Kentucky-Louisville Postgame Quotes

Jan. 2, 2010

Recap | Box Score | Notes | AP Photo Gallery  | Photo Gallery 

Kentucky Head Coach John Calipari

Opening statement ...

"Let me say a couple of things. One, my hat is off to Louisville to come into this building and play the way that they played and get a lead in the second half and do the things that they did. The other thing that I will tell you is that they outrebounded a team that is outrebounding their opponents by 12 rebounds and we have been getting people by 20. It is not that they were bigger than us. They never stopped playing. They turned us over 18 times and either they guarded the three, I will have to go watch, or we had guys that were timid. They did a great job. It was a good win for us."

On if he has been in such an intense atmosphere before ...

"It was heated. Look, UMass and Temple had metal detectors when we went in the building. They had metal detectors, they have never done that before. The Memphis-Louisville and Memphis-Tennessee (were heated too). This start was physical but neither team was going to give an inch. You could come out and do that bravado it wasn't working in this game, too much talent on both sides and too much pride on both sides."

On John Wall cramping in the second half and why it keeps happening ...

"I don't know, I didn't ask him after the game if that is what it was. He and I have to sit down and what I have down with players like him is basically let them sub themselves. So, (I would tell them) `You tell me when you want to come out twice each half right before a TV timeout so that you can get a long break.' We may have to do that with him and I may have rode him too long in this game, trying to get by. Eric was fine, I thought that he played well and I could have played him at point if I needed too."

On DeMarcus Cousins's play ...

"He played and he is pretty good. He missed some free throws that he has been making, but he made two that really mattered. I just think that with our team, if we can get him consistently playing and get him focused on the court (we will be fine.) He did a pretty good job (of being focused.) He is like a kid that I had at Memphis named Joey Dorsey, where the other team used to do whatever they could to get his goat, because they knew that he would lose it. I think that Louisville did everything that they could to get his goat. We told him they were going to do that and they did it as we walked in and off the court and the kid never budged. He said, `It is not bothering me, I am going to play.' He is growing up and really maturing. He is playing with a lot more confidence. He still does the reverse layup dunk, and reverts to AAU every once in a while. But he is getting better."

On Ramon Harris play ...

"He is great. He rebounded and defended. I kept telling him and Eric, `I have all the confidence in the world, shoot the three if it is there. I watch you every day in practice, and you can hit them. You two shoot them.' So when Ramon took that one in the corner and made it I was happy for them. But our team needed it, we needed that gap. When you are 2-for-14, how did we win the game? We can't make a shot?"

Kentucky Players

#11, John Wall, PG

On the physicality of this game ...

"This is the most physical game I have ever played in before. But that is good for us. Coach [Calipari] had us practice being more aggressive in practice this week. We practiced getting physical and playing rough because we knew coming in to it this game was going to be physical. We knew Louisville would come out and play the way they did so we tried our best to prepare for that."

On Louisville's defense...

"They had a good zone and did not let me get through the gaps. In the second half I took my time and looked for my spot. In the first half they were closing in quickly on us so we had to work harder. We did not make as many shots as we should or as we normally do but we came back and got the win. "

On not letting the rough start affect his play...

"I was getting a little bit frustrated because I was not making the shots that I normally do. They did a great job of defending me so I tried to get my teammates to come out and help me make shots. We got a good lead but in the second half I got the opportunity to get some open shots and it felt good."

On playing hard every game...

"I play my hardest every game. I'm playing at a level I never thought I would. Playing for Coach Calipari is the best thing because he will make you play to another level. I thought I had reached my potential in high school. I am nowhere near my potential. I am able to play this way because Coach Calipari keeps pushing me. It's making me a better player."

#24, Eric Bledsoe, PG

On letting Louisville come back in the second half ...

"Louisville played very aggressive in the second half. We kept fouling and giving them points. They played tough all the way around. We knew they would play physical because we watched so much of their film. We practiced to prepare for that this week."

On what can be learned from this game...

"We learn to keep our heads in the game no matter what is going on around us. We have to focus on the game. A game like this makes that very tough. I like to play aggressive. I did too much of that too early so I needed to calm down."

On teammate John Wall...

"John [Wall] does not let anything get him off his game. He brings everything to the game. It is hard to focus with pressure like that. I think he was getting frustrated but he does not let that show. That is what makes him such a good player."

#15, DeMarcus Cousins, F

On what do you think about the Louisville rivalry now ...

"It's pretty intense. The game was fun."

On if the intensity and emotion make the game more fun for you ...

"It does. I enjoyed that game from start to finish. It was an intense game; everybody was going hard and leaving it on the floor."

On do expect the physical play to continue the rest of the season ...

"Yes, I expect it. We just have to stick together and play hard. We just keep fighting and never give up."

#54, Patrick Patterson, F

On Coach Calipari's message before the game ...

"Just pretty much dominate. Play tough, play physical, play hard and don't let your man beat you. It's going to be a battle, people are going to be pulling, and people are going to be hacking but fouls aren't going to (always be) called, you just have to fight throw it."

On getting you in the offense more against the zone ...

"Coach wanted the offense to run through me at the top of the key and look to score. I threw the ball to Daniel one time and threw the ball the Darnell in the corner another but as the game went on they started denying me the ball. The packed it in the middle and wouldn't let anyone catch the ball and it opened it up for Eric and John in the second half."

On his emotions during this game...

