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April 1, 2014

Notes: Cauley-Stein injury key against Badgers

Asked how Kentucky can stop Wisconsin center Frank Kaminsky in the Final Four, John Calipari had no easy answer.

"Whew," Calipari said Tuesday. "Um. Tough matchup for us. Tough matchup. Really skilled, 7-foot tall. He's going to be a handful."

The easy answer for Calipari normally would be to put forward Willie Cauley-Stein -- the Wildcats' most versatile defender -- Kaminsky, who averaged 18.7 points in the last three games.

But Cauley-Stein, who injured his ankle in the Sweet 16, remains doubtful to play.

"Wish we had Willie," Calipari said. "Maybe we will. I doubt it, but this would be his game."

Calipari said Kentucky will prepare to play without Cauley-Stein, as the Cats did before their Elite Eight win over Michigan.

The Badgers are a "great passing team," Calipari said, and Kaminsky is just the hub of an efficient offense.

"We can't really focus on just one player, because it's a team," Lee said. "Not just one player that can win."

Bon Voyage
Assistant coach Orlando Antigua will become a head coach -- but not before finishing out this tournament run with Kentucky.

Antigua was named the new coach at South Florida this week. Terms of his contract were not immediately available.

"I can't tell him how ecstatic I am for him and the opportunity," coach John Calipari said, "because it is, like, the right job for him."

That's because the six-year Calipari assistant will coach at a school that has "unbelievable potential," good facilities and plays in a winnable league in the American Athletic Conference, Calipari said.

The key for Antigua will be to create a "winning culture," Calipari said, and Antigua already has a strong connection to the region. Antigua likely will recruit from the Dominican Republic, where he is head coach of the men's national team, Calipari said.

"Now you're talking South Florida, a little Latin flavor," Calipari said. "Here he comes in. They also need someone to excite their fans, their campus. Well, that's him. That's who he is, and that's why I say perfect fit in my opinion."

Calipari brushed off the notion that Antigua's coming departure could be a distraction to Kentucky players, who were instead "ecstatic" for him.

Freshman guard Andrew Harrison said the team is "gonna miss him," but that everyone believes Antigua will find success through his acumen and personality.

"If you can think of somebody who has more energy than I do going through practice, it's him," freshman forward Marcus Lee said. "He's the most energetic person that I've ever met, and that's saying something."

Local Flavor
You can watch the standard national broadcast of Saturday's Final Four matchup on TBS featuring Jim Nantz, Greg Anthony and Steve Kerr.

Or, if you prefer, you can watch a separate version on TNT that will be called by local broadcasters Rob Bromley (play-by-play), Rex Chapman (analyst) and Dave Baker (sideline reporter).

It's part of an experiment by Turner Sports and CBS to offer fans alternative viewing options that focus on the Final Four through the prism of a specific team.

Final Four payouts
Kentucky reaching the Final Four triggered incentive-based bonuses for the staff.

Calipari received a $150,000 bonus. Assistant coaches Kenny Payne ($58,333), John Robic ($50,000), Antigua ($45,833) and strength coach Rock Oliver ($27,737) received bonuses equal to two months salary. Athletic director Mitch Barnhart received a $25,000 bonus.


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