A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Spring football interviews with Stoops and Brown, April 9

Less than 12 hours after getting home from the Final Four, I found myself at spring football interviews for the first time since practice started up. Here are quotes from head coach Mark Stoops and offensive coordinator Neal Brown. Questions are in italics and paraphrased for clarity. MARK STOOPS Opening statement: Pretty good work today, good energy. The offense responded a little bit Monday, defense...

Orlando Antigua Q&A: The new South Florida coach still has business to settle on Kentucky's bench

Kentucky assistant coach Orlando Antigua was introduced Tuesday as the new head coach at South Florida, but he’ll stay on the bench with the Wildcats as they finish out their season at the Final Four here in Arlington, Texas. Antigua took questions after Thursday’s practice about his new job, Willie Cauley-Stein’s ankle—he declined to say anything, if you could imagine—and Kentucky’s...

John Calipari and Bruce Weber teleconferences from Monday morning

JOHN CALIPARI On KSU matchup: I watched some tape and I’ll tell you what, they’re a veteran, physical, great defensively, motion offense, really different kinds of motion. They try to beat you on the dribble and they’re physical. A lot like the teams – LSU, Georgia and Florida – like the teams we just played. We had to give our kids a day off today after the week we went through Monday, Tuesday,Wednesday to...

Orlando Antigua comments: UK-LSU III set for Friday

Orlando Antigua watched LSU top Alabama 68-56 in the second round of the SEC tournament on Thursday, meaning the Tigers will play Kentucky in Friday evening’s quarterfinal. LSU was 11 of 22 from three and held the Crimson Tide to 36 percent from the field. Antigua then took questions from assembled media in the basement of the media hotel here in Atlanta, and here’s what he had to say....

John Calipari, Julius Randle and Willie Cauley-Stein on 'The Tweak'

It’s become A Thing. John Calipari made a tweak to his offense in practice Monday, and he went on his radio show and lauded it. With a media availability Tuesday, players and Calipari were asked about it and what it meant to Friday’s SEC Tournament opener against either LSU or Alabama. Questions are in italics and are paraphrased for clarity. ** JOHN CALIPARI On the “tweak”...

John Calipari on the SEC teleconference: Monday, March 10

Opening statement: We’re, again, trying to get into practice today. Very important, our next few days, to get our mindset where we’ve got to be. I said it after the last game: We’ve got to get our mojo back. We played an outstanding Florida team. You’re talking about a team that’s No. 1 in the country on Senior Night in their building, and they played well. And what I’m...

John Calipari transcript, pre-Florida

On where this team’s confidence in its shot is right now: We’ll see. I mean, they shot the ball well yesterday, had a great practice. Got to do it in the games, got to have a fire, a passion to play. If we’ve got to get them excited about this game—You know, I think they’ll be ready to play, but we’re playing an outstanding team, plays well at home, haven’t lost...

Revisiting Calipari’s preseason quotes:
What hasn’t panned out for Kentucky?

John Calipari had high expectations for this year’s Kentucky team, and he was unabashed in voicing them. (Photo by James Pennington)   Much of the disappointment among Kentucky fans right now has more to do with preseason expectations than actual performance. John Calipari has had worse Kentucky teams, but none have performed as far below expectations, fair or not, than this year’s to...

Revisiting Calipari's preseason quotes: What hasn't panned out for Kentucky?

John Calipari had high expectations for this year’s Kentucky team, and he was unabashed in voicing them. (Photo by James Pennington)   Much of the disappointment among Kentucky fans right now has more to do with preseason expectations than actual performance. John Calipari has had worse Kentucky teams, but none have performed as far below expectations, fair or not, than this year’s to...

John Calipari on the SEC teleconference

John Calipari didn’t show up to his news conference following the 72-67 loss to South Carolina, but he was on the SEC teleconference for eight minutes Monday morning. Here ’tis. ** Opening statement: Both teams are playing well. Alabama just had a great win against Auburn, their in-state rival, played probably as well as they’ve played all year. And Florida just keeps moving right...

