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Calipari on Jarred Vanderbilt: “He went in and competed.”

Jarred Vanderbilt (Vicky Graff Photo)

John Calipari talked about freshman jarred Vanderbilt Friday going into Saturday night’s game against Florida.

Vanderbilt played for the first time Tuesday at South Carolina after being out with a leg injury.

Here’s what Calipari had to say about him Friday.

On Jarred Vanderbilt’s play at South Carolina …
“It’s more than that. He played hard. He competed. He went after rebounds in traffic, he went and got balls. He was the only guy. We had guys play 32 minutes and get two rebounds.”

On how Vanderbilt’s body reacted after playing his first game …
“I asked him, ‘How are you?’ He said, ‘How many minutes did you think I played? I said, ‘I probably played you two too many. I was going to play you 12. You played 14.’ This game maybe 16, 18. I just told him if you think you can play more, fine. If not, that’s fine too. We’ll just keep going.”

On how Vanderbilt’s toughness affects the team …
“Somebody told me something that he was in 30 possessions (and) they scored 0.8 (points) per possession – under a point per possession. When he was out, it was 1.2 points per possession. That’s a big number. Just that one change. Again, toughness, being active. Maybe, it’s because he wasn’t playing 35 minutes. That could have been it. I will say this. He went in and competed. I was happy for him.”

On scrimmaging more in practice …
“I’m just trying to get him (Vanderbilt) on the court playing because we haven’t done a whole lot and we shoved in a game, and he was looking at me like, ‘What do we?’ ‘Don’t worry about it, just go at the glass.’ We’re trying to do stuff where he’s more comfortable playing with his teammates. But again, I’m also putting people against each other. Because, if you want to start, then beat him. And if he wants to start, you beat him. I mean if you want to play more, then you get him. I made that just to make it a little more competitive.

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