Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Video/Transcript: UK Head Coach John Calipari Post UK 73 vs Vanderbilt 67 Game Comments Press Conference Interview ~ Senior Night

Video courtesy of kywildcatstv

Kentucky Head Coach John Calipari

COACH CALIPARI: We weren't desperate enough to start the game, and even if we were desperate enough, part of it may have been we were going to press, but we weren't going to be as aggressive. So that could come back to me. But I keep telling them, I'm not responsible for your effort, your energy, your fight, you are.

Two things happened in the game: They stuck together, no one broke off. We had one play, Malik Monk on the far corner took a shot he didn't need to take. Every other shot was what we were looking for. That's how you've got to play basketball in March. You've got to fight and stick together. You can't fight and then everybody go do their own thing. You can't win a basketball game.

We played a team, that, again, is playing out of their minds right now. That's an NCAA tournament team. I don't care what you say. They've got the number one schedule in the country. The number one schedule in the country. They've got us and they've got another game with Florida, and that will be the number one schedule. They were number two before today. I imagine they'll be number one now.

They shoot the ball. They run their stuff. We were trying to get into their clock by pressing traffic scramble so they didn't have 30 seconds to move the ball around. And that's what, you know, after watching the game I said we're not going to win this game unless we get into the clock. And I thought the guys performed.

Q. Did you know about Derek's pre-game engagement? Did you coach him up on that?

 No, but I got emotional. I looked at that and it's like one of your sons is getting married. And I started getting teared up and I talked to myself a little bit. But he told the team before he was going. They gave him a standing-O and hugged him in the locker room.

How about the three he made? Whatever we're going to call this, not his wedding day, his proposal day. Do you have a proposal day? Do you have that? I've never heard of that? Engagement day, and he makes that three. That was a big play and that's after missing a couple and missing free throws, but he made that three. That three was a big play.

Dom was great today. Mychal was good today. I went with Isaiah because I figured he'd fight and he'd get that big stick back late. And I trust him taking the ball out to throw it to the right man to get the timeout if he needs it.

Q. How well is Malik getting it in terms of shots not going, driving, getting there.

 Getting better. You're all seeing it. He's maturing right before our eyes. He had one bad play, where he took it down to the corner, and shot a foot kicker, which he never makes. Other than that, and, again, that play is set up for him to try to do that, and then throw it back if he doesn't have a shot and get it back anyway. All we're saying to him is be patient. If you don't have it right away, we're coming back at you.

Q. What happened to Isaiah's hand?

 I don't know. I didn't even ask him to be honest, it was not his shooting hand, so I wasn't worried about it.

Q. Was Fox 100% tonight?

 Yeah, but he struggled. He just practiced yesterday for the first time in whatever, five, six days. But, you know, in the end he did it. In the end, he played. He played awful up until then. He had five turnovers. We only had 11, and he had five of them. Missed lay-ups, but in the end of the game, he fought, and he stuck with his teammates and he did it, he played well.

Q. I don't know if you saw the play where Malik was diving for a loose ball on the other end, and it looked like he had to dive over a couple guys almost vertical. Is that the kind of effort you're talking about with him?

 Yeah, but we didn't start the game that way I mean, if you're going to win in March, that's what you have to play like, 40 minutes. What you saw in the second half. That's who you've got to be, or you're not winning. I told him that after. How about Dom and the way he played. There was a time when he tipped it and we got the game back in hand.

How about let me say this, how about Vandy never gave up. How about that three went, and you thought the game was over, okay, we won. Oh, oh, you miss a couple free throws, you give up a three, and now it's not over, and they kept playing. My hat's I've to them and what they've been able to do and how they're playing right now.

Q. Any comments on your technical foul? It kind of turned the game around?

 That was the intent of it. I thought he got smacked in the face. That's why I did it. You know, you've got to protect your guys. If their offensive push offs and they're -- you know, you've got to stand up for your guys at times. I thought he got hit in the head, that's why I said go look at it on the monitor.

Q. You mentioned the bucket that Willis had that was big, but I think that might have been his only one.

 Yeah, I thought he had eight rebounds.

