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Facilities should make it easier, safer for UK basketball players to return to campus

Having their own practice facility and housing area could be a big plus for UK when basketball players return to campus next month. (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Kentucky coach John Calipari believes having the Joe Craft Practice Facility and the Wildcat Loge should help UK basketball players have a safer return to campus on June 8 when athletes are allowed to return than what some other schools might have.

“Practice facility, our lodge, where just our kids live, each in their own room, we’d be in a pretty good bubble,” Calipari said during his week Facebook “Coffe With Cal” show on Monday. “We have a great hospital there if anything were to happen, probably better for them than having to go to an emergency room.

“We’ve got a nationally renowned hospital that’s one of the best in the world right there. But I still have to talk to the parents and let them know. We’re going to test when they come back. We’re going to know where things are.”

Calipari said three days of testing would be required when players return and then probably at least two weeks of conditioning without coaches.

The UK coach admitted COVID-19 is forcing him to re-think how he does things with more video work likely than ever before.

“I’m more into the mental toughness, the physical readiness, the conditioning, the weight strength, the diet to get that base set versus ‘here’s how we play.’ It may be better.

“The reality of it is, I kind of want them back, but just be together. None of us know a month from now how it may change for the better. We just don’t know.”

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