Kentucky-Florida Postgame Quotes

Feb. 7, 2012

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Kentucky Head Coach John Calipari

Q: On Florida’s 3-point shooting ...

Coach Calipari: It was probably a combination of (Kentucky and Florida). They missed a lot of open 3s that they normally make. Our goal was to try to hold them to eight 3s, that’s what we were shooting for. We figured if we held them to eight 3s they would be middle 60s and we thought we could score a little bit more than that and that was our whole goal.

Q. On guarding against Florida’s 3-point shooting and what they did in practice to limit them from long range ...

Coach Calipari: We only had one day obviously to prepare for it. That's the problem with playing Saturday/Tuesday, you only have one day to prepare. It's awful. I mean, it's just ridiculous. But we'll deal with it. But we went and just said, ‘okay, we're going to start off those guys, made it hard.’

Again, (Kenny) Boynton came down and made those shots at the end. He's capable of doing it.

Q. What is it about Michael (Kidd-Gilchrist) that in your biggest games he plays his best basketball?

Coach Calipari: He has a fierceness to him. I told him this game, this was a rebound game. The reason was, Bradley Beal rebounds. He's like their leading rebounder, like a percentage behind (Patric) Young. That's why we put Michael (Kidd-Gilchrist) on him and we didn't put him on (Erving) Walker.

Let me say this. We're talking about Michael (Kidd-Gilchrist). We're talking about Anthony Davis. What about Marquis Teague? 12 points, 10 assists. He is playing, getting everybody shots. He ended the half Doron (Lamb) 3, Doron 3. He got him those shots. That gave us some breathing room, up 12.

He played well. Doron made shots. Darius made shots. We played pretty good.

Q. So many people talk about (Anthony) Davis and his shot blocking. Can you talk about the way your guys played defense, that your defense is not just him blocking shots?

Coach Calipari: Well, we got a long team. Michael Gilchrist, Terrence Jones, Doron Lamb, Darius Miller. I thought Kyle Wiltjer followed the game plan today. They made a basket on him, but he did what we told him to do.

The other thing with Kyle, you got to guard him. At the end he tried to get the ball in the basket. He should have kicked it out. The reality of it is you have to guard him. I'm in my office, look out the window, he's in that gym shooting. He's spending that extra time.

I don't know how I got on to Kyle from that. But we're playing good defense from a lot of different positions.

Q. Talk about how much fun it is for you to watch the guys.

Coach Calipari: My thing to Michael (Kidd-Gilchrist) was I want to make sure he's smiling. A couple games ago he wasn't smiling. I'm like, ‘You should be smiling every game.’ I told him and Anthony (Davis), I said to both of them, ‘You guys understand, these guys love playing with you because you don't command the ball. You defend. You rebound. You block shots. They get to shoot all the balls. What's better than that?’

I said, ‘But, let me say this to you. They get all the accolades, and they got to deal with that stuff, too.’ And our team is. They know those two are playing well, but we got a bunch of other guys playing well right now too.

Q. Why do you think Michael (Kidd-Gilchrist) is not smiling more?

Coach Calipari: He read something you wrote. I don't know what it was (laughter).

I would tell you he's a good kid and he takes everything. He reminds me of Derrick Rose in that he's tougher on himself than I am on him. Like he came running over during the game and says to me, ‘Coach, I'm sorry.’ I said, ‘Stop, just have fun and go play.’ He's a great kid.

Q. Can you talk about Marquis (Teague)’s defense?

Coach Calipari: He had one play where he broke down, kind of stopped on a play, they had a 3 in the corner right in front of our bench. Short of that, he's terrific. You can't dribble around him.

I'll tell you where he's great: in pick-and-roll defense. It's hard to screen him because he is a pit bull.

Q. Florida was hanging in there with you guys. For the last 10, 11 minutes of the first half, they really struggled to put the ball in the basket, then on into the second half. What changed?

Coach Calipari: I don't know. I'll watch the tape and figure it out. I was happy with how we played. We scored the ball pretty well, a good percentage. We made 3s, we made free throws. We had 13 turnovers. A couple of them sloppy, a couple of them created by Florida.

Look, Florida is a top-15, top-10 team. Someone had them ranked as high as number five. I believe they are. They just didn't shoot the ball well today.

