Friday, March 18, 2016

Transcript: UK Players Dominique Hawkins, Derek Willis, Alex Poythress, Skal Labissiere, Jamal Murray, Isaish Briscoe Lock-Room Pre-Indiana Second Round ~ 2016 NCAA Men's Tournament East Region Wells Fargo Arena - Des Moines, Iowa Comments

DOMINIQUE HAWKINS

On what he knows of UK-Indiana rivalry …
“I don’t know too much, but I know it’s always been a great rivalry. It’s up there with Louisville. The only game that I really remember about the rivalry is when they hit the 3 in the regular season, and then they played in the tournament, Sweet 16 against each other.”
On if there’s any difference with a rivalry game when it’s played in the tournament …
“I feel like it’s more of a tournament game. But it just makes it more better on TV, more people watching, more people focused on that game because it seems like it’s a rivalry game as well.”
On if he considers Indiana a rival team …
“No, I don’t at all. Like, I actually forgot it was a rivalry when I was here. It’s pretty nice to be able to play them again and it’s going to be a great game.”
On what style of game is he expecting for it …
“Definitely fast paced. We watched a little film this morning, we watched how fast they pushed the ball up. They put up numbers when they’re actually going and getting in rhythm.”
On what he sees with Yogi Ferrell …
“He don’t really remind me of nobody, but the way he plays is outstanding though really because the way he pushes the ball for his team, he gets people open that way and he can just pull up and shoot a 3 as well.”
On Indiana’s bigs …
“I really didn’t get to – we haven’t really got to watch any bigs workout or anything like that. It was all transition this morning that we watched.”

DEREK WILLIS

On being on a visit during the UK-Indiana game in 2011 …
“Yeah, I was right behind Indiana’s bench when Watford hit the 3 to win it. It was a crazy environment, crazy game.”
On if he rushed the court …
“No no, we were just taking it all in. We just couldn’t believe it. I was there with two of my other high school teammates and two of my high school coaches. It was just an insane environment and it was crazy.”
On how seriously he considered going to Indiana at the time …
“I considered it. We came down to four schools: Purdue, Indiana, Louisville and Kentucky. So I considered them all serious options, I weighed the pros and cons of each school. They are a good school. They’re very prestigious in basketball and the things that they do.”
On him being more aware of the UK-Indiana rivalry than others …
“Yeah, I mean I think it goes UofL and Indiana. They used to play a game every year. I don’t know what it was with Kentucky, I don’t know. But yeah, like I said, I look at it like a state to state thing. I think that’s what it is.”
On if he expects it to be a high-tempo game …
“If it’s a high-tempo game, it will be exciting and fun to play in. So I would look forward to that. That’s how I think basketball should be played, how it’s designed to play. If that happens, it happens. We’ll just make adjustments as it goes along.”
On if a high-tempo game plays to UK’s strengths …
“Yeah, I think it does definitely. I think we’re a transition team, I think it’s where we are best. The first 10 seconds when we get down the court, I feel like we can get a basket and we shoot high percentage when we do that. So when it’s a high-tempo, I feel like it kind of plays into our hands for sure.”
On if he imagined teams ever planning on how to defend against him …
“I feel like the way that the offense is now with when I’m in the game is just more open. It opens the lanes for them to drive and go from there. But no, I really didn’t think that. I thought I’d be just a like a rebounder or defender. I don’t know, something like that honestly. Just doing what I can.”

