Kentucky-Arkansas Postgame Quotes

Jan. 18, 2012

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Kentucky Head Coach John Calipari

Q. Talk about Anthony (Davis) and how many times you've seen somebody do that?

COACH CALIPARI: Let me say this: This is how he is. This is, in my mind, I walked in and said Terrence Jones, now you're getting closer. You had two or three other balls you could have dunked. You tried to lay up, but you got blocked and you're closer. You're being more aggressive, you're doing your talking more.

I said, Marquis Teague, "unbelievable floor game. The best you've played this year. Unbelievable floor game. Nothing was forced." He didn't make any crazy plays. It was unbelievable.

I looked at Michael (Kidd-)Gilchrist and said you've got to play smarter and you cannot be fouling. I just looked at him and said "You played good again," Anthony Davis. You can imagine, he does what he does every game. That's who he is. I mean, he's getting points, not being a pig. Getting up there and getting the ball.

Q. Compare the influence or impact Anthony (Davis) has defensively and offensively, you know, each side?

COACH CALIPARI: I've coached Marcus Camby, and Bruiser Flint called me the other day and said this kid does what Marcus Camby did for us. He clears up all your errors, and he's back there.

We played Princeton, and the coach that now is at Fairfield was on that team. They ran their best backdoor stuff. He said it was the best backdoor stuff we've ever run. Camby had 11 blocks in that game, and we beat them by 30.

Well, they ran their stuff, but he cleaned up all the mess. This kid does the same. He also does it in the press attack. Now all of a sudden you make any kind of mistake, and we're throwing it to him and he's dunking the ball. That's a tough one to deal with.

So on both ends he does it, and he's getting better. He's making free throws. He's making jumpers. You're seeing more of his game. Again, I've got to tell you, Marquis Teague gets seven points, nine assists, three turns. If we are getting closer to getting him right, if we are getting closer to getting Terrence Jones right, all of a sudden this thing takes on a little different look to it.

Q. You mentioned Marcus Camby, and I've heard a couple other people say he's the best shot blocker in the game for college in the past 10 years.

COACH CALIPARI: Who was?

Q. Anthony (Davis) right now is maybe the best in 10 years?

COACH CALIPARI: How long ago did Marcus play?

Q. That was '96. Can you give us perspective on that in terms of how good he is in the past 10 years if that's accurate in your mind?

COACH CALIPARI: I don't know. Let the season end and you can look back at numbers and find out. I've been blessed that I've coached two of the great shot blockers who are unbelievably nice people who defer to their teammates, are not selfish, don't have a selfish bone in their buddy, neither guy, and I was fortunate enough to coach both of them.

Maybe I can coach Anthony (Davis) three years like I did Marcus (Camby). That would be a lot of fun too. I'm going to try to influence him that way.

Q. What was the difference in Marquis Teague tonight? What was he doing that he hasn't been doing?

COACH CALIPARI: He's really focused and zoned in on how he's got to start playing. He's playing as a point guard versus trying to score baskets. He's still scoring and making free throws. The biggest thing is our team is a totally different team when he's playing.

I want him to play fast but in control. In other words, if they're trying to press go, we're not going to hold back how we play. If it's back there, we're going to grind it out. We're a good grind-it-out team.

Obviously, I would love to play fast the whole game, but you've got to be able to play in the half court, defend in the half court, play offense in the half court, grind out clock and make people make plays late in the clock. He's got to run us and be able to do that, and he did that today.

Q. Can you talk about what you were saying, you saw more from Terrence (Jones), and also a comment on the way Doron (Lamb) played tonight?

COACH CALIPARI: Both of them have made strides. They've both got to keep going. I thought Darius (Miller) made some shots. He had some defensive breakdowns. But they, you know we have a bunch of guys taking eight to 10 shots. That's what we have.

I thought Kyle Wiltjer played well. He made a couple baskets when we needed him. We're making our free throws, which makes the score a little bit more than it probably would have been.

We're a good defensive team. We gave them, again, think about this, in the last two minutes, we gave them three baskets which put them from 38% to 40%, which is why it drives me crazy. Why would you let him go 4-for-4 to end the game, which is basically what we did?

We out-rebounded a team that's really scrappy, and we didn't shoot a whole lot of 3s to do it. Now they went to the zone. I thought we were good versus the zone. I know we looked good. Got the ball, moved the ball. The first time they went zone, Doron (Lamb) nails the 3, and from there, we nailed it inside out. We got the ball in the middle, got the ball on the baseline, so we made strides.

We got better today. This is much better. Let me say this: They weren't like a huge team, but they're just as physical and they play a style that they go after the ball on every play. And we ended up with 12 turnovers, which is pretty good.

Q. Cal, Arkansas played the way they're going to play, and tried to get the tempo especially early in the second half. But the way you all got up and down, does that reinforce even more that you're probably going to see the whole grind-it-out, slugfest-type of games most of the way?

COACH CALIPARI: Yeah. But I'm okay with that. My teams historically, if you want to play fast, we'll play fast. If you make us play slow, we'll play slower. We get breakouts, we're taking them. If you're back there, we'll do it.

You slow the game down versus zone, our zone offense is quicker than a normal zone offense. So we can score on three or four passes, but teams are going to play all kind of ways. When you have seven guys that are all skilled with that basketball and make plays, it's hard. It's hard.

Q. I was wondering if you could tell me what you thought of Arkansas, Mike (Anderson)'s first year, and what was the key to only having 12 turnovers?

COACH CALIPARI: When you ask me that, I've coached against Mike (Anderson) a bunch, so I kind of have an idea of how they're going to play, so I can explain it to my team. They really play a frenetic style. They come at you different ways. You won't know who is coming at you. They're just coming.

The Louisville game prepared us for this game because they played very similar. I will tell you, I watched the Mississippi State tape, and I was like, whoa. I didn't think we could beat them today after watching. That's what I watched today.

I watched the Mississippi tape. They easily could have won that game. What was the other game I watched in the league that they won?

Q. LSU.

COACH CALIPARI: And LSU couldn't even get into anything. And LSU is a good club now, so I would tell you that he's going to win at home, and then they're going to steal some games. They're going to play that style that if you're not ready and you're not physically and mentally ready to play, you're getting beat.

Q. It looked like Darius (Miller) and Terrence (Jones) both were trying to be aggressive right from the jump. Is that what you're looking for from them?

COACH CALIPARI: Yeah, they both were, and I was happy about that.

Q. Why is it important to you in a game that's already decided that the other team made their last four shots?

COACH CALIPARI: Because you take pride in your defense. We have a chance to lead the nation in field goal percentage defense, why wouldn't we? Well, don't worry about it. We'll finish seventh. Well, that's an honor. That's a badge of honor, to be that good.

But what happens is the last two, three minutes of the game, those guys got to guard too, or they're going to end up playing 30 seconds instead of two minutes. So it is important that way.

Plus, I want to see Kyle (Wiltjer) get better. I want to see Twany (Beckham) not breakdown and make mistakes. I want to see that I can go to those guys. Eloy (Vargas), get a block, get a rebound and come up with something. That's your opportunity to show us what you should be doing.

Q. Can you talk about your preparation for Alabama?

COACH CALIPARI: They're going to have tomorrow off. We'll practice, Thursday, Friday, and it's a Saturday afternoon game. It's going to be a war. Alabama's a Sweet 16 team in my mind as is Florida, as is Vandy and Mississippi State. They're all Sweet 16 teams.

So when we play them, they are physical. Last year, they beat us down there. They beat us in the paint. They beat us in the scoreboard. They beat us physically. They beat us a hundred different ways. They're a really good team, they've got terrific players and it's going to be a hard game for us.

FastScripts by ASAP Sports

Kentucky Players

#23, Anthony Davis, F

On his performance against Arkansas…
“I played well. I took advantage of my scoring opportunities. I played good on the defensive end. It was a great night.”

On breaking the single-season block record this early in the season…
“My teammates have been talking about that already. They said we are not even halfway through the season and you (are going to) break the block record. It’s a great accomplishment, especially for a freshman, so I am really proud of myself.”

On when he began to realize he was close to breaking the record…
“I didn’t even know how many blocks I had. I can’t keep up. The game goes so fast. I just wanted to block every shot so they don’t have a potential to score.”

#1, Darius Miller, G

On how the efficiency and up-tempo style of the offense being able to stop the defensive plan of Arkansas will prevent other defenses from doing the same thing…
“I think so. I don’t know exactly, but we’re comfortable playing that way. I feel like sometimes we’re better playing that way just off instincts. If they want us to play that way we can.”

On how much better the team has gotten since the Louisville game on handling tough defensive styles…
“I feel like we’ve gotten way better. I feel like it’s not even close. We struggled with that early on but all of us have made a conscious effort to play tougher, play more physical and try to be more physical with them at times.”

On if he has ever seen anything like Anthony Davis and his record setting amount of blocks…
“No, he dominates games most of the time on the offensive end and defensive end. He makes us a lot more comfortable on the defensive end and makes us play a lot better, especially when he’s back there blocking shots. On the offensive end he opens everything up. He gives us lanes because they don’t want to leave him. He’s a big key to the team.”

#25, Marquis Teague, G

On what type of pace of play he prefers…
“I like to play up and down. When people press me I kind of like that because that requires us to be running and getting up and down the floor.”

On whether he is playing better…
“I feel like I am playing better. I am making better decisions and running the team better.”

On being a distributor…
“It is really important. I am the point guard so I have to get everyone involved and make everyone happy. I need to get everyone the ball where they can score. I want to take what the defense gives me. If I have a bucket, I will take it, and if I have to pass I will do that.”

#3, Terrence Jones, F

On the play of Anthony Davis
“It was a great all-around performance. He was hustling on offense and on defense. When his man would step up, he was available for the lob. He was getting ‘and-ones’ and put backs. Having that ability is what changed the game and makes him such a special player.”

On Davis’ attitude to block everything…
“It’s something that you want to have on your team. It helps you knowing that somebody has your weak side help and it allows you to play more aggressively on defense. It just gives you more comfort knowing that he is back there. It gives you confidence that if you get beat that he will be there to block the shot or at least alter it.”

On dominating the game from start to finish …
“I just think we came out with high energy. Darius Miller scoring consecutive baskets got it started. Marquis Teague running the floor and being the team general really helped us today on our offense to get easy points.”

Arkansas Head Coach Mike Anderson

Opening statement …
“First, congratulations to Kentucky, I thought they played an outstanding game. I thought their size was a big problem for us tonight especially with Anthony Davis, he is a difference maker. No matter how we tried to amount an attack, I thought they did a good job answering with their defense. They did a good job in their preparation and I told the team I’ll take the blame for that. We were playing one of the better teams in the country and they are playing some outstanding basketball. As we’ve seen throughout the course of conference play, everyone plays pretty good at home, including ourselves.”

On Marquis Teague…
“I thought he did a good job taking care of the basketball. I don’t think we applied as much pressure as we wanted to but a lot of that credit goes to them being prepared. He took care of the basketball and got it to the right people at the right time. I thought (Terrence) Jones played an excellent game for them. They had some guys step up and play well for them. Darius Miller, I thought he hit some big shots for them. Of course they limited us to one shot on the glass. We got off to such a slow start and some of that has to be credited to their defense, they have big Anthony (Davis) back there.”

On the danger letting UK run the ball…
“More so in the second half is when you saw them really attacking it. I don’t know if that was a sign of fatigue on our part or them just being in attack mode. I thought that in the first half we just kind of played on our heels. I didn’t think we were playing in the attack mode that we had set out to. I thought that in the second half they really cranked it up in terms of attacking us and we had some breakdowns. They like to play up-tempo and we like to play up-tempo at the same time but we’re a work in progress. I keep saying that word with this young basketball team. This is a great learning experience for our guys. You never want to get beat and I’m probably one of the worst losers you’re going to see out there. But, in order to get where we want to go, you want to play as a team like Kentucky did tonight. They did a lot of good things.”

On how disappointing the final score was…
“We came up short. There’s no shame in what [the players] did. I thought they played their hearts out. Kentucky just did so much better tonight. It’s very difficult to win on the road. For our team, we have to play the perfect game. We have to shoot the ball well. We have to be in the paint, rebounding the basketball. We have to defend. One of the things I thought we could do was get them into their bench but they were able to get such a lead that they were able to rest guys. Anthony Davis played 36 minutes. I thought he played a great 36 minutes for them. As I said, it was a great opportunity and it’s a learning situation for our guys. There are going to be more ball games. We’re going to have to play the caliber teams that we played tonight. [Kentucky] just did outstanding. They did a lot of good things.”

Arkansas Players

#22, Marvell Waithe, F

On the play of Anthony Davis...
“He played really well, but I think it had to do with us as well. Coach (Anderson) does a great job preparing us every day in practice. We made a lot of mental mistakes and a lot of his points were off alley oops where, even myself, we could of easily helped and make a big deference. Mentally, I think we made a lot of mistakes, but great job for Anthony Davis. Coach (Anderson) does a great job preparing us and even though he says he didn't do a good job preparing us, it has a lot to do with us."

On the slow start against the number-two team...
“It’s disappointing, we lost. It is what it is and we lost. We have to go back to practice and we have to work at the things we need to work at. It's disappointing, nobody is happy that we lost.”

On trying to score in the paint against (Anthony) Davis....
“Like I said before, kudos to Anthony Davis but I also think that had a lot to do with us. I think that we are going to make the right adjustments to fix whatever we have to fix before we play another player like him. He's a great player and he made a lot of good plays, but I think it has a lot to do with us and I think Coach Anderson is going to do a good job helping us fix those things.”

#01, Mardracus Wade, G

On Anthony Davis’ performance…
“I think Anthony Davis is a really good player, Coach [Anderson] put me in the position where he could score the ball. He’s active on defense, blocking shots. We respect those types of players and guys like him. I think he just came out and played, he was really relentless on the board; he’s coming in tipping the balls. We tried to put two or three bodies on him and he was getting around us. He played really strong and athletic. He just did what he’s supposed to do to help his team win tonight.”

On the disappointment of a loss…
“Those guys just came in tonight and they played really hard. I grew up watching Coach Calipari back home in Memphis and I’ve been to a couple of his practices. He is just very prepared and he puts his guys in the position to just be who they are and shine. Those guys play with a chip on their shoulder. They go out there and they look so well prepared. They play really well and my hat just goes off to those guys and we need to do a better job on the road. We have to go back tomorrow and look at film and try to correct a few things that we made mistakes on and try to learn from this.”

On playing against Anthony Davis…
“I think it was really tough. Looking at him on TV he’s really tall and lanky and you don’t think he’d be that physical but actually that guy is pretty physical. He gets in there, he’s relentless. You hit him one time and he’s just going to go back into you again. He gives a second and third effort. He’s always on the move. He’s always on attack. I went down there one time and he just told his guys, ‘Just bring him in here, I’m going to block everything,’ and when you have a guy that plays with that kind of mindset, he lets you play with that type of relief on your shoulder, knowing that you have a guy like that down there that’s going to help his team out like that. Like I said before, my hat goes off to those guys.”