By LARRY VAUGHT
Sometimes you never know when what seems like a simple question can lead to a memorable answer from Kentucky coach John Calipari.
Just ask Cats Pause general manager Darrell Bird.
AFter UK’s win over Mississippi State Tuesday night, he asked Calipari if it was harder for big men to play low and be in great physical condition. Calipari said yes and Bird then asked how much harder.
Enjoy the answer:
“It’s kind of like (weight) lifting. So when they are your size, lifting, they lift like that (showing press, short range of motion) okay. And when you’re their size and you have to list, you’ve got long muscles (demonstrating fuller range of motion),” Calipari said. “Darrell, little short muscles . Long muscles, and it’s the same, the longs — big guys develop later.”
So now we know that Bird just has “little short muscles” but so do most media members.
But what about EJ Montgomery, who had 12 points and eight rebounds in his best overall game of the season?
“It’s taken him a little time. So what? What is the issue? It’s taken him longer. I had a guy hit me today and say it’s the first time I saw EJ smile on court because he’s in shape. You know what you look like when you’re out of shape? You’re not smiling. You’re looking like you’re — he’s now out there alert and focused and ready, and when he needs a break, he says, ‘Give me a minute,'” Calipari said.
“And I tell him, ‘Go back in when you want to go back in,’ and we’ll wake up and go in. That’s what he is. He is a premiere player, one of the best players in the country. He’s just not done it yet, but tonight was that first step.
Now build on it. Now you’re going up. You’re playing at Tennessee (on Saturday). Hard place to play. They just won tonight on the road. Rick’s (Barnes) got his guys playing better and better and they are physical. They are physical.”
Something Darrell Bird obviously is not according to Calipari.