LOUISVILLE — Losing two games in two nights did not lessen the fun Joe B. Hall and Denny Crum had in a light-hearted return to coaching.
When asked about the experience after a 91-86 loss Tuesday night, Crum quipped, "I was really ticked off at (John Calipari) for not letting us practice."
Turning serious, the former University of Louisville coach added, "I was pleased, very happy that he asked. It's an honor to be part of it.
"Joe and I had great seats for this game."
Hall, who managed to follow a coaching icon in Adolph Rupp at the University of Kentucky, noted the joy that came with having a license to question referees.
"This was so much fun," Hall said. "I felt so good on the bench."
One-for-19 shooting from three-point range crippled the former UK players' chances to win.
"They didn't have their legs," Hall said. "You have to have legs when you put up three-pointers."
Brandon Knight (0-for-6), Rajon Rondo (0-for-4) and John Wall (0-for-5) were a combined 0-for-15 from beyond the arc.
It's all relative
Calipari, who will guide the Dominican Republic team into an Olympic qualifying tournament in Argentina later this summer, lamented that he had only two more weeks to install such basketball basics as a defensive system and end-of-game guidelines.
To which Crum, who sat next to Calipari at the post-game news conference, said, "It's not enough (time). But it's better than what we got."
UK player Eloy Vargas played more than four minutes after logging only the final 65 seconds in Monday's exhibition.
"When he didn't hand it off, he turned it over," Calipari said. "'You're thinking instead of reacting.'"
Calipari noted the ovation given Vargas. "Wonderful for him," Calipari said. "That's Kentucky fans."
Comparing Cal, Pitino
Dominican guard Edgar Sosa played for Rick Pitino at U of L. Now he plays for Calipari on the national team.
When asked to compare the coaches, Sosa said both use the pick-and-roll offense and stress shooting open shots. "That's universal," he said of the latter.
"Cal probably doesn't scream as much as Coach P. Then again, these are only scrimmage games."
Organizers of the exhibition game Tuesday in Louisville's Yum Center said they needed about 3,000 in walk-up sales to fill the arena.
Eric Liebler, a senior vice president for the company organizing the exhibition, said that to spur ticket sales a decision was made not to televise or broadcast the game on radio.
Less than an hour before tipoff, about 16,000 tickets had been sold, Liebler said. The Yum Center was set up for a crowd of 19,000.