The Maui Invitational's pre-tournament press conference with the eight participating coaches has ended -- with everyone seemingly in good humor... and yes, the extends to Washington's Lorenzo Romar and Kentucky's John Calipari, who each stressed a respect for one another that is unchanged by Kentucky landing five-star recruit Terrenace Jones after his oral commitment to UW.
I'll have more on that later, but the theme of the day was youth ... most everyone except Romar and Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall claimed some sort of rebuilding underway.
The only break in by-the-book polite statements came from Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun, who went out of his way to put pressure on Tom Izzo's Michican State Spartans as the overwhelming favorites to win the Maui championship, with perhaps only Kentucky having any chance among the others.
He seemed to say this in impish good humor.
As for Romar-Calipari, Romar is long on record as saying that Jones simply changed his mind and that Calipari did nothing wrong.
As for Calipari, here's some of what he had to say today about any special meaning to possible UW-UK meeting in the second round:
"I haven’t talked to Terrence about it. But I really respect Lorenzo, always have, talked to him through the process, have always – I felt – had a good relationship with him because he is a terrific basketball coach, he’s into the game, he’s into other coaches. So if we have an opportunity to play Washington, let’s hope it’s that we both won – can I say that? – and then yes, we want to play them. They will exploit us because of their experience, because of their speed, and the game that they’ll play and the reserve that we use: We’ll learn a lot from that game. But Terrence: There may be something extra. But I don’t have any ill will in any way. And I know the Jones thing kind of makes people (think otherwise), but I’m not into that. It’ll be a very hard game or us. But if we play, let it be because we both win, and then we’ll figure it out."