Men's Basketball


DEC. 6, 2020
Kentucky Head Coach John Calipari
Opening statement …
“If you turn the ball over 20 times and the other team scores 30 points, you’re not beating anybody. Hardest play, fumble balls, got out-toughed again. It is what it is. I’ve got so much work to do. I feel bad for these guys because I said it at the beginning of the year, the schedule’s not fair for them. All Power 5 schools or schools that have veteran players. It’s just not fair. But you know what? It is what it is and we’re going to go. Now, I’ve told them, I’m not cracking yet. It’s hard to play against a team that goes 40 minutes of zone. At the end, all we did was throw it inside and guess what? We should have done that from the beginning of the game. They went small, and it bothered us. It did. And we knew the way that they started the game that they were thinking about it. But, they spread the court on us and it made it harder.”
On why he isn’t panicking yet …
“We’ve been here before. There’s thing that I could do. Some of the stuff I’ve got to hold them accountable like turning the ball over. I mean again, I’m just telling you we have guys trying to make the hardest play they can make. Why would you just not throw to that man? ‘Because I’m trying to show I can play.’ Well, what happens is you show that you don’t realize, you don’t understand. Just make easy plays and attack. We shot the ball better, did some better things. I thought Terrence (Clarke) did some good stuff. But, they tired us out when they went with the smaller lineup. We had our chances. We turned it over and they got a breakaway layup. So it goes from six and eight and all of a sudden you turn around and its 12, 14. What just happened? Turnover, turnover, turnover. So, we’ve got stuff we’ve got to work on. We’ll get back and we’ll go from there.”
On if he is more troubled by the offense or the defense tonight …
“We got 21 turnovers and they got 30 points off of them. I probably don’t even need to speak on anything else. And then all they did was spread the court and held the ball and hoped to break us down which they did a couple of times. A couple of ball screens, our big guys went back instead of being up. A couple of plays we don’t get a rebound. Davion (Mintz) falls asleep, we have them beat and three seconds later, three seconds to go Davion’s man scores a layup. I mean, there’s all kinds of stuff like that but defense isn’t our issue. Turning the ball over, I thought we had a better game plan, man to mans, I have a better idea. Now, we just have to look at guys and if you’re a turnover guy, I can’t play you. Now, I’m going to work with you in practice. I’m going to do whatever I can to keep you, to get you to drill you, to get you to understand. And again, the plays if you look at them, they have an easy play but they try and do something tough. It’s, ‘I’m trying to make my plays.’ But we’ll get it.”
On the entire team struggling with turnovers …
“But we had one in the first half that had three. When you look at this, and you’re right it was spread out everywhere, but we’ve got to begin to practice where at the end of whatever scrimmage however many turnovers you’re running. I mean there’s things that we can do and there are things that I’ve got to do. But, again, there’s a lot of stuff that we’re working on. And losing games makes it harder. If we play bad or do stuff and then win a game, there’s some like, ‘Ok. We can do this.’ But we don’t have any wins. We’re going to have to fight, not turn it over, play aggressively, make really easy plays, be more physical. I mean everybody is knocking us around right now. Like I said, I’ve been through this kind of stuff and I just haven’t done it in this environment. I’ve not done it where – like, I’ll give you something for all of these kids it’s bad. There are no face-to-face contact, very little with me and you need that when you’re young. You need to talk. You need the face-to-face. The second thing is, the schedule, which I knew was a mistake and probably should have just said, ‘Look, here’s what we are doing.’ But it should make us better. You look at all of this stuff and it’s either a setback or you’re ready to say, ‘It’s setting us up for something that we need to do.’ Because every one of these games we’re learning. We’re learning. Now, we have to start winning some games. I hope we can. But my job is to make sure that we’re getting better, to put us in that position to win and help them at the end win games. But we haven’t been in a game where I can help them, the last couple of games. Well, the Kansas game we were right there but the Richmond game we weren’t and that was kind of the same kind of finish.”


DEC. 6, 2020
Kentucky Student-Athlete
#10, Davion Mintz, Gr., G
On Kentucky’s 21 turnovers …
“Just not being careful with the ball. I feel like we kind of panicked during the game. It just caused guys, whoever is in a situation like that—they just gave it up, simply gave it to the other team.”
On “digging a hole” with a 1-3 start to the season …
“Fairly deep, honestly. I mean, we had high expectations coming into the season. But in all honesty, this team is very inexperienced. At the same time, as it is a hole, I think it’s something that happened that it needed to, and we’re going to keep battling through this, honestly. We dropped three (games). It’s nothing to just come back and win three in a row. So, if we put those together and figure this out, I think we’ll be just fine.”
On the added difficulties of playing through a pandemic …
“Look each other in the face and understand that we are not really good right now. Right now, we’re not good as a team. We are really good individuals and guys who I feel that are going to have to be willing to understand, including myself, that we have to change something and just continue to fight. I know it’s cliché and whatever, but I mean, I just don’t want people to stop believing in this team. We’re going to figure this out. Honestly, it’s just a real bump in the road right now. It’s a big hole, we’ve just got to find a way to get out of it.”
On what the team can learn from a rocky start …
“It’s the same thing that Coach (John Calipari) has been preaching to us since we got to campus. This isn’t an easy process, this is going to be hard. Honestly, it hit us very, very early. The times are unfortunate, we’re playing against guys who have the advantage to be together for a while, unfortunately like we haven’t. It’s just been a huge smack in the face for us. It happened. It’s a huge eyeopener for everyone, including myself, that we have no other option than to figure this out, and we have one of the best coaches in the nation, that supports us around here and all of our staff to help us figure this out. It’s not like we’re led astray. We have no option other than to step forward and figure this out. I think that’s all I can say about it.”
On the team’s assist-to-turnover ratio …
“I’m a little worried about it. Starting with me, I’ve got to protect the ball a little bit better. We have to come together as a team and understand the importance of protecting the ball. I think (Georgia Tech) scored over 30 points on our turnovers. I’m not extremely just down about it, but I know it’s a huge problem for us right now, and that’s something that we can change.”

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