Saturday, October 22, 2016

Video/Transcript: UK Football Coach Mark Stoops Post-Mississippi State Press Conference Comments

COACH STOOPS: And our coaches, from the beginning, and I know it didn't go how we wanted it to all the time, but I really felt very well prepared for this game. I felt like our players were. I felt like our coaches were, and I think they did a heck of a job.

We didn't always execute to perfection. We seemed to like putting some drama in things, but we were really playing some good football and turned it and had a chance to really separate ourselves; and we get the stripped scoop again to put more pressure on our football team.

But once again, we showed that resiliency, and we showed that toughness, and all that stuff I talked about is starting to pay off in the off-season with being physically tougher, mentally tougher, and being able to bounce back from adversity. That's what I'm most proud of.

Again, I felt like we were very well prepared. I felt like our staff did a great job. Our players have been so much fun to coach. We've had a great couple weeks. They are a fun group to work with and we are going to take another step. We're excited about it and ready to move forward to the next challenge.

Q. What did you think after Dorian dropped that pass in the end zone?

COACH STOOPS: I didn't quite see it. I didn't know if it was a drop or not. I heard everybody screaming like we got it and then not, but what are you going to do on the next play? I was hoping he would come down with it, but I just saw it bouncing around back there.

Q. Where did that rank as one of the craziest games you've been a part of?

COACH STOOPS: Yeah, it's right up there. It seems like we have some of those but it's right up there. Yeah, it is up there.

But I was really proud at the end. We practice that play every week, we're nine seconds -- and our players know if there's no timeouts and under three, we have to snap it. We have the play that we go to and we have to get down right there. If he runs around, the game is over.

So we run it, hit the dig and get down on the ground and call a time-out and hopefully make the field goal and it worked. It worked this time. So proud of our coaches. They are prepared for that play. They work it every week. Again, it was nice execution there.

Q. Austin missed one early, comes back.

COACH STOOPS: Yeah, he absolutely did. I had a lot of confidence with him in that last kick, I did. I was good with it either way because I felt like our team, our players played their hearts out; I know our coaches coached their hearts out.

And I have a lot of confidence, I've been telling you guys that I felt like Austin was getting real close to being an elite kicker, getting back to like he is. He did miss one early but I have a lot of confidence in him.

Q. What was it like when they picked the fumble up --

COACH STOOPS: I can't talk about that, what goes through my mind right there (laughs) no, but --

Q. What did you say?
COACH STOOPS: Well, you have to bounce back. You have to. And that's what we've been practicing and working on and they have done that. And we went right back and put a really good drive together. And I knew we had them on the field for a long time.

So the one bad thing about a scoop-and-score for a defense is you have to go right back out there and, sure enough, they get the big momentum boost and they go right back out there, but out offense drove it down. We only got the three, but it was a big drive.

Q. What did you actually say to Austin after the game on the field?

COACH STOOPS: I think we both just looked at each other and I don't even know what we said. Just, you know, I gave him a hug and probably told him I loved him.

Q. It's been a tough year for him last year.

COACH STOOPS: It was a brutal -- absolutely. He's a wonderful kid and he works hard, and he's healthy, and our team has a lot of confidence in him. He just told the team that he was just proud to be a part of it and get it for them.

Q. What did you say to Stephen (Johnson) at half-time and can you talk about Marc McWilson?

COACH STOOPS: Stephen at halftime, we told the whole group to just go back to executing and play with poise, get the opening kickoff and go score. And we felt like we did not play very good in the first half. We were playing fantastic defense for awhile, but then we got the short fields and the change of possession, I would like to see us do better on that change of possession but two short fields and we are really playing -- I don't think they had a first down for a long time.

But we knew with the mistakes that we made with the special teams and with the fumble, and you're down one possession and didn't play very good, and certainly not very well on offense; but again, we were moving it. Everybody throws the stats in my face when we lose, but we did have a bunch of yards and were controlling the game and that does pay off sometimes, late, and hopefully it did here.

Q: On Boom Williams struggling early, then having success late

COACH STOOPS: I think you can't say enough about what he did, and all of our players. We've talked about being selfless all week, and doing whatever we can do to help this football team play better.

So when you're in the game, it's not about you being the best player out there but it's about making the team play better. And Boom did that and he made some big plays late in the game, and that was good to see.

Q. Jeff (Badet) had some huge --

COACH STOOPS: He did. And again, we've been -- Jeff and I talked Friday, must have been Friday, and we were in my office and that's what we needed, him to stay the course, stay patient. We've had our struggles with throwing the ball but that opportunity was going to come and when it comes, you'd better make it and do it and he certainly did.

Q. A bunch of wrinkles in the offense today; was that through the bye week you planned that?

COACH STOOPS: Yeah, it was trying to build on some of the success that we had with some of the plays and take it to a new level. Some of it worked a little bit and kept them off balance and it helped. And we did have two weeks. And we needed to create some plays.

