Kentucky-Ole Miss Postgame Quotes

Jan. 6, 2015

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Kentucky Head Coach John Calipari

COACH CALIPARI: Yes?

Q. Andy (Kennedy) said that this would make your guys better, probably that you would have their full attention now. Is that how you see it too?

COACH CALIPARI: I see it as his team played out of their mind and we, we kind of didn't have the fight we need. A lot of young guys not knowing, even some vets not understanding that there's no one going to surrender. They're playing their hearts out and that's what you saw from Mississippi today.

I thought Andy coached a great game. If (Stefan) Moody doesn't cramp up, we probably lose the game. I mean he was just ridiculous. We couldn't do anything with him. We tried some different stuff.

Shoot, we go 11-20 from the three-point line and just escape. What? Now if we go 11-20, you're going to say we won by 40. We went 11-20 from the three-point line and just escaped. Like we just wanted to make sure the time ran out. We ran off the court.

They fought us, they battled, they played plays. They didn't miss free throws until we got to pick their free throw shooter.

Q. Do you like this, for your team to maybe play like this?

COACH CALIPARI: This is fine. Look, the bigger picture for us, we need to be in overtime games, I need to see who can do what. You saw we had an issue, they went after Tyler (Ulis), his size. They took him right to the middle of the lane and just jumped up over him.

So that's why I went with a bigger lineup. I saw what he was doing and he played good.

But there are times that if a team does that to us we got to figure out what they're doing. I've been there before and I know that is an issue because now they don't have to play. They just dribble it down and jump over a guy and shoot. There's no real defense to that.

So, but I thought that guys did what they -- again, when you get a lead, you look like you're going to bury them and you let your foot off the gas, couple guys weren't ready to play, go in and all of a sudden it's 18-11, 18-12. What? What just happened? Then you turn around and you're down 2 at halftime.

But you got to give them credit, they played.

Q. How but Devin's (Booker) defense on (Jarvis) Summers late. How much?

COACH CALIPARI: He did good. He did good. And he made the basket. I'm going to tell you the biggest play of the game, it was Andrew (Harrison) jumping to tip the rebound free. And Devin running down the ball. Biggest play of the game. That gave us our chance to win the game. Did that have anything to do with skill? No. That's just what I kept telling them.

Putting guys in to rebound, they didn't rebound, you're out. I put you in for one reason, to rebound and you're not getting the ball, you're out. They really went body-to-body on us, so we weren't ready to really bang. We out-rebounded them by two, but again, I thought that were we more aggressive than we have been? I guess.

We just, you know, every game is going to be this way. Every team is going to come after them. And now that they saw what Mississippi just did to us, we're going to Texas A&M, they're having parties down there waiting for us. I would. They're practicing free throws right now.

Q. Is this the most, so far, you've missed Alex (Poythress)? Was this the kind of game?

COACH CALIPARI: He would have made plays physically. Ands his surgery went real well. He is out, so I have not talked to him yet. But word got back that the surgery went real well.

Q. Why were they able to do so well with you on the boards, just physical effort or what?

COACH CALIPARI: I don't know. I'll watch. I just thought there were times we didn't block out. We ran in and the ball went wide and I think there were other times that we needed to have some physical contact and we didn't.

There were one-handed rebound attempts, which you don't get any of those in a game like this. You got to go grab it with two hands.

Our guards, who we need to rebound more, Aaron had four, Andrew had one. Devin had one big one.

But we didn't rebound. Our guards didn't rebound enough. We only had 10 turnovers in a game like this and Willie (Cauley-Stein) had five of them.

So short of that, we didn't turn it over. We gave ourselves a chance. The greatest thing is, we made plays and even though we missed some free throws, we made the ones we had to make.

Trey (Lyles), again, you see guys in these situations, you want to know, are they going to make that basket? That free throw? Are they going to be strong?

Now the play he made was we ran and trapped them at half court and he rotated up and stole that ball, where Aaron got that basket, which stopped them from beating us and we're now coming at them.

So they all made some plays, but we're still learning and I think this is a wake up call for them that, look, teams are coming after you. So, again, we didn't play great, but you got to give that to Mississippi. They played.

Q. Andy mentioned Moody's quickness is something he thought they could use against you guys. How much is that something that you guys have to deal with, size versus quickness?

COACH CALIPARI: Well, it does, but what he did was he made every shot. Like every shot. One he missed, he cramped up.

Other than that, I mean -- and he jumps high. So, I'm the one that switched Tyler on him and my staff said, he does well against littler guys, because he jumps over them. And what did he do? Basket, basket, foul. And I looked at my staff and I said, that's my fault, not his. Because usually Tyler, against a smaller guy, has a big advantage. Well, he didn't in this game.

So then we had to go to a bigger guy on him and then we tried to switch some. So we were switching our bigs on him. So we played him a little bit in the second half like Marshall Henderson how we used to play him.

Q. Why did you pick Rhett to shoot those free throws?

COACH CALIPARI: I didn't, my staff did. I didn't even know. What I said was, why is he shooting?

