An interview with:
Q. How do you explain the free throws, the struggle early, but then in the clutch, everyone?
COACH CALIPARI: I have no idea. I can't explain the 14 one‑footers we missed in the first half either. We missed seven free throws and 14 one‑footers in the first half. We're lucky we were in the game.
You know, teams like this that are physical, have some maturity, are playing for their lives. They made every play and free throw down the stretch they needed to keep it a game. Give them credit. Here we are with eight turnovers.
The point guard made a couple of bad decisions, but we didn't ‑‑ Anthony (Davis) was not the same guy, and neither was Michael (Kidd-) Gilchrist. Again, foul trouble.
Michael made the big plays though - the diving on the floor, and came up with some balls that made a difference in the game. But six guys in double figures, nine assists, eight turnovers, but we still, it was a very physical game, and we didn't, especially at the start, we weren't able to play through the physical play. That's going to be, until we learn to do that, every team's going to play us that way.
Q. Cal, they shot 65% against you guys in the second half?
COACH CALIPARI: They were shooting 85 for a while. They're a team that doesn't shoot the 3 well and they shot 72%. Three of them were on Darius Miller where he just backed away and gave a guy a shot. Teams will do that to us.
I even told Tom (Leach) on the radio, I imagine they'll come in and make every 3 where that's one of the worst parts of their game, which they did.
Like I said, I'm happy we won. I told the guys enjoy the win. It was a rough game. We're still growing. We've got a long way to go. We're not the team everybody thinks we are, but we're getting better. All I want to see is improvement.
Q. Michael (Kidd-Gilchrist) played so well in the first half, then he got two fouls. It seemed like the second half he was never quite the same. Is that fear of foul trouble or sitting too long?
COACH CALIPARI: He fouled out, so it must not have been the fear of foul trouble. But it might have been that. But here he is, 13 points and 6 rebounds in 23 minutes. Not bad.
What's happened for us here is we're all spoiled. If we don't win by 25, what's going on? Part of it is, you don't believe this, but they have scholarships too. They're good. They're a team that's now 13‑6. They're not afraid to get some veteran guys out there who play well. There are some things we did good. I'll watch the tape and get a better idea of it. But right now, I'm just kind of happy we get a W and move.
Q. It seemed down the stretch under a minute to play, you wanted the ball in Darius (Miller's) hands. You wanted him to go to the line and hit those free throws.
COACH CALIPARI: He did it too though, and I like that. I like the fact that he held that ball to get fouled. I like the fact that Marquis Teague made his foul (shots). That's a good thing because now when your point guard and you have Doron (Lamb) and Darius (Miller) all making free throws ‑‑ and Michael (Kidd-Gilchrist) in most cases are making them. He missed a bunch today, and Terrence (Jones) missed a bunch ‑‑ but the free throws we had to make down the stretch, we have a nice will to win.
But I'm going to tell you, we've got to play better than this, because instead of it being a two‑ or four‑point game, we're going to be down eight or 10, and we're going to get caught in that situation.
Q. How different of a game is it for Anthony (Davis) when they're taking it to him?
COACH CALIPARI: What they did was they never left him. All they did was made sure there was a body on him. Somebody's hip was on him 24/7 until the game ended. As a matter of fact, they put a hip on him in the postgame handshake too. So it was somebody on his body so he can't block, so he can't jump. Just stay on him. That's why Marquis Teague had some opportunities to get to the rim because they just didn't leave him.