Calipari voices frustration with Jones' growing pains

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Calipari voices frustration with Jones' growing pains

Post  BestdamnUKfanperiod on Tue Dec 21, 2010 5:30 am

Calipari voices frustration with Jones' growing pains

By Jerry Tipton /

Terrence Jones had as many turnovers (two) and fouls (two) as he did points (four) and rebounds (none) at halftime against Mississippi Valley State on Saturday night.

That just won't do for a player Kentucky counts on to be its low-post anchor on a consistent basis and go-to guy in clutch situations.

"Terrence has got to play," UK Coach John Calipari said after the 85-60 victory. "Those numbers, I mean, how do you start the game this way?

"In a league game, a big game, kind of like North Carolina, you can't do that. It's important that we have everybody come and play."

Calipari was unimpressed that Jones finished the game as UK's leading scorer with 19 points. He also grabbed eight rebounds. "He has some numbers," Calipari said as he glanced at the boxscore. "But they're not real."

Turning his attention to the team, Calipari added, "Like I said, we'll watch the tape, go back and try to get better."

At halftime, the UK coach had called for the offense to be run through Jones starting the second half.

In fact, Jones took four shots in UK's first six trips downcourt in the second half.

But Calipari did not like how Jones warmed up before the start of the second half.

"You can't go through the motions," the UK coach said. "You've got to go out and go through an unbelievably tough warm-up. We're going at you to start the half. That's not what happened."

Calipari termed it the typical growing pains of a freshman.

"It's all part of growth," he said. "It's all part of him learning, saying, 'I got to do better.'"

Woods: UK getting better

After his team lost to Kentucky, Mississippi Valley State Coach Sean Woods noted the improvement the Cats are making.

"I wish I could have played them a month ago," he said. "They're getting better every day."

Woods, one of the former UK Unforgettables, said the Cats are getting a better grasp of the dribble-drive offense.

"Those guys are buying in," he said. "It's not just one guy making a play. They have four or five guys that can take you off the bounce.

"If they continue to shoot the basketball and Terrence Jones continues to get better like he's doing, they're going to be tough to deal with in the SEC."

Calipari was not so enamored with the Cats' performance. He noted better free-throw shooting (24-for-32) and only 12 turnovers.

But he also saw the need for many practices during the semester break, when teams can practice as often as the coach desires.

"We're practicing (Sunday)," Calipari said. "We'll probably go twice Monday. Practice on Tuesday. Play on Wednesday. Have a break. Come back. Then we start two-a-days, three-a-days. We just have a long way to go."

UK Coach Rick, er

Players are supposed to block out the crowd when playing basketball. Mississippi Valley State guard D'Angelo Jackson tried to accomplish that in Rupp Arena.

"It was electrifying playing in that type of environment," he said. "The only time I really realized the crowd was amped was when (Rick) Pitino got kicked out of the game."

As reporters took in what they thought they heard, Woods offered Jackson some coaching advice. "Not Pitino," he told his player. "Calipari."

Jackson immediately realized his mistake.

"Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah," he stammered. "Calipari."

When UK released its official player quotes, the reference to Pitino got the Leon Trotsky treatment. It was deleted from the record.

"The only time I realized the crowd was loud was when Coach Calipari got thrown out," Jackson said according to the official transcript UK distributed to reporters.


UK's 12 turnovers sounds exemplary. But the Cats have been so good at ballhandling, the 12 turnovers marked the third most in a game this season. UK had 15 against Washington and 13 against Boston University. ... Mississippi Valley State's 23 turnovers were the most by a UK opponent this season and the most since Georgia committed 26 last Jan. 9.

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