NASHVILLE, Tenn. – We’ve probably heard all his preseason catch phrases already, but just in case, we are standing by for Kentucky coach John Calipari’s appearance here at SEC Media Day. Refresh this page often for real-time updates:
* Calipari: “When I walk in and I see this team … I’m blessed.” Says he’s got a roster full of super-talented guys who love to work and are listening and are good kids.
* Calipari said when John Wall was back at Rupp last weekend, he asked him, “Will you please run real fast one time?” So people would see and stop saying freshman De’Aaron Fox is as fast/faster. “He was like, ‘You know.’ ” But says Fox on defense is, “Whew.” (Good)
* Calipari on how little his team has installed yet: “If someone plays a zone, we punt.”
* Calipari just got back the GPS-tracker results from practices, which tell him how fast guys are running and how hard they’re going. Isaac Humphries and Wenyen Gabriel had the highest output early, then it was Briscoe and Gabriel. Lately, “Bam is getting in shape” after about two months hampered by an ankle injury this summer, and now Adebayo’s effort numbers are spiking.
* Calipari says all the guys from the 38-1 team started texting him saying, “Really?!” when he said this new team might be his best group. His response? They’re really good, “but let’s see if they’re alpha dogs” like that team had a bunch of. Says Fox and Monk and Bam have that in them.
* Calipari on Briscoe: “You win with players like Isaiah. He has a competitive spirit.” Hasn’t let him and Fox play on the same team yet, “because it makes practice so competitive.” Is Briscoe under-appreciated? Calipari doesn’t think so. “Maybe a writer may not get it.” He grins. “I will be surprised if he’s not a first-round draft pick.”
* Calipari says Isaac Humphries really improved, working hard, but only practiced about twice in the last week and a half because of knee soreness. Calipari says he’s not worried at all about it long-term. Thinks Humphries might be back in practice Thursday.
* Calipari on freshman Malik Monk: “He’s doing good. The thing that’s been fun for me is to be able to walk in the gym every day … we opened it to the media every day so they could see … and I think they walk away saying, ‘a bunch of great kids and a pretty talented group.’ ” That’s how he feels, too. “My thing with Malik is, ‘You must respect each shot, because you’re probably going to be like Jamal (Murray) and take the most shots on our team.’ He’s learning and getting better.”
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