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John Calipari on Tyler Herro, Keldon Johnson, Nick Richards

Nick Richards (Jeff Houchin Photo)

Q. Is that who you expect Tyler Herro to be with the seven assists tonight?

JOHN CALIPARI: “That was surprising. I told him. I said for the worst passer I’ve ever coached in my history to have seven assists, that’s an amazing accomplishment. And he says he’s not that bad a passer. I say, well — but he did good today. But again, making him catch and shoot, all we worked on.

“And believe me I was all over him. If he brought that ball down or if he dipped before he shot, I was — no. Now he doesn’t make as many because he hadn’t ever practiced that way, he’s never ever worked that way. It’s not like, you got to get these off. The one he missed I thought he wound up again, like he thinks, ‘Well if I slow down I got a better chance,’ — no, you don’t. Catch it and get it off. That’s what your shot is.

“You got one shot, whether they’re on you, whether they’re not on you, catch it and get it off. Much better today.

“Keldon (Johnson) did some good things but still not defending, can’t stay in front of people. And we’re trying to tell him give ground. And the biggest play for us of the game was Nick’s (Richards) block in the second half, which helped us go on that run. Nick blocked it, Keldon got beat on a straight line drive, he bodied the guy, the guy ran right around him, Nick blocked it, we go down, make a three, make another play, make a three and they got to call a timeout. That was Nick Richards. But that’s who he must be.

“Or EJ (Montgomery). And if they’re both doing it, subbing for each other, we’re good. If one’s not doing it, I’m playing the other. We need that guy. That will change our defense. You saw at the end, guy reversed last play of the game and he shoots a six-foot-one guy, shot a layup on our six-foot-eight guy. Just turned and you know. Well that’s why you have EJ or Nick in there, one of those two.

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