UK Notes

UK notes: Calipari bemoans referees' stance on charges

Calipari bemoans refs' stance on calling charges

jtipton@herald-leader.comJanuary 17, 2012 

  • Kentucky vs. Western Kentucky

    When: 7 p.m. Saturday
    Where: LP Field in Nashville
    TV: ESPNews
    Radio: WBUL-FM 98.1; WLAP-AM 630; WWRW-FM 105.5

So far this season, Kentucky has drawn only nine charging calls while being whistled for 39 charges. At Tennessee last weekend, UK charged five times (three by point guard Marquis Teague).

UK Coach John Calipari shrugged while seeming to hint that some of those charges could have been called blocks on the defenders.

"Teams, right now, are saying when they're running to the rim, throw a body in there and hope it's a charge, and not a block," Calipari said Monday on the Southeastern Conference coaches' weekly teleconference. "Now, 98 percent of them are being called charges. I don't think we've (drawn) three ... all year."

Actually, Anthony Davis finally drew a charge at Tennessee after being called for blocking at least five times earlier in the season.

"Either these guys — when we leave our feet — are unbelievably quick to get into position," Calipari said of defenders drawing charges on UK. "Or some of them should be blocks."

Without saying so directly, Calipari seemed to think it was the latter.

"But either way, you have to be aware (of) this is how they're playing," the UK coach said. "Stop short or you've truly got to move to a side so it's so obvious that they're moving that they've (the referees) got to call it."

As his predecessor Billy Gillispie once noted, Calipari said a charge was acceptable because it indicates aggressive play.

"The worst thing is if you're out there just jacking up shots," he said.

As for UK not drawing many charges, Calipari said he'd rather Kentucky concentrate on blocking the opponents' shots rather than cede to referees a block/charge decision.

"Because (a blocked shot) leads to a fast break," he said. "A couple guys are told to take charges. The rest of you, block shots. So it's a little bit by design."

Later Monday, Calipari sounded more concerned. During a media briefing Monday night, Calipari said he would seek a clarification from SEC Supervisor of Officials Gerald Boudreaux.

Calipari lamented how defenders can belatedly slide into the path of an offensive player with the resulting call a charge.

If that is a charge, Calipari said he would have UK players do the same thing.

Meanwhile, Teague said he did not intend to charge.

"I just went in there and tried to make a play," he said. "I should have shot a pull-up or floater instead."

Teague saw no problem with adjusting to a late-arriving defender by maneuvering around him.

"We do whatever the defense (allows)," he said.

Cal ahead 5-3

Calipari's Memphis teams won five of eight games against teams coached by Mike Anderson. That was 5-2 over UAB in Conference USA games, and 0-1 against Missouri.

The latter was a 102-91 Missouri victory over Memphis in the 2009 NCAA Tournament West Region semifinals.

Anderson, now the coach at Arkansas, downplayed the importance of those games.

"First of all, me and John, we're not playing," he said. "The teams are playing. Every team is different. Circumstances are different. ...

"Obviously, the last time the teams played we (Missouri) played great."

Super Bowl?

Calipari likes to note that playing UK is every opponent's Super Bowl. That figures to be true with Arkansas.

Said Arkansas' star freshman, B.J. Young, "This is a game I have been looking forward to for awhile," he said. "I think my teammates have, too."

Arkansas Coach Mike Anderson echoed the sentiment.

"When you're playing one of the top teams in the country, 'Coach' doesn't have to get you ready," he said. "He doesn't have to tell you things to get you ready. You already know."

'Super Tuesday'

Arkansas will be playing in what ESPN calls its "Super Tuesday" lineup for the first time since 2008.

"That's part of the process of getting Arkansas back into the nation's eye," Anderson said. "We want our program to be known around the world, around the country. The most exposure you get, the better it is for your program."

Football/basketball

Backup quarterback Brandon Mitchell has joined the Arkansas basketball team. He originally signed to play basketball for LSU, then de-committed when the school fired then-coach John Brady.

Eventually, Mitchell signed to play football for Arkansas. He played four games on the basketball team two seasons ago.

Mitchell made the trip to UK.

Etc.

SEC Freshman of the Week Anthony Davis needs two blocks to set a UK single-season record. ... Brad Nessler, Jimmy Dykes and sideline reporter Shannon Spake will call the game for ESPN.

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