Video courtesy of uknationofblue
Post-Game Quotes -- vs. Tennessee
UK Head Coach John Calipari
Q. On a scale of 1-to-10, 10 being the highest, how good was the defense?
COACH CALIPARI: We were really good defensively. We were really good. You know, the way we scored the ball in the first half, we were able to create a gap. But (Renaldo) Woolridge came out and makes five 3s, and I'm looking at guys, after he made two, and then he made the third, you're like, ‘Are you not watching the game?’ But they were tough shots, and he made them.
Again, I thought we were good, and we played good in a rough game. It was a rough game. I mean, we played good in it. But again, you go back to Terrence Jones playing like he played physically, it makes us better.
Q. Coach (Cuonzo) Martin talked about Anthony Davis for a second, called him one of the best, if not the best players in the country and said a player like him comes along once in a lifetime. Your thoughts about the way he played tonight and putting that in perspective?
COACH CALIPARI: Well, I had one already. I had Marcus Camby, so that's twice in a lifetime now, and I'm hoping for three and four in a lifetime. But he doesn't command the ball. I mean, he's just playing. If you pass him up, he doesn't get mad about it. He rebounds, he blocks shots. Today (he had) three assists, one turn(over). He's a special player.
And mainly because he's about his teammates. It's not just what he does. Look, there are players out there (who are) really good players and all that, but their teammates don't want to play with them, don't like them. This kid let me just say this: He whistles and skips going to class he's so happy. I heard him the other day. I said, ‘Who's that whistling?’ and it was him going to class, just skipping like he's having fun, he's enjoying himself, he's not putting any pressure on himself, he's just playing.
Q. When you look at Terrence (Jones’) numbers tonight, not like they were Saturday. What things did you see that you liked just as much as you did Saturday?
COACH CALIPARI: The biggest thing is he's being physical. See, you can't negate how we're being played. Hopefully people watched tonight and know that kind of game plan even if it's not coach wise, it's player wise watching us, looking at this and saying, ‘You know, it's hard to play them that way.’ But Terrence gives us a physical presence. He can score the ball. He's a skilled player. He's got to compete and battle, and that's what he's doing now.
Q. I'm wondering with (Anthony) Davis hitting a couple of face the basket shots, blocking (Jarnell) Stokes early on, how much credit should he get for setting the tone early?
COACH CALIPARI: Well, he should get a lot, but again, we're a team, and I thought a lot of guys did a lot of stuff. We're not even talking about Michael (Kidd-)Gilchrist; he goes 16 (points), 8 (rebounds), and again, two steals, and he defends and gets a steal late. I mean, he's just he's playing. You know, you can go right down the line. Darius (Miller) and Doron (Lamb) didn't play great, but they played good defense. And it's not like they played bad.
We're not going to be pitching shutouts now, so I'm happy with the team. We've got to get better. We've got to keep improving. You know, we're not turning it over that much.
We play and you saw us at the end of the game, we love to play fast. We want to play fast. But if we have to grind it out, we can, and we did at the end. The last seven (to) eight minutes, we just grind it out. We want to grind it, we're going to grind it, so we can play both ways if we have to.
Q. It looks like this team is really starting to come together and create some continuity among each other. Talk about that. These guys have only known each other six months.
COACH CALIPARI: Well, and really it's less than that. But they have they want to win above how they're playing. So a guy like Marquis Teague, who scored 28 a game in high school, is running our team, not scoring as many points. A Michael (Kidd-)Gilchrist who scored 25 a game. We're not running one play for Michael Gilchrist, not one play. Well, we ran a slice cut twice, so I ran two plays for him. Whether it's Doron Lamb, Terrence Jones or Darius Miller, veterans, quote, two sophomores and a senior, and they're accepting that these freshmen are really good, yet they're still stepping up and playing. So there's a good thing going because they want to win. They like each other. They really do like each other.
The one thing I like that happens during that we call it Camp Cal where we're together, they just get together and they get with one another, and I love road trips. I love going on the road because it's just us. You know, you've got 11 players and our staff and that's it, and we're together for two, three days. So that kind of stuff helps this team because we are four freshmen, two sophomores and a senior playing most of the minutes.
Q. You may have answered my question with that right there, but do you feel like just in the last couple of weeks this team has made a lot of strides, and if so, what's been the key to that?