We'll go down there, they'll probably make 20 out of 30, and we'll go home with our tail between our legs. They got size. (Erik) Murphy is better than he was, (Patric) Young is better. They have those seven, eight guys. (Bradley) Beal is legit.

They are a good team.

Q. Cal, Michael (Kidd-)Gilchrist, is he the longest striving transition offense guy you've had?

Coach Calipari: I tell you what, when he gets that ball in the open court, he takes two strides, he's about NBA line in two strides. He's laying it in through traffic, tucking the ball. He's pretty good.

We always tell our guys, if he's ahead of you, you must give him the ball. If you don't, you'll come out of the game, because he's always going to make something good happen.

Q. Can you talk about how your team has executed out of timeouts?

Coach Calipari: I don't remember every timeout. But we did some good things. You know, when you shoot a pretty good percentage from 3 and from the 2, you're executing, you're creating good shots.

But the other side of it is when they spread the court out on us and teams choose to depress us, you start dunking balls. That's one for one. That's pretty good offense.

You know, Terrence (Jones) had a couple. But it was good. Like I said, it was a good effort. We out-rebound them. They get 18 offensive rebounds. They had 10 at half. That was like a sore spot. I thought a couple of our guards should have come up with balls that we didn't.

Q. Your team just beat a top-10 team by 20 points. You have Vandy on Saturday. Is this a team that will respond well to that kind of success?

Coach Calipari: We start three freshmen and two sophomores, and Kyle Wiltjer is a freshman off the bench, and a senior. Everything is new to us. I have no idea. That's why you want to go see. Let's find out. Let's see.

They'll have tomorrow off. We'll practice Thursday. We'll practice Friday. Then we go to Vandy. We play a 9:00 game. Is it GameDay up there? It's nuts, doesn't need to be GameDay. I heard they changed the benches to the sides. Did they? They didn't. See, that's a problem.

Q. Along the same lines, was this in any way a measuring stick game for you, just to see where your team was, considering the opponent?

Coach Calipari: No, because they didn't shoot it well. What we need to do is have a team come out and go nutty on us and have us have to respond to that and then hold on to win a tight game.

Again, it will a different game to Florida, I promise you. I know what it will be down there. But it was a good win. I'm glad we won. I'm glad we stretched it out a little bit. But the reality of it is, you know, they're a terrific team and they're going to be fine.

FastScripts by ASAP Sports

Kentucky Players

#23, Anthony Davis, F

On tonight’s game...
“We did a great job. They like to shoot 3’s, almost thirty a game. We held them to 6. We did an outstanding job.”

On whether it was weird for him to see all the posters in the stands...
“It was great. Indescribable, really. It wasn’t weird. I was laughing. It is great being up for defensive player of the year. It’s real cool.”

On whether he expected a 20-point win...
“No, not at all. We just did a great job on defense holding them. Only six 3’s. They weren’t making any other shots. When they shot 3’s it was usually misses and we ran out on the break for easy buckets. We were knocking down shots and the lead just kept building.”

#20, Doron Lamb, G

On Florida coach Billy Donovan saying UK is a "cut above" the rest of the league...
“We aren't really saying we are the best team in the league. We are just going out there every game and playing to our game plan and playing our best, trying to win every game.”

On what it says about UK to have just beat a top-10 team by 20 points...
“We are just sticking to our game plan, make them drive to our bigs and let them block their shots, and contest the 3s. We played great offense and we made a lot of shots.”

On how Kentucky has played in its last four games and if fans should expect that in every game...
“I hope so. We are playing with a lot of energy at the beginning of games. Everybody is just playing great and everyone is doing their role.”

#25, Marquis Teague, G

On if the team made a statement tonight ...
“I think we made a big statement. We just wanted to come in and show that we can beat anyone and we can beat a team by a good amount (of points). So, we just came out and played hard.”

On Michael Kidd-Gilchrist’s big game ...
“(Kidd-Gilchrist) steps up for the big games and he gives it his all. He steps up for every game, but he is a different person when we play better teams. He just steps up to a whole different level.”

On Marquis Teague’s defense against Florida’s Erving Walker ...
“I just wanted to contain (Erving Walker). I know he is a quick guard and he can shoot the outside shot really well. I just wanted to pressure up on him, try to keep him in front of me and keep him out the lane to prevent him from making plays for others. Especially since (Florida) has a lot of shooters.”

