Cal regrets not holding tougher practices earlier

While cautious about drawing any conclusions, Kentucky Coach John Calipari noted that tougher practices lately have produced improvement.
He voiced regret for not holding tough practices from the beginning of pre-season workouts.
“These practices should have been at the beginning of the year,” he said.
Calipari noted that pre-January work involves a lot of learning. One thing he apparently learned was that the 2012-13 UK team needed tough workouts.
“Obviously, whatever I guessed (about team needs) was wrong,” he said.
Calipari and players made available to reporters Friday noted how the tougher practices, which include the much-discussed “Camp Cal” conditioning drills early in the morning, are paying dividends.
But when asked if UK fans would see a more animated team playing Lipscomb on Saturday, Calipari said, “We will see.
“Demonstrated performance on that basketball court show.”
Calipari expressed frustration with having to ignite enthusiasm among the players.
He said coaching effort, intensity, focus and concentration took the fun out of coaching.
“That’s what is frustrating,” he said. “I should never coach effort . . .”
Among Calipari’s complaints was how UK players do not talk enough on the court. For instance, they called out out picks.
“If a team is a real quiet team, they don’t understand that’s being selfish,” he said. “You’re into your own thing if you’re not communicating.”
To inspire more enthusiasm and communication, Calipari said he’s ordering sprints in practice whenever any player does not communicate, finish a play, etc, etc.
The Cats are down from about 20 so-called “suicides” to about 10 per practice, Calipari said.
The Camp Cal workouts coincide with the semester practice. With no classes, the NCAA rule limiting practices to 20 hours per week is not in effect.
“Nothing else is going on,” Calipari said. “Why wouldn’t you be in the gym five times a day?”
In a mocking tone, Calipari offered possible reasons a player might not spend so much time in the gym:
— More time needed to play video games.
— Must watch “SquarePants.” That was a reference to the cartoon SpongeBob SquarePants, which the UK coach said he watched when his son, Brad, was younger.