Q. Is that kind of a sign of his growth too?

 Yeah, yeah. I got to speak to each of the seniors by themselves before the game. I called them in the office here and, you know, it's just when I think back on how far Derek Willis has come and his comment to me is you helped me become a man.

Dom and I sat there and smiled, laughed and talked about his times here. You know, you just let him know, you're part of this family. You're part of my family. We're always going to be here for you. What you've done for this program and what you've done for all of us, you know, is so appreciative.

And I said, you know, you were two guys that this was your dream, your home state school to play here. I talked to Mychal, and I just said, you're so much better. And as a junior college player, I said, how hard was first year? He said, oh, my gosh, Coach. You think you're going to be able to walk right in. It's just not the same. Now the way he's playing, and I even apologized after. I said the way the game went, Mychal, I just stuck with those guys, because it wasn't about offense. It was going to be about fight. And he'll fight, but Dom has an advantage in that.

Q. Talk about the difference between playing them back in Nashville and playing them today, and how much better or different they look?

 I think both teams are better. They're better and we're better. They played us different. They played all 45 possessions of zone up there and they played all man here.

Q. I asked Bryce about this being a bottom-line business with the committee getting a bid. How much credit do you think a team ought to get coming in here, this atmosphere and playing you guys down to the second?

 It matters. And let me tell you where it matters, it matters on their strength of schedule. When you chose to play the toughest schedule in the country and you're in our league, and we've got, I'm guessing, six teams between other, 48, 47, and 60. We've got like six or seven teams, and you're in the top half of that league, you deserve it.

Now, they've got to finish. They've got Florida at home, another tough game. They've got the tournament. They've got chances. But the committee all wants us to play good schedules. Well, they played the best.

Q. I'm curious. Is the emotion for you the same having guys go through the program four years as it is to be in the green room at the NBA draft and all that?

 Yeah, it is. And like I said, my emotion in the office for these three, especially the two that have been here for four years, I just said to all of them, I hope you're taking as much as you've given us from here. That what you learned and what you're taking, the friendships, the commitments, the habits you've developed that you're taking more than you've given us because they've given us a ton.

Q. Again, before the game, did you kind of like the spontaneous way, when your three seniors lined up, I think the picture or whoever, that everybody on the team just ran over there and jumped in? Do you like seeing things like that?

The guys were great prior to the game and even after. You know, we've got a good group of kids, they're just so young. Teaching them to fight and be together for 40 minutes and be totally committed and connected and locked in for 40, it's just hard. It's hard.

What I've been doing is if a guy is not locked in and he's the guy breaking down, you've got to come out now. I don't care who you are. You can't be in there. And we had a couple of those again today. It's just, you know, we've got a couple. We've got this week and we've got next week, but that's it. Then it's, okay, it's who we are.

Q. What did you see out of Bam Adebayo switching out on the guards, guarding on the perimeter?

 That's what I said. He can guard from five positions. He's 8 for 10 from the free-throw line. If I played him out, he could shoot more balls. I'm the one making him play next to the basket. You know, each rebounds, physically fights, he's getting in great condition.

He's still not where he needs to be, but he's getting better that way, and he guards five positions. Who doesn't want a guy like that? I mean, he could step out and shoot three.

Video/Transcript: UK Player Isaiah Briscoe, Derek Willis, Dominique Hawkins Post UK 73 vs Vanderbilt 67 Game Comments Press Conference Interview ~ Senior Night

Video courtesy of kywildcatstv

#13, Isaiah Briscoe, Sophomore, G

On his thumb …

“I’m fine. I’ll be alright.” 

On the come back after being down by so much …
“We can handle adversity. This team has a lot of fight and not one time in the huddle any of us ever thought that we were going to lose the game. You know we all kept our heads high. Coach kept on encouraging us, and when it got down to the end, and it was time to really win, I think we all came together as a team.” 

On why he thinks the team started off slow …
“I don’t think we started off slow, but we were missing shots and they were making shots. That happens. We always tell each other they’re not going to continue to make shots like this the whole game. Just keep fighting and keep fighting and we came out with the win.” 

