Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Video/Transcript: UK Players Isaiah Briscoe, Malik Monk Post UK 69 vs Mich St 48 Champions Classic Comments



Isaiah Briscoe

On getting the win in his hometown …
“It feels good, and like I said before, a lot of my fanbase is from New York and this place has made me who I am. It felt good to get back out there in front of my fans and perform well.”

On being a leader as a sophomore …
“(Learning) last year from Tyler and just my experience. The group of freshmen, they’re not ordinary freshmen. They pick up things fast, they listen and they know how to play basketball. We don’t even really run a lot of plays, so that’s big for the freshmen. Malik played well today. I knew he was due for a good game shooting wise. I told him that before the game. He shot well.”

On how the freshmen responded to the bright lights and big stage …
“Well, and like I said, Malik hasn’t been shooting the ball as well as I know he can. I knew he was due for a big game. (De’Aaron) Fox came up big down the stretch. Bam played well. All the freshmen, like I said, they don’t play like ordinary freshmen. I’m comfortable with them out there on the court and I wouldn’t trade those guys for anybody.”

On what are the biggest differences with him on the court this year as opposed to last year …
“I feel more comfortable out on the court, and I know how to play the game better as far as college basketball, getting the easy buckets when I’m tired, subbing myself out, making the right plays, not using as much energy. That all comes with being experienced. Last year, I (went) through it and this year I’m just more comfortable on the court, more confident. I just feel like a totally different player.”

On the biggest lesson he learned last year and how difficult it was for him to come back to school …
“The decision to come back was not hard at all. I spoke with Cal, I spoke with KP (Kenny Payne). They welcomed me back with open arms. I knew the freshman class coming in. I knew all of them from camps and everything like that. I knew they were a great group of guys, and I knew we had a chance to be special. Coach mentioned that to me before I actually decided to come back. I’m just glad to be back. I grew as a player on and off the court. That’s the reason why I came back.”

On what a win like this does for Kentucky moving forward …
“This is a big win for us. I think playing in the Garden was big for the freshmen and everybody who never got the chance to play in a game big like this. It’s tough to play at the Garden for the third game in the season when you’re a freshman, but they played well. They performed well and we came out with the win.”

On what they learned about their teammates …
“We did play crazy defense today.”

On how surprised they were by the final score …
“I mean, Michigan State is a good team. They were in the game in the first half, but we usually make our run at the end of the half and then come out second half and run it in transition and play to our strengths and things like that. We give credit to Michigan State, but we came out with the win. We played well today.”

On everybody’s commitment to defense …“Coach has been preaching to us that he never worries about the offense. He just worries about the defense. The offense will take care of itself. But the more comfortable we get with each other the more we talk on defense, the better we are on defense. Then we’re getting rebounds, blocking shots. If I get the ball, Malik or Fox, any of us, we’re running. We’re trying to get layups, things like that. Like I said, that’s when we’re playing to our strengths, and that’s when we’re at our best.”

Malik Monk

On how important it was to see the early shots go down …
“I was just preparing really good with Coach (Cal) and Coach Kenny Payne a lot. Getting lower and getting more in tune with my shot.”

On Briscoe’s leadership and mentorship …
“He came in last year when he was a freshman with Tyler (Ulis), and he was a great leader. He took the role of Tyler now and us freshmen, teaching us what we have to do in practice, what we do in games. He’s been through a lot and he’s just helping guide us through.”

On if he had high hopes to perform on this stage the way he did …
“We knew they were going to pack the lane in because Fox and Briscoe get in the lane every time they can. So, I just had to be prepared. They set me up well and I was just able to knock down the shots.”

On how important it was for them to get into their transition game …
“They ran with us a lot. We run a lot too. It was hard to adjust to them. We’ve never had a team run that much with us. We were just trying to adjust. Later on, down the stretch, the second half we adjusted real well and came out with the victory.”

On comparing this atmosphere at Madison Square Garden with what he’s used to …
“Coming from Bentonville, Arkansas, I was like the top player in Arkansas, so every game was packed for me. I had a lot of adversity because I committed to Kentucky. I’m used to a lot of fans and ‘ooohs’ and all that stuff. Adversity, I’m used to all that.”

On what he meant when he said he wanted to ‘get more in tune’ with his shot …
“Staying low and stepping into my shot every time, not being casual. Coach Cal likes to say that. Staying low, stepping into my shot and just every shot the same. Try to focus on every shot the same and it goes smooth.”

On if his shot was casual the first two games …
“Oh, very casual.” (laughter)

On what they learned about their teammates …
“I knew all of us would fight for each other, we love each other, we would do anything for each other, and we just do anything to win.”

No comments: