NCAA Basketball: John Calipari and UK Wildcats jabber LSU, biggest week of the season and extra – A Sea Of Blue


It doesn’t acquire indispensable better than this week for the No. 5 Kentucky Wildcats.

The Cats will host their two biggest threats within the SEC with No. 19 LSU visiting Rupp Arena Tuesday, then No. 1 Tennessee comes to metropolis Saturday.

The message John Calipari has relayed to his team all season long is: one game at a time. Thus, as of now, the team’s total focus is on the LSU Tigers.

The Tigers come into Lexington searching for their first clutch over the Cats since 2016 and their first clutch at Rupp Arena since 2009.

LSU enters Tuesday’s tilt with Kentucky with a 19-4 overall file and a 9-1 convention file that has them tied with the Wildcats for 2d within the convention.

What makes LSU sophisticated is their dimension. Their front-court docket is anchored by Naz Reid who stands at 6’10 and averages 13.9 parts per game. He’s joined by the 6’11 Kavell Bigby-Williams who’s averaging 7.8 parts per game along with six rebounds.

In say to clutch their 11th straight game, Kentucky will need PJ Washington to remain sizzling and acquire an unlimited-time performance from Reid Travis.

This day, Calipari, Tyler Herro and Immanuel Quickley previewed LSU and talked about this week’s importance, moreover the advantage of playing at home. Here’s a summary of what they’d to yell by technique of UK Athletics.

John Calipari

On the matchup between LSU’sTremont Watersand Kentucky’sAshton Hagans

“They’re two in actuality ethical players, however diversified. Tremont does an unprecedented job at stealing balls on protection and establishing havoc that manner, and then offensively he in actuality sees the court docket and can rating. So he’s terrific that manner. Our man is, – tempo that game up, attach stress on the ball. I’m unsure how indispensable he’ll guard Tremont. We may well carry out some diversified stuff, however they would well moreover honest work head-to-head some.”

On just a few of Hagans’ troubles early within the game the previous couple of games …

“Smartly, groups are coming at him now. They’re figuring out who he’s. I feel I could well moreover honest moreover have in mind John Wall strolling into my place of job and pronouncing, ‘I’m no longer having fun.’ ‘Yeah, no kidding. They’re guarding you with a broken line. They’re no longer guarding you. They’re running support into, beneath the basket, to abolish you shoot and it’s no fun now.’ They’re doing things to him. They’re playing have-and-rolls diversified ways. They’re doing things to him to – leaving him some, striking him in spots the put presumably he’s a shrimp miserable. That honest comes with ride. He’ll be stunning.”

On what his advice is to Hagans …

“Force it some. Shoot it some. He’s so bodily and see you later, he can manufacture havoc himself each and each on the defensive and offensive halt. I’m ecstatic with what he’s doing.”

On Hagans no longer making the Bob Cousy Award see list …

“I wasn’t either after I used to be in college and I used to be so upset about that. [Laugther.} It bothered me for about three years.”

On if Waters reminds him of Tyler Ulis …

“Yeah, he does. Controls the game the same way. He coaches on the floor. Yeah, he does a lot of that stuff.”

On Naz Reid and the kind of matchup problem he poses …

“He’s big. He’s big. He’ll shoot 3s. Plays a little bit like a guard. He’s really good. They’re whole team – look, this team, their guard play, their toughness, their size. They’ve got two bigs that come off the bench and are their leading offensive rebounders. So what happens when those two come in they shoot it and those two just fly and go get it. They’ve got wings that a couple are scorers and a couple are high-flyers. I mean, this is a good team. This stretch for us – you know, we’ve had a couple of these where we’ve had tough games. (This is) by far the toughest stretch and starting with this team that is a top – they’re top-15 (team) they say but they’re better than that. This is a top-10 team. In the last five games they’ve been down 10 points four times and they came back and won three of those. They were down 10 points, 14 points with 2:20 to go and came back and won. They were down 16, 18 to Arkansas and lost on a shot that didn’t go in. They win different ways. They beat Auburn on out-of-bounds plays. Can you imagine? They scored like five or six times on out-of-bounds plays. That’s unusual, but that’s what they did. That’s how they – that was the difference in that game.”

On what messages LSU’s resiliency says to Kentucky …

“They’re not afraid. Neither are we. We play the same. We’ve been down. We’ve been down 12-2, 16-4, I mean, looking at each other. If I remember Georgia it was dunk, dunk, dunk, dunk. What in the world? I mean, so we’re both kind of the same. That’s why it should be an exciting game.”

