Calipari teaching Jones how to be great

Calipari aims to make practice more physical

jtipton@herald-leader.comNovember 21, 2010 

PORTLAND, Ore. — After the University of Kentucky battered Portland 79-48 in Friday night's tuneup for the EA Sports Maui Invitational, Coach John Calipari assessed his team.

"I do know we're fast and athletic," he said. "I do know we shoot it well. I do know we're unselfish and will pass the ball.

"We've just got to get some guys a little tougher. When they get bumped, when they get bodied up, they shoot fadeaway hooks and stuff."

Sitting to Calipari's left, freshman Terrence Jones couldn't beat back the shy smile that crept across his face.

Yes, Calipari was talking about Jones, who faced the biggest team yet in his introduction to college basketball. Though the loser this night by a decisive margin, Portland had the bodies to push UK ... and to activate Calipari's demand for more-more-more.

"Terrence played well, but I just want him to be great," the UK coach said. "I want him to be the best."

To get there, Jones must do the pushing and dictate to the other team.

"He's got to have more fight," Calipari said. "Be more physical. He can't settle for jumpers. Go dunk the ball!"

Jones, the 6-foot-9 freshman from Portland, again welcomed the non-stop prodding from Calipari.

"That's one reason I came here because I know what he expected. I know how much he'd be on me during games. That shows how much he cares and believes in me. It's a wonderful thing to have."

Calipari cited how Portland's Luke Sikma, the son of former NBA star Jack Sikma, showed how Jones must be the aggressor. "All Sikma did was put a body on him," the UK coach said. As a result, Sikma stifled Jones, whose point total dropped from 25 in the opener to 12 against Portland, whose rebound total dropped from 12 to five, whose turnovers increased from none to four.

"He got nothing," Calipari exaggerated to make a point. "It was a zero. What Sikma did to him was really good. It just brought out what we have to do."

Calipari sounded like he will take a personal role in making Jones more of a physical presence. The UK coach promised to be hands-on when the Cats resume practice on Maui this weekend.

"When we go to Hawaii, I'm going to beat him with a pad for two days," Calipari said. "He's going to drive on me and I'm going to be like a blocking dummy trying to knock him down. He has to play through it. He's strong enough to do it. His habit is you bump me, I fade away. You bump me, I'll spin away. That's because he's a freshman."

Jones acknowledged that he needed to be prodded to play a more physical game.

"That's something I barely notice when I'm playing," he said. "I didn't feel it until he was actually telling me."

While Jones struggled at times in his homecoming, the game was a relative breeze for Kentucky. The Cats scored the first 15 points. Portland missed its first 12 shots, 14 of its first 15 and never recovered.

"For us to get open shots — and get the shots we wanted — and not convert really hurt us," Portland Coach Eric Reveno said.

Reveno saluted Kentucky's defense. Portland came into the game averaging 81.3 points. Only nine previous times in Reveno's five seasons as coach had the Pilots scored fewer than 50 points in a game.

Again and again, Portland players tried in vain to get UK defenders out of position with shot fakes. "They didn't get 'lifted' a lot," Reveno said.

The Pilots seemed so anxious, even layups became difficult to make.

"I don't think 'fear' is the right word," the Portland coach said. "You're trying to rush because you know they're coming fast."

Portland's leading scorer, Jared Stohl, got smothered. He led the nation in three-point accuracy last season and had made 12 of 21 shots from beyond the arc so far this season. He made one of seven three-point attempts against UK.

When asked how many of Stohl's shots he considered good, Reveno said, "I get spoiled with Jared. It doesn't take much for me to call it a good look."

But, the Portland coach added a moment later, "He might be open at the moment he shot it, but a half-second later he wouldn't be. Was that really a good look?"

As well as UK appeared to play defensively, Calipari noted that he'd been experimenting with a hybrid zone defense in practice. Some combination of two separate zones.

"Not a traditional zone," he said. "A little bit crazy, funky zone."

Calipari suggested he might try it on Maui and see what happens.

Kentucky (79)

NAME mi fg-a 3-pt ft-a rb a pf tp

Jones 30 5-14 0-2 2-5 5 3 4 12

Harrellson 23 3-4 0-0 0-0 12 0 2 6

Miller 30 6-7 3-4 0-0 5 4 4 15

Knight 32 7-13 2-5 5-5 3 1 1 21

Liggins 31 1-4 0-1 4-4 2 2 1 6

Poole 2 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0

Hood 12 0-1 0-1 2-4 3 0 0 2

Polson 2 0-1 0-1 0-0 0 0 1 0

Lamb 24 4-5 3-4 2-2 3 1 2 13

Vargas 14 2-2 0-0 0-0 4 0 2 4

Totals 200 28-51 8-18 15-20 37 11 17 79

Portland (48)

NAME mi fg-a 3-pt ft-a rb a pf tp

Mitrovic 22 1-7 0-5 0-0 1 3 2 2

Sikma 29 2-7 0-0 0-0 12 2 2 4

Knutson 24 2-4 0-0 0-0 1 0 1 4

Waterford 26 5-13 2-4 0-0 0 1 3 12

Stohl 28 2-9 1-7 4-4 2 1 0 9

Riley 18 0-5 0-3 0-0 4 1 1 0

Douglas 14 2-4 0-0 3-5 1 1 2 7

Barker 14 3-5 1-1 1-1 1 0 2 8

Rodgers 12 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0

Thieleke 2 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 1 0

Nicholas 6 1-2 0-0 0-2 3 1 1 2

Hannibal 5 0-2 0-0 0-0 1 0 1 0

Team 4

Totals 200 18-59 4-20 8-12 30 10 16 48

Kentucky 38 41—79

Portland 24 24—48

Field-goal shooting: Kentucky 54.9, Portland 30.5. Free-throw shooting: Kentucky 75.0, Portland 66.7. Technicals: None. Turnovers: Kentucky 11 (Jones 4, Knight 3, Miller 2, Lamb 1, Liggins 1), Portland 9 (Douglas 2, Knutson 2, Sikma 2, Stohl 2, Riley 1). Blocked shots: Kentucky 9 (Miller 4, Jones 2, Knight 2, Vargas 1), Portland 2 (Knutson 1, Nicholas 1). Steals: Kentucky 6 (Miller 5, Liggins 1), Portland 5 (Barker 1, Douglas 1, Knutson 1, Mitrovic 1, Rodgers 1). Officials: Doug Simmons, Mike Thibodeaux, Terry Moore. Attendance: 10,216.

Records: Kentucky 2-0; Portland 3-1.

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