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I bounced around Quaker Oats-Quicken Loans Arena this afternoon, popping in and out of the locker room, breakout interview rooms and the main press conference. Here's a little of what I heard during my adventures...
[caption id="attachment_176260" align="alignnone" width="610"] Rick Osentoski-USA Today
"Well, if I have to deal with their expectations, I would be under the desk in a fetal position."
When asked if this season has raised Big Blue Nation's expectations to even higher levels, John Calipari said he has to ignore what the fans want in order to keep his sanity.
"Well, if I have to deal with their expectations, I would be under the desk in a fetal position." Cal said today. "So I don't worry. The expectations we have for ourselves on this team is within us. The only thing that I can be concerned with is us being at our best and us having each individual player being coached as though they're a starter being the best version of themselves, understanding what that looks like."
Cal said the staff has a lot of footage of each player when they're at their best and they show it to them over and over, hoping it registers that this is how they should play every night. If Kentucky loses when they're playing their best, Cal will "deal with it."
"He's got a little Kobe in him."
Andrew Harrison compared his brother to Kobe Bryant when describing that "it" factor Aaron has in the clutch. "It's something inside him," Andrew said of Aaron's confidence when the game is on the line, recalling last year's magical tournament run. "He's got a little Kobe in him."
Andrew said Aaron has been hitting big shots their whole lives.
"Allowing Brian and Sam and EJ to get in, it brings joy to us, for real."
This was Willie Cauley-Stein's way of saying, "We had a lot of fun beating the hell out of West Virginia last night."
“We didn’t play last night, but we played this morning."
This is about Super Smash Bros., of course. Dominique Hawkins said it was too late to play Nintendo when they got back to the hotel, but they played first thing this morning.
"Just a normal day in the NCAA Tournament. That’s all we’ve been doing is basketball practice and Smash Brothers."
Is that normal, though?
"That's a tough question, I never got that one before."
And for my favorite response of the day, Andrew Harrison said, "That's a tough question, I never got that one before," when asked about playing with his brother. If you listened to the KSR pregame show yesterday, you probably heard me go off about how tired I am of the same questions over and over and over. The "What's it like playing with your brother?" question is the most abused and I couldn't believe someone asked it again today. I thought about doing it as a joke, but someone did it for real and Andrew's response was brilliant.
"It's fun playing with him," Andrew added.
Still plenty more to come...