Assistant Coach Joel Justus Media Day Quotes

Assistant Coach Joel Justus
UK Basketball Media Day
Oct. 13, 2016


On the televised practice … 
“I think anytime you can put our guys on a stage to get them ready for what this is really going be like, hopefully 40 times this upcoming season (is great). It gives them a chance to get a feel for what truly being a Kentucky basketball player is like and the amount of eyes will be on them. I think it’s fun to see them but I also think it’s an opportunity for them to see where they are and where their teammates are.”

On if it’s hit him at how quickly he’s moved up to assistant coach since coming to Kentucky … 
“Every day you have to feel blessed to work with a great head coach first and foremost in Coach Cal. Someone who takes the time to mentor the people on the staff. I think he’s reached out to me and help me. Every day I’m grateful for that. Not only Cal but I think its Robes (John Robic), Kenny (Payne) and Tony (Barbee). Everybody here is on the same team. It’s also a blessing to work such great kids. You wake up energized and you feel like it is a little bit of a dream, but I thought that the moment I came here – working with Cal, being able to learn from him, watch him in different settings and really just take copious notes on what it takes to be successful.”

On coming to Kentucky in the first place a couple years ago … 
“I think in the game of basketball and in the game of coaching you want to always be in a position where you’re helping kids have a great experience. As a player, I had a tremendous experience and I loved being a high school coach. I wouldn’t have left being a high school coach if wasn’t for the opportunity to come work for Coach Cal.”

On his strengths and weaknesses as a coach … 
“I think the strength is just being a trustworthy person that cares about the kids and about the relationship. I want to help provide a tremendous experience for a young man and for his family at the University of Kentucky. I think something to grow on is, holy cow, you work for Cal and you see and listen to the things he does on the court and off the court. I’ve learned so much in every role I’ve been in here and I think you are always growing as a basketball coach. That’s the one thing I want to do is always be in a position to grow.” 

On the biggest thing he’s learned from Cal ... 
“The biggest thing I’ve learned basketball wise is the daily preparation for basketball and for basketball practice, and taking a look at how he plans a practice. I was a head high school coach so I spent six years planning my own practices, and to go back and learn a different way other than the way I’ve been doing it and the coaches I played for had done it has been fun. I think off the floor, just the forward-thinking, cutting-edge approach to recruiting but also building the brand is fascinating. 

On the perception of Kentucky … 
“I think what we need to continue to say is that this is a great place to come where you can be your best. Whatever your best is is different than his best or my best. I think that takes the load off of the expectations of being a one-and-done. What we want to do is create the narrative that this is a place where you come to get better, you want to be around other players, you want to be challenged every day, and be around a group of great guys.” 

On recruiting and setting the foundation … 
“The best thing for us is to try and identify guys that see Kentucky as the ultimate destination for them. If this is a place that see themselves being fit for. That they see coach Cal as someone that they want to trust with their development. They see our staff as a group of people that they are going to trust with their development. Identifying that is something I see at the top of my to-do list every day.”