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Maryland Coach Used To Call Cal Coach

Posted: Nov 8, 2012 3:26 PM by Alan Cutler
Updated: Nov 8, 2012 3:28 PM

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You can't control the weather or injuries, so Cal is doing his best to adjust to both for Friday nights game with Maryland in Brooklyn.

Ryan Harrow is dealing with flu-like symptoms, and Julius Mays' knee still isn't right from his fall in the second half against Transy, so Cal isn't sure if they will be able to play.

That means Jarrod Paulson might play, and Cal seems a lot more comfortable with that thought than ever before.

"He's got some size with him," says Cal about his 6-foot-2 inch 189 pound junior. "He's got some toughness with him. He will make open shots. "

Cal believes that Jarrod is "dying" for an opportunity to play.

Cal and Maryland coach Mark Turgeon go way back. It's one of those relationships that will last a lifetime.

"I coached him when he was at Kansas," said Calipari. "So Mark, I remember coming up to a table, we were having breakfast and Larry Brown had gotten the job and he walked up and said, I'm better than any point guard you have on your team. We didn't know who he was. Like what's your name?"

Former North Carolina coach Dean Smith liked Turgeon so much, he called Kansas coach Larry Brown, and told him he should play Turgeon more. Plus, Cal has stayed in contact with Turgeon's father.

"We used to play 1-on-1 before practice with him and some of the guys," said Calipari. "He is a terrific coach, terrific person. His father, who I have stayed in touch with over the years, sent me two days ago all the note cards from UMass that I had sent him, back to me to say, Boy, you have come a long way from this."

The bottom line is that Maryland is a huge step up from Northwood and Transy, but the players believe that what they see and compete against in practice everyday has them ready.