Following their monster 78-70 win over Louisville, the Kentucky Wildcats had a week between the intense rivalry matchup and the start of conference play against the Missouri Tigers this weekend. This will likely be the last chance at consistent practice time with school back in session soon, and John Calipari took full advantage.
During Wednesday’s SEC teleconference, Calipari said his team had two “monster practices” and compared them to his UMass days. He also did so while eating a salad during the call, which is peak John Calipari.
John Calipari said his team has had two "monster practices" this week, grinding his guys like his days at UMass, and now he has to back off a bit before the start of conference play.— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_ATH) January 2, 2020
Also: He's loudly eating a sandwich, sounds like, while conducting the SEC teleconference.
Just so all you media members know, I was eating during that teleconference. But it was a salad with walnuts, not a sandwich!— John Calipari (@UKCoachCalipari) January 2, 2020
And I wasn’t finished. But I did stop for a couple questions. LOL!
Never change, Cal.
With practice time coming less often for the rest of the season, this Kentucky team likely needed one last home run in practice to prepare them for conference play. This team found something in their upset win against the Cardinals and anything they could do in practice to build on that will only be a plus.
With the SEC schedule upon us, Calipari also said he will now have to back off a bit. He said he’s been telling his players that conference play is “a different beast” than nonconference. The SEC isn’t as strong as we’d thought, but this 18-game stretch until the start of March is still no walk in the park.
And while Kentucky has some big wins under its belt, it also has several inexplicable losses, so they are more than capable of slipping up to just about anyone in the conference, especially if we see the Kentucky team we saw in Las Vegas.
With great practices under their belt and the Louisville win propelling them, it’ll be hard for them to find a way to regress back to that level, though. Every team can lose focus or get trapped on any given night, but everyone should be a lot more optimistic about conference season now than they likely were pre-Louisville.
With these monster practices during Camp Cal now over, it’ll be good for them to slow down while they can since they won’t have a chance to again until the end of the year. From what we saw last weekend, the idea that this Kentucky team can be special is reborn and their SEC record will go a long way in proving and justifying that.