COACH CALIPARI: Marquis Teague. The guy that has the ball, if he's playing well, you've got a chance. If he's not playing well, you have no chance. Now, he can play well and you still lose because everybody else is playing bad, but they can all play well and if he's playing poorly and you can't win. He is really listening. He's playing the way we need him to play. Again, we go 1-for-10 from the 3 point line, and he found guys, they just didn't make shots. So his four assists could have been eight. They were wide open, they just missed them.
So he's playing (and) that's helping us. Michael (Kidd-Gilchrist) is getting better, Anthony (Davis) is getting better, Terrence (Jones) is finally more physical, Doron (Lamb) and Darius (Miller) are doing things to help us. Kyle Wiltjer is way better than he was. Today Kyle Wiltjer got five rebounds. Come on now, we're use to him shooting 3s. So they're all getting better. But it's kind of like having a quarterback and that guy has to get us all in tune, and he is. He's doing really well.
Q. Off the beaten path a little bit, you guys both have your teams to worry about, but do you have a chance to chat and compare notes with Matthew Mitchell, both being highly ranked teams?
COACH CALIPARI: Well, he and I talk twice a week. I'll stop in the office, he'll stop in my office. I'll stop in his practice, he'll stop in my practice. You know, he has done such a fabulous (job). He's selling out Memorial. We played Alabama, sellout; Valerie Still was back. And they're really good, like they're really good. They're fun to watch. My players love watching them play. Coach, why don't we play a little like them, let us go a little bit. So it's been a unique experience in that there are other programs that have had teams like this, but I just don't know if they've gotten along like our two teams have.
Q. You said a few times throughout the early part of the season, different times you said if this or that happens, when this or that happens, this will be scary. These last two games when you watch this team, is that in your mind's eye when you would say if this or that happens this will be scary, are these last two games sort of what you saw?
COACH CALIPARI: I would. I would tell you, they're different games. Now, LSU was rougher than this game, and it was allowed to be rougher. This game was not allowed to be rougher, but we didn't make any 3s. Last game we were 7-of-14 or 15 from the 3 point line. This game we missed them all. Lucky we made one. What was the streak? We have knocked down the streak there. How many games have we made a three? It almost went down the drain today. Who's the one guy that made it? Doron Lamb. I know it wasn't Darius (Miller).
Q. Is it overstating it to say that your guys are starting to relish that physical play you've talked about, or are they getting much closer to where you were
COACH CALIPARI: We had our guards at times. Doron (Lamb) went in there, Darius (Miller), there's still plays you've got one where Terrence (Jones) went baseline and (Skylar) McBee kind of pushed him and he never got to the rim. Come on now, that's got to be a dunk. Just go dunk the ball. So we're still not there.
What they did to Anthony Davis is absolutely when he caught the ball at the top of the key, mushed it, and again, that means toughness, and he just got rid of the ball a couple times. He wasn't ready to really be physical. So we've got a long way to go with that. But we've made strides.
Q. Earlier today the task force recommended a renovation rather than a new (Rupp) Arena. What was your thoughts on that and the tentative plans for the renovation?
COACH CALIPARI: I just heard about it on the way to the game. DeWayne (Peevy) called me and told me. I'm fine. Look, whatever is good for our city is good for our university, and whatever is good for the university is good for the city. That being said, we need to rebuild our campus, too, so I would encourage all the state legislators. This is the flagship campus. We have 500 new beds out of 6,000, 50 year old dorms, 60 year old dorms. We need new classrooms. They need to rebuild the campus, and they need to do it over a four or five year period ASAP. And now they build a place down there? If that's what they choose to do, rebuild Rupp, I'm fine, because it's good for our city. But whatever is good for our university is also good for our city.
Again, I'm not in the middle of it. What do they say, ‘My name is Bennett, and I ain't in it’, so I'm good.
