Calipari, Kentucky discuss Indiana

Kentucky’s sports information department sent out quotes from media availability in Lexington today. Obviously, some quotes were cut out, as Marquis Teague referenced being booed at the Indiana All-Star Game according to the Twitter accounts of several Kentucky beat writers. But anyway, here’s what John Calipari and some of the Wildcats are saying about tomorrow’s game.

UK Head Coach John Calipari

On the type of atmosphere for the game …

“It will be like the one we played in when North Carolina came here. It will be the same kind of environment. They have great fans and they will be all over it. They have a team that is doing well, undefeated, and it should be a festive crowd I should say.”

 

On the characteristics of a Tom Crean-coached team …

“They are going to take good shots. They will be tough as nails. You are not going to get a second shot, they will block you out. They are going to dive on the floor. They will take charges. They are going to play with emotion. They are a grind-it-out team that will play, but they are not going to hurry themselves. He’s got his team now playing that way, the tapes I’ve seen I’ve been very, very impressed.”

On the messages he has been receiving from Indiana fans …

“I don’t notice that. Tom (Crean) and I have been texting back and forth. He had one of the funniest texts to me I have ever seen in my life and I wanted to tweet it for everyone to see. It was as funny as I’ve ever seen. And after he texted me, it was a little hysterical, I texted him back, ‘I’m a little worried now, you are in a great frame of mind, I don’t like this. I’m getting a little anxious.’ I’m not going to say (what the message was); I will let him tell you. This thing is not personal with me, and I know it’s not for him. He wants to win this thing for his campus, his team, his state, and I want to do the same. I have no issues with any of their fans, I brag about their program more than anybody else’s. This is going to be a hot, contested game and we know it and hopefully we are ready. We’ve had some good practices. I asked my staff last night ‘Do you think I pushed our guys enough?’ and they said, ‘Yeah, yeah.’ I said if I haven’t we will see.”

On continuing to play them in future seasons…

“Let me again state this. We want to play a great schedule, but because our roster turns over more than any other team in the country, maybe ever. We can’t be locked into six games, you just can’t do it. I know people may get mad, you can get mad. That doesn’t affect me in any way. But you can’t be locked in. Playing Kansas or UCLA versus this team or that team, does it really matter? It doesn’t matter. I can schedule in August, when I know what my roster is and get seven unbelievable programs to play us. I can do that. If I’m locked into seven, and the roster turnover isn’t what we thought and bang, bang, bang all of a sudden we are stuck with seven. I have to protect the University of Kentucky basketball program and I cannot set up our players for failure. Look, I’m one of the originals that said bring it, let’s play. I-95, 91, 88, 66, I know it’s old so we will fill in some cracks. I don’t care, let’s play. What time? Midnight, I’ve done it. Noon, 11, 10, I’ve done it. The whole point is you cannot, in the situation we are in, lock in to seven games. No one in the country does it. Duke doesn’t do it, North Carolina doesn’t do it, no one does it. UCLA doesn’t do it, Kansas doesn’t do it, no one does it.”

Players

#1, Darius Miller, G, Sr.

On the environment …

“We know it’s going to be a pretty tough environment. They’re going to be ready to go and hyped up. It’s going to be a tough place to play, but it should be a lot of fun and real exciting. I think all the guys are ready for it.”

On preparing the younger guys for the atmosphere …

“The older guys have definitely talked to the younger guys about how it is going to be on the road. Pretty much every game is going to be sold out and be packed. It’s going to be a fun environment for us to play in; the environment will be tough. Their fans will be going crazy.”

On the things that make road games …

“It’s tough because a lot of teams feed off their fans. They can really get an energy boost and play out of their minds when their fans are cheering like they do, especially in Indiana. We saw that a couple years ago when we had a tough game against them.”

#25, Marquis Teague, G, Fr.

On this game meaning more than others because it’s his home state …

“No, I’m going to come out like it’s any other game and just play hard like I would against any other team.”

On his expectations of the environment at Indiana …

“Yeah, I’ve been there a few times for some games so I know what their fans are like and I know what to expect. Darius (Miller) and Coach (John) Calipari will talk to us about how it will be.”

On the importance of the first hostile environment for the freshmen …

“It’s real important. We’ve never played on the road in college before, so it’s going to be a learning experience.”

On Indiana’s team in comparison to previous teams …

“This year they are doing real well. I haven’t gotten to see them as much but I know they are doing pretty good. The past few teams worked real hard and listened to their coach real well and I know this year they have a lot of talented players. They have a McDonald’s All-American (Cody Zeller) and I know the point guard (Jordan Hulls) is doing real well so they have a pretty good team this year.”

#33, Kyle Wiltjer, F, Fr.

On other teams receiving first place votes …

“We just keep on improving. We don’t look at those at all; we try to stay away from that. Coach keeps us focused every day in practice just worrying about ourselves because we know we want to be the best basketball team we can be.”

 

On the importance of this game for Marquis Teague …

“He’s been the same in practice every day, just working hard trying to learn. It’s always a big game when you are playing close to home so hopefully he plays well.”

On the Indiana crowd …

“I heard they’re pretty crazy. We’re expecting a packed house. Any time Kentucky plays somebody it is going to be a big game and there will be a lot of people there.”

4 comments

  1. This is the litmus test for Coach Crean & IU. A cushy early schedule is done. #1 coming to Bloomington will be a great test. Hopefully the crimson & cream will finally be KU. It’s been too long since we did.

  2. If you interpret the “Cal-Speak”,what he is saying is:”we can never have an undefeated NCAA Championship team if we have to play NC, Louisville and IN on a home and home basis every year. He is a coward and he will not play “anyone at any time”! But the KY fans are not very bright and will never figure this out. When Indiana did it in 1976, we beat the #2 team, MI, 3 times in the same season: once at home, once on the road, and once in the NCAA Final game!

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