Blue-White Scrimmage Postgame Quotes

Oct. 26, 2010

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Head Coach John Calipari

FastScripts by ASAP Sports

Q. Can you talk about the play of Terrence Jones, what you saw and what you liked?

COACH CALIPARI: He's pretty good. Pretty good. Did some good stuff. One of the things you've got to have is you've got to score the ball, and that kid right there can score the ball. But we are still -- if you watch, we are still trying to figure out how we are going to have to play.

Look, I'm not the kind of guy that recruits players and says, you must play like this and if you can't, you're not going to be a player. I try to look at a kid and say, how does he play, what's the best style for him to play.

Even Brandon, I grabbed him after and I said, "Brandon, we have to just define your game a little bit. I haven't had a point guard shoot like you." So we have to define a little more of how we play. And to stay with Doron (Lamb); I thought he did some stuff with the ball, got really quick with the ball where he wanted to.

But we had not worked on switching. We had not worked on any trapping. We had not worked on any ball screens. So when it looked like we didn't know what we were doing -- that's right, we didn't. We had no idea. I was trying to talk them through it and scramble it up a little bit just to see what we would look like, but got a ways to go.

Q. Is this a good two hours, or two hours better spent in practice format?

COACH CALIPARI: No, I'll tell you why it's good. I want to know: When you've got numbers on your back, and the lights turned on, how you play now. And let's put 10,000 people in the seats. Now how do you play? How do you shoot? How do you make free throws? It's important.

The other thing was, we went 40 minutes without a sub. So every kid played every minute. So we got the conditioning we wanted. I get to see, all right, who is a little panic-stricken; and I also get to watch tape of us in that environment and see where the breakdowns were.

But obviously, look, guys, I'm not lying to you when I tell you, we are a ways away. I like my team. We have got to get, you know, Josh (Harrellson) is getting like 24 rebounds. I don't think he's ever done that in a rebounding drill, like by himself, with a zone -- I don't know what that means. Does that mean, wait a minute, and I switch to Eloy (Vargas), because I've got to get some fight out of Eloy. He loves the chance, but it's not just playing; in that position, you've got to battle.

So, but he was -- but that's his first (game). You've got to give Eloy (a break), first time-out of the gate. He's never played in front of 10,000. Wait until it's 25,000. Never played in front of 10,000. So how about the beginning of the game, we had a lot of anxiety. But that's to be expected. That's why you do these things. That's why it's important that you do them.

Q. When you found out you could not bring some subs in, did you think about changing the format?

COACH CALIPARI: I heard that about 5:30, 5:00, I got the call. I'm not going to argue; if that's what they say it is what it is. First thought we were saying was maybe let's go with some running time. And the other thing was, maybe we can do some drills and other things. But these people wanted to see us go up-and-down. And to be honest with you, we have a day off tomorrow, and then I thought, 40 minutes of conditioning, and I told these guys, make this a conditioning day.

But also, you need a base to look at where you are. And I'll watch this tape a couple of times and I'll have a good feel of where we are and how we are going to have to do this. We have some plays like, my goodness -- you get up 15 or 16, and you make two errors in a row, for no reason. It's not like they make great plays or diving, you just give them two plays. Well, you may lose that game, but these guys don't get it. Terrence (Jones) comes out and throws it to the wing; what did you just do? He stole it. What?

So that's the kind of stuff that we'll see on the tape and learn about. But I also liked that they came together a little bit if you watched them out there. Like Doron (Lamb), the last pass he made, instead of driving it, he gets Brandon (Knight) a shot in the corner and then Terrence gets a pass across the court and then someone gives Terrence a lob and then DeAndre (Liggins) jumps in. There was some good stuff. We are not there, and we are not supposed to be, it's October whatever. When do we play our first game, the 12th? What do I got, three weeks? Oh, my gosh. Maybe I should be panicked.

Q. Did you have any kind of backup plan if somebody got injured? What were you going to do; do you know?

COACH CALIPARI: I asked that to the person that told me, you can't (have the extra guys playing). And I said, "What happens if a guy gets hurt, what are we going to play, four on four, play the zone?" No, we had no backup plan.

That's why -- I think it was Doron that hit the floor hard, I said, "Get up, kid, you've got to finish this one out." We started cramping up at the end. I had a couple guys with cramps.

Q. Brandon (Knight), 37 points, 14 of 20, pretty unbelievable. Do you credit that to format? Great play? Pretty unbelievable stat.

COACH CALIPARI: You know, again, I'll give you one play where the high school play, where it breaks down, so you just jack a three up, can't do that. But all of the other shots -- the only thing I've told him, you can't go in there and throw your body into a player and shoot the ball, because the officials will not give you that call in college. You're not getting it.

That was good. When you asked me what was good, that was great for him. So you know now, if you don't think you can get to the rim and play up to the bump, shoot at the foul line; shoot a runner. Don't go in there and throw your body and just like hit the floor, because what will happen, not only will you miss it, but you'll be our first line of defense. So that means throw; throw it, shoot a layup.