On if this game is a big learning experience …
“Absolutely because we’re going to have, we’re going to play games in the SEC tournament, NCAA tournament where a team comes out on fire and we’re down quick ten, quick twelve, maybe even 19 like today. It’s how we come back in the game and how we continue to fight and our will to win. We showed it tonight.” 

#35, Derek Willis, F

On why propose on senior night…
“I was trying to figure out the right time to do it and with our busy schedules we don’t have that much free time. I figured this would be an important enough day since it’s a big moment for the both of us being senior night. I just wanted to share it with everyone. 

On Coach Cal’s reaction after he told him about the proposal…
“He thought it was awesome and told me congratulations. He was really happy for me. 

On what girlfriend (Keely Potts) said to him … 
“She was pretty nervous and asked me if I was serious. I said well yeah. She was nervous and has been emotional all week since it’s senior night. When I went to put the ring on her finger her hands were shaking and I asked if she could just keep them still for a second because I was nervous to put it on too. It was a pretty cool moment for me and it meant a lot. I’m really happy right now and I’m glad I could share it with everyone in Rupp Arena.” 

On asking her dad… 
“Yeah, I had to ask him. It was pretty cool. John [Potts] and I are very laid back people and that family did a lot for me over the years. They helped me get through a lot of different things. 

On his emotions for the night… 
“It just meant a lot to me. The adrenaline is still running so it probably won’t hit me until I’m back in the house—that’s how it usually is for me. I was just trying to stay in the moment. I had a game to play and a duty to play basketball and win but I was also focused on making this day special for my girlfriend and me.” 

On having one big shot …
“Yeah, it was one of those nights where shots weren’t falling for us in the first half. We started off slow and their players got some open threes. We just had to play through it. We have games like that but everything is getting us ready for tournament time and that’s what it all comes down to.” 

On the whole experience, being one of the few to make it to 4 years…
“This is the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. I feel like I have experienced every aspect of life. Every negative thing and a majority of the positive things too. It is has defined me as a man and the way I carry myself until this day including the way I do things. Like I said, I can’t help Coach Cal enough and the coaching staff for what they did for me. They helped mold me into a great young adult as well as my parents, the people I’ve met and the people I keep around me. I can’t thank them enough, it’s been great here and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. “

On how long he planned the proposal… 
“I had it in the back of my mind for a while. I just wanted it to be in the right moment and I wanted it to be special and a surprise type thing. I figured this would be good enough and it was just the right time.”

#25, Dominque Hawkins, G

On Kentucky being 19 down in the first half…

“To be honest, I didn’t even know that we got 19 down. I was just out there playing and once we got on the run, I just felt like, I thought we was already cut the lead down to two but I think we were down by eight or nine. Everybody just came together at the end and was able to make big stops and big plays.”

On how Kentucky has progressed to close the last few games near the end of the second half…
“Oh, it is big. I remember early when we wasn’t making plays like that. Coach always got on us on not turning the ball over the last four minutes of the game and stuff. I think we might have one turnover with five or four to play but I think we played good down the stretch.”

On his senior ceremony…“It was great. It was great. I wasn’t really emotional. I thought I would probably be a little emotional but I was just really happy about it. It has been a great four years here and I am glad I am able to end it with a win.” 

On Willis’ senior night proposal…
“That’s awesome for him. I didn’t know that he was going to propose in Rupp but I knew that he would probably be doing it soon because of how they love each other.” 

On Kentucky’s defensive presence against the guards of Vanderbilt…
“Not the most athletic of guards but they are very smart with the floor. They definitely have the pressure that makes you feel uncomfortable. They can shoot the ball and they make great passes when they have the ball as well.” 

Video/Transcript: Video: Vanderbilt Head Coach Bryce Drew, Player Luke Kornet Post - UK 73 vs Vanderbilt 67 Game Comments ~ Senior Night

Vanderbilt Head Coach Bryce Drew

Opening statement … 

“Really proud of our team. Thought we came in for the first 35 minutes and really played at a great pace for us on offense and defense. I thought we were able to keep them out of transition in the first half and the start of the second half. I think when things started to slip away is when they picked up their pressure. I think we had 18 turnovers and I think they had 17 points off turnovers in the second half and we couldn’t get back and get 5-on-5 defense. Kentucky is probably the best transition team in the country. I thought Luke (Kornet) was sensational today. He hit a lot of 3’s, contested a lot of shots. I thought he had more than one block, but he did a tremendous job for us giving us the lead and then keeping that lead and giving us a chance to win it at the end.” 

