View Full Version : Calipari's Comments

01-25-2008, 06:17 AM
Calipari does not believe Saturday will be a blow out.


01-25-2008, 06:48 AM

With the excitement comes expectations and with those expectations come a belief that because Saturday's opponent - 15-4 Gonzaga - is unranked, the Tigers should romp and continue their perfect season. Not so fast says the Tiger mentor.

"They're really good," said Memphis coach John Calipari. "Their team this year, in my opinion, is better than the team they had a couple of years ago with Adam Morrison and JP Batista. That team was good, this team with the guys they have and how they're playing, is probably better."

Some of that bluster is Calipari building up his opponent for the sake of grounding his team. But some of it is also the truth as the combination of experience from juniors Josh Heytvelt and Jeremy Pargo is now meshing nicely for Mark few's Bulldogs with the youth of freshman sharp-shooter Austin Daye and sophomore Matt Bouldin. The Zags will be able to run with the Tigers and for that, Calipari is actually grateful.
Who knows? I keep feeling as if I haven't yet seen what this team is capable of ... And none of these people mention the iceman, Steven Gray.

01-25-2008, 07:25 AM
Remember last year's NIT against UNC? We all shared the same comments and thoughts back then against a "superior" team - we knew GU was good but were they "UNC good" just yet. And look what happened.

We certainly have the talent to win, but which GU team will show up? Personally, we're exactly in the position of old - underdogs without being given a snowballs chance in hell of winning this game ... right were we need to be to strike without warning!

01-25-2008, 09:01 AM
and he said the magic words. "It doesn't matter if we (Memphis) win this game as long as we continue to grow."

That is exactly our situation.

Memphis, at this moment, appears to be growing faster and better than we are. That may or may not show itself Sat. That's Calipari's real worry.

Same with us, we are trying to reach our own personal and team goals. They may or may not show themselves on our side when they are needed Sat. morning.

The first team to take and keep the other out of their comfort zones, set plays and general gameplan, while executing their own, creates the opportunity for victory.

If we continue growing and focusing and (hardest of all) turn our adrenaline into our zone (mental and physical), we will win.

If we can't we won't.

But I, too, want to make sure that in the process, we keep growing.

That is the most important thing about this contest. A victory would be sweet icing.

But this season is a marthon, not a sprint.

Go Zags !

01-25-2008, 09:50 AM
Calipari's showing class - as we mentioned following the UConn game, some coaches (such as Few) comment on the other team's strenghths and talk about the things that player's on the other team excel at, etc. Those coaches, such as Few and Calipari, have CLASS.:)

Other coaches we have played this year who shall remain nameless (such as Calhoun & Felton -- oops, did I say that), have shown NO CLASS! :mad:

Section 116
01-25-2008, 10:19 AM
Here's more from Calipari regarding Spokane, its fans and Spokane. The quote, of course, is regarding the game at the Spokane Arena last year. If you were there, or even saw it on TV, you no doubt know to what he is referring:

"It was an unbelievable environment," Calipari said. "The fans are knowledgeable and respectful, even though they are loud and crazy.

"It's one of the best road trips we've taken," he said."What a great city."

Here is the article in its entirety taken from the AP Wire:

Gonzaga-Memphis Preview

Jan 25, 1:33 PM (ET)

To hear John Calipari tell it, his top-ranked Memphis Tigers sound like the Gonzaga of the East.
Both programs are in lightly regarded conferences, and must play tough schedules to attract the attention of Top 25 voters.

On Saturday, Gonzaga (15-4) plays at Memphis in the latest installment of a cross-country series that Calipari would like to continue for at least four more years.

"It's great for both schools," he said. "It prepares us both (for the NCAA tournament)."

The teams are talking about extending the series for two years or four years, he said.

"I'd do four," Calipari said.

Gonzaga coach Mark Few liked the idea of four more years.

"These games have had really, really high intensity and drama," Few said Wednesday.

Playing in Conference USA, Memphis (18-0 after Wednesday night's 56-41 victory over Tulsa) has to contend with critics who say that league's schedule is easier than teams face in the major BCS conferences. That means Calipari has to find top-notch opponents during the non-conference season, and often can't lure them to campus.

Instead, he tries to schedule powerhouse opponents in tournaments and other neutral sites.