ALEX POYTHRESS

On his early thoughts on Indiana …“They’re a great team. They have a lot of great players, great coach. We just have to come out there and fight and compete for 40 minutes.”
On Indiana forward Thomas Bryant …“He runs the floor well, big, mobile, really active. We just have to be active too and try to keep up with him.”
On how challenging it is on a defense to face a team that can attack down low and outside …“It’s real challenging. You can’t focus on one area. You have to focus on the team as a whole. Just gotta guard from all five positions.”
On if he played against Yogi Ferrell in AAU ball …“I played him in AAU and the McDonald’s game, stuff like that. He’s a great player, great point guard. I look forward to playing him.”
On how Ferrell will match up with Tyler Ulis …“I think it’ll be a good matchup. They’re both great guards. They’re both looking forward to this.”
On if Ulis enjoys these kind of matchups against another elite point guard …“Yeah, I’m sure there’s a little fire, an edge that builds up when he hears stuff like that. Anybody hearing that stuff will get a little bit fiery and everything like that. We’re still going to play a team concept and everything like that. He’s not going to get in a one-on-one battle out there. He’s still going to play for the team. If he does that he’ll be fine.”
On if they as players even care about the rivalry …“No, we care. We care a little bit. We’re just trying to win basketball games here. Just trying to compete at a high level.”
On if he remembers any of the games in the last year they played in 2012 …“Yeah, I remember watching it in high school.”
On how much they’re focusing on the rivalry …“We’re focusing more on the game than the rivalry. We have an opponent an opponent we have to take care of. We’re trying to play a great gametomorrow.”
On what they have to do Saturday to defeat Indiana …“We just have to play defense, keep on playing defense like we’ve been doing. We’re a defensive team. It starts with defense.”
On what it is about Ulis in big games …“He just gets fired about these type of games. He understands the magnitude of these games and how much he needs to step up as one of the leaders on our team.”
On facing a team like Indiana in the second round …“It means a lot. You gotta play these great teams at some point. If you wanna be the best you gotta beat the best, so you just gotta take care of everybody.”
On what kind of game he expects …“Up and down, up-tempo. They really push the ball.”
On if that’s what he prefers …“Personally, yeah, that’s what I like. Getting up and down, getting in transition.”

SKAL LABISSIERE

On whether facing a big-time opponent lights a fire under Tyler Ulis …
“A little bit. I think it does. He’s very competitive. Tyler, I remember playing in the summer with him. He tries to win every pickup game. He’s very competitive, so I know he’s going to try to bring it tomorrow.”
On what kind of game he expects …
“I think it’s going to be a pretty fast-paced game tomorrow. Both teams are going to try to go at each other and I think that’ll be a fun game.”
On whether they embrace a fast-paced game …
“Definitely. We always try to score the ball really fast and I think we’ll be ready for that.”
On his understanding of the UK-IU rivalry …
“I’ve heard it’s a pretty good rivalry. I remember watching them play in 2012 and I thought it was pretty fun to watch and a pretty exciting game. Myself living in Lexington, I hear about it all the time. So I think it’s a pretty good rivalry.”
On whether he is excited to face IU …
“I’m excited to play, but we’re more so worried about ourselves as a team and as individuals trying to get better.”
On Thomas Bryant …
“He can run the floor real well. He’s skilled, plays good defense and he brings a lot of energy.”
On being pumped up for a matchup with Jameel Warney …
“I just came ready to play, to be honest. Did whatever the team needed me to do and that’s all.”
On how to limit Thomas Bryant …
“Just play our regular defense, I guess. We’re going to have to bring our energy and be ready to play them.”
On whether it helps to have played a good game last night …
“It was good, but it’s the past. It’s in the past, so we are looking forward to playing this team tomorrow and we are most worried about ourselves.”
On how he celebrated his birthday …
“Not really. We were practicing. We have a game tomorrow.”
On not doing anything for his birthday …
“I’m very chill and laidback. I don’t really do anything on my birthdays. I don’t ask for a lot. I’m just very laidback.”
On whether he got any birthday messages …
“I did. My family, friends texted me and stuff.”
On whether they at least gave him something …
“They gave me some brownies a little bit. And I’ll get some brownies from Mrs. Cal when I get back to Lexington, so I’m looking forward to that.”
On whether the brownies are that good …
“They are. I haven’t tasted them yet, so I’ll find out when I get there.”
On whether he ever tried them for a teammate’s birthday …
“I didn’t try them. It was for them so I didn’t try to steal any. I was waiting for my turn.”

