Tshiebwe says he’ll be ready for opener at UK Media Day

UK Media Day
UK Media Day(WAVE 3 News)
Published: Oct. 25, 2022 at 7:38 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WAVE) - As John Calipari enters his 14th season as the U-K head coach, the chase for title #9 is still the main goal, but he’s also making a habit of using his position to better lives in the Commonwealth.

From disaster fundraisers to his latest viral victory.

Coach Calipari opened his media day news conference by discussing a picture from the Cats Blue-White scrimmage on Saturday night in Pikeville. He has tracked down the coal miner, pictured straight out of the mine, sitting with his son. Calipari has promised tickets and VIP treatment to a U-K game in Rupp Arena. A valuable lesson for his team.

“I showed them the picture yesterday of Michael (McGuire) and his son and I talked about hard, back breaking work, that’s honorable work, but he makes time for his son, even when he knew he couldn’t shower,” Calipari said. “It wouldn’t matter what he looked like, he just wanted to be with his son, so believe me, it hit home as soon as I saw it.”

On the court, Calipari fields a team driven by a March meltdown, a first round shocking loss to St Peter’s.

“And then you use it as fuel, how are you gonna guarantee it doesn’t happen again, I’m gonna guarantee it. I can’t guarantee it,” Calipari said emphatically.

“Obviously we have a chip on our shoulder because people expected us to do big things last year, which obviously we ended up losing, so I think this group is very locked in on this year and winning #9,” UK forward Jacob Toppin said.

“It motivated me,” 2022 National Player of the Year Oscar Tshiebwe said. “Now, in life, no matter who you are going against, no matter big, little, everybody can beat you. You don’t know what strength they come with. David was little but he defeated the giants, so you always gotta be ready. That was a life lesson for many people. If you take it easy, you can go home like we did, but this year, it’s not gonna happen.”

Tshiebwe is a big reason for the optimism. He says he hopes to average over 20 rebounds a game, but he’s still sidelined after a minor knee procedure.

“To be honest I don’t think I will miss no games,” he predicted. “Probably the exhibition game because it’s not really necessary, but I don’t think I’ll miss no game.”

The first of two exhibition games is Sunday night at Rupp Arena, the season opener is Monday, November 7th against Howard.