Monday, February 20, 2017

Video/Transcript: UK Associate Head Coach Kenny Payne Pre - @Missouri Press Conference Interview


Video courtesy of kywildcatstv

UK Associate Head Coach Kenny Payne

On playing to the standard Kentucky wants to play at vs. playing against another team …

“I think every game we play, I think it’s important that we play to our standards. It’s not about the other team, and that’s no disrespect to any team we play in this conference. They all are good teams. Our standard is higher. We are demanding as coaches. This is a demanding program, and when you step on the court, you’re expected to play a certain way. Lately you’ve been hearing Coach talk about confidence and energy. You’re expected to win when you hit the floor. As hard as we work on your games, the skill development, the going over the film sessions, there’s no reason you should play basketball and not be confident.”

On his role changing and doing more coaching …
“I wouldn’t say that Cal is taking a step back. I would say he’s allowing me to talk more about the offensive things that he wants them to do – and basically that’s play together. Share the ball. Move the ball and get penetration off movement. That’s pretty much it.”

On if he relates to the players better …
“No. Not really. I think that as coaches, there’s an obligation to demand perfection. Coach Cal does that in his way and I’m gonna do it in my way. I think he trusts me, and that’s why he’s allowed me to say more offensively and allowed Tony (Barbee) to say more defensively.”

On how his way is different …
“Just more of a – there’s no excuses. So his way may be, ‘I need you do this, do it right now. Do it like this, exactly like this or I’m taking you out.’ My way may be, ‘Why wouldn’t you do it that way?’ It’s as simple as that.”

On if he can tell the team is reacting to him …
“There’s two things to your question: Yeah, they know that I’m watching. It goes a little bit further than just coming in and out of the games. The last game, as soon as the game was over, Wenyen Gabriel said, ‘What time do I have to run tomorrow?’ If you’re not on that floor playing with confidence, I’m running you.’ It’s that simple. They know. They know.”

On what a confident shot looks like … 
“When you shoot the ball, for example if Isaiah (Briscoe) shoots the ball – he just walked by – and none of his family members believes that shot is going in, and he shoots it like he doesn’t believe it’s going in, he’s running. So he better believe 100 percent that he’s making that shot. That’s a layup, that’s a jumpshot, that’s a free throw, that’s defensive confidence. Whatever it is, he better do it with confidence.”

On where that confidence comes from …
“That confidence comes from being in the gym, having the mental toughness to execute what we’ve practiced, and then doing it in the game. It’s no different.”

On Dominique Hawkins’ senior season and how valuable he is to the team …
“I can’t begin to tell you how happy we are all with Dominique as coaches. Dominique Hawkins brings a little something different -- more energy at times, defensive toughness at times. Lately he’s been our best on-ball defender. He deserves this. He shouldn’t take second fiddle to any player on this team because he’s just as good. He’s playing that way. The same goes for Mychal Mulder. Derek Willis. Derek Willis had 12 rebounds last game. He can do that anytime he wants. What is preventing him from playing that way? It’s all mental. It’s all it is.”

On what is preventing Bam Adebayo from getting double-digit rebounds every game …
“Bam’s a little different. The best way I can describe it to you is – right, wrong or indifferent – when you’re in foul trouble a lot and you’re afraid to be aggressive, and you become tentative, and you’re worried about what a referee’s going to call or not call, and that takes away from your aggression, that’s going to affect you. He has to get by that. He has to play with aggression whether he has two fouls or three fouls. He just has to be smart not to foul.”

On how firmly the coaches know what they’re going to get from every player game-to-game …
“Great question. It’s all over the board a little bit right now. But now is the time where we need to become more consistent. We need to play with great energy every single night. We need to defend the ball. On-ball defense has gotta be better. And in spurts it has been good. But, we need it to be consistent. Ball-screen defense has to be better. It’s not just the guard. It’s the big as well. And then all of us – the guy that sits in the corner on the ball screen, we all gotta suck in and help on the driver on the drives and force them to take contested jumpshots instead of getting to the basket.”

On who the guys are that he knows he’s getting something from every night …
“I mean, I think they all play to a sense. Lately, I think Wenyen (Gabriel) has a lacked a little bit confidence wise and hasn’t given us what he’s capable of. So has Isaiah. But we need them. We need every one of these guys to play with unbelievable energy, unbelievable confidence and be efficient. The only way you really can get that if it’s not all on one player. That’s why we’re emphasizing sharing the ball because it’s not—I heard Rick Barnes talk about, ‘We’re going to take the four man away.’ But if the ball is moving and it’s going pass, pass, pass, drive, kick, you’re not taking anybody away. They all can make plays.”

On what he’s asking the big men to do on pick-and-rolls …
“First of all, it starts with the guard. The guard cannot just be standing in front a yard away from the ball handler. So if he’s doing that and he gets hit, he’s done. So now you’re putting the pressure on a guard coming at a big full speed. So we need the guard to connect first. He has to connect to the offensive player, and the big has to keep him in front of him until the guard gets back and fronts him off. Once we do that, we’re really good. If we allow guards to get penetration off the ball screen, it hurts us. To be honest with you, the kid from Georgia (J.J. Frazier) tore us apart.”

On if Frazier was a little bit of an X-factor because other guards aren’t going to be quite as shifty as him …“He’s an exception because his best player (Yante Maten), his best big was out, and everyone in the arena – every one of our fans, every one of you knew who was shooting the ball. So that’s a little different. He’s going to be aggressive. He’s going to look to put this team on his back, and he did a great job with it.”

On how often he wants Bam Adebayo switching on pick-and-rolls …
“Bam is our best ball-screen defender. We have no problem with Bam switching. One time Bam switched on him, he shot a 3, Bam contested, we got the rebound. Great. It’s the other guys that we have to figure out, are we going to corral them, are we going to zone it up? And then all the other four players have to help each other. So it’s not just one player. It’s all four.”

On what he learned about De’Aaron Fox at Georgia with the way he played down the stretch …
“Did not learn one thing. De’Aaron Fox has proven that he can finish a game for us. He’s done it numerous times. He’s a tough guard. Talking to the Georgia coaches, they talked about how well he gets in the lane. It’s just about impossible to keep him out of the lane. He finished the game well. We’re really happy with how we shot free throws to finish that game. That was really good. You can’t ask for anything better than that.”

On hearing about trade involving DeMarcus Cousins to the New Orleans Pelicans …
“Very happy for Anthony (Davis). Also happy for DeMarcus. I know they want to win. I know that’s important to both of them. Let’s hope they can surround them with other good players on the perimeter to help them win. Two special players – the best two bigs, two of the three best bigs, in the the league. The other one being Karl(-Anthony) Towns. I caught myself.”

On Adebayo’s aggressiveness leading to foul trouble …
“I think it goes back to Bam not getting dumb fouls to be honest with you. It’s just that simple. Sometimes he’s fouling in positions where he’s not getting the offensive rebound and the guy has the ball. Get back. Sometimes he’s being overly aggressive playing post defense against a guy that can’t score on him. He just has to find his way, and once he does that I think he gets more comfortable. And a part of basketball is reading how the game is being refereed. That’s intelligence. If you know they’re calling more fouls than normal then stay away from certain situations. Just be smart about it.”

On If Adebayo’s inconsistency on defense can be chalked up to being a freshman …“Exactly, a freshman. Very talented freshman, but a freshman.”

On the coaches who have influenced his style …
“Had so many. I think it really starts with Denny Crum – a great coach. I think being around people like him and Wade Houston and people to push you to be the best. Picking the brains of people like Cal and Larry Brown and so many coaches out there. The great ones demand the best.”

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