JAMAL MURRAY

On whether they are excited about being the featured matchup in the second round …
“I like it, because we don’t have two easy games, three easy games. We’re into a really tough one.”
On IU’s backcourt …
“I don’t know much, really. We kind of went over their stuff today and who they have, but we’re just going into another game knowing that they’re a very good team and they keep the tempo up and they make shots. So we just gotta go in there and focus on what they have.”
On their defensive progress …
“We’ve got our bigs doing what they need to do. Skal did a great job blocking shots and doing well in pick-and-rolls. We need that same production tomorrowand hopefully our bigs can step up as well for the next game.”
On whether it helps them to not think about this game as a rivalry …
“Oh yeah, for sure. It helps me just knowing that I didn’t pay a lot of attention to it and I’m just going into another game and I know I gotta play. I can’t come out like I did yesterday. It’s going to prepare me well.”
On whether his slow start was due to jitters …
“Hopefully it was, because I don’t know what it was. I missed layups and stuff, so that’s something that’s rare for me. I don’t think I’ve that all season. That’s something that can’t happen again.”
On Yogi Ferrell doing the bow and arrow and whether Ferrell picked it up from him …
“I think he did. I’m not sure. I don’t know gist of it. But I just gotta go in there and shoot the bow and arrow better.”
On whether they will be shooting bow and arrows at each other …
“I don’t know. We’ll see what kind of game it is. It might be a defensive game. It might be an offensive game. We just gotta go in there not focused on too much celebrations and just focus on hitting the 3.”

ISAIAH BRISCOE

On important is his rebounding as a guard …
“Very important because I know it’s tough for the big gus down there banging and being physical with everybody, all the other bug guys. So just me getting down there and sticking my nose down there, grabbing rebounds and helping them out, I’m sure it takes a lot of pressure off them. “
On it seeming like he enjoys rebounding …
“Oh yeah, rebounding is fun. And of course, when I get a rebound, I’m yelling at Tyler (Ulis) and Jamal (Murray), ‘Go, I got it. Go, go.’ We’re just getting out in transition. I think that’s where we’re at our best when we’re in transition.”
On if he senses animosity between UK and Indiana fanbases …
“No, not really.”
On if he thinks the game will be high paced …
“Yeah I’m sure of it, all night. Their coach said they’re best in transition, I know we’re best in transition. That’s what we’re going to go out and try to do.”
On if it excites him when he hears teams want to run with him …
“Yeah.”
On how that works …
“Because I think that works in our favor.”
On what he thinks of Yogi Ferrell vs. Tyler Ulis in the game …
“I mean I guess pretty big, but I don’t think Tyer is really worried about that. We’re focused on us honestly. We’re just going to go out there and just play basketball.”
On what he thinks of the other matchups that might play out …
“I mean, I played against Troy (Williams) when I was a freshman. That’s about it. Oh, I played against Rob(ert Johnson).”
On if the team is considering this a rivalry game …
“I don’t think – I mean, I didn’t know this was a rivalry game. I just thought that Kentucky had one rival, and that was Louisville. So I didn’t think this was a rivalry game.”
On important defense will be tomorrow …
“Very big. I think that if we tone in on defense, lock down on defense, it allows us to get in transition and that’s where we’re at our best.”
On what stands out about Indiana when they watch them on film …
“They’re a transition team. They like to get out on the break.”
On how challenging is it to defend against a team that has big players but can play from the perimeter …
“I think we did it before. Texas A&M for example, they have guard play and big guys, and I think we handled that pretty well.”
On if Yogi Ferrell and Tyler Ulis can put the projected matchup aside for the game …
“I mean, I can’t speak for Yogi, but me and Tyler, we’re roommates in the hotel. He doesn’t get into that at all. He’s just worried about getting us ready. He’s our team leader and I don’t think he’ll get into it when we battle.”
On going one-on-one with a top-talent player …
“I mean yeah, but that’s normal. That’s for any competitior, that’s normal. For Tyler, of course he knows who he’s going against, but I think he’s going to compete regardless of whoever is on the other end.”
On what he knows about Yogi Ferrell’s game …
“Nothing.”
On what he has heard about Yogi Ferrell …
“I heard he’s a good point guard.”
On if he’s going to watch film on him before the game …
“I mean yeah, we’re going to watch video of Indiana.”
On if he knew Michigan State lost to Middle Tennessee …
“Oh yeah, I was watching it.”
On if this has been the pandemonium that everyone thought it would be with the tournament …
“Yeah, and I think that’s the whole point of March Madness. This is my first time actually in it, and it is madness.”
On if yesterday’s game was what he thought it was going to be …
“Yeah, I think being a late game was a little different. We had been sitting around all day, having to come out and play a game. We started out a little sluggish, but I think we picked it up in the second half.”
On what the team has to do on defense against Indiana …
“Just make them take tough 2s. They’re a 3-point shooting team, so we just have to get out to the 3-point shooters and make them take tough 2s.”

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