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Calipari, coaches on SEC teleconference

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John Calipari and the Southeastern Conference's other 11 coaches joined the league's weekly teleconference on Monday. UK will play Florida (Tuesday at 7 p.m. on ESPN) and Vanderbilt (Saturday at 9 p.m. on ESPN).

Here are the more notable quotes about the Wildcats and their matchups this week.

Calipari


On UK's schedule this week
...
"Obviously two very hard games for us, one at home, one on the road. Two of the top teams in the country. Talented players, well-coached. Both teams come at you different. One is playing one way, the other playing another, but they're both great 3-point shooting teams, which make them even more dangerous."

On Florida's post play...

"They do a lot of pick and rolls to try to get big people to help so they can throw it in there. The other side of it with Murphy now, they spread the floor out. A year ago, you could kind of predict that that four or five is going to be close to the rim and you've got a chance to guard them in the post. Right now with Murphy being able to shoot that 3 the way he does, it makes it even more difficult to try to zone in on their big guys. That's why it makes it even harder to guard."

On Florida freshman Bradley Beal...

"He's a skilled player who can beat you on the bounce, can make shots, terrific free throw shooter, good passer. But I'll tell you what he's been doing: he's been rebounding especially offensively. So he goes and gets balls. Let's just say you've stopped them and you're feeling good and all of a sudden he goes and grabs an offensive rebound and sticks it in and kind of breaks your rhythm and your stride. He's doing some good stuff."

On preparing his team for a difficult second-half SEC slate..
"First of all, I'm going to talk to them today a little bit about, 'Let's make sure we're being humble here guys. Let's understand why we've been winning and where we have to take this.' The issue that we have is that we're one of the youngest teams in the country, if not the youngest. I imagine that, as a ranked team, we are the youngest. Three freshmen start. One comes off the bench. Two sophomores start. Darius Miller is a senior, but we're really young. So there's an easy transition from a swagger to arrogance, and that's where you get beat. Look, we're a good team. We're not a great team, but we're a good team. What we'd like to be by the end of the year is as good as our team was last year as a team. I'm not talking talent, length, speed. I'm talking as a basketball team. Last year's team at the end of the year was as good as there was in the country and that's what we're trying to do with this team."

On how Darius Miller and Terrence Jones can disrupt Vanderbilt's Jeffery Taylor with their length and athleticism on Saturday ...

"I don't know if they can. I've watched tape. They've played other teams that we're playing, so I've watched them on tape but I haven't zeroed in on them. But what I have seen is man, has he gotten better - aggressive, his skill set, his finishing around the basket. I say that without zeroing on Vandy because I really have not watched the tape. It's always been the other team. He is just done stuff that you say, 'Wow, has he gotten better.' So I don't know if there is an answer for him. His skills have gotten better with the ball. (He's) much more aggressive finishing around the basket. Obviously (he's) shooting the ball (better). But he's just a better, more confident basketball player than he was a year ago, and he was pretty good a year ago. I'm not saying that. I'm just telling you he's taken it to the next step, I think."

Florida head coach Billy Donovan


On Kentucky...
"We've got a huge challenge ahead of us tomorrow on the road against Kentucky. A terrific team, well-balanced. I think a  that can beat you in a lot of different ways. They're No. 1 in the country for a reason so great challenge for us tomorrow night."

On 3-point shooting...
"I think that's probably part of everybody's offense. I think that I look more at our field goal percentage from  the field than from 3, what kind of shots we're getting. Because we have, at times, four guys out there that can shoot 3s, we're maybe able to stretch the defense and take some of those shots. But I don't think in this league you can be totally one-dimensional because enough teams are going to take certain things away from you. "When we're open, I want guys shooting it and I think in games in our league and outside of our league, there's been games when we've taken more 3s than other games. It's not so much that I feel like that's all we've got to do, we've got to take 35 3s but if we have the opportunity to do it with the right guys, we definitely want to do it. I also think you've got to be balanced too."

On past road games helping Florida...
"I think those kind of games help. Ohio State was a great environment. Certainly Syracuse in the dome with 33,000 was a great environment. I thought Ole Miss had a terrific environment when we came in there to play them. Generally when you go on the road, you're going to play in a great environment and certainly I think Rupp is one of the best environments there is out there but I do think our guys have walked into some places where it's been loud, noisy, hostile so to speak. Hopefully our non-conference schedule and what we've done to this point in time prepares you going in there. Any time you go on the road, no matter where it is, you want to be able to play well. That's the biggest thing."

On Anthony Davis' improvement...
"At this time in our season, I probably will not be in a position to watch all of the games they've played this year. I think, like any freshman who's talented like Davis, there's no question, I'm sure, he's made some great strides and great growth and continues to gain more experience and continues to get better. I think when you're dealing with a player like Davis that's as talented as he is, the more he plays, the more experiences he goes through, the more challenges he has, it's only going to make him better. I think John probably really helps him in that growing process as well."

Vanderbilt head coach Kevin Stallings


On Florida's 3-point shooting ...
"Their 3-point shooting comes as a result of the things they do before that. They take very few 3-point shots where they're really moving. A lot of them come from a stationary standpoint, and that's the kind that you want to take. You want to be taking step-in jump shots when you're shooting 3s. And because of their penetration and their success off of ball screens, they kind of get you in a scramble rotation mode. They're good passers and they share it well. It has a lot more than just their ability to shoot the ball. It's what they do to you prior to the shot being taken that makes them so effective at getting good looks from the perimeter. They certainly shot it well against us."

On having ESPN GameDay in town Saturday for the UK-Vandy game ...

"I think it's big. It's something that I think all programs want to do and want to have. This is our first experience with it and we're excited about it. Hopefully it's a sign that our program has elevated over the course of time to where the powers to be in that regard think enough of us to put GameDay here."

South Carolina head coach Darrin Horn


On how Florida and Kentucky compare ...
"I think every team is different. I don't think comparisons are the way to go. You look at what does each team do well. I know as coaches we go into each game, regardless of who we're playing, and say what is this team good at. ... I think Florida is obviously very good. Extremely talented on the offensive end. Very hard to guard and match up with because of their ability to pass and shoot the basketball. I think Billy is not getting near the credit he deserves for the job he's doing with that team simply because of the growth and development you see in his players. You take guys like Erving Walker and Kenny Boynton, who just seem to make every right play right now, which is huge for their team. They've got guys like (Scottie) Wilbekin and (Will) Yeguete who are giving them great role play. I think they're a little underrated defensively. They're very long and create some issues for you on that end. And then obviously Kentucky is extremely talented and dynamic on the defensive end because of their length and athleticism with (Anthony) Davis back there cleaning things up. And I think because they're a young team they can continue to get better. As I said Saturday after the game, it's a completely different team than the one we played a month ago in the first half of the SEC season."

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