UK-Georgia notes

Legendary coach Larry Brown lends a hand with Cats

Invited guest Larry Brown gives Cal an extra set of eyes

jtipton@herald-leader.comJanuary 29, 2011 

Bobcats Camp Basketball

Then-Charlotte Bobcats coach Larry Brown, left, talked with Kentucky Coach John Calipari during a Bobcats training camp practice in 2009. Brown has been in Lexington this week.

CHUCK BURTON — ASSOCIATED PRESS

Hall of Famer Larry Brown, whom Kentucky Coach John Calipari called a friend and mentor, has attended UK practices this week. He'll be at Saturday's game against Georgia.

But not sitting on the bench, Calipari said.

The UK coach found it difficult to believe Brown would agree to do the "Y" in the K-E-N-T-U-C-K-Y cheer.

"I don't know if he'll do that," Calipari said. "He's such a Carolina guy. He's wearing Kentucky gear, though."

Brown, who parted ways with the Charlotte Bobcats earlier this NBA season, is serving as another set of eyes "to maybe throw me some ideas we haven't thought of," Calipari said. "I just like he's here. I like hanging around him. I'm more relaxed."

UK center Josh Harrellson said Brown has been participating in practices.

"He'll even stop drills like Coach Cal does and put his imput in," Harrellson said. 'It's great having a legendary coach here buiding us and helping us out."

Calipari said he invited players to seek advice from Brown about how to improve.

"Not a bad deal," Calipari said. "He's a Hall of Famer."

Brown is the only coach to win the NCAA Tournament (Kansas, 1988) and an NBA championship (Detroit Pistons, 2004). Calipari's first coaching job was as a graduate assistant for Brown at Kansas in the 1980s.

While in Lexington, Brown is staying at Calipari's home.

"He's coached thousands and thousands of games," Calipari said. "He's been in every situation. If there is a better coach in the world, I'd like to see him."

Off week

In its week between games, Kentucky took Sunday and Monday off. The Cats have practiced each day since, concentrating on what UK must do to get better rather than specific ways to beat Georgia, Calipari said.

"We have to do what we do," the UK coach said. "If that's not good enough and we play our best and got beat, we got beat."

Cultivate toughness?

Calipari noted that UK's lack of depth hinders the attempt to cultivate toughness.

"You wish you had more people," he said. More depth creates a more competitive environment in practice.

"With six guys, you're cajoling, begging," he said. "They've got to have an inner feeling. 'I know this is important to the team and I'm not selfish.' "

Home streak

UK has won 28 straight at home, counting the NIT game against UNLV in Memorial Coliseum. Only Duke, which has won 30 straight at home going into the Boston College game, has a longer active streak.

Whatever happens in the Duke-Boston College game, Georgia will have the opportunity to serve as bookends to Kentucky's home streak.

Georgia is the last team to beat Kentucky in Rupp Arena. The current streak began after the Bulldogs beat UK 90-85 on March 4, 2009. Terrance Woodbury scored 30 points for Georgia. Then-freshman Trey Thompkins added a double-double (19 points and 11 rebounds).

Darius Miller stuffed his stat line with nine points, five rebounds, two assists and two steals.

Etc.

When asked if he thought he'd play against Georgia, Jarrod Polson said, "I'm hoping so. I'm trying to work hard in practice and make (Calipari) more comfortable about putting me in." ... Georgia has a 4-1 record on the opponent's home court. The Dawgs play six of their final 10 SEC games away from home. . . . Of Georgia's 19 games, 13 were decided by seven or fewer points or in overtime. The Dawgs are 8-5 in those games. UK is 2-2 in such games. ... Brad Nessler and Jimmy Dykes will call the game for ESPN.

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