On what went wrong during Mississippi State’s 18-2 run …

“Well, if you’re inexperienced you’ll think one or two plays really doesn’t matter. So, you won’t be focused. You won’t make the easy play. You’ll grab a ball with one hand. You’ll do something that is like, ‘Why would you do that?’ ‘Well, we were up 14.’ Then you look around and you’re up 10. And then all of the sudden that momentum is there. Then they make a shot and then you get fouled. Uh-oh. And you missed two. And all of the sudden it’s anybody’s ball game. It started with those two plays that you acted like didn’t matter. A team like Tennessee, a veteran team, a Virginia, team’s that are older, they don’t – they understand that those plays really matter. When you’re young like us, you go and show them the tape. ‘What were you thinking?’ ‘I wasn’t.’ ‘Very good answer.’ ”

On defensive and mental stops …

“That and rebounding. But, you keep them at bay with what you are doing offensively. They score. You score. They score and you score. OK. You are still up 18. But, if you break down three or four times and you score and you are turning it over for no reason or you are taking a quick bad shot when we are up 18, that is when stuff turns.”

On if shot selection is different when they’re up big or the other team is making a run …

“I hope not. You are trying to get fouled. You are trying to make sure that you can get a good look that you can rebound.”

On how different this team is with a “locked in”Keldon Johnson

“It is not just one guy. I can go right down the line where we have slippage, including guys coming off the bench being more and more confident defensively. Now, you expand leads. You walk in and you’re like, man, if that guy walks in and defends and plays that way and blocks shots and does it, you can leave him in the game.”

On improving defensively …

“Let me tell you what will be interesting in this game: This will be a team that will go at you at certain guys and try to beat people on the dribble. This is going to be a challenge. We are talking about one guy but they’ll pick and choose. They do a lot of that. A lot of times they are doing that trying to get you to collapse a little bit, shoot the ball off the backboard so you can rebound it, dunk it, tip it in. This is a challenge of the game. This is going to be a hard one. Believe me, a hard game. A hard game for us to win. I don’t care if it is in Rupp Arena or I-95. This is a hard game to win because of how they play. But, if we can give them a full 40, then it should be a good game.”

On the February and March schedule …

“The next two, you have games that are Elite Eight games, Final Four games. That is where we are playing now. Let’s see where we are. The good news is, whether Tuesday or Saturday, there will be more games. You are not like, ‘Well, your season ended.’ This is us to learn. Are we where we all think we are? Let’s see because we have to play the game.”

On playing Kansas and Auburn preparing Kentucky for the upcoming schedule …

“It did but this is going to be a harder set of games. North Carolina and Louisville, this will be a harder set of games. It is starting with this team that comes in and everyone is looking by this game and talking about that next one. I am not. I haven’t looked at one tape of Tennessee. Not one. I haven’t thought about them. I don’t know what they run. Well, I do know because they have the same team so they are probably running the same stuff. But, I haven’t done anything. My focus is let’s see how we are playing against this type of team, this kind of length. Those two teams are different.

On if it’s a good thing that it sets up that way …

“Well, let me say this: If we had played these two teams a month ago, [pause] it doubtless would had been grotesque. Now we’ve received a chance that we’re coming together ourselves.”

On if he looks to be at it from an SEC standings standpoint even supposing there are quiet a form of games left to be done …

“I’m seeing seven, eight groups having their opportunity, however you’re taking a perceive at three groups who misplaced their simplest participant, or one of their simplest players, in our league. Where would this league be if these three were right here? And these are three NBA-stage players. So, , the league is as solid because it’s been. Frail groups, terrific coaches, , huge expertise.”

On what his message his to his team when Mississippi Order made an 18-2 saunter …

“On the road. I told them at halftime they’re going to abolish just a few runs. ‘They’ll abolish two runs. How carry out you play?’ And that I’ve done this 30 years, that’s what you question. And the diversified factor is, you yelp, ‘How carry out they create out it?’ They haven’t got the rest to lose. So now all of a unexpected, the overall photographs they couldn’t abolish, they abolish them. They’d nothing to lose. Let’s strive to carry out this. And then you definately honest hope, shield pushing support, shield pushing support, shield pushing support. As this factor winds down this can acquire more challenging. All over again, I’ve done it 35 years. Started after I used to be 20, by the manner.”

On how turning 60 performs on his mind …

“I’ve had presumably 50 messages that talked about it’s handiest a number. So I guess it’s handiest a number, I don’t know. I’m stunning. I feel better. I feel better. I feel ethical. I’ve been blessed. Wholesome. Considerably huge eating habits. [Laughter.]”

On no longer easy PJ Washington being challenged …

“I’m honest no longer letting any of these guys (revert support). It’s no longer honest him. I’m no longer letting any of these guys support up. I talked to them the day prior to this. I gave them a book to be taught. I had them be taught the one chapter. The one chapter I wished them to be taught used to be handiest about five pages, and it talked about flattery. Flattery is be pleased poison, and while you happen to drink it you’re going to die. Flattery is set ego. ‘You’re ethical, you’re ethical.’ The fashion you manufacture your self assurance is you work your butt off, and over a length of time you start constructing yourself up, and then you definately reside amazed. Like, ‘I will’t imagine I’m doing all this.’ ”

On Steve Alford being within the constructing and if he’s speaking to the team this day …

“No. He’s right here. He’s in our (workers) conferences. He and I had been guests for a very long time, so he talked about he desired to come support in for a couple days. So he’s right here this day. I don’t think he’s staying for the game, however he’ll see us prepare. He’ll be on the radio present off tonight. I’ve known him for 30 years so. He’s an unlimited man. Terrific coach.”

