Tiger basketball camp report
October 22, 2006
Saturday scrimmage The Tigers had a live scrimmage for the first time Saturday, and it basically revealed what coach John Calipari already knew: No matter which combination of players he puts on the floor, the competition is relatively even.
One team primarily used a lineup of point guard Willie Kemp and center Kareem Cooper with Chris Douglas-Roberts, Antonio Anderson and Robert Dozier. But for long stretches of the scrimmage, that group was out-played by a small lineup of Joey Dorsey playing center with four guards -- Jeremy Hunt, Doneal Mack, Andre Allen and Tre'Von Willis.
Though the action looked ragged at times, Calipari said it was still much better than what the Tigers looked like at the same time last year when they were still learning a new offense.
"We turned it over too many times," Calipari said. "Willie, Antonio and Robert had 17 turnovers in a half between them. That's too many. But we took pretty good shots.
"I didn't see that many bad shots, but you can't turn it over like that. Part of the turnovers were that we're so even, you're not just making one pass or one drive (and scoring)."
Calipari will almost always stop practice when he sees a guard try to send the ball into a big man with a pass at the waist.
That's because he's been preaching passes up high, where a player like Dorsey or Cooper can more easily catch the ball above their heads and lay it in the basket in one motion.
"It's such a (hard) habit (to break)," Calipari said. "You've really got to trust that he's going to be there and trust yourself by throwing it up, but I'm just forcing them to.
"Even if we're turning it over too much, we're just getting it to the rim. I want no wraparounds. I want no bounces. I want everything up, and what happens is that defensive players start playing for that and you get even more layups. If he thinks you're lobbing, he's backing away."
Freshman forward Pierre Niles is still limping following arthroscopic surgery on his right knee Monday, but he felt good enough to shoot some free throws.
He will likely be out at least another two weeks.
Willis practiced Friday and Saturday after sitting out because of a mild concussion he suffered Monday.
-- Dan Wolken