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Cal on SEC teleconference: Cats 'in a great frame of mind' entering NCAAs

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For one last time this season, John Calipari joined the Southeastern Conference Coaches' Teleconference on Monday morning. He and the seven other coaches who are postseason-bound spent time talking about their teams and other subjects.

Coach Cal was asked about a Kansas State team that's impressed him as he's watched tape since UK's second-round NCAA Tournament matchup was unveiled, spoke more on the Wildcats' seeding and told reporters his team is "in a great frame of mind" after a solid weekend in Atlanta.

Here's a complete transcript:

On Kansas State ...
"Yeah, I watched some tape and I'll tell you what: They're veteran, physical; great defensively; motion offense - different kinds of motion; and then try to beat you on the dribble and they're physical. A lot like the teams LSU and Georgia and Florida, like the teams we just played. So we had to give our kids a day off today after the week we went through Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday to get ready for Friday, Saturday, Sunday, the wars we played in. But it seems like they're in a great frame of mind right now."

On Kansas State's Marcus Foster ...
"He's been outstanding. You know, again, they have perimeter guys that can really play and shoot it and have the freedom to go do their thing. They have big guys. Now their big (Thomas Gipson) isn't 7-foot, but he's that wide. He's a big body, angles to the rim, put his body on you on drives, put hands up and put a chest on you. You know, they're good and their perimeter guys are good. Foster's outstanding. I mean, makes big shots, not afraid to score it. They're good. For a first-round game, I'm not sure if a team with a strength of schedule of two--two strength of schedule and an RPI I think of 15 or 16, that's a tough first game for both of us, Kansas State and us."

On whether he has looked ahead to Wichita State ...
"No, no, no (laughter). No. I've done this 20 years. You worry about what's in front of you."

On whether UK and Tennessee didn't get their due in terms of seeding and what the SEC has to do to get more teams in the tournament ...
"You know, first of all you gotta figure out, why in the world did this happen? And now that's happened I'm not worried about it. But someone's gotta find out when you have a strength of schedule of two and that's all they keep talking about, what did you use to make that team an eight? What did you use? And then can use anything. 'Well, it was a cloudy day that day and we decided they were an eight.' And that's what it is and you go and as coach that's fine. Put me where you want, let's go. But as a league, we got to figure out. Tennessee played as well as any team in the country down the stretch. Are you taking how teams are playing at the end or how we were playing at the end? 'Not in your case.' Well, what did you take in our case? And you really got to go down and find out what it was. 'Well, you didn't beat enough people.' Did everybody else? I mean, so compared to who? And so that's the kind of stuff that our league - not me, not the ADs -- our league needs to find out who in that room, what were we basing this on because you can't keep moving the goalposts. 'It's strength of schedule.' Really? Then move the goalposts. 'It's how you finish.' Really? 'No, it's you didn't beat enough people.' Really? I mean, which one (is it)? And moving the goalposts makes it easy. But you know what? At the end of the day in this thing, you just got to go play now. And I'm just happy my team's in a great frame of mind. We have another opponent - just like the SEC, you're going from LSU to Georgia to Florida to Kansas State. They're all the same. You're playing the same kind of team."

On how much they think they can take from this past weekend in Atlanta ...

"Well, it's what we've been--we're still not all the way there now. I thought Willie Cauley(-Stein) was ridiculous, how well he played. I thought our guard play -- you know, you're talking three freshmen - our guard play was as good as any in the country during this tournament. And again, against quality teams. And so, again, now we go to next step. And just like those other teams, this team is going to be as physical as anybody we play. Again, we're going to prepare for it. What we've been told is we're not going to allow that kind of physical from either us, Kansas State, Wichita State or anybody, but we can't plan on that. We've just got to be ready to play a physical basketball game. The whole thing is, again, teams that are jacked, that when adversity hits can keep that emotion high, and that's what we've been looking for. And I thought we did it (this past weekend). It was great because every game we played the other teams made runs at us and we withstood. Florida had us down 16, ready to go to 30, and all of the sudden we have the ball with 10 seconds to go and ready to win the game. So that's what I was looking for from my team and we got it."

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