(Laughter.)

Like I'm telling you, UCLA, I did not know the score. You guys think I'm crazy, but if you were at the game, I did not know the score. Not as smart as you people -- well you don't think that, but go ahead.

Q. Can you talk about the tests you guys had tonight, especially going to overtime, and talk about what y'all learned.

COACH CALIPARI: I got a team with a will to win. They fought. They had every chance to let go of the rope and pout and feel bad for themselves and they didn't. They all made plays. That's a good sign.

But we didn't fight for an entire game. We didn't battle. We fouled when we didn't need to. We got out of stances, we hit screens. We had -- they gave two, three pointers in the corners and we hit a screen and died.

You can't do that. You fight. That guy catches it, he's going to have to bounce it. He didn't. He just went to the corner and shot a three. Which gave them a chance. We're up five.

Willie missed some free throws, Trey missed some free throws. And in those situations, that becomes tough, especially when you look down the other end and they're missing no free throws.

But it was, like I said, this is, this is all good for this team. This team needs to keep getting hit in the mouth. I don't even know how good we can be. I don't. I mean, there's things we're going to have to do if teams try to do this kind of stuff to us spread the court and, all right, now how are we going to play? We talked about, they're going to try to beat you from the three-point line and the free-throw line and they almost did.

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Kentucky Student-Athlete Quotes

#15, Willie Cauley-Stein, F

On getting the best shots from SEC opponents …
“No doubt. I would. I would feel like I’m going to go out there and show them they’re not the toughest. That proves it right there; that game we just had proves that it doesn’t matter who you play. This league is so tough it’s ridiculous.”

On what Kentucky learned tonight …
“We learned a couple of things. No. 1, every time you step on the floor the other team is not going away. We go up 12, whatever we did, and they’re right back in it two minutes later. That’s how it is; that’s how it’s going to be every game that we come out. Especially the young guys, I heard (them) talking in the locker room like, ‘Dude, that was so crazy.’ That’s how it is every time. Now they get it. Now they’re going to understand every time we go out there that team is going to play out of their mind. No matter who you play, if you’re playing against Kentucky at Kentucky, no matter who you play they’re going to play out of their mind because of the hype.”

On quickness being a weapon against UK …
“It’s just our will to do it. Everybody on the team has got to have a will to do an extra effort. The same thing that we’re learning is how to do an extra effort play. How to do the little stuff all the time.”

On the game being a wake-up call for UK …
“We haven’t played a game in probably two weeks. First game back you knew it was going to be rough like that. First SEC game is hyped. It’s going to be a wake-up call. We hadn’t had a game in so long. It was good to get back out there. That’s what it’s all about.”

On Ole Miss’ Stefan Moody’s performance …
“It’s just another point that our league is really good. They’ve got really good players. Every time you step on the floor you’re going to get everybody’s best.”

#5, Andrew Harrison, G

On the close game …
“We needed it. Coach said every league game is going to be a fight. Ole Miss is a great team and they played really well against us. We needed it. We really needed it.”

On if hitting 3-pointers early helps his game …
“Yes. It shouldn’t, but yes. It just gives you that extra boost of confidence that you have throughout the game.”

On how focused he was throughout the game and at the end …
“I know I didn’t play well last game or anything like that so I knew I had to make some big plays. As a team, we just made big plays. Aaron, as usual, made some big 3’s. Willie and Dakari were great on the boards and Devin really made some big plays too. We all stepped up.”

On what this game says about the SEC and upcoming conference games …
“It’s tough. Every team is going to fight as hard as they can. We’re going to have to bring it every game.”

On his big 3-pointer late in the game …
“I think Coach looks for me to make big plays. I just try to do it. If they give me a shot, then I’m going to try to take it and make it for my team.”

#2, Aaron Harrison, G

On Mississippi and the SEC …
“We knew they were going to fight and the SEC is tougher than what people think.”

On learning from overtime …
“You learn who is going to fight, and I think we have a deep team. And I think everybody is going to fight. We all had points in the game that we had to make plays and we learned a lot about this team.” 

On hating to lose …
“I think all of it was. We could have easily have let it go when they got up by one, but we never stopped fighting and we got the big steal at the end of regulation. It was a great win for us.”

On being a veteran …
“We knew we had to step up to win and that’s what we did. We’ve been in big games before, so we knew what we had to do.“

On being No. 1 …
“It’s not really pressure. We take it as being the best team in the country, and that’s what people know.”

