So why has there been so much improvement from Knight over the course of the season? According to Calipari, it's because he has the best work ethic of any player he's ever coached. Here is the extended version of those compliments:
Yes, and we were -- somebody asked a question, did we come out saying we're trying to post the ball. Yes, we did. But we had done it earlier, too, and he didn't post. He stepped off the lane. And Brandon looked at me, and I said, "You tell him. Why are you telling me to tell him? You're out there with him, you tell him." And they love each other so there's no big deal about it, and they can laugh about it later, but that's what a good team can do. They can get on each other; they know it's not personal.
Go Cats. Go Brandon Knight. Go George Mason.
He is an terrific player and an unbelievable person who I've never seen -- all the players I've coached, and I had guys that would live in the practice facility, literally, I've never seen a guy with this kid's work ethic. His focus on where are my weak areas, and he goes after them.
I've had a couple. One is the MVP of the NBA, so he was kind of that way, too, who called me today, by the way, what a great young man, called me before the game to wish us well. But this young man works like he does, and both very bright basketball players.
Any time you spend that kind of time, you expect good things to happen. If you're trying to get over, if you're cutting every corner, if you're trying to fool around in practice, the minute it goes wrong in the game, you expect it to continue. If you're a hard worker and you spend the time, you expect good things to happen, even if I miss two. Everybody says, why would you give him the ball when he didn't make a shot? Because I knew he expected to make the last one, and you have to give it -- and he's not afraid to miss the last shot. You can't be afraid to miss it, either, now. It means if I miss it, I miss it.