Florida Head Coach Billy Donovan

On the breakdowns defensively ...
“I thought they shot it very well. I think you are always in a bind personnel-wise with them on the floor. You know, the two 3’s at the end were probably ones that we could have done a little better job. I think one was in transition and (Will) Yeguete got caught on (Doron) Lamb and he probably gave a little bit too much help in the post. As the ball was going back out, he was late, and then we tried to switch to zone there because there was not a whole lot of time before the half was out. He got sucked in a little bit too far on the wing and they kicked it to him, and he knocked down the second. But, you know they shot the ball well. You have to give help in the post because of (Michael) Kidd-Gilchrist and (Anthony) Davis and (Terrence) Jones. Just their length and their size, you just don’t want those guys individually off (unaudible) , so you have to come off here and there, and they shot it well, so you have to give them credit.”

On attacking Kentucky’s defense ....
I don’t know if we necessarily attacked their defense great in terms of a high level of intelligence there, but I did think that we had some decent looks. One of the things that I thought that hurt us, at least in the first half was I thought we had a lot of plays in around the basket that I thought we could have finished, that we didn’t finish, that were on the rim, and that we had pretty clean looks. And then, I thought we had a couple of plays where we probably could have made the extra pass, had a little bit better ball movement. But, it was probably a combination of their defense, and then we missed some shots.

On how good of a team Kentucky is ...
They are very, very good. There is not one thing you do necessarily against them that is a formula to win. I think good shooting, and maybe the stats necessarily don’t prove out that way, but (Doron) Lamb is a very, very capable shooter, (Darius) Miller is a capable shooter, I think when (Marquis) Teague has his feet set, he is a solid shooter, (Terrence) Jones every once in a while can throw one in on ya, but I think they had the right guys taking 3s in terms of when they were open. But then you also have to account for the backboard and you also have to account for post-ups and things to the basket. Certainly shooting the ball well on the road helps, but we didn’t shoot it well. I thought some of our turnovers there in a stretch, some of their transition hurt us. I also thought when we came out of the half, we got off to a good start, we scored the first four points, and then I thought they answered the bell. They made back-to-back 3s, I think (Doron) Lamb, and (Marquis) Teague both made 3s, so they kind of regained the lead very quickly.

Florida Players

#23, Bradley Beal, G

On whether Florida could have done a better job guarding against the 3-pointer...
“We weren’t doing what we were supposed to do the entire game. We were helping off shooters that we shouldn’t have been helping off of. Our whole defensive principles were wrong throughout the whole game. That’s not the way we play. We played terrible. They murdered us.”

On what made it difficult for him to get shots...
“That’s just part of their coaching. It was great coaching and great scouting. They know that we are a 3-point shooting team and they took our best strength away from us. We have to find other ways to be able to put the ball in the basket and we didn’t do that.”

On what he would have ideally done to counter the way Kentucky was guarding them...
“Probably just moving more without the ball. Just staying aggressive, basically, at any chance I got the ball just try to stay aggressive and try to make plays to help the team out.”

On whether there were any reasons why Florida’s shots weren’t falling...
“That’s just a part of the game. We’ve been going through that almost every time we’ve played on the road. We weren’t making shots and that’s our main goal right there. Our biggest strength is making 3’s and we weren’t making them. Our defense was terrible so, really, it was an overall totally bad game. All credit goes out to them so we just have to come out next game, be ready and prepared.”

#1, Kenny Boynton, G

On what was missing in this game besides the shooting...
“The defense. Anthony Davis was getting lobs the whole night. Usually when we’re off we’re playing defense and at least getting stops and staying in the game. I think they kept coming back at us transitioning and with offensive rebounds.”

On whether this game shows just how far ahead Kentucky is in the conference right now...
“You could say that. They’ve proven it. They’ve beaten good teams by 20, the last teams they played. We just have to get better. We’ve got time before we play them again. We just have to come out and work.”

On what changed during the first half when Kentucky began to take the lead...
“I think our offense took the energy out of us defensively. I think we were trying to drive and take tough shots and they just kept blocking them. We were coming down, one pass, shot. We never started running our plays. We should have. They were getting transition points. I think in the first half, defensively we did good. It was the transition and offensive rebounding that killed us.”