Q. Since you drew it up like this, how does the plan, the adversity -- what does that do for a program?

COACH STOOPS: I think it gives us an opportunity to take it to the next step. We'll see what we do with it. We'll challenge our team. I just did right there about -- you know, I'm so proud of them, and I love them, and I loved coaching them throughout this whole game and throughout the whole season.

We play early next week, and you know, it's about sacrificing this week, getting home, getting some rest and let's get back to work.

Q. Your conference play, almost comes down to the last few minutes of every game. What does that say about how the team has finished in close games?

COACH STOOPS: We're proud of the way we've finished these games. They are never easy. We are not built that way to run away with games, and you know, our league, the difference in wins and losses is as tight as any league outside of the NFL.

So you're going to have some tight games, so you'd better win some.

Q. They were giving up about 136 yards on the ground -- you got 262. Were you developing the mind-set to run the ball?

COACH STOOPS: Definitely, and again, we were in very good control for a long time. And then -- well, -ish (ph), I should say in the second half. But when you're grinding on people and you're getting all those yards and you've got them on the field for a long time, it can pay dividends for you late in the game. It did today.

This game could have went either way. We know that. But if we don't turn it over, we're in pretty good control, also. We have to be smarter about that, and that situation right there, an extra yard or trying to get too much, is -- that can't happen. Get down, use the clock, go to third down, try to get the touchdown, and if nothing else, we get three and we're in good shape.

Q. Ryan Timmons had a couple big plays for you.

COACH STOOPS: Yeah, good to see. I think all of our guys have been fun to coach, and you know, waiting for their opportunity. You know, we weren't built to just throw it around and have all that fun that you like to see. We have some playmakers about you we're learning to grind it out and we have a lot of good players, and again, it's about being selfless and when it's your time, you have to step up and make some plays.

Q. You admitted -- Marc McWilson, when he made that play --

COACH STOOPS: Big time. Big time. I tackled him. I hurt him (Laughter).

No, I'm so happy for him. He doesn't realize how much potential he has sometimes and that's why I'm hardest on him.

Q. Once again, you didn't flinch. That seems to be a common mind-set right now.

COACH STOOPS: I'm from Youngstown, Ohio. We don't flinch.

Video: UK Players Marcus McWilson, Austin MacGinnis, Benny Snell Jr. Post-Mississippi State Comments

Gameday Final: UK 40 vs Mississippi State 38

MacGinnis, 51 yards #FTW ... KICK IS GOOD

A photo posted by ukfootball (@ukfootball) on

Gameday UK Football Player Benny Snell, Jr. Named Offensive Player Of The Game UK 40 vs Mississippi State 38

Gameday Halftime: UK 6 vs Mississippi State 14

Quick look at the halftime stats. #msstvsuk

A photo posted by ukfootball (@ukfootball) on

Gameday: UK Football Captain's vs Mississippi State

Gameday: PROGRAMMING ALERT ~ UK vs Mississippi State Game Moved To SEC Network Alternate

Gameday: UK Football's Defensive Starting Lineup vs Mississippi State

Gameday: UK Football's Offensive Starting Lineup vs Mississippi State

Gameday: Beat Mississippi State

Friday, October 21, 2016

Video: 2016 UK Men's Basketball Blue White Scrimmage Highlights

Transcript/Video: UK Coach Calipari 2016 Post Blue-White Comments

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You talked a lot about how good a defensive team this could be. What have you still seen that makes you think that?

COACH CALIPARI: We really guarded on the ball really good. It all starts right there. You have De'Aaron Fox, you have Dom (Hawkins), you have Malik (Monk), you have Isaiah (Briscoe). They can all guard the ball, which means you're not getting broken down, having to rotate.

Now Derek (Willis) is better, Wenyen (Gabriel) is really active and long and can block shots. We got to get Sacha (Killeya-Jones), Isaac (Humphries) and Bam (Adebayo) in that back line to play pick-and-roll better, taking away drives. I told them at halftime, “You can't let Isaiah just get to the rim. Make him make a pass, make him throw it.” And they didn't.

But that's OK. It was what it was. Turnovers-assists were about even. For this kind of game, the turnovers were based more on a racing mind than anything else. I think we'll be all right.

Q. You have three guards but all three have different skill sets. How is that going to help your team?

COACH CALIPARI: We got to figure it out. We haven't played them all together. We're going to start tomorrow. Will be the first day that I'll play all three of those guys together.

Had a great meeting with those three today. We got a lot to figure out. It's going to be organic, as it always is here. We got to figure out different rotations, who plays better with whom.

My guess is we would never be on the court without either Isaiah or De'Aaron. One of those two, and probably 20 minutes a game will be both of them. Then how do we play?

