LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari has been busy this summer coaching his team, recruiting the next wave and vacationing (apparently on the surface of the sun, as that’s the only explanation for the level of tan he’s achieved). He hasn’t talked to reporters in quite a while, but he’ll end that drought, which has surely been gnawing at him, today at 10 a.m. Stay here and refresh this page often for real-time updates. Or watch it live here.
- Calipari’s advice to DeMarcus Cousins after Olympic gold: “Now chase that feeling. Chase that feeling in Sacramento.”
- More raving from Calipari about Humphries. Notes he was one of the youngest players in the country last year and now his body has changed, game has grown and confidence is way up.
- Calipari comparing Bam Adebayo to … Anthony Davis and Karl-Anthony Towns. Other players might’ve been rated above them early, but by January, February, “You’re going to say, ‘Oh, my goodness,’ because he’s a beast with skills … a beast who can play basketball. And he wants to win.”
- Calipari “really pleased” with sophomore guard Isaiah Briscoe. “I kind of put it on him … he’s got to improve his shooting.” Told him he doesn’t have to be Steph Curry “but you just have to be better than you were.” And he’s gotten in the gym and he’s improved.
- Calipari says he’s always liked the North Carolina series, but “we’ll have one of the best schedules in the country if it doesn’t include North Carolina” in the future. Says he knows Cats fans “are looking at us” anyway, not the opponent.
- Calipari says he tells players they’re under a huge microscope at UK and “that’s the down side of being here,” but the benefits and the stage they’re on far outweigh that.
- Calipari on Derek Willis’ arrest this summer: “You guys know, I don’t throw people under the bus.” Says UK gathers info and “Derek knows he’s under a different eye now than he was.” Says he won’t talk specific punishment, but “he and I have talked a few different times.” Calipari does say no missed games for Willis.
- Calipari on sophomore 7-footer Isaac Humphries: “You’re going to see him and say, ‘Wow, he’s not even the same guy.’ ” Calipari will hit the road on Sept. 9 and probably be in 12 states in a matter of days. Says he’s gotta hit them early or rivals will say “if you were important to them …”
- Calipari on this year’s team in summer workouts: “I was really pleased, from De’Aaron Fox gaining 10-12 pounds to Wenyen (Gabriel) getting his feet underneath him to Isaiah (Briscoe) getting better shooting the ball.” Said a lot of the role-player vets have made a step forward.
- Calipari conducting a fantasy camp, so what’s his basketball fantasy? “It’s not fantasy. It’s to win all 40 games some time before I retire” and then to see half the NBA All-Stars be his former guys.
- Calipari won’t participate in the softball home run derby. “My hip,” he explained. “That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.” BUT, he claims to have a HR derby “ringer.” Assistant coach John Robic, “who’s over 50.”
- Calipari said footage of the flooding “just moves you,” and notes that Hurricane Sandy hit his beloved Jersey Shore.
- Calipari said former UK star Anthony Davis (currently of the New Orleans Pelicans) told Calipari, “Coach, you gotta do something” for Baton Rouge flood victims. Davis is out of the country but will try to get back for Sunday’s softball game to help. His 2012 title teammates, Terrence Jones and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, were not previously on the celeb list for Sunday but will be there.
- Calipari has decided to donate all proceeds from Sunday’s alumni/celebrity softball game will go to the Baton Rouge flood-relief fund, through Red Cross. “So what I’m asking you to do is buy these tickets.” They’re $5 apiece. The previously raised funds will still go to the other designated charities, like each year. You can donate to the flooding fund by texting “GIVE” to 859-955-8173.
* Follow Kyle on Twitter @KyleTucker_AJC. Reach him at Kyle.Tucker@ajc.com.