By LARRY VAUGHT
It’s kind of amazing how answering one relatively simple, easy question from Kentucky coach John Calipari has drawn so much attention.
I got hit a lot on Twitter after Tuesday’s win over Texas A&M and that has continued to do with text messages, calls, emails and more tweets.
A lot of it obviously has to do with how Calipari reacted to a correct answer that even got the attention of Scott VanPelt on ESPN’s SportsCenter Tuesday night when he mistakenly thought Calipari insulted “Larry” by saying he was a 100. I let Scott know today that I am old and it was no insult when you’ve been covering UK sports for 43 years. Being cast as a veteran in a joking way as Calipari did is just the truth.
But if you missed the video of Calipari’s postgame press conference, here’s what he was saying that touched off the fun.
“We told them, we’re switching everything. That guy left the corner man (on a 3-pointer in the final 30 seconds). Thank God he missed. I mean, there was another play, an easy switch on a pick’n roll between two guards. Guys didn’t talk. The guy rides right down the middle, shoots a layup. What? You can’t have those. That’s a lack of toughness. You’re not tough enough to stay engaged. Fumbling balls because you’re waiting on contact. You can’t,” Calipari said.
“Catching the ball where you need to catch it. Who does that for us? If you’re watching the game? Most of you don’t watch it. Who is able to catch the ball where they need to catch it almost every time? ”
The obvious answer was P.J. Washington because the freshman has been the only UK player consistently in the last three games to get position inside, catch the ball and score. I am no Basketball Benny, but I knew that. So I answered P.J.
Calipari liked that.
“Yeah, Larry (Vaught) has been around a hundred years. The rest of you were so quiet because you don’t know s—. Excuse me. And instead of saying the wrong name, you stay silent,” Calipari said.
“Larry had the courage to step up and say P.J. He (P.J.) is tough. I just asked him, he has to take the leadership of this team. He has to do it now. He’s the toughest guy. If a guy is not doing what he has to, you have the ability and the right now to tell him. ”
I’m not sure why no one else answered. Maybe they were busy working — media members really do that after games. Maybe they didn’t want to risk Calipari’s sarcasm or humor. Me, I’m old enough to enjoy a little give-and-take with the coach and I am waiting for my game ball for getting the answer right so Calipari could have a little more fun with all the media members at Rupp Arena Tuesday.