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Calipari has gone “old school” with summer practice

John Calipari (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Kentucky starts its four-game exhibition schedule Wednesday in the Bahamas against the Bahamas National Team.

Kentucky coach John Calipari has made no secret of how much he likes this team and the potential he feels that it has going forward.

What makes him “like” a team?

“There’s a couple things you can’t transfer. Someone else’s relationship with a player, that doesn’t transfer. You gotta create your own. The only way you can really get to where you have the trust you need in this situation is you’re there. You can’t do it from a distance,” Calipari said.

“In the summers I like to get out of here. This summer I wasn’t gone that much. I was gone, but not that much. I was going at least three hours a week of the four that we had (for team skill instruction). Three hours was with me. Normally I would say, ‘You guys (assistants) deal with that; I’ll come back.’

“I just think this team needed a head start. Especially these young kids. I made that decision. My wife was gone; she liked it. No, and to be honest, I’m loving it. I don’t even know what day it is.”

Maybe he really didn’t know, but he doesn’t seem to mind.

“I’ve really enjoyed being in the gym. How about this? A couple days I was there by myself. Old school. I had no assistants. I coached the team with no assistants. It was just me,” Calipari said.

“I can remember my UMass days where there were days like that where the assistants went recruiting and I had the team by myself. I didn’t know back then that was not how it’s supposed to be. You’re supposed to have a staff with you. Really. I had no idea.”

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