Tuesday, January 31, 2012
UK Players Anthony Davis, Terrence Jones, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Marquis Teague talk about UK's 69-44 win over Tennessee at Rupp Arena on 1/31/12. Video's courtesy of uknationofblue
1. Baylor (40)
2. Notre Dame
7. Miami (FL)
10. Green Bay
11. Ohio St.
18. Texas A&M
19. Penn St.
23. North Carolina
24. Georgia Tech
25. Texas Tech
Dropped Out:No. 23 DePaul
Others Receiving Votes:St. Bonaventure 61, DePaul 53, South Carolina 48, California 18, Kansas St. 13, Arkansas 12, Princeton 11, St. John's 9, Fla Gulf Coast 8, Oklahoma 6, San Diego St. 5, Kansas 5, Fresno St. 4, UTEP 4, Vanderbilt 2, Michigan St. 1
1. Baylor (31)
2. Notre Dame
7. Miami (FL)
9. Green Bay
11. Ohio St.
16. Texas A&M
21. Penn St.
22. Georgia Tech
24. North Carolina
Dropped Out:No. 23 Texas Tech
Others Receiving Votes:Texas Tech 30, Vanderbilt 23, St. Bonaventure 19, Middle Tenn. St. 15, Fla Gulf Coast 14, South Carolina 13, California 12, BYU 8, Michigan St. 6, UNLV 3, UTEP 3, Princeton 3, St. John's 2, Kansas St. 2, Fresno St. 2, South Florida 1
Monday, January 30, 2012
UK Coach Calipari talks about Tuesday’s game against Tennessee on ESPNU at Rupp Arena. Video couryest of uksportsinfo
Pre-Tennessee Media Opportunity - Jan. 30, 2012
Head Coach John Calipari
On (LSU head coach) Trent Johnson apologizing for the fouls …
“We talked. I know Trent well enough. My whole point is that if you don’t call rough play, that’s what it goes to. Have to call rough play. On a post-up, if you move a guy three feet, that’s a foul offensively. If you move him two steps, that’s a foul. If that’s all let go, it leads to grabbing. Well I’m allowed to smash this guy in the face because that’s how the game’s going. That’s all I say is call the game the way it should be officiated. Then there are no issues. You don’t get to that. Just call the fouls.”
On how much Tennessee has improved since UK faced them earlier in the season…
“They’re better. All of them, they’re all better. (Jarnell) Stokes is getting more comfortable, but they’re all better. (Jeronne) Maymon is physical. He’s good. He scores. (Their) guard play is good. (Skylar) McBee is really playing as well as he’s played since I’ve seen him. Their other guards are playing good. They’re a good team. The only team that really got them was Vanderbilt. Every other game they could have won. Vanderbilt made shots. If they make shots against us they’ll beat us the same way they beat them. So Vanderbilt is really good.”
On the challenges of the rematches as they face a team for the second time in a season …
“I’m glad it’s at home, I can tell you. I don’t know if it’ll matter but you know, we’re playing them again. We’ve got a bunch of other games. We’ll have to play a team twice and in all likelihood, you go into a tournament and you have a chance of playing someone three times.”
On how even keeled (Michael) Kidd-Gilchrist is …
“I think it’s all he knows. He’s just doing what he does naturally. He’s just playing. I was a little worried when he ran down to protect Anthony because I didn’t want to see anything. Again, I’m preaching that we’re not fouling. We’re playing not to foul. We want six fouls at half. We don’t want it to be a rough house, win in the weight room kind of game. That’s not how we play. If I’m preaching that, then you have to stay in control. When that other stuff happens and they make the call, there’s no reason for anything else to happen. They made the call. Back up and go. The reality is that’s just what he knows. He doesn’t know anything different.”
On whether his early statements that his team needed to be physical have prepared him for what he sees now …
“It’s prepared you all to watch it a little different too see what’s going on and now you can visually see it. The second thing I’ll tell you is that Terrence (Jones) played different down at Louisiana and that’s why we had some toughness. Michael is not going to change how he plays. He does what he does. Terrence has to give us that physical presence. If he gives us the physical presence, the other guys can do what they do. You can’t ask Kyle (Wiltjer) to do it and you can’t ask Eloy (Vargas) to do it. Unless you’re asking Anthony (Davis) to do everything, get rebounds, block shots, dunk, score and be tough, which you can’t ask him to do it. So, if Terrence battles, I’m going to tell you, this (Tennessee game) will be, to (play tough) will wear you out. This is going to be like the hand-to-hand kind of deal where running around, like I jog on the treadmill, that’s one thing. You go outside and play basketball and get bumped and grinded and all of the sudden you hurt in muscles you didn’t even know you had. This is going to be a body-to-body kind of play that’s going to wear people out.”