Orlando Antigua and Marcus Lee interview transcripts, pre-Arkansas

ORLANDO ANTIGUA On his relationship with his high school coach: He’s my high school coach. I spent three great years with him. Good man, good family man. He’s done a great job everywhere he’s been.   On if they’re still friends: Yes. He’s a mentor and someone who I stay in contact with.   On how important it is for players to have fun playing, like they did celebrating after the...

John Calipari and Mike Anderson on the SEC teleconference

JOHN CALIPARI Opening statement (after moderator said UK plays Arkansas and Georgia this week): Well, I hope we’re not playing Georgia. They’re playing so well right now. I know we’re playing Arkansas, but for some reason I don’t think it’s Georgia. But it may be…   Moderator: It’s South Carolina. Sorry. OK. Are we hosting them or on the road?   Moderator:...

John Robic pre-Ole Miss quotes

Assistant coach John Robic was available for interviews in UK’s typical pre-game presser Monday, this time in preview of Tuesday’s trip to Ole Miss. Questions are in italics and paraphrased for clarity. ** Opening statement: Just to let you know, obviously coming off the game on Saturday night, yesterday was a really, really good day for us as a program. Everybody from the players to the...

John Calipari transcript from the SEC teleconference

The SEC teleconference generally gravitates toward a combination of insightful questions and sound-bitey topics from across the league that may or may not have to do with the coach at hand. This Monday with John Calipari was no different. Below is what he had to say given the questions asked of him, transcribed. Questions are in italics and paraphrased for clarity. ** Opening statement: We’re...

John Calipari pre-Florida quotes

On if a game like this gets the coaches excited as well as everyone else: Yeah, I think so. I mean, every game has its importance. They’re all—you can’t—if you start making one game more important than the other, you start losing games you’re supposed to win. But it’s an exciting game because they’re making it a big deal on ESPN and all the other stuff.   On if Florida is the best...

Kenny Payne previews Auburn

As has become trend recently, John Calipari handed off his mid-week news conference duties to an assistant coach Tuesday, and assistant Kenny Payne was in his place. Payne spends a lot of time working to develop Kentucky’s big men, a role that he has filled since his first season at Kentucky in 2010-11, Josh Harrellson’s emergence. Payne had some interesting things to say about Willie Cauley-Stein,...

Rupp Arena renovation quotes from Jim Gray, Brent Rice and DeWayne Peevy

Major renovations at Rupp Arena—a project to the tune of $310 million, it’s projected—were unveiled today, and those renovations will start about this time next year if all of the financing comes through. Below are quotes from Lexington mayor Jim Gray, Lexington Center Board of Directors chair Brent Rice, and University of Kentucky deputy athletics director DeWayne Peevy. Questions are in...

John Calipari pre-Mississippi State quotes

On if there is anything special about these games where they play an opponent for the second time in a season: Well, they had a four-point lead on us and it didn’t get away from them until the middle of the second half. It’s a hug game, sell-out and all the other stuff going on. Be a hard game for us. You know, it was like a couple-point game with Florida in the first half. They’re...

Signing Day interviews: Mark Stoops, head coach

MARK STOOPS Opening statement: Excited to have everybody here.  Great day for us.  To wrap up this 2014 class, you know, just a great day.  We feel like we closed just like we started, just very strong. We signed players from ten different states.  Really feel good about what we did in Kentucky.  I said that a year ago.  I said that in my opening press conference about how important it was to...

Signing Day interviews: Neal Brown, offensive coordinator

NEAL BROWN Opening statement: A great day for football in the Commonwealth in general. Echo kind of what Coach Stoops said. This has been a really enjoyable process. A lot of neat kids in this class. Great families, great high school coaches. I thought it was a great team effort, led by Coach Stoops. It always starts with the head coach. He’s a tremendous recruiter, does a great job being who...