In part one of a three-part interview, transfer guard Ryan Harrow visited with Larry Vaught, and…
Calipari on Stacey Poole
COACH John Calipari: That's hard. You're a freshman. A lot of time stuff comes easy, just like Josh. Josh wanted to be Mr. Funny, try to bring down practice, because he didn't want to go that hard. He would try to joke and laugh and get people to cool out because stuff is getting too hot. Last one in, first one out. All of a sudden you're playing three minutes a game. When we go in, people are smirking, get him out.
That's what happens.
Now all of a sudden he tries a little Twitter funniness and he's on the court a half hour before every practice absolutely getting killed in conditioning and practicing, getting killed in practice, and being the first one out, last one to leave, coming every day, working, improving his skills because of the individual work. You see a different player.
It wasn't what I did, it's what he did. It was a great lesson for me as a coach. One, it teaches you that all of these players need different things. They're not the same. I don't like four-hour practices and kill guys. Some kids need that. Some kids need that. Most do not. Some do. So you got to coach different kids different ways.
It's not that you're being unfair, it's just you got to coach them different.
In Stacey Poole's case, he has the knee injury. Hopefully it's not going to hold him back. But we go out there, he should be the first one. He should be in at night. He should be physically in the greatest shape of his life. He wasn't last year, he knows that. This is his opportunity now. We don't have 12 guys here. So fight for time.
You know what, he's a great kid. I'm telling you, we all want him to play. He's got to go out and do it now.
Q. What kind of player or how could Stacey Poole contribute if he goes about the changes that you would like to see him do?
COACH CALIPARI: Well, what will happen is you'll put him in the game and he'll perform at a higher level and you'll see that. If we're talking seven, eight guys right now, you put yourself in that ninth, tenth position, start moving down. What happened with this team I'm coaching, I talked about it. Guys played their way on the team. Other guys played their way off the team. Some guys played there way off the starting lineup, other guys played their way into the starting lineup. That's the way it's supposed to be. It's not what I want. You learn it. You play your way in or you play your way out. Again, we get back there. I'll have a good idea of where guys are. I'm checking every day, talking to the staff, weight strength coach, doing all the things to keep on top. We had a team meeting where I did a conference call with the team in my office. I called, was on a speaker with the team. We'll have another one of those this week. At the end of this week I get back.
So in my mind he just has to step up and earn his way, and he can do it. He's got the talent to do it. Now he's got to go fight.
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