Sidelines with John Clay

John Calipari’s new refrains and more Big Blue Links

Malik Monk took questions at University of Kentucky mens basketball media day at the Craft Center in Lexington, Ky, on Oct. 13, 2016.
Malik Monk took questions at University of Kentucky mens basketball media day at the Craft Center in Lexington, Ky, on Oct. 13, 2016. Lexington Herald-Leader

Big Blue Links for Friday:

John Calipari believes his team will be a good defensive team. Jerry Tipton of the Herald-Leader reports, “On what kind of team Kentucky will put on the floor this season: “I would say we are going to be a mauling, helping, rotating, shot-blocking team. ... On offense, a team that tries to score within three seconds. ... I’m going to be disappointed in February if this isn’t the best defensive team (he’s had at Kentucky).”

New Kentucky basketball assistant Joel Justus wants to spread John Calipari’s story. Ben Roberts of the Herald-Leader reports, “One of Justus’ primary roles moving forward will be to make sure the players Calipari is coming to see on such visits have the full picture of the coach they’re about to meet and the program he represents. Calipari announced last month that Justus had been elevated to the role of assistant coach after spending the previous two seasons in a support role. The new job title means, among other things, that Justus will be representing Kentucky on the recruiting trail, something he was doing over the summer on a temporary basis.”

Confident Cats ready for long road ahead. Metz Camfield of writes on Media Day. “On offense, a team that tries to score within three seconds, and if not, is doing something to attack the rim or throw it to the post,” John Calipari said. “If that’s not there, probably some sort of pick-and-roll, or give it to somebody who can jump this high or get a jump shot off if you can’t get something easy.”

Bam Adebayon not trying to be the next (star). Mark Story of the Herald-Leader writes, “For all that’s been written about the line of exceptional John Calipari point guards — Derrick Rose, Tyreke Evans, John Wall, Brandon Knight and Tyler Ulis are nothing to sneeze at — since Cal became a Cat a different position has, arguably, become the signature of the UK program. Under Calipari, the Wildcats have had a whopping eight post players drafted by the NBA (that doesn’t count power forwards Patrick Patterson, Terrence Jones and Julius Randle).”

U.S. food an obstacle Isaac Humphries had to overcome. Jerry Tipton of the Herald-Leader writes, “As Isaac Humphries talked about how he got in better shape through better eating habits, reporters had a reason to self-consciously suck in their gut. Humphries did not deliver a blow above the belt, but it might have felt that way. ‘Let’s be honest,’ Humphries said at UK Media Day Thursday. ‘It’s not the most healthiest food here.’”

Amid his greatest hits, Calipari sounds four new refrains. Eric Crawford of WDRB writes, “1). WHO COACHED THE TEAM LAST YEAR? This is one of those lines that will attract more attention than it should (heck, Jay Bilas retweeted this right after I Tweeted it, and why not, it’s a great line?) It will provide fodder for his detractors, but Calipari doesn’t seem to worry too much about detractors. ‘Who coached my team last year?’ Calipari asked reporters, and several mentioned Tyler Ulis. ‘Tyler coached my team last year. What was great about that for me? I still got paid.’”

Big Blue Madness recruiting preview. Ben Roberts of the Herald-Leader reports, “For the first time since John Calipari became the head coach at Kentucky, the Wildcats will go into Big Blue Madness weekend with zero commitments for the next year’s recruiting class. That doesn’t mean UK’s recruiting success is slowing down. Calipari is expected to again challenge for the No. 1-ranked class in the country, and he’ll have plenty of talented guests on campus for Madness this weekend.”

Florida-LSU football to be made up on Nov. 19. Jordan McPherson of the Miami Herald reports, “The Florida-LSU game will be played after all. The Gators just won’t be hosting it. The Southeastern Conference announced on Thursday afternoon that the Gators and Tigers will play the previously postponed game in Baton Rouge on Nov. 19.”

Rick Stansbury is not rebuilding at Western Kentucky. Brad Stephens of the Bowling Green Daily News reports, “Rick Stansbury hit on some common themes Tuesday at Conference USA Basketball Media Day. The new Western Kentucky men's basketball coach spoke about the benefits of taking two seasons off from coaching, how the program had zero guards when he took over in late March and how good players make good coaches. Stansbury also reiterated that he doesn’t want his first year with the Hilltoppers to be a rebuilding campaign. The coach repeated to ESPN3 in an interview his consistent talking point of competing for championships right away.”

Tennessee can measure its rise by progress against Alabama. Patrick Brown of the Chattanooga Times Free Press writes, “Under Nick Saban, the Alabama machine is the gold standard of college football, the benchmark by which many top-flight programs and the Crimson Tide's Southeastern Conference rivals judge themselves. For Tennessee, the Alabama comparison is one of the many methods of measurement showing the obvious progress the Volunteers have made under Butch Jones.”

SEC football this weekend

Friday, Oct. 14

10:15 - Mississippi State at BYU (ESPN)

Saturday, Oct. 15

12:00 - Vanderbilt at Georgia (SEC)

3:30 - Alabama at Tennessee (CBS)

4:00 - Missouri at Florida (SEC)

7:00 - Ole Miss at Arkansas (ESPN)

7:30 - Southern Miss at LSU (SEC)

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