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John Calipari talks practice, Vandy, Luke Kornett and more

Calipari held his pre-Vanderbilt press conference, and talked about Vanderbilt and his players getting extra time in the gym.

NCAA Basketball: Arkansas at Kentucky Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

John Calipari spoke to the media leading up to Kentucky’s game at Vanderbilt tomorrow, and talked about his players practicing, the change in their schedule now that they’re about to start classes again, and what he sees in Vanderbilt.

Cal first talked about how all of his players are getting in the gym and working hard. He said they’re each improving, even if he has to force some of them into the gym early.

“They’re building their own confidence, their own self-esteem, their own self-worth,” Cal said of his players practicing and working out.

Calipari also talked about the four-guard setup he ran against Arkansas, with Mychal Mulder playing as a forward. He loved Mulder’s toughness, and said that is a major factor in running that style of play.

“I love the fact that he fought; didn’t give an inch,” Cal said of Mulder.

With classes starting up again, there’s not much time to try new things in practice anymore, which is why he ran the four-guard rotation in the game. He said sometimes you just have to try things like that for a few minutes in a game and see how it works.

Speaking of classes starting back up, the end of winter break means Camp Cal is over. Calipari spoke on what he liked about the camp that he ran over the break.

“The whole thing is just having more time together and being able to spend quality time on defense and just doing it. Early in the season, we just don’t have much time,” he said.

Calipari then talked about Vanderbilt, and what their versatile seven footer Luke Kornet brings to the table.

“It’s hard. seven-footer that shoots threes and is good around the basket too. If you leave him open, it’s down,” Cal said.

Kornet has put up a double-double in each of his last two games, so he’s definitely someone to keep an eye on.

Cal also talked about De’Aaron Fox, and his shooting confidence. He said that Fox is getting extra time in the gym and getting better at shooting. He’s getting more confidence, which Calipari has been hard on Wenyen Gabriel about.

Calipari said that Gabriel had an open look against Arkansas and didn’t take it, and told Cal that he passed up the shot because he missed one earlier. Cal told him to get in the gym and start shooting more, otherwise he can’t trust him to shoot.

Here is a replay of everything Coach Cal said:

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