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  • Vanderbilt Commodores - February 28, 2017 - Rupp Arena - 9:00 PM EST - ESPN

Cal’s back and he’s ready to talk

John Calipari is back in the office after three weeks of physical therapy from hip replacement surgery with plenty to talk about.

With time to reflect and collect his thoughts from a crazy season, Coach Cal went on ESPN’s podcast with Andy Katz and Seth Greenberg and talked about a ton of stuff in an otherwise slow offseason.

Among the subjects Coach Cal talked about: how he’s recovering from hip replacement surgery, the NBA Draft (Julius Randle and James Young), the returning talent, the Cats’ summer trip, playing faster, officiating and plenty more.

You can listen to the podcast here. Calipari comes on at the 30-minute mark. If you’re not sold, below are a few quotes from the interview.

On hip replacement surgery …
“I’ll tell you what it did: It made me slow down. I had to take three weeks in Florida and just had to – I rested for the first time in like seven years where I had to sleep some. It made me slow down and it’s going to take me a little while longer.”

On Julius Randle and his position in the NBA Draft …
“What you have in Julius is, one he physically is ready for the league now. And the things he does will carry over into the league – the rebounding, his ability to guard multiple positions. He was quadruple-teamed last year. No one in college basketball was played how he was played and so it took a little bit away from that, whatever you want to say, that shine. We, again, were trying to win games so there were times he could have been doing more on the perimeter, but we were trying to win.”

On having so many players coming back this year …
“We didn’t get the twins and James Young until September, so that meant two months of conditioning and development they didn’t go through. They weren’t able to. So now all those kids, it took them half a year before conditioning and all that other stuff kicked in. And then playing the way we needed to play – we couldn’t train them, we couldn’t do anything. We’re gonna have guys who have been here now for a while. And they’re gonna be able to lead the young guys. The young guys we have coming in are talented, all four of them. And they’re going to be able to be led and coached and challenged by those guys.”

On playing faster …
“We want to play faster. We want to be an even better defensive team than we were. We should be the best rebounding team in the country, on offense and defense. There are certain non-negotiables we’ll have with this team, real simple. The first three steps on offense and defense, we should be flying. If you’re not, you’re not in.”