Tyler Herro

On his huge 3 leisurely in opposition to Mississippi Order …

“I feel PJ (Washington) misplaced the ball. My defender helped. I honest went and received it, took one dribble and shot it. I knew the shot-clock used to be going down, so I honest tried to abolish a play and made the shot.”

On the areas they are able to toughen …

“Surely honest all over. Appropriate playing the total game, fat 40 minutes. I assumed we done ethical the first half in opposition to Mississippi Order, however honest making that the total game and I feel we would maintain won by better than we did.”

On the importance of this week …

“It’s an unlimited week for us. No longer attempting to search ahead, so the next day’s clearly the biggest game correct now. Appropriate bolt into that game with as indispensable focus as we’ve had all yr, expectantly acquire that W and focus in for Tennessee.”

On who he knows from LSU’s team …

“I know three of them. Naz Reid, Emmitt (Williams) and Ja’vonte (Perfect).”

On Calipari no longer easy Washington …

“He honest talked about he doesn’t need him to revert support to how he used to be last yr, I guess – which I assumed he used to be quiet a reasonably ethical participant last yr. But yeah, he honest wants one of one of the most realistic for PJ. He’s honest going to continue to acquire on him and expectantly PJ keeps producing how he’s been.”

On how indispensable the outdated stretch in opposition to three straight ranked opponents prepared them for this …

“That shrimp stretch we had used to be a ethical test for us. I feel the next stretch we maintain may be one more test for us of honest being focused and bringing it day-after-day in prepare and persevering with to enhance.”

On what they learned from that outdated stretch …

“We can clearly compete with any one. We gotta be focused and elevate it every game.”

On Ashton Hagans getting furious to play a level guard be pleased LSU’s Tremont Waters …

“He takes that personally, so he’ll be in a neighborhood to bolt available and compete the next day. Like I talked about, Ashton’s one of one of one of the most realistic point guards within the country. I feel he’ll bolt available and abolish it happen.”

On how ethical UK may well moreover honest moreover be when Keldon Johnson is playing his simplest …

“Obviously, Keldon’s Keldon. When he’s locked in be pleased that, he honest takes our team to 1 more stage. We honest need him to be focused the total game, however that’s the same for all of us.”

On the adaptation when Johnson isn’t playing his simplest …

“I feel that you just would be able to well presumably present when he’s being no longer in actuality focused or no longer with it and when he brings it you seek for what he can carry out. When he’s locked in defensively, he takes our protection to a total ‘nother stage. When he’s making performs offensively, he does the same factor.”

Immanuel Quickley

On if LSU’s success this season is a surprise …

“No, we know the intention ethical LSU is. We’ve honest received to come support out each and each game, play exhausting, play together, play smooth and I be pleased our chances.

On how ethical LSU is …

“From what I seek for, they’re in actuality ethical. Enormous guard play, accurate versatile, accurate ethical on the interior as effectively. So we’ve honest received to come support out and carry out what we carry out.”

On if Tremont Waters is the participant who makes LSU bolt …

“Here’s my first yr, so I haven’t done in opposition to him. But from what I realize, he’s what makes them bolt, as a level guard. He facilitates their offense, gets them going. From what I realize, he’s done in actuality ethical all yr long.”

On how he and Ashton Hagans feel about facing a plot back be pleased Waters …

“I feel we’ve been doing ethical all yr long, however it’s no longer honest me and Ashton. It’s all individuals on protection, speaking, speaking, back the helper, stuff be pleased that.”

On what the team can be taught from nearly shedding an unlimited lead on Saturday …

“Yeah, that’s in actuality the 2d time, it took location in opposition to Auburn, too. We’re honest quiet attempting to work on that. I feel we’re making improvements to closing games and stuff be pleased that. Surely, honest making smarter performs down the stretch, locking up on protection, things be pleased that.”

On how huge of a plot back it is to pull out a clutch in opposition to a team that has made several comebacks …

“It’s sophisticated, that honest exhibits the resiliency of that team. For them so that you just can fight support, I feel they were down 10 or 14 with two minutes left. For them to carry out that, that exhibits how sophisticated they are. We honest desire to come support out and be the more challenging team, especially down the stretch.”

On how indispensable the team has improved from two or three months within the past …

“I feel we’re considerably better, as far as chemistry, on and off the bottom, we’ve gotten plenty nearer. Additionally, on the bottom, our protection is starting to come support together. That’s been the biggest factor. I feel our offense will come as we continue to acquire nearer to every diversified. But our protection has been clicking and that’s what’s given us a form of success.”

Offer

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