LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- John Calipari makes it a habit to concentrate most of his efforts on his team and getting them to perform at their best as opposed to spending much time worrying about other teams. In fact he says his time away from the team doesn't include watching much in the way of college basketball at all, which is quite the contrast from his players.
"They watch every game," said Calipari. "I’m watching ‘Alaska vs. Frontier,’ I’m watching ‘Life Below Zero.’ I’m not watching other college basketball teams, and the reason is I don’t want to get discouraged for ourselves. ‘We’re so far behind these other teams.’ I really don’t care if we are because we’re not playing them yet. I just gotta stay focused, and I don’t want to have anxiety about ‘well we’ve got to do more, be more of that.’ We are who we are right now. And now we’re gonna go to New York. This team had Hofstra beat yesterday, it was a tip-out play, can’t believe they lost the game. They had Connecticut beat, up at Connecticut, had a chance to beat them so they’ve got good guard play. Really big and physical inside, and we better show up and play. I’m more concerned about just let’s go 40 minutes and see what happens. It’s a noon game. Hard to play at noon. Normally at noon whoever shows up to play wins the game. So let’s just hope we’re showing up to play, and we have a chance to do what we need to do.”
The 7-1 Wildcats meet Monmouth (3-6) at Noon Saturday at Madison Square Garden. Cal said he likes getting a game every year in the New York area since he often has players from the northeast. This year it's a homecoming for redshirt freshman Hamidou Diallo.
"I haven’t played there in a long time," said Diallo. "It’s just going to be a great experience to see all who’s coming out. I’ve got a lot of family coming that haven’t seen me play in person in a long time. It’s going to be a great atmosphere because Monmouth has a couple of New York guys on their team as well. It’s just going to be a great atmosphere and I’m going to enjoy it.”
Kentucky has finals next week before hosting Virginia Tech on December 16th.
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