You know, I love the fact that Isaiah is shooting the ball better, making free throws, shooting those better.

But you saw the speed of De'Aaron Fox. One time he started walking. I said, “Go!” Second and a half he shot a layup. What just happened?

Malik, getting better. He's getting better.

I love Wenyen's energy.

But we've got a lot to figure out right now.

Q. Can Dominique and Mychal (Mulder) play their way into the rotation?

COACH CALIPARI: Yeah. Well, both of them? I hope they both play. But the advantage Dom has is he defends, he's tough, he comes up with balls. He's been in those games here.

Mychal is way more consistent than he was a year ago. He wasn't even bouncy last year. You get anxious. You can't really jump. You see a more confident player this year.

But we will see. 

Q. You called timeout after the big dunk. What did you say to the other guys?

COACH CALIPARI: No, I was trying to do something, again, we hadn't done this year. I wanted to get Isaiah posting up on that 7-foot wing. I just wanted him to make plays and see if he can create shots. So we did it.

Again, it's hard when you had the lineup they had in there. That's all I did.

Q. Fouls by the big guys, especially Sacha, sort of first game making the adjustment?

COACH CALIPARI: Yeah, I mean, you had both Sacha and Bam. Bam fouled a bunch. A lot of it your hands were down. You can't play that way.

But here's what's great about being here. They just played in a scrimmage in front of 16,000, biggest crowd we've ever had in a Blue-White in the history of the school, on national television. Think about that. Think about the advantage of that. It's not like the first game they go out, now they're not used to this.

We had Madness, and that's in front of 22,000 because the stage took seats away. So it's a big advantage. You're not like a deer in the headlights. You've been seeing this.

Bam still missed the first two free throws. Then you see him come back and make a couple jump shots, which he can do.

It was all good. I was really pleased with Dom. I was pleased with Sacha. Defensively, again, we've got a long way to go. But work starts tomorrow.

Believe me, I was more concerned about tomorrow's practice when those guys were getting hurt. They're going to be able to practice, so I'm very happy. We can't give up days. We just don't have enough time.

Q. How many positions can Wenyen guard, do you think? 

COACH CALIPARI: Whew. He was guarding Bam, who is a beast. He was guarding the four. Derek is playing like a three. He was guarding that position. It's his energy. And then he just has to be more confident.

Again, 13 rebounds. He led us in rebounds. He and Derek both have 13. More confident. It's us helping define what his offense looks like, if you know what I'm saying, so that he can just go play.

I'm trying to get Malik--there's a couple things he did today, c'mon. But he couldn't help himself. But the majority of how he played is how we want him to play. Legs got tired. He missed some shots that he normally makes.

Again, he goes 12 for 23. Pretty good.

Q. Wasn’t Wenyen guarding Isaiah too?

COACH CALIPARI: And Bam guarded him, too. Bam can actively do it. But we got to figure out some defensive teams, how we're going to play. What about a big lineup? Is Wenyen in the three? Are he and Derek in together some? Now you're 6-9", 6-9 and a big guy. Now you're really big. Do you play some zone with that team? You know.

Q. There's been some questions about your outside shooting coming into the season. You showed you could make some open shots tonight. Were you pleased with how they shot the ball?

COACH CALIPARI: Somebody mentioned about it. I'm not concerned much about that. I mean, I think we'll be fine.

What we wanted to do is shoot 35 percent collectively first night, lights on, tired, no subs. We shot about 35 percent between the two groups.

We took 30 3s, 11 for 30. That's 15 a team. That's about right for us. Maybe 17, 18, but.

Brad (Calipari) missed three of them, just so we can get that squared away (smiling).

Q. Speaking of Brad, it seems like he's already a fan favorite. You could tell that they were sort of rooting for him to make every shot. How much of a relief is that, that he's a good guy?

COACH CALIPARI: I'm not worried about that. I want him to be able to go in and hold his own. He missed a couple shots.

Just so you understand what happened, this team knows you cannot let him shoot it with his feet set. So they ran him off. He had to bounce it every time. Those are hard shots.

I told the guys in the Blue team, I just said, “You did exactly how you got to play, but that's my son, like give him a shot.”

They're like, “Nope, he's bouncing the ball.”

He had that one turnover. I thought he got casual.

Jonny (David) did well. Dillon (Pulliam) did well. I'm happy they were all able to get in and get some minutes and play.

Q. Do you expect Isaac (Humphries) and Tai (Wynyard) to practice tomorrow?

COACH CALIPARI: They told me Tai is going to practice starting Monday. We'll be off Monday, but next week.

Isaac could have gone today, but I just wanted to keep him out for a little while. I don't know if we'll do anything with him this weekend. His swelling is gone, but I don't want him to do something that makes it swell again. Let's get this thing totally cleared. It's nothing spectacular. Obviously if there's some swelling, there's some issues that he's got to deal with.