Rick Ray


On last week's games ...
"I thought our team did a tremendous job at Alabama by going out and playing with a tremendous competitive spirit. With the situation we're in right now with the suspension having six scholarship guys and now the two walk-ons, for those guys to go out and compete like they did against Alabama I was really impressed with that factor. I thought we were in that ballgame until we were down four then the next three possessions we turned the ball over and gave them some easy opportunities in transition. I was looking for some carryover from that Alabama game into the Vanderbilt game and obviously that did not happen. I thought we came out and really played well the first four to six minutes defensively and then they started to started to set a high ball screen and we didn't get that stopped at all, which led to them getting a lot of offensive rebounds. But the biggest thing is I thought we had some decent looks at the basket offensively the first four six to minutes of the ballgame that simply didn't go down and our guys kind of lost their spirit because we wasn't playing well offensively which led to us not playing well defensively."

On getting the spirit back down the stretch ...
"When you're dealing with a young and inexperienced team, and I don't think this is just our basketball team - I think it's dealing with any young men that are playing competitive basketball -- they kind of live through their offense at times. When things are going well for them offensively, they really compete and defend for you on the defensive end. When you're having the offensive struggles that we have, like against Missouri and against Vanderbilt when you're constantly coming down and you're not seeing the ball go through the hoop, it's hard for you to have that competitive spirit on the defensive end. Ultimately, what you would like to do is have a team that can persevere through some offensive struggles, but I think it's just commonplace for college basketball for guys to live through their offense."

On the difficulty of the season given roster numbers and turnover ...
"Yeah, and that's a good question. The thing that we have to realize - and our team knows it - is there is nobody, there is nobody in the country that's went through what we've went through. I don't care what level - NAIA, Division II, junior college - with the numbers that we have. And I would wonder if anybody in the history of college basketball has been through what we went through as far as like the off-the-court issues and then the injuries. It's been a trying season and, to our guys' credit, they really hung in there and tried to be good citizens and do some of the things that we want them to do on the court and continue to try to compete. But when someone says, 'I understand what you're going through.' No you don't. You really don't. But you can't use it as an excuse. At the end of the day, you have to go out and try to compete and win ballgames because no one's cancelling the season."

On his observations of Kentucky ...

"This is the first time I've really had a chance to look at them because it's the first time we've played them. I've seen them on tape as an opponent, but I'm really focusing on the other teams at that point in time. Things have changed for them obviously losing (Nerlens) Noel on the defensive end because he covered up a lot of mistakes and you could have some situations where you could pressure more and gamble more and he would erase those mistakes at the rim. That's obviously affected their team. But the things I'm really impressed with is how Coach Calipari has set his guys up to be successful on the offensive end with some of the things they do. That diamond screening action that they're doing for Julius Mays really does a good job of isolating him and getting him cutting and screening and having some opportunities to score the basketball, but it also isolates (Kyle) Wiltjer in the post, and I'm really concerned about him because he's so patient when he gets the ball in the post. Most kids, when they get it in the post or off the post, they really rush everything, but he's patient and can go over either shoulder, can dribble with either hand. Obviously (he) has a tremendous shooting touch. And then you've got Goodwin, who is just a terror to stop him getting into the paint. And I think (Alex) Poythress is a big, strong, physical kid, and I'm really concerned he will overpower some of our guys in the driving area and in the post. I think Coach Calipari has really done a good job of finding some ways to put his guys in position to be successful by scoring the basketball."

Arkansas head coach Mike Anderson

On Archie Goodwin ...
"Archie's a very good player. Very athletic kid. Seemed like a kid that had his head on right in terms of what he wants to attain as a basketball player, good student. But he's a very talented young kid."

South Carolina head coach Frank Martin

On Archie Goodwin ...
"Very, very talented young man. True freshman to be playing at such a high level. That's one of the things about Cal that makes him so good is he can get these really young kids that are very talented to play the game the right way so early in their career. That's a credit to both Cal, his staff and the young man that he's so willing to listen so can complement his obvious talent with the understanding of how to play."

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