"We've got to get to neutral events," Calipari said. "We can never get those opponents at home."

It's the same system that Few has pursued at Gonzaga, which dominates the West Coast Conference. The Zags typically fly all over the country to play in tournaments during the nonconference season. This year they've been to Alaska, Boston and Oklahoma City for neutral games.

Memphis and Gonzaga also don't have much margin of error during their league seasons, Few said.

"In both cases, there's a feeling you've got to be perfect in your league," Few said. "It's not fair."

On Monday, Memphis replaced North Carolina as the No. 1 team in college basketball - the Tigers' first appearance in 25 years at the top of The Associated Press poll.

Memphis is led by Chris Douglas-Roberts (16.3 ppg), Derrick Rose (14.1 ppg), Robert Dozier (11.2 ppg) and Joey Dorsey (8.4 points, 10.2 rebounds per game)

The only other time the Gonzaga squad has faced No. 1 was against Cincinnati in a 75-68 loss on Dec. 4, 1999, at the Rock-N-Roll Shootout in Cleveland.

Memphis will be the third Top 10 team the Zags have played this season. They previously lost to No. 6 Washington State 51-47 and to No. 3 Tennessee 82-72. Gonzaga's other losses this year are to Texas Tech and Oklahoma.

"We'll have to play just about perfect," Few said. "You are dealing with one of the best accumulations of raw, physical, athletic talent in the last 10 years."

Memphis is only the fourth non-BCS program to be ranked No. 1 since UNLV in 1990-91. The others are Massachusetts in 1994-95 and 1995-96, both coached by Calipari, and Saint Joseph's in 2003-04. That Saint Joseph's team beat Gonzaga 73-66.

The Zags have never been ranked higher than No. 3. The highest-ranked team they have defeated was No. 2 North Carolina last season.

Memphis leads the series with Gonzaga 2-1. Last season, the Tigers won 78-77 in overtime in Spokane.

"It was an unbelievable environment," Calipari said. "The fans are knowledgeable and respectful, even though they are loud and crazy.

"It's one of the best road trips we've taken," he said."What a great city."

01-25-2008, 10:48 AM
Great find, Section 116! I love Calipari. That guy is a rock star.

01-25-2008, 10:53 AM
and Memphis. I had the treat of sitting pretty close to the bench last year and I liked the way he worked with his guys. He could blast a guy coming off the floor for a screwup and then when it was time to put the guy back in, he would talk to the guy, look him straight in the eye, tell him exactly what he needed done, and the guy would go out and execute and play with some real heart, hustle and desire. He had a nice mix of intensity, fondness for his players, and the ability to convey the x's and o's that were needed in any particular situation. I liked his style.

01-25-2008, 12:18 PM
Old time Memphis fan here. Old enough to remember, vaguely, Memphis in the NIT final in the late fifties, and the 73 NCAA finals against UCLA. Lord, I AM old. Lol

Anyhoo, best of luck to you guys. Memphis and Gonzaga always seem like the little engines that could.

To the point--It's nice to see some respect for Calipari on another board. The usual Coach Cal diss is that he's a crooked recruiter, mobbed up, or something wacky along those lines.

Fact--Cal was exonerated of any wrongdoing at Mass, and his grad rate at Memphis is something on the order of 90% over the past few years. He runs a clean program.

I have great respect for your program and hope the series continues for a long time. Let's have a great game tomorrow--maybe a real, sweaty, exhausting nail-biter (hey, as long as the Tigerss win!).

Btw--what's this yens business? yankee talk for y'all? j/k

Come on over to http://www.ncaabbs.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?fid=446 and chat.

01-25-2008, 12:53 PM
I think that the fact Memphis doesn't really run any type of offense plays to our advantage. Most teams have a hard time staying with these super athletic kids, but our zone last year really slowed the game down and if we can do so again this year we really have a shot. HOWEVER, I wouldn't be dissapointed with a 10 point or less loss as long as we play hard and grow out there as someone already mentioned.

01-25-2008, 01:18 PM
Remember last year's NIT against UNC? We all shared the same comments and thoughts back then against a "superior" team - we knew GU was good but were they "UNC good" just yet. And look what happened...

Oregon Zag
01-25-2008, 04:43 PM

I don't know if this has been posted or not. If so, my apologies.