On how ball handling was an issue … 
“I thought our point guard play was good. I thought Payton Willis had a great first half. I thought Riley Lachance – he only had two turnovers. A lot of our turnovers came maybe driving to the basket, couple charges, couple deflections and like Luke said, Kentucky is very long and athletic and they came at us. I was happy. I thought we attacked the pressure sometimes and we just have to be able to once we break it, get into halfcourt sometimes and then still be solid with the ball during the clock.”

On Derek Willis’ play tonight … 
“Willis does a good job of spreading the floor for them. You have to be aware where he is on the court an you have to keep a man open close to him, which then opens up guys to drive and get to the rim. So, maybe even though his stats aren’t as high as some other guys, he’s a very significant part of their team, we feel. Monk is just a tremendous talent. You can take away the 3, but then he can drive. You can take away the drive, and he’ll hit 3’s. He does a great job finishing in transition. You know he’s going to score points. We didn’t want to give him those 10 free throws. We wanted to keep him off the line, but he does a great job getting there.”

On what went into the UK comeback … 
“I think there were a lot of factors in it. Obviously, I saw us around the 10 minute mark Luke was getting a little tired so we tried to get him in and out. Kentucky did a good job of keeping the pressure on us and Luke is such a big part of our press break with handling the ball. I was scared with him on the bench they could cut the lead very quickly and take the lead and so we wanted to give those guys media timeouts to hopefully give those guys enough time to rest so that they could finish and play most of those minutes. Kentucky is going to make runs. I think a key possession was about the two-minute mark. We had a 3 to take the lead and we missed it and they went down and scored and took the lead. I think that 3 was really a big possession kind of with the momentum the rest of the game.”

On what the NCAA Selection Committee should take into account for Vandy’s NCAA bid … 
“At the end of the day, we need to get some more wins. We were close tonight but Kentucky did a great job in that final stretch and we have another great opportunity on Saturday and hopefully we learn from some of the things tonight and be able to execute a little better at the end of the game.” 

Vanderbilt Student-Athletes

#3, Luke Kornet, F

On what happened in the last 5 minutes of the game…
“I don’t think fatigue was an issue. I think we struggled executing and creating the same spacing as well as making that extra pass that we were in the first half. Defensively we just struggled to get stops and that was the big difference between when we played well in the game and when they made their runs. It was just about being able to get back and do a better job contesting shots and keeping them away from the rim and offensive rebounding” 

On why UK’s pressure bothered them the way it did…
“I think that for most part of the game we did a pretty good job against it. They have a fast and athletic team and they are long and anytime you play teams like that they certainly are capable of pressuring and that makes it difficult. I think it just rushes you up a little bit and people struggle with missing a pass by a little bit or just getting the ball tipped by a little bit. That is all it takes for the ball to get turned over and that’s just what happened today”

On how the performance may show people how well they have been playing…
“It is pretty indicative of how we have been playing the last couple of games. I feel like we should have been able to finish it out. Defensively we have been better in the previous games especially towards the end of the game. I think in that aspect we didn’t really resemble ourselves but I think for 35 minutes of the game we came out and played the way we are capable of playing and have been for the last several games. I think it was a pretty good showing of our team for those 35 minutes”

On… getting booed after elbowing Briscoe…
“He came up on me and I really just tried to move the ball to the other side. I don’t throw elbows, that isn’t something I was trying to do. It just happened and I wasn’t trying to do anything intentionally but I understand it can look that way. I was just trying to move the ball to the other side and drive and if I caught him it wasn’t anything intentional, it happens”