On Trent’s comment that if Terrence (Jones) continues to play well then UK should win the national championship …
“I don’t know if it’s that much but let me just say this. We were all happy in that locker room. The team was ecstatic. It wasn’t scoring. He was tough. He came up with balls. He posted physically strong even though the guy battled him. He battled back. The four jumps for a ball, we haven’t seen that all year. Well that’s now what we’re all looking for. Everybody will be saying that if he’s capable of doing that then let’s do it every game. Now, it’s hard because they’re not machines. They’re not computers. But, it’s what you strive for. It’s what you prepare for.”
On Doron Lamb’s play …
“He’s OK. I still think he’s better than he’s playing and again the rough house game. (Skylar) McBee is going to get up in him, now are you going to fade from that or are you going to create the contact, go to the line and make two free-throws? Are you going to get to the rim and draw fouls or are you going to run and avoid the contact and throw it and hope it goes in? The way we are being played it is very important. What has happened, Darius Miller is playing really aggressive offensively. He’s getting in the middle, he’s making that little floater, he’s making his shots, he’s going strong to the rim, and he’s dunking balls when he can. He, offensively, is playing like he did at the end of the year, last year.”
On Anthony Davis remaining calm after hard fouls …
“Well when you get knocked to the floor like that and he got hit in the face really hard one time about four plays later. He kind of went back and down and was like, ‘are you kidding me? I thought we were playing basketball?’ And then he runs back, or he smiles. He’s on his back, he gets up and he smiles and shakes his head. Again, in the rule book, if I leave my feet and you slide under me it is a block 100 percent of the time. If I have my position and you move me two feet out of my position that is a foul, offensively or defensively. I have a right to that spot, if you move me out of that spot it is a foul. When Naismith invented the game it was a foul and it’s a foul today. With him, as he gets pushed around that is just what you are saying, they can’t do that. He has a right to the spot. I know they want to be physical, they just can’t move him. They can lean on him, but the minute they start moving him two feet those are fouls. He has been great, he hasn’t said one word and let me just tell you, the best thing for our team is all this happening. It’s going to be just as physical Tuesday and it’s good for us because it’s the one way, I told you two years ago, everybody said you have to hope they miss shots and we did, we went 0-20 (in NCAA tournament against West Virginia). This team they are saying you better get into their bodies and be physical, one coach said, ‘hit them and be real physical,’ that was according to one of their players, anyway. If you can negate that like I’ve been saying for three weeks then you have a chance of doing something.”
On Marquis Teague finally hitting his stride …
“He is running the team better. Right now, he is doing a better job running the team. That is all I am asking him to do. Defend, stay on that court, and if you’re tired come off and run our team. It is hard for our guys. These guys want to score, including Eloy (Vargas). If Eloy grabs the ball at half court, he may try to shoot a hook (shot) out there. They are used to scoring 25 a game. It kills them. Seven rebounds, seven assists, three steals, what a game he had. No, I could have scored 15 more points. What? You don’t have to. Michael (Kidd-Gilchrist) had one point (against LSU); played great. It doesn’t matter. That is not how you are being judged on this team. This team is about how you are doing your job, how you are playing, and like I said, we are hopefully getting better. These will be some tough challenges. (Tennessee head coach Cuonzo) Martin has created a team every year that has a chance to win a championship because they defend in the half court, they play tough, hard-nosed, aggressive basketball, they will post the ball, to make you do stuff to create 3s, they are running good stuff. I am just telling you he is doing a fabulous job with this team.”
On if this team is playing its best basketball of the year …
“We are just trying to get better day-to-day. We missed all of those free throws. We missed about six layups in that game. But, we played good. We played as well as we have all year. But, now let’s see how we do in practice, let’s see how we do tomorrow. Let’s see how we build on that tomorrow.”
On what Michael Kidd-Gilchrist has to do to become a better player …
“He has to start defending. We can’t just start the game and let them do what they want. I can put him on anybody I want to put him on. I can put him on a one, a two, a three or a four if that guy is hurting us, and that’s why he is so vital. I said this after the (LSU) game. Terrence (Jones) really played well. Michael (Kidd-Gilchrist) still might have been the best player and he got one point. There is not many. You can’t say ‘I am going to have my best player come off the bench.’ The guy that is doing the things that he is doing, he has to be on that court. Now, what makes me mad about him is that he fouls, like 30 feet from the basket, and he gets a body foul. Then he gets two fouls, and I am trying to tell him he doesn’t need to block any shots, just body guys up and let them block it. He is doing fine, and the other guys are doing fine. We’ve got six starters, and even when Kyle (Wiltjer) is playing the way he is, and I think he is playing really well also, we have seven starters. That’s why we are where we are right now. The other thing is that when people watch us, they say ‘Man, they are unselfish. All of these All-Americans pass it to one another, and they make the extra pass, they have seven guys.’ That’s why we are where we are, or we wouldn’t be here. I mean, trying to get that challenge across to them is the most important thing. Everybody has to sacrifice and ‘do less’ so you are ‘doing more’ for us.”