"It was intense going through a game like this. The rivalry in this game made it so much more important. Not just the rivalry between the teams but the history that comes along with it."

Louisville Head Coach Rick Pitino

Opening statement ...

"It was a good hard fought game. We had our chances to win it, but we didn't come away with it. I was always impressed in the pros, sometimes coaching against Michael Jordan, because he wouldn't do his thing in the first quarter or the second quarter. But in the fourth quarter, with the game on the line, he would always make great plays. The same thing is true of Kobe (Bryant) and a lot of other guys I've had the great pleasure of watching. The tide turned and we had momentum, and John Wall made a midrange jump shot and there was a foul on Preston (Knowles). He wasn't having a great night, and the great thing about that young man is it never bothered him, he never lost focus, he stayed with it, and made two killer plays for them. That is the sign of a great one and he certainly is. I've got to give him a lot of credit. Their defense was terrific and I didn't mind, believe it or not, the ugliness of the first half. I thought it actually would help us. That type of offense wasn't good, but being down only eight points was really helping us because the crowd wasn't as big a factor as it could have been. They weren't getting much in transition and we were playing good defense. They are a really good basketball team, and we are proud of our guys and the way they fought. They played their hearts out and we're going to get a lot better as the year goes on. We were not overly excited about the offensive execution in the first half, but I thought the guys were gamers in the way they worked. I think it might make the Guinness Book of World Records of Jared Swopshire and Reggie Delk getting technical fouls for talking or hitting somebody. They never talk and never hit anybody so that was interesting to see."

On the physical nature of the game ...

"That's rivalry games. Louisville-Kentucky, Xavier-Cincinnati, Memphis-Tennessee, you're always going to see it. That's what rivalry games are always about. But, we've got great respect for them. They played really hard, we played really hard, and they were victorious."

On Kentucky's inside game ...

"They have great length and I thought we controlled it. Rebounding statistics are a little misleading sometimes because when we shoot such a horrible percentage like we did, there are going to be a lot of rebounds available. I thought overall we played really well defensively, but we played really poor on offense in the first half."

On improving ...

"We're going to get a lot better and we're really going to improve. We've had two tough road games, Vegas and this one. Our games showed a lot of heart and character. We made a lot of silly turnovers. But guys like Jared Swopshire, he is going to be one heck of a player someday. He'll need to fight through his mistakes right now and keep working hard."

On guarding Kentucky ...

"The one thing about that is, they are the fastest team in America. They high outlet the ball and we wanted to come back and take the high outlet away. We did a very good job of that. We did a very good job of the full court press. But, obviously when you shoot such a low percentage, you don't get on that much. But, we did a good job at curtailing it. If you let them on the break, they are very difficult."

Louisville Players

#10, Edgar Sosa, G

On the team's defensive play ...

"It's the greatest rivalry in college basketball. We did a good job on them defensively in the first half but in the second half we did poorly."

On the physicality of the game ...

"It was a very physical game. College basketball in general is physical . I don't think any of the teams back down. They were a physical team and they made key shots at the end. We needed key stops and they made the key shots."

On Louisville's shooting struggles in the first half ...

"We had trouble scoring because of their defense. We also weren't letting them score that much on the other half. Even though we played horrible in the first half we were still in it, only down eight points at the half. At the beginning of the second half we played with more offensive confidence and even took the lead at one point."

On the importance of the game...

"We know how much this game means to the (Louisville fans). We know the fans wait for this game every year. This is all they think about. But, losing to the No. 3 team in the country in their home is not all that bad in the RPI. BIG EAST play is much more important. We have to be ready for Providence and we have to be ready to protect home court when BIG EAST play comes."

On the lift at the end of the first half ...

"It was huge. We shot under 10 percent in the first half. We needed every basket we could have got, even if it was from the free throw line or the Jerry getting the breakaway layup. But in the second half we did a good job of understanding what they were doing on the defensive end to come back and take the lead by one. But, they made key shots when we needed key stops."

#23, Terrence Jennings, F

On the game ...

"We are still developing as a basketball team, we have a lot of work to do. We will get it together though. We just have to go back to practice and work hard, go back to the drawing boards."

On having Samardo Samuels in the lineup in the future ...

"I would like to see that but it's up to Coach P. I know I can play in that position, only time will tell."

On the team's frustrating start ...

"We kind of got in a funk but we had to ride it out. We couldn't get over that hump at the end of the game and they made some big shots."

On the physical play:

"The game was very physical. Both teams were competing very hard. But, I'm proud of our team. We grew from this game."

On UK's tandem of DeMarcus Cousins and Patrick Patterson:

"Those guys are like a two-headed monster. You go and box out one them and the other guy is there. They make it very hard to defend inside."

#21, Jared Swopshire, F

On the intensity to start the game ...

"People have been waiting for this game for a long time, the fans and everything. Once we calmed down, plays started coming together for us."

On going against UK's two big men ...

"It was pretty tough. You had to keep moving, keep working. There was a lot of help defense, just helping each other work as a team."

On the intense beginning of the game ...

"The emotions were high. Everybody was real intense and looking forward to this game. But like I said, `we're not going to back down from anybody. We accepted this challenge."

On the double technical foul ...

"That's all a part of the game. It happens like that sometimes. I wasn't too worried about it. I just played through it."

On Louisville's slow start ...

"We started out slow, but like Coach said, `just got to stay positive, stick with the game plan.' And we came out the second half ran through our stuff and that's how we came back."