Friday, March 18, 2016

Transcript: UK Players Tyler Ulis, Derek Willis, Jamal Murray, Marcus Lee At Podium Pre Indiana Second Round ~ 2016 NCAA Men's Tournament East Region Wells Fargo Arena - Des Moines, Iowa Comments

THE MODERATOR: Welcome the Kentucky student-athletes. Questions for our student-athletes?
Q. Tyler, you talked a little bit about the match-up last night but when you look at Yogi Ferrell how do you assess his game, what’s he good at? Are there ways that you two are similar and what do you expect in that match-up?
TYLER ULIS: I haven’t seen him play that much to think too deep into you it. But I have to prepared to play, but it’s not a one-on-up with match-up. We’ve to prepare as a team.
Q. Tyler and Derek, when things have gone right for you in the last 11 or 12 games what makes it so difficult to beat that maybe you didn’t see necessarily in October and November, and when things are going wrong what are the things going wrong?
TYLER ULIS: Offensively, I feel like we’re doing a better job spacing the floor, and when Derek is playing the floor it gives us more opportunity to get in the lane because they can’t leave certain shooters and defensively I feel like at this moment in time we’re focusing on the scouting reports and playing a lot better.
DEREK WILLIS: I would say the same thing. I feel like we’re going to bring more energy and more intensity and once we get going it’s hard to stop us.
Q. Jamal, growing up in Canada what was your perception of the biggest college rivalries in basketball and where would Kentucky and Indiana have ranked?
JAMAL MURRAY: You know, growing up I didn’t watch a lot of basketball. So I didn’t know about the rivalry and stuff, but being part of it now just kinda get a feel for playing against Louisville and stuff I got a feel for how the environment is going to be and how hard teams come at us and I know we’ve got to be ready. We can’t come in lax and casual, we gotta be ready to fight.
Q. Jamal, I know I asked you about it last night. Can you talk a little bit about your performance last game and are you at all concerned about the slow start that you had moving into this next game against a much tougher opponent?
JAMAL MURRAY: No, it’s not about my start. I know I started off pretty bad and I missed shots that I don’t normally miss. I got it going the second half and I’ve got to carry that into this game and new day, new game. I have to take it one step at a time.
Q. For any of you guys, last night Coach Cal said that he had asked that you all not really worry about what other teams were doing in the tournament. Michigan State just lost, so I don’t know how much you guys follow the other teams in the tournament.
DEREK WILLIS: I feel like I don’t watch a lot of basketball anyway, so we’re just focused on ourselves and what we have to accomplish during this tournament, and, you know, that’s all it is.
JAMAL MURRAY: You know, we just can’t worry about what’s going on out there. We’ve got to focus on our game because this is for our season, this is for us and we’ll get back to them later. We’ve just got to focus on winning and make sure our team is ready to go to war.
MARCUS LEE: Like they said, we’re more focused on our own team and what’s in front of us. Not really worried about the rest of the teams and what’s happening out there.
TYLER ULIS: Well, you know, since there is not much to do in the hotel I do watch a lot of the games, but it doesn’t really affect us with them losing because that’s not who we have to play. We’re just worried about the opponent we have.
Q. Tyler and Marcus, Indiana talked both the players and Coach Crean about how they really want to play a high-scoring, up-tempo kind of game. Your thoughts about that? They talked about your defense and how that’s going to be tough but that’s the style they want to play. How does that fit with your gameplan and how do you see this game going?
TYLER ULIS: You’re going to have to win this game with defense so, you know, we don’t want them scoring really high. But if it is, Coach talked about it earlier we have to outscore ’em ask we’re going to come down focus defensively and try to lock in.
MARCUS LEE: I think Coach said it perfectly if they want to run, let’s run. We obviously don’t have a problem getting out there and running. Offense isn’t the only thing we do we strive playing defense and that’s what we’re going to try to work on.
Q. Jamal, the bow and arrow celebration you did a few weeks ago got quite a bit of attention. Were you channeling Wesley Matthews there? How did that come about?
JAMAL MURRAY: No, we don’t pay attention to it anymore. It’s just kind of a thing that I do and the bench does and he started in the Ohio State game and kind of been doing it every since late January, and I just do it now and I don’t pay attention to who else does it.
Q. Did the bench guys come up with that routine on their own?
JAMAL MURRAY: That was all them. My job was to shoot them with the arrow and EJ Floreal and Mychal and all them just did their own thing.
Q. Tyler, Cal was telling us last night if we ever see him and you laughing together during a game it’s because he’s telling you something like this coaching thing isn’t as easy as it may look sometimes. As you’ve become more of his coach on the floor as everyone says, what have been the biggest challenges as you try to facilitate this offense?