Video: UK 73 vs Vanderbilt 67 Game Highlights ~ Senior Night

Gameday: Video ~ Wildcat Wrap-Up - UK 73 vs Vanderbilt 67 ~ Senior Night

Video courtesy of kywildcatstv

Gameday: Twitter Wildcat Wrap-Up - UK 73 vs Vanderbilt 67 ~ Senior Night

Gameday: UK 73 vs Vanderbilt 67 Post Game Locker Room ~ Senior Night

UK 48-Time SEC Champions 2017 ~ UK Senior Day

UK Men's Basketball Final: UK 73 vs Vanderbilt 67 ~ Senior Night

UK Improves To 25-5 Overall, 15-2 SEC ~ UK 73 vs Vanderbilt 67 ~ Senior Night

UK Men's Basketball Final Boxscore: UK 73 vs Vanderbilt 67 ~ Senior Nightt

UK Men's Basketball Halftime BoxScore UK 24 vs Vanderbilt 30 ~ Senior Night

UK Men's Basketball Halftime: UK 24 vs Vanderbilt 30 ~ Senior Night

Video: 2017 UK Senior Day Ceremony ~ UK 73 vs Vanderbilt 67 ~ Senior Night

Gameday: New Intro UK vs Vanderbilt ~ Senior Night

Gameday: UK vs Vanderbilt Pre Game Locker Room ~ Senior Night

Gameday: UK Men's Basketball Starters vs Vanderbilt Gameday Starting Five ~ Senior Night

Gameday Video: Countdown to Tipoff - UK vs Vanderbilt ~ Senior Night

2017 SEC Football Media Day For UK Coach Mark Stoops July 12, 2017

Gameday: UK vs Vanderbilt Locker Room ~ Senior Night

One last time for the crowd at Rupp.

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Gameday: First On The Floor UK vs Vanderbilt ~ Senior Night

UK Sophomore Isaiah Briscoe 2017 All-SEC Candidate

Gameday: Beat Vanderbilt ~ Senior Night

UK Hoops Players Makayla Epps, Evelyn Akhator Named First Team All-SEC

Makayla Epps, Evelyn Akhator Named First Team All-SEC

First Team All-SEC

Ronni Williams, Florida
Evelyn Akhator, Kentucky
Makayla Epps, Kentucky

Victoria Vivians, Mississppi State
Sophie Cunningham, Missouir
Alaina Coates, South Carolina
A’ja Wilson, South Carolina
Diamond DeShields, Tennessee

Second Team All-SEC

Katie Frerking, Auburn
Pachis Roberts, Georgia
Raigyne Moncrief, LSU
Morgan William, Mississippi State
Jaime Nared, Tennessee
Mercedes Russell, Tennessee
Khaalia Hillsman, Texas A&M
Curtyce Knox, Texas A&M
Danni Williams, Texas A&M


Ashley Knight, Alabama
Jordan Lewis, Alabama
Jailyn Mason, Arkansas
Delicia Washington, Florida
Amber Smith, Missouri
Tyasha Harris, South Carolina
Kayla Overbeck, Vanderbilt
Erin Whalen, Vanderbilt


Katie Frerking, Auburn 
Caliya Robinson, Georgia
Raigyne Moncrief, LSU
Dominique Dillingham, Mississippi State
Alaina Coates, South Carolina
A’ja Wilson, South Carolina

Coach of the Year: Robin Pingeton, Missouri
Player of the Year: A’ja Wilson, South Carolina
Co-Freshmen of the Year: Delicia Washington, Florida / Amber Smith, Missouri
Defensive Player of the Year: Raigyne Moncrief, LSU
6th Woman of the Year: Teaira McCowan, Mississippi State
Scholar-Athlete of the Year: Katie Frerking, Auburn

UK vs Vanderbilt Digital Game Day Guide ~ Senior Night

UK Honors Seniors Tonight ~ Senior Night

#BBN, if you're coming to Rupp tonight, please be in your seats by 8:40 p.m. to honor our seniors. #SeniorNight

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Video Homegrown Seniors: Interview with Dominique Hawkins and Derek Willis ~ Senior Night

Gameday: 2016-17 SEC Play - UK vs Vanderbilt ~ Senior Night

SEC Men's Basketball Schedule 2/28/17

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

  • 7:00 PM Miss St vs South Carolina ESPNU

  • 7:00 PM Texas A&M vs Missouri SEC NETWORK

  • 9:00 PM Vanderbilt vs (11) Kentucky ESPN