UK-Indiana notes: Crean, Calipari friendly rivals

jtipton@herald-leader.comDecember 12, 2009 

Saturday's Kentucky- Indiana game represents a lose-lose situation for UK Coach John Calipari.

Either his team loses to Indiana, or Calipari knows his joy in a victory comes at the expense of a close friend, Indiana Coach Tom Crean.

"Here's what stinks about coaching," Calipari told reporters Friday. "Your happiness as a coach is in direct proportion to another guy's misery. So you have to make another human being and his family absolutely miserable for you to feel happiness.

"Think about what I have to do for a living. They don't pay me enough to do that."

Reporters giggled, then erupted into laughter. UK pays Calipari about $3.5 million per year.

Calipari saluted the physical, hustling style exhibited by Crean's teams. When asked about Indiana's 74-64 victory over Pittsburgh in the Jimmy V Classic on Tuesday, Calipari said, "They out-toughed a really tough team. ... Indiana did more to Pittsburgh than Pittsburgh did to them."

Crean noted how Calipari has been helpful to younger coaches, including himself.

"He always gave me the respect when I was a young coach and he was further along in the game," Crean said. "I learned a lot from him back then and I still learn a lot from him. I really value our friendship. ... I think he's one of of the most cerebral, gifted leaders I've been around."

Calipari, 50, noted how he invited Crean, 43, to coaching clinics even though the two were competitors in Conference USA, Calipari at Memphis and Crean at Marquette.

Crean has not forgotten.

"John's one of those guys who is always good to young coaches because he was one once," the IU coach said. "I don't want it to sound like he's ancient and I'm a kid. But he was really, really good. I've helped him get to know certain people in other sports. And he's helped me get to know guys like Larry Brown and Mike Woodson and Isiah (Thomas) even before I was the coach here."

No fear

Indiana guard Verdell Jones III spoke highly of UK freshman John Wall. But not too highly.

"He's a fantastic player," Jones said. "His athletic ability is out of this world. But we have to go in and not be afraid of him, and I don't think any of our guards are afraid of him at all.

"We are going to come in with a lot of confidence and really get into him. We are going to switch defenses against him and make him see some different things."IU-UK a mystery

Wall, a native of Raleigh, N.C., acknowledged not being aware of the Kentucky-Indiana rivalry.

"None of the freshmen know," he said, surely not including Madisonville native Jon Hood in the group. "We just go into it like it's another game."

Miller: Hail Wall

Darius Miller, who wore a bandage over an eye because of a practice collision, chuckled when asked if the hype surrounding Wall created any jealousy on the team.

"I think he deserves every bit of it," Miller said. "A few games we would have lost without John Wall. I don't have a problem with it, He deserves it."

Etc.

■ At 9-0, Calipari is off to the best start by a first-year UK coach since Adolph Rupp won the first 10 games of the 1930-31 season.

■ The 9-0 record is the best start to a UK season since 1992-93. That Final Four-bound team won its first 11 games.

■ UK leads the series 29-23, but IU leads 10-4 in games played in Bloomington.

■ Don Criqui and Greg Anthony will call the game for CBS.

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