UK players Darius Miller and Terrence Jones Pre-Tennessee Interview as the Cats take on Tennessee Tuesday at Rupp Arena on ESPNU at 7pm. Video's courtesy of uknationofblue
1. Kentucky (63)
2. Syracuse (2)
3. Ohio St.
5. North Carolina
9. Michigan St.
10. Murray St.
17. San Diego St.
18. St. Mary's
21. Florida St.
22. Mississippi St.
Dropped Out:No. 22 Kansas St., No. 24 Connecticut
Others Receiving Votes:Harvard 69, Louisville 65, Kansas St. 40, West Virginia 12, Wichita St. 9, Notre Dame 6, Nevada 6, Southern Miss 5, Long Beach St. 3, Iowa St. 3, Iona 2, Connecticut 2, Illinois 1
1. Kentucky (31)
3. Ohio St.
7. North Carolina
9. Murray St.
10. Michigan St.
16. St. Mary's
17. San Diego St.
19. Mississippi St.
24. Florida St.
Dropped Out:No. 19 Connecticut, No. 24 Kansas St.
Others Receiving Votes:Gonzaga 65, Vanderbilt 36, Connecticut 21, Nevada 18, Kansas St. 15, Middle Tenn. St. 9, Iowa St. 9, Wichita St. 7, West Virginia 6, New Mexico 6, Southern Miss 4, Long Beach St. 3, Temple 2, California 2, Notre Dame 1
Florida at LSU 7:00 PM CST
Ole Miss at Kentucky 7:00 PM
Mississippi St. at Georgia 7:00 PM
South Carolina at Tennessee 7:00 PM CSS
Vanderbilt at Auburn 7:00 PM
Alabama at Arkansas 8:00 PM
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 5TH
Auburn at Tennessee 2:00 PM SEC Network
Ole Miss at Florida 2:00 PM
Georgia at Alabama 3:00 PM FSN
Kentucky at LSU 3:00 PM CST
Vanderbilt at Mississippi St. 3:00 PM
Tennessee at Kentucky 7:00 PM ESPNU
Vanderbilt at Arkansas 9:00 PM ESPN
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 1ST
Georgia at Auburn 8:00 PM SEC Network
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 2ND
South Carolina at Florida 9:00 PM ESPN/2
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 4TH
Vanderbilt at Florida 1:00 PM CBS Sports
Arkansas at LSU 1:30 PM SEC Network
Auburn at Mississippi St. 4:00 PM SEC Network
Kentucky at South Carolina 6:00 PM ESPN/2
Georgia at Tennessee 8:00 PM FSN
Ole Miss at Alabama 8:00 PM ESPN2
Kentucky vs Tennessee 1/31/12 Tuesday 7PM-EST/6PPM-CST(ESPNU)
Kentucky leads the series 147-66
Location: Knoxville, Tenn
Head Coach: Cuonzo Martin
Career Record: 61-41 (59.8%) 3 seasons
At Tennessee-First season
2010-11 Record: 19-15
2010-11 SEC Record: 8-8
Postseason: 0-1 NCAA
2011-12 Record: 10-11
2011-12 SEC Record: 2-4
Tennessee 92 UNC Greensboro 63
Tennessee 85 Louisiana Monroe 62
Duke 77 Tennessee 67
Memphis 99 Tennessee 97
Tennessee 86 Chaminade 60
Oakland 89 Tennessee 81
Pittsburgh 61 Tennessee 56
Austin Peay 74 Tennessee 70
College of Charleston 71 Tennessee 65
Tennessee 72 UNC Ashville 68
Tennessee 66 ESTU 63
Tennessee 86 Citadel 55
Tennessee 76 Chattanooga 63
Memphis 69 Tennessee 51
Tennessee 67 Florida 56
Mississippi St. 62 Tennessee 58
Kentucky 65 Tennessee 62
Georgia 57 Tennessee 53 (OT)
Tennessee 60 U Conn 57
Vanderbilt 65 Tennessee 47
Tennessee 64 Auburn 49
3 PT%-35.3% (7.1PG)
Probable Starting Lineup
Trae Golden-G 6’1” Soph………………………….13.1 PPG
Jeronne Maymon-F 6’7” Jr……………………..….11.7 PPG
Josh Richardson-G 6’6” Fr..…………………….…..3.0 PPG
Cameron Tatum-G 6’7” Sr……………………….…8.7 PPG