TYLER ULIS:
You know, it’s really easy now because everybody knows what they’re supposed to do as a team. Earlier it was a little rough but everybody is doing their job, everybody is in the right places at the right time and we’re rolling right now.
Q. If you guys could describe a little bit what it is like to play for Kentucky. From what I understand, it’s probably every other team’s biggest game. How has that prepared you for a huge game such as this even though it’s just the second round of the tournament?
DEREK WILLIS: I mean, I feel like for our college basketball program we put up with a lot day-to-day, we deal with fans, signing autographs, taking pictures and I don’t feel like other college programs do. Also when we go to away games, it’s a Super Bowl game for them, free T-shirt day, everything. So I don’t know, I feel like we’re accustomed to it now and it’s expected when you come here.
JAMAL MURRAY: Yeah, we just gotta know that going into every game that we’re going to get a team’s best shot and the there is no different facing a very good team, we can’t let our guard down and we just government to know that this team is ready to fight tore their season and we don’t want our season to end so that’s what we’re fighting for.
MARCUS LEE: You go out and every team is giving you their best, like they said it’s their Super Bowl game and that prepares us throughout the year seeing as we go on to the tournament and everybody is playing like it’s their last game but everybody else is not used to that where we’re used to that because we get it every day.
TYLER ULIS: Like they said, we’re accustomed to the environment. Every game it’s a sell-out, white-out, black-out, and it just prepared us for this.
Q. Marcus and Derek, Marcus you touched on everybody is playing it could be their last game. If it is your last game, how do you feel like this season has turned out for you guys given the adversities you’ve been through, and if you do advance to the Sweet 16, what would that mean for this program in terms of its long and storied tradition?
MARCUS LEE: I think adversity makes the team. We’ve been through a whole lot of things. We’ve been trying to figure out a lot of things and individually we had a lot of ups and downstairs and it brought us all together. As we go on it kinda makes it as a new story. We’re doing what we need to be doing.
DEREK WILLIS: Yeah, I mean, same. People — as college kids you go through a lot. You go through life, you get injured, stuff happens. So, I don’t know, it’s all made us stronger. We know our roles, what we want to do, where we want to go. So we’re just trying to win and move forward from there.
Q. Tyler, can you just tell me what your impression is of Yogi Ferrell and his assets that he brings to the game and what you like or think will be difficulty about that match-up?
TYLER ULIS: Well, you know, he’s a great player, experience, he’s been there four years and I know he’s going to come out ready to play. But I’m going to come out and play the game like I always do and try and make things happen.
Q. Derek and Marcus, most of you guys were 4 or 5 years old when Bobby Knight last coached at Indiana. What are your strongest associations with that program? What do you think re do you think of when you think of Indiana?
DEREK WILLIS: I guess I always think of when you say Bob Knight was he the guy that threw the chair, right? That’s about all I can associate with him. I don’t know. I never really watched a lot of basketball growing up. I was always doing something else. That’s about all I can remember.
MARCUS LEE: Like I said, the other day, it’s like a childhood dream watching rivalry week and you see all these big games going on, so to finally be a part of it and make history like that is huge.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, gentlemen. Best of luck tomorrow.

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