UK BASKETBALL | Calipari: Outside distractions make winning today "really difficult"

10/22/2015 04:52 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — For the eleventh time since 1998, the Kentucky Wildcats are the preseason pick to win the Southeastern Conference.

Local and national media members voted UK to be the cream of the conference at SEC Basketball Media Day on Wednesday, only days after the preseason coaches poll crowned Kentucky the No. 1 team in the nation for 2015-16.

But despite all the fanfare and expectations, UK head coach John Calipari says winning is never easy, especially with all the modern-day distractions players face today:

  • “You have to understand the world has changed today,” Calipari said at SEC Media Day. “When we grew up and someone tried to get in touch with us, you know what they had to do? Dial a number, come to your house, and knock on the door. What if they dialed your number, and you weren’t there? There were no messages back then. The phone rang, and rang, and rang. You understand? They had to come to your house or call when you were home to get in touch with you.
  • “So, some guy from California, some guy from the state of Washington, was not calling Texas and talking to somebody unless a parent knew. It’s all different now.”

Calipari explained all the new technology surrounding today’s players causes coaches to work extra hard in order to maintain their attention while eliminating outside distractions.

  • “That means that we have to occupy [our players’] minds in some space by having daily meetings, having individual meetings, and trying to get them to talk more because of what’s there. Trying to negate some of the stuff they’re hearing — it’s really important. And then they got to trust that I, as a coach, have their careers in my hands, and I understand that. All that has to happen to where now they’re looking at it like, ‘Coach has my back. I know he does.’
  • “The stuff that we do right now is really difficult — really difficult.”

Click below to watch Calipari’s full comments and KSTV’s discussion on the outside distractions with which Kentucky players have to deal:


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