Saturday, February 25, 2017

Transcript: Florida Head Coach Mike White, Players KeVaughn Allen, Justin Leon Post - UK 76 vs Florida 66 Game Comments

Florida Head Coach Mike White, Players KeVaughn Allen, Justin Leon Post - UK 76 vs Florida 66 Game Comments

On Malik Monk scoring 30 points in the second half and what options he had trying to contain him …

“We had a couple of options that did a good job on him in Gainesville. We just didn’t do quite as good of a job (here), especially down the stretch. Both of the guys, Chris Chiozza and Kasey (Hill), had four fouls. He took the game over. He was amazing. It was probably the best performance against us all year.”

On Bam Adebayo’s performance and rebounding the ball …
“I thought those were the two biggest factors by far. I thought they played with tremendous physicality – led by him. Even on some of those rebounds that he didn’t get, he was making contact with somebody. They were the better team. They defended at a high level and rebounded at a high level.”

On Florida’s defense breaking down in the second half as opposed to the first …
“I don’t mean to give you the coach cop-out here – we didn’t have a bunch of glaring mistakes that we made. Malik Monk has an ability to get (a shot) off anytime he wants. He has incredible speed off the ball. They do a good job of setting screens, putting him in positions to be successful, and putting him in space. You have to crowd him. We were hanging all over him two or three times. Just hanging all over him. We were called for a couple of fouls, of course, fouling the jumpshot. That’s how aware you are of how good of a shooter he is. We’re literally hanging on too much with contact. Then he has blow-by speed. He has an incredibly long first step and explosiveness. When he didn’t score, he drew fouls on us. His 33 (points), if you add the amount of fouls that he drew – he was better even than 33.”

On his reaction on De’Aaron Fox not playing …
“I found out right at the tip, I guess. Honestly, I said ‘Okay,’ and that was really it. I mean it was. I think he’s obviously a terrific player, and we really struggled to guard him in Gainesville. But I thought, just in my opinion, I could be wrong, but when you play here, when you’re playing at Rupp, I think that’s just a much bigger factor. Obviously, I hope he gets healthy. I said it to somebody yesterday, I hope he plays, of course, not only for Kentucky but we want to have an opportunity to play the best. It’s a great opportunity for us. It’s unfortunate. Our game plan, it didn’t change much, it’s just a matter of different personal, that’s all. You know, if we scouted 10 guys, we’ve got nine to lock in on. That’s all.” 

On if he felt an opportunity was missed when tied with Kentucky at the half …
“Absolutely. The way we finished the first half, it just wasn’t, we weren’t very solid. We made a couple decisions there with a couple of our fouls. I think we had two fouls in the last 11-12 seconds, which led to three points that were both very ill advised by older guys. We needed to be the more mature team, and we didn’t take advantage in that regard.”

Florida Student-Athletes

#5, KeVaughn Allen, G

What could you guys do more if anything to stop Monk?

“We could’ve, you know, tried to play defense without fouling him. You know just continue to just move our feet but, I think what hurt us was defense. We didn’t get a lot of defensive rebounds and they got like second chance points.”

How handicapped were you guys (Florida) because the guards were in foul trouble for most of the game?
“It’s very tough for them being in foul trouble but, we just got to keep moving our feet. You know just try to not to put our hands on the defender and just move without fouling.”

On if he was surprised by Malik’s (Monk) performance…
"No, it didn’t." 

How hot did Monk seem to you?
"He was very hot to me. It seems like every shot that he shot just went in." 

On how difficult was it to start out the game hot then get in foul trouble…
“Early on just getting in foul trouble, just, I think we just got to adjust to how the ref is calling the game and just can’t let them get to us.”

On how surprised was he that De’Aaron didn’t play…
“I was very surprised. But, I don’t know what’s going on over there.”

Where you prepared to not face him today?
“We were really prepared to face him, yes.”

What was the difference in the run they (Kentucky) went on in the second half?
“The difference was they were getting to the free throw line way more than we did and they were getting a lot of rebounds and second chance points.”

Is this the first-time Monk (his team) has ever beaten you?

How many games have you beaten him?
“I think we played four games and he beat me once.”

Does that include two state championships?
” Yes.”

Did you guys (Malik Monk) talk after the game?
“Yes. He told me good game or whatever.”

On the relationship between Allen and Monk and whether there friends or just competitors…
“We’re friends and competitors. You know when we see each other, play against each other, you know we just going to go at each other and push each other.”

On the difference between today’s game and the one in Gainesville…
“I say the difference was they got to the free throw line a lot. At our place we outrebounded them. Today they outrebounded us which kind of hurt us.”

On his explanation for the rebounding difference between today’s matchup with the last matchup against UK…“We just got to play hard and got the opportunities to fight for the 50-50 balls and just got to want it more.”

#23, Justin Leon, F 

On the difference between the first and second halves …
“We had a lot of guys in foul trouble so that kind of lowered our intentions on defense. They were able to take advantage of us being in foul trouble.” 

On why Kentucky rebounded better…
“To be honest I don’t really know. Probably just us not going for boards like we did when we played at home.” 

On letting Kentucky slip back into the game at halftime… 
“Like I said earlier, we weren’t trying to foul so that lowered our aggressiveness on defense. When you have a lot of players in foul trouble there’s not much you can do because you don’t want multiple guys to foul out.” 

On taking turns guarding Malik Monk… 
“The main guys guarding him were [Chris] Chiozza and [Kasey] Hill and they were both in foul trouble so we would have had maybe KeVaughn [Allen] on him if any of those guys fouled out. We would’ve just had to move to the next man.” 

On ending their streak and the possibility of it having a hangover effect… 
“You just don’t dwell on it—let it go. The game is over there’s nothing we can do to change it so now all we can do is focus on the next game.” 

On future SEC games …
“Obviously, we wish we could have gotten that game but right now we have to just keep playing and focusing on the next games. We have to just let things happen and not worry about what goes on.”

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