So there are things he's got to learn. Again, you saw I started doing pick-and-rolls. Again, this may be a pick-and-roll team. , I haven't figured it out yet. It will take time. And it may take time as we go through the season. We start defining, look, I was at Memphis, we were 6-3 and I figured out, maybe Tyreke Evans should be our point guard. And we won 27 straight.

That's how dumb I was. We were 6-3 in nine games and dying, and I had the wrong guy at point guard. Took me some time but I figured it out. We have to figure it out. We have some guys that we saw (play great) today, okay, they are fine.

Now, who are those other guys? And you all know what I'm saying. We need to have seven guys, eight guys, who are those other guys? We had some guys maybe play not as well and I'm not worried about it, but who are those other guys? Can Josh do this for 15, 20 minutes a game? If he can go in there and go grab rebounds and do it, either we are the worst offensive-rebounding team in America or he's gotten better, one of the two. I don't know, I'll watch the tape but we'll figure it out.

Q. Seeing DeAndre (LIggins) dig in and play that kind of aggressive defense --

COACH CALIPARI: You know, that's who he is. DeAndre really picks it up. He missed some layups today, missed a couple shots, and the other thing is, we miss free throws. I mean, come on. 20 for 34, you know, we should be -- we are a good shooting team. We should be 27, 28 for 34; 25 for 34. 25, 26, 27; 20, and we were like one for five -- no way, we are a good shooting team. Shouldn't happen.

Q. You said you haven't figured out how you're going to play; have you figured out what you're not?

COACH CALIPARI: Well, I know we are not the beast of a team we were inside last year where we had three horses. We don't have that.

So now you play a little different. Maybe that guy instead of running to the basket runs into all ball screens and you space the court out with him, I don't know. But we have just got to watch and you know, try to play this out and just see, what's the most effective way for us to play.

I think when you look at us, you know we are going to be better against zone. Because you know, now you put Terrence (Jones) in the middle of a zone and you put shooters around him, we are a little different team than we were a year ago versus the zone.

But again, some of these guys, they are going to have to step up and do some stuff. I like the fact that the blue team, again, never played together, how many days of practice? Nine? Eight? We just had 18 assists and seven turns.

Now, you can say what you want. We played fast. We ran the ball up the court. We drove the ball. We attacked. We didn't pass it 20 times and then try to take a shot. That's not how we play. We had seven turns. That is good. And we are not playing like we did a year ago where every ball must go through Brandon Knight.

Whoever rebounds the ball brings it up now. We are playing a little different than we did. Last year whoever rebounded gave it to John Wall. So now we are saying, Brandon shoots it so well, if someone else brings it up, bring it up. Let him shoot the ball.

Q. We saw Terrence take a couple of shots from deep, is that something you get him to do to stress the defense a little bit?

COACH CALIPARI: I stopped him a couple of times because he took a couple he didn't need to take. If the ball is driven in the lane and it's thrown out to him, I'm fine with that.

But if the ball is swung and he should be driving the ball and he's just jacking up a three because he's not in the mode to attack, you've got to come out.

What he'll do for us is get to that rim; get to that rim, he is long. Now what he did not do today and what he must do for us to be any good, he has to offensive rebound. He had one offensive rebound in that game; not only that, we missed 40 shots, so one out of 40 shots you rebounded. Come on now.

But again, he's never -- we are going to watch the tape, and he probably attempted to offensive rebound, 25, 30 percent of the time. He needs to attempt to offensive rebound, 80 percent of the time. He's long. Go get a free basket here. You'd score five, six more baskets a game that way; so would he.

Q. On if people feed off Brandon Knight's play ...

COACH CALIPARI: When you think of it, when he plays that way, when DeAndre (Liggins) plays that way, now you have Terrence (Jones) that picked up his game, you saw him start to play that way, all of a sudden, it does bleed.

Now Doron (Lamb) looks around and says, I've got to do it. And I'll give you some examples. We have not worked on switching anything, and we had to today because guys were getting mixed up, and the second half you saw we did a better job. A lot of that is just energy; I've got to go get him.

You know, look, I'm going to have fun coaching this team and figuring it out but it's going to be a process. And in most years, that's what it is. Let me explain it. Last year, it was the thing. We are down 18 to Miami (Ohio), 18 in the first half, we were not a great team early. We became a great team. This team, we have got to figure them out. Doesn't happen overnight. They have got to figure out each other.

I like the fact that you saw some camaraderie out there. Did you see it? You had to feel that they were like talking and passing and chest-bumping. That's what -- if they are that, then it's up to us -- let me say this. I told my staff this and I'll leave you with this -- Jerry, this will be his headline.

They are listening to everything we say. We have got to be -- we had better make sure we are telling them the right thing. They are listening. They are doing whatever we are asking them to do. So now we have to make sure whatever we are telling them to do is the right thing and that's what we have all got to figure out.

Like I said, early on, a little anxiety, some things I didn't like. In the second half, you saw them come out of the gate a little bit different, which was great. And both teams did, Doron did; Jon Hood did; they all did.

So you know, we'll get something out of it, and I hope the fans enjoyed it, and saw that this is going to be a process. Thanks.

