By LARRY VAUGHT
Sometimes Kentucky coach John Calipari doesn’t always exactly answer a question when he’s asked. He sometimes wanders off on a point he wants to make no matter what the question.
However, when he was asked Friday about being an older coach now and if that gives him any extra satisfaction when he beats some younger coaches, he gave an insightful answer.
“I’m allowed to say that (that he’s old), not you,” Calipari joked to the reporter who asked him. “We’ve got terrific coaches in this league. Guys are really committed to their teams and committed to the game. (They) have game plans that when you get into the middle of it and you understand what they’re trying to do, trying to take away some of our strengths and attack our weaknesses, they’re good coaches.
“(Florida coach) Mike (White) is a good coach. (Vanderbilt coach) Bryce (Drew) is a good coach. I mean, you think about what Bryce is going through right now. They lose their best player who was their centerpiece, who was going to make everyone around you better. He could score the ball, take over games when he needed to, and he’s gone. Mike lost his big guy. How about Cuonzo (Martin) when their best player went down (at Missouri)?
“To sustain it when those things happen you know I always say that’s what good coaching is. Lose two or three games, let me see how you coach now. When things are going good, you’re cheering and all that. I mean when things aren’t going well. Let me see you coach now. Let me see you bring a team together when there’s panic all around you. So when I see the guys coach in our league, that’s part of the deal.
“You’ve got good in this league. We’ve got good players in this league. I don’t know if we still do, but we had six teams ranked. I’m trying not to get ahead of our schedule. I don’t know who we play after this, but I imagine it’s a hard game because every time I turn around it’s like, ‘What in the world?’ ”