Monday, June 29, 2015

Calipari Talks 2015-16 Season, Answers Question About Confederate Flag on SEC Summer Teleconference

Kentucky head coach John Calipari fielded questions on the SEC summer teleconference call earlier this morning.

Calipari talked about next season's team, saying "it could be crazy again."

Near the end of Calipari's portion of the call, he was asked about his stance on the Confederate flag.

Here's a transcript of the call via CoachCal.com:

Opening statement …

“I’m excited about our team. Our backcourt should be one of the stronger backcourts in the country even though we’ll be very young. And our frontcourt, athletic and long. Seven-foot, 6-10, 6-8, 6-9. Our wing play with Charles (Matthews) and Mychal (Mulder), Alex (Poythress) getting back healthy, Marcus Lee getting his opportunity. I hate to say it, but it could be crazy again.”

On the proposed rule that would allow underclassmen to withdraw their name from the NBA Draft after declaring …

“That was all tied to what we did to get the NBA to have a combine. So, we on the NABC board, and there were five or six or seven of us, met with the NBA to say let’s have a combine where you control it. You invite the players, you work them out, you have meetings with them, you do your thing with them, and then if you recommend to them they go back to school and they choose not to, that’s fine. If they don’t get recommended to the combine, in other words, they’re not invited, it kind of sends a clear message. But for that to work we have to let the kids come back to school if they’re not invited to the combine or they go to the combine and know they need to go back to school. I think it’s all good stuff. I think we’re finally moving in a direction where it favors the kids and that’s what we should be doing.”

On the importance of adding Jamal Murray …

“Well, you know I’ve played all kinds of different teams, whether it’s smaller teams, bigger teams, longer teams. He is a playmaking guard. He can play one or two and can really score the ball, great in pick-and-rolls, can play with Tyler (Ulis) or you can play three guards at times if we choose to do that. But it’s hard to say you’re going to do that when you have the bigs that we have in Skal (Labissiere), Marcus and Alex if he’s healthy, or with Charles and Mychal. All of a sudden you have Dom(inique Hawkins) and Derek (Willis). We have a good team. I mean, we’re like, let’s start playing, let’s throw it up.”

On the health of Alex Poythress …

“He’s good. He’s only five months out. He needs another three months, or at least two months, and we’ll see from there. He was so physically strong, the doctors are amazed that around his leg – the one thing he has to do is he’s working so hard on that leg that was repaired – the knee – that the other leg has to catch up now, the strong leg, the healthy leg.”

On his thoughts about the hanging of the confederate flag and statues throughout the South …

“Really? Obviously, it offends a portion of our society, so people are deciding to take them down. That’s how I feel.”

On if he would support taking them down …

“Sure. They offend, and I would say do it, yeah. Does our state use the Confederate flag, Jerry? (Reporter: There’s a statue of a confederate general at the old courthouse in Lexington and a statue of Jefferson Davis at the capital in Frankfort). Wow. Since I’m not running for public office, I will let the powers that be decide those matters. I was thinking about running for president, and I was discouraged from that.”

On all the success he’s had in recruiting …

“Well, it’s not been what everybody thinks. We don’t get everybody we’re trying to get, and there are a lot of kids that didn’t come. As a matter of fact, we missed on a bunch of kids this year. Now, what you’re saying is, ‘With all the draft picks, how do you lose on any kid?’ If someone’s watching the draft and there’s four lottery picks and there’s three freshmen, and there was Karl(-Anthony) Towns, who was never considered the No. 1 pick until later in the year, was never at the McDonald’s game considered the best player there. Devin Booker, how in the world does he go 13? Trey Lyles, who was injured and comes back. You would think it’s easy, every kid would want to come. That’s not the case. So, we’re trying to find kids who want to do this, that understand how hard a challenge this is.”




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