Kentucky Players

#1, Darius Miller, F

On the scrimmage overall ...
“I think we had a lot of fun. It’s obvious we still have a lot of stuff to work on, we were just trying to see where we were at, really.”

On the newcomers ...
“They did a great job. They played with extreme intensity. For the first time out, I think it was a good performance.”

On if the newcomers were intimidated by playing in front of 10,000 people...
“I don’t really think they were. I think they did a good job of playing from the beginning. A lot of the young guys did a great job and had a great performance.”

On playing 40 minutes ...
“It’s tough. It’s really tough. I think a lot of us got pretty tired but like I said, we had fun with it.”

On if Brandon Knight’s performance was anything new ...
”No, not really. I can see Brandon playing like that all the time.”

On Brandon Knight’s ability to score in bunches like he did during the second half ...
“He’s a really explosive player. You saw how fast and quick he was so it’s going to be hard for people to match up with him, especially in transition.”

On if he’s ever played with somebody who can score in bunches the way Knight does ...
“I really don’t know. He can really get them in bunches like you said. One of those moments in the game it seemed like he had 12, 14-straight points.”

#12, Brandon Knight, G

On what did you think about the scrimmage ...
“It was alright, just trying to find some chemistry with the team and try to just basically run our offense and get better.”

On what did you think about the chemistry ...
“We need to work on it. We need to build our perception of what our team needs to be and just get better at rebounding and stuff like that.”

On what do you think you’re going to be as a team ...
“I think we’re going to have to be a scrapper team that just for 30 seconds defends, staying in front of our man and just getting after it and be disciplined.”

On how tiring was the scrimmage ...
“It was alright considering it was 40 minutes with no subs; it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be but I think we still need to get in a little better shape so we can just sprint the entire game.”

On Cal talking about how he’s never had a point guard that could shoot like you ...
“I guess, I don’t know exactly what to say about that but that’s what he told me. I just need to find a way to mold my game into what I know I can do so I can just be comfortable and go out there and play my game.”

On it sounds like he wants you to score a bunch of points ...
“I think he wants me to get others involved and basically just run our offense. Our offense is really whoever gets that lane is going to score basically. Whoever gets that lane and reads the defense and then see what they give you.”

#3, Terrence Jones, F

On how the game was and playing a lot of minutes...
“It was fun. Everyone got a feel for it. Josh Harrellson played the best I have ever seen him play. A lot of guys stepped up tonight. Jon Hood played well, Brandon (Knight) and Doron (Lamb) played very well. DeAndre (Liggins) played defense the best I have seen him play. Everybody stepped up and competed more and we just had a lot of fun out there in front of the fans tonight.”

On his fatigue after having to play the entire game...
“The whole game I was thinking that. It was fun though, just to get the experience and trying to work on our plays in front of the crowd with it being loud; we were trying to learn our plays and how to play in front of a crowd and stay focused.”

On how it felt to be able to show off his game a little bit in front of over 10,000 people tonight...
“It felt really good. Playing with this team is really fun; we came in knowing we were going to ‘mess up a lot ,’ as coach Calipari says. We just had to play hard and play together; that is what we tried to focus on. I felt we did better in the second half.”

On not shooting the three as much and driving to the rim...
“Well we have rules in practice. Usually if the guy’s hands are down he wants you to shoot it, but I know with me that is not the case. He wants me to drive to the basket, so that is what I was just thinking in my head when I had the ball.”

#5 Jarrod Polson, PG

On Coach Calipari being happy about team camaraderie...
“Definitely tonight we always made the extra pass and stuff like that, and that’s not something we’ve been doing too well in practice. But tonight I think was a big step in that aspect.”

On what’s it like hanging out with these guys...
“They’re pretty funny, they’re a bunch of big goofballs off the court but when they’re on the court they know it’s serious.”

On the play of Terrence Jones...
“He’s just relentless and he’s so tall, but yet he’s so crafty and he can pass so well. He’s going to be a tremendous asset to our offense.”

On playing so many minutes...
“I think that helped all of us. For one, it helped conditioning and two, just getting that practice for forty minutes straight.”

#20 Doron Lamb

How it felt to get on the floor at Rupp Arena...
“I was a little nervous coming out there to play today. This was my first real game today, in front of so many people. When I got over my emotions, I felt comfortably offensively and I just played my game.”

If he was surprised on how nervous he was...
“No, I knew I was going to get nervous. I get nervous before every game. I thought we did really well in the second half. I thought we didn’t play all that well in the first half, but we pulled it together in the second half.”

On Terrence Jones ability...
“He can do a lot of good things. He can bring the ball out, shoot, rebound and defend. We definitely need a player like that this year. We all hope he can stay healthy.”

On how hard it was to finish the game...
“It hurt. But in tough road games during the season, you are going to have to fight it out on the court.”

How he feels this team will play...
“Coach was saying to us that he feels we are a better pick and roll team. You will see a lot of dribble-drive and a lot of pick-and-rolls this year. We need to get players involved and feed off the pick-and-rolls.”