Jarnell Stokes-F 6’8” Fr…………………………….10.6 PPG
Other Key Players
Sylar McBee-G 6’3” Jr………………………………6.5 PPG
Jordan McRae-F 6’5” Soph………………………….8.7 PPG
Kenny Hall-F 6’9” Jr…………………………………6.6 PPG
Tennessee now has a new coach in Cuonzo Martin after Bruce Pearl was fired. Martin played at Purdue from 91-95 under Gene Keady….Martin was then an assistant under both Keady and Matt Painter from 2000-2008 so he garnered great experience from two very good coaches. For the past 3 years, Martin has been a successful coach at Missouri St where he greatly improved their program.
Coach Martin inherited a Tennessee team that lost 4 solid starters in Scotty Hopson, Tobias Harris, Melvin Goins and John Fields plus 4 other players including Brian Williams. Despite those losses, Martin has the Vols playing much better than anyone expected. While Pearl’s Vols were more upbeat offensively, Martin has focused on playing tough hardnose defense….which was evident in the Vols win over Florida and U Conn.
Unquestionably, the addition of freshman Jarnell Stokes has been a huge plus for the Vols frontline. Stokes is averaging 10.6 PPG shooting 57.9% plus garnering 8 rebounds PG. Stokes is already becoming a force in the SEC despite joining the Vols at mid-season.
McBee, Tatum and Golden are shooting well from the perimeter with Golden leading the team in assists with 101. Maymon and Stokes are both averaging 8 rebounds PG giving the Vols a solid inside game on the boards. Golden remains the leading scorer.
UK welcomes Tennessee to Rupp arena after a great win at LSU where the Cats arguably played their best game of the year. Coach Cal was pleased with all the players and their performance. It was especially great to see Terrence Jones have a tremendous game with 27 points. Anthony Davis, who was mauled during much of the game….including an ugly and totally uncalled for mugging which took Davis to the floor on a breakaway….still maintained his cool and delivered another superb game.
Certainly, UK will remember a tough 65-62 win at Knoxville just a little over 2 weeks ago and should be better prepared to handle the Vols at Rupp arena.
I see a 14 point win over Tennessee! GO CATS!
Sunday, January 29, 2012
Saturday, January 28, 2012
Friday, January 27, 2012
Video courtesy of Courier-Journal.com
Kentucky Men’s Basketball
January 27, 2012
Pre-LSU Media Opportunity
UK Head Coach John Calipari
On LSU holding teams under 60…
“They’re big and their guards are good. (Anthony) Hickey is outstanding, tough, hard-nosed, they have two of him. They have their leading scorer, who is 6-5, back. Johnny O’Bryant who is a McDonald’s All-American, they have the kid from Iowa State that is 7-foot, he’s good. They have two other big kids; they are a very good team. The good news is, for preparation, they play a lot like Georgia, Mark (Fox) worked for coach (LSU head coach Trent Johnson). A lot of the stuff when we go over it we will have seen it. That’s why yesterday I didn’t use any time in our practice, usually I would say let’s hit their stuff a little bit, we did a few of the drills that match it but none of the walk-through stuff.”
