John Calipari was excited about Kentucky’s shared SEC championship on Saturday afternoon. His players? Not so much.
“I told ’em after, I said, ‘By the way, you won a league championship. I don’t know if you even know or care, but you did,'” Calipari said. “They’re just, ‘Yeah, where’ the food?’ They don’t care. They just want to go on to the next thing.”
The coach was in the mood to joke after Kentucky’s 94-77 win over LSU, and his lighthearted mood reflected the confident Wildcats squad that fans saw on the floor at Rupp Arena.
“If there’s 15 teams better than us, I’ve got to see them,” Calipari said. “We’re pretty good right now.”
Here were some of his other thoughts on…
…Kentucky’s 17-0 home record: “I didn’t even know we were undefeated. We are? That’s great.”
…Tyler Ulis: “If there’s a better point guard in the country, you’ve gotta show me who he is, and I’ve gotta watch tape. ‘Cause this guy — I told the team after — he’s made their job easy, he’s building confidence in big guys and how he’s letting ’em play, and he makes my job easier, because he’s coaching that team on the floor.”
…Skal Labissiere: “He’s beginning to be the best he can be. I’m really proud of him, because it’s been hard.”
…Derek Willis’ return from an ankle injury: “I loved it. I told him after, he was terrific … It doesn’t matter if you make it or not, you’ve just got to get comfortable shooting balls … He’s really made us different.”
…Senior Day: “Our fans are the best. They love senior night in this state. It’s a big deal … Bigger deal for our fans than those players. They’d rather have been drafted already. You want me to lie, I’ll lie.”
What’s next: The SEC tournament begins Wednesday night in Nashville, where Calipari and the Wildcats own the No. 2 seed.