John Calipari likes Nerlens Noel’s willingness to be coached

Nerlens Noel - photo by Walter Cornett |
Nerlens Noel – photo by Walter Cornett |

From John Calipari’s post game press conference:  “Again, let me just tell you, the guy that’s working the hardest in our practices right now is Nerlens (Noel). Is it showing? It’s showing. I said to him, have you ever been coached like this? No, man. He’s excited about being coached this way, challenged and pushed, and now I’ve just got to get a team full of guys accepting the fact that you’ve got to let us define your game a little bit. Alex (Poythress) was okay, didn’t rebound and didn’t do all the things he’s capable of doing. You’re going against a 6’1″ guy, you don’t leave your feet, you come to a jump stop. Just score. If you miss the first one, rebound the second one and stick it in.

I want him (Noel) to be a basketball player who happens to block shots. I don’t want him to be a shot blocker, I want him to be a basketball player that happens to block shots. Did you kind of see that today? You’ve seen a basketball player who happens to be able to. And we’re defining his post game.  before practice just told me how hard this kid is working. We’re trying to do the same with Willie. Those guys are really accepting it. We’re trying to do the same with Alex and Archie, they’re fighting it a little bit and that’s why at times you’ll see things like why would he do that, why would he leave his feet, all the stuff that we’re trying to help them define what they do. I want you to attack and play within this realm, because every time you get in those out-of-reaches, you’re turning it over, you’re taking a bad shot, you’re making a play you don’t need to make. Doing all that stuff within that realm, that’s what we’re trying to do. You just define a little bit more what’s effective at this level. They’ve never played Division I. They don’t know what’s effective. They think they can do stuff they did in high school. You can’t.”