Saturday, December 17, 2016

Video/Transcript: UK Players De'Aaron Fox, Malik Monk Post UK 103 vs North Carolina 100 ~ CBS Sports Classic Comments

Video courtesy of Shelby Caudill


Q. For those of us who have never known and will never know what it feels like to have a game like that, can you tell us what it feels like when everything’s falling like that?

 Like a pick-up game, that’s what it felt like to me. My teammates set me up well to get every shot I wanted. I was just able to knock it down. It’s just fun, fun to play like that.

Q. Malik, on that last shot, the winning shot, you hesitated for a moment. What was going on there?

 Coach Cal told me to drop, but I was hot, so I didn’t.

Q. Malik, when you took those last couple of threes, you did seem to be sort of almost unconscious during that part in terms of making it. Were you at all nervous? Or like you said, is it just a pick-up game and you’re in the flow?

 Definitely I was in the flow, so I wasn’t nervous at all. I knew I was going to get my shot off how I wanted to, and I was able to knock it down. Fox sent me a great pass, and they gave me two great screens.

Q. For both of you guys, first-year players, when you’re playing a blue-blood program that went to the National Championship Game just a few months ago, at what point does the gravity of this moment set in that this wild atmosphere is kind of like a tournament game in your first month of college basketball?

 As soon as we walked to the court. It was crazy. It was a packed house, everybody was going crazy. But we executed well and we were able to come out with the win.

DE’AARON FOX: This is the first game we probably saw more of the other team’s colors than ours. There was a lot of baby blue in the stands, but we came out, we played with energy. I don’t think we really lost the lead too much. I don’t think we ever lost the lead in the second half. Everyone says we’re young, but we came out and beat a top 5 team in the country.

Q. How did you feel like you played, and how hot did Malik seem to you?

 I felt like I played pretty well. I felt like I could have hit the boards a little more. It was like 11 minutes left in the first half, and I looked up and I was like we have 19. After he hit that shot, I was like, man, Malik’s crazy. He had, I think, 47. When someone’s hot like that, you just keep giving them the ball. So I’m looking at Cal. He wanted to take him out, he had six in a row already, and he scored again when I was sitting down at the scorer’s table, and I was like you all still want me to take him out? And they changed it, but he had a heck of a game.

Q. Malik, how early in games like this — you’ve had some games in the past, but not on this stage. How early do you know it’s going like that? How early can you tell you’re ready to go?

 I usually take the first shot of the game, and if I make it, I know I’m going to have a good game. But, it was — what were we, 10? We got a play called, we ran it. But Wyn sent me a great screen, I got open, and I was able to knock down a shot. I just knew we were going to have a great game.

Q. Either one of you, how fun is it to play against guys like Jackson and Berry?

 Oh, man, those are games you live for. We want to play close games, honestly, for me, close games are a lot more fun than blowouts. Just playing a team like that and guys like that, Joel was one of the best players in his class, and I played with Justin in AAU. So just playing against those guys, it’s fun, you know them. On the court it’s competition, and I feel like that’s why we play the game, just competition like that.

MALIK MONK: Yeah, they’re older players, they’re great players, too. They’re older. I think both juniors. I used to look up to them. In AAU, I used to see him play and he played with Justin. Just playing with them, I knew they were greats before I got out there. Just fun competing against them.

Q. This is for both of you guys. You’re able to maintain a lead for most of the game, and in the second half they were able to bounce back and jump on you guys. It has to feel good to knock out that win against a quality team like that early in the season?

 Yeah, it feels great. I mean, they’re going to play. They’re going to play the post well. They post players super well, we knew that. And they were executing their plays just like we were. But, I mean, we just kept calm, kept our poise, and we were able to come out with the win.

Q. Malik, what was North Carolina trying to do defensively with you, and what were you doing to foil it?

 I don’t know what they were trying to do. I couldn’t tell you. I don’t know. We just ran our stuff normal. We just focused on us.

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