Ole Miss Head Coach Andy Kennedy

On coming back from being down early …
“Just trying to settle in a little bit. We’ve obviously talked about this environment. We’ve talked about how good this Kentucky team is. Boy, did they prove it early. Came out and hit us right in the mouth. If it was a three minute game obviously we would have been in big trouble, but it’s not a three minute game. I just told my guys to continue to battle. Our goal coming in here, we never talked about one time, ‘Hey lets go in and beat the No. 1 team in the country.’ I just wanted them to compete for 40 minutes, and I certainly thought they did that. (We) Gave ourselves a chance, really proud of the effort, proud of the fight. But this game is just one of 18. Hopefully it will get people to realize, and look at the numbers, the fact that, the Southeastern Conference, I know the dialogue is already started about how bad it is. But the reality is the numbers don’t say that. We’re one of four leagues in the country that have five teams in the top 50 and we’re not one of them. We’re not one of those top 50 teams. We’ve got 10 teams in the RPI top 100, one of only three leagues. The numbers don’t back up the rhetoric. What we talk about was coming in here and really competing, and that’s what I told my guys at the end of the game, obviously we’re disappointed with the loss, and we got our all-league guy with a shot at the buzzer with a chance to steal this thing, and the ball just didn’t go in for us. But we have to take this same fight for the next night, and the next night, and the next night. If we can do that, then I assure you this team will like where it’s standing at the end.”

On if they found anything in Kentucky’s defense …
“No, Stefan Moody’s been our X factor. His quickness, I knew he was going to be able to manufacture shots because he’s so quick. Cal [UK head coach John Calipari] was extending the pressure, which really, really bothered us until we got it to Moody, and he got into the open floor and was able to get some things at the basket, and I think that settled us down a little bit. And then through some of the screening action, even though Kentucky was connected for the most part, Moody’s a little bit like Marshall Henderson, and thank God only a little bit. He doesn’t need much room to score, and he was able to knock in some shots. So I think it really relaxed our team. In the second half, we just told them to drive pressure. Cal, their team really gets up in you physically and forces you to (go) off the bounce. I thought we did a better job in the second half of getting in that mid-range, especially Jarvis [Summers] and finishing, because you have a hard time at the basket because they’re so long. I thought we were aggressive on both ends, bodies on bodies. We told them if we can win the rebound battle, we have a chance to win the war. We come up two short, but a one possession game really hurt us in overtime of getting second and third chance opportunities and that ended up being the deciding factor.”

On Moody getting cramps at the end of the game …
“Yeah, it was cramps at the end of the game. He had to sit about three minutes. I think I guilted him back into playing, and he goes in and he plays. He gets fouled on a 3-pointer, he’s a top-10 guy in the country at over 92 percent, the rule is Cal gets to choose the shooter. I won’t give him credit, because I know he doesn’t know the percentages, but somebody over there picked the right guy. M.J. Rhett goes 1-for-3, that’s a huge swing, and Moody can’t re-enter the game because of the cramps.”

On how not having Moody affected the offense …
“Wow. Everything. When I’ve got him, Snoop [LaDarius White] and Jarvis [Summers], those are my guys, and we can do a number of different things, because they’re all capable of making the basket. You take one guy out of that equation, it changes things tremendously.”

On Jarvis Summers’ health …
“He wouldn’t sit down, his back is cramping. His back, he’s the oldest 22-year-old in the country.”

On attacking UK’s Tyler Ulis
“We were trying to attack him, because that was the one player that we had a size advantage (over), and also because he’s young. They dig up in you. At the end, and I’m sure Jarvis [Summers] will tell you this when you talk to him, but at the end, the shot Jarvis got at the end of regulation to win it, it’s a hard shot, pretty good look. You certainly don’t want to turn it over, but he had a freshman on him, I wish he’d made that freshman move his feet a little bit as opposed to settling down, but I know he was concerned about getting a look at the basket. We were trying to attack Ulis because of size, but probably more the main thing is because the fact that he is a freshman.”

On the rest of the conference being a speed bump for Kentucky …
“I think a speed bump would be an improvement over how people have talked about us. They hadn’t talked at all, maybe now they’ll say ‘Hey, if this team can play like this and battle, maybe they got a chance.’ Everybody realizes that’s the reason it hasn’t been done since the 70s. Going undefeated is difficult, very, very difficult. This game will help us, because I think it will show our guys ‘Hey, we went toe-to-toe with the best and had an opportunity and came up a couple plays short.’ I think it’ll also help Kentucky, because it’ll wake them up to the fact now we’re in league play and things change in league play.”

Ole Miss Student-Athlete Quotes

#32 Jarvis Summers, G

On how they thought they would play against Kentucky…
“We knew we could come in and compete. Coach (Kennedy) always believed in us that we had a good team. We have a good chance of doing good things, but tonight we just didn't get it done.”

On if they can keep this up for the next 17 games…
“I know we will be looking for the postseason, but we need to take it one game at a time.”

On his turnover near the end of regulation…
“I was trying to pass it to Snoop (LaDarius White). One of the Kentucky players shoved me out of bounds and they came up with the steal.”

#10 LaDarius White, G

On their defense…
“Defense is all about communication. We were able to do that effectively tonight.”

On the team’s effort…
“We gave it all we had all 40 minutes.”

On when they believed that they could win…
“We believed in ourselves from the start of the game. They jumped out on us with a double-digit lead and we told each other that we had each others back and we did. We came back and could’ve won the game, but it slipped away.”