Little did I know going into this, you can’t record the post-game press conferences.
The first thing John Calipari does when he sits down to talk to the media is complain about the time and asks us to cut it short.
“Folks, can you make this really quick? It’s 12:30. A college kid shouldn’t be playing at 12:30. The old man that’s coaching their team has to watch tapes tonight. Can you just ask a couple questions? We shouldn’t be playing this late, but that’s another issue for another day.”
Fair enough, so here is the gist of the press conference tonight.
Q. “John, what did you think of your team’s performance in light of the SEC Tournament seemed to be an uptick?”
“We’ll be fine. I mean, you get up 18 and, you know, again, it’s 1:30 in the morning, and we’re playing. And then you have to give Northern Kentucky credit. The things hey did all season is make 3s. And what I said at halftime, the one thing I’m worried about is they missed a bunch of 3s that they normally make, or the game would’ve been closer. And then late in the game, they made them all. So they made the game close.”
Q. “What about Bam’s performance>? How much did he sort of get you guys over the hump?”
“Well, again, what’s great about him is he’s making free throws. And our whole thing was we’re going at him. We knew they’d trap, which they did. But he still ended up getting balls, and they founded him. Just the stuff down the stretch. You know we use the clock. We grind it out. We threw two quick passes away, like what are you doing, which gave them a chance. Well, that’s freshmen, so I will tell you this is a learning curve.”
Q. “Coach, was there one particular thing that frustrated you? I noticed that as the game was going on, you seemed to be coaching this as if it was a tie game or maybe you were down?”
“Because I’m looking at all these games to try to tell them I wasnt just worried about this game. You’re worried about playing in thsi tournament and how you’re going to have to play to win. And you can’t think athat there are certain things that you can do in each round that goes by is thought and tougher and tougher.
So I was coaching them to say this is not how you do this. We talked after the game. But I want them to enjoy the win. They’ll be sleeping in another 45 minutes, but they can enjoy for another 45 minutes anyway.”
De’Aaron Fox, Isaiah Briscoe and Bam Adebayo were all available for the media to ask questions to after the game, but since Calipari wanted it to be cut short, only one question was asked and it was to De’Aaron Fox.
Q. “De’Aaron, number 30, Lavone Holland for them, an important part for them. What did you see from him? Obviously, he kind of gets them going or could get them going if he finds a rhythm.”
“He was a very good player. He was great off the ball screen. He was able to rebound for them. He didnt turn the ball over that much. We tried to pressure him. He handled the pressure pretty well today. He scored the ball, and that’s what we knew he was going to do. We just tried to contain them.”
And that was the end of the press conference with John Calipari, as he was ready to take his kids and send them to bed.