On recruiting in-state product Anthony Hickey …
“It’s not about that, he’s good enough, there is no question but we took Marquis Teague. When you do that, unless you just want to load up on kids, here’s what happens, what if he comes here, maybe he is better than Marquis, maybe he’s not, and if he’s not and he’s not playing, is that fair to him? Maybe he would be good enough to beat out Marquis Teague, is that fair to Marquis Teague? I just think that when you go through this process of recruiting, I’ve made mistakes before. I remember when we played Connecticut and when I saw my man out of high school, I said he was too small, I’m not sure he is good enough. Guess what, he was good enough. Hickey is really good. I’ll same the thing, the other side of it is you take a guy that should be going to Western (Kentucky University) or Murray (State) and you just take him to take him when he could go there and be a starter and do x-y-z and you take him because you want to have a Kentucky kid on your team. I’m not doing that, I just refuse to do that. I’ll take walk-ons that way but I’m not taking a player that way, I don’t feel comfortable with that. Hickey is good enough, he is an SEC player and a starting point guard, I just saw him against Mississippi State make four 3s in a row to end the game. He’s not afraid, he could play here, there isn’t any question, he’s not afraid, he’s a battler, he is good.”
On Marquis Teague making the balance of the team work …
“Important but the one thing, this is a hard one for you all to understand, we have to keep working on making the extra pass. You say, ‘well Cal you have seven guys that have over 100 shots. There is no team in the country that has seven guys with over 100 shots.’ There isn’t one and here is what I would say, what happens is, because guys are only taking 10-9-8-11 shots, the extra pass becomes a little bit harder than it would if four or three guys are taking all your shots. We just have to continue to work on that, make that extra pass. The balance we have does make it difficult. Darius (Miller), offensively, he could go for 30, Kyle Wiltjer could go for 30, Doron Lamb could go for (30), you have a bunch of guys that could bust out for 30. Terrence Jones could go for 30, we just have to keep playing the game and whoever has it going, go to him, last game it was Darius and the guys found him and got him shot.”
On Marquis Teague carrying himself better than he was earlier in the year…
“What happens to these young people, if they don’t let you define them, let us kind of present you, define how you are going to play, when they are arguing the point they think they can play like they did in high school and when it doesn’t work it rattles them. Then they don’t know if they are if they are good enough, then they start questioning if they can play, well you can play but just not the way you are playing. That’s the hard thing, most guys have to get hit in the mouth and they say, ‘alright it ain’t working the way I want to do this, let me do this.’ Let me say this, every once in a while they will go back and check it to make sure they are right or wrong. They’ll go and have their kind of game and they’ll look bad again and you’ll say, ‘why did they do that?’ Because they just have to check and see if they can do it their way. Most of these players, they are letting us present them and define their games for them. All we try to do is play to our strengths, play to your strengths; we’ll work on your weaknesses in here but right now let’s do what we do. The biggest thing with Marquis Teague that he is doing better is he is defending and rebound, you all want to look at his offense, he is defending and rebounding. He’s not stopping, he is going in and getting balls, he had seven rebounds. He has seven rebounds we’ll outrebound the other team by double digits. But there are games he gets no rebounds and doesn’t even attempt, that is the old high school, I’m not going in there because if I go in there and they miss then I can’t get a lay-up so I’m going to just take off. It’s not just him; there are a lot of high school guys doing that.”
On being 3-0 in SEC road games …
“They have all been good games. Georgia came out and made six out of eight whatever they did. Tennessee came out and we were down in that game, Auburn came out and we were down in that game. They all come at us, they are all big games and the teams are going to play well. It’s good for us, it makes us better. I expect LSU to play a great game, I expect them to come out and play better than they have all year. (They will) be physical, run their stuff, execute, they’ll play fast but they want it to be, a lot of times you say they are holding people under 60, it’s because they are scoring a little bit over 60. A team that holds it can keep the other team from scoring more. If you are playing faster the other team is going to score more because they are going to get more opportunities. But they do a good job of controlling the games, similar to Georgia.”
On Kentucky being on its own level …
“You always want to be on your own playing field. One of the reasons we don’t have to talk about another program or I don’t even have to worry about who is recruiting a guy is because I don’t care. I tell the family when we come in, ‘you will not hear me or my staff talk about another program and if we do talk about another program it will be positive about that coach or that program.’ We don’t worry about anybody else, if the kid wants something like this then we will get him and if they look at this and say it is too much then they aren’t coming here. What you try to do in all that you are doing is separate so that you are on a playing field where you present yourself and ask the kid if it is something he’d like or not. In everything you do, whether it’s facilities, academics, in the community, social media, connecting your fans. I’ve said that since I’ve been here, you’re at Kentucky, let’s get this separated. Why are we on all these TV games? Because we rate so high, we rate highest in the country. Everybody wants to watch us.