Kentucky-Florida Postgame Quotes

Feb. 10, 2009

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Head Coach Billy Gillispie

On what was the plan on the final timeout before Meeks hit the 3-pointer to win the game ...
"We only had seven seconds on the shot clock, I believe so we just wanted tomake sure that the guy that probably had the best chance to score for us hada chance to do something with the ball. We told him to dribble to the left andshoot an off balance shot. It was probably a luck shot but I really do believethat maybe sometimes you deserve them once in a while. This team played reallyhard and Florida played great and hard as well. The two teams really battlesand it was a game with two very good teams. We got lucky and made a shot at theend."

On Patrick Patterson's status ...
"He is doing an x-ray right now and that is all we know."

On home court advantage and how big the Kentucky fans were tonight ...
"I don't think that they have taken any heat from any of the players or coachesand we always appreciate the fans. I have said many times that I don't know howanyone could have better fans in the world than we have here at Kentucky. Theway we have been playing you couldn't of been too disappointed if they didn'tshow up. They definitely came here ready to rumble and they definitely rumbledand made a huge difference in the game. I know that it was a very exciting gamelast year on senior day but I don't know if I had heard them better in the timethat I have been here. The thing about it is that we really needed them the most.We have obviously been struggling a little bit and we needed them the most. Attendingis not good enough and we needed them and we are very appreciative for them showingup tonight and giving the effort that they did. I know that 11 o'clock is a littlebit late for most of them."

On the team's toughness tonight when Patrick went out of the game ...
"That is as tough as we have played in a long time and we haven't played tougherthan that this year. We have had some period where we have played tough but nomatter how many times we turned it over in the first half we were playing tough.It wasn't easy for the most part for them to score baskets and we gave up somethings because we made some not very smart defensive plays in the first halfand we let them lay it up a couple of times. For the most part, for 40 minuteswe were about as tough as we could be against a really good team."

On how the young players handled the crunch time at the end of the game ...
"I think that they did great. They did what we asked them to do and we got tworeally quick baskets out of timeouts and Jodie made a three and then a two onthe hand off. They executed very well and in those two plays I think that wewere six down and it wasn't looking to great for us. We executed those playsand everybody played great. Most importantly you look at Kevin Galloway and Ialways say this, be prepared and maybe your chance will come. Players never knowwhen a coach is going to put them in the game. They don't really control on whetherthey get to go into the game and too many times guys want to play and when theydon't get to play they have the wrong attitude about things. Our guys are reallygood about not doing that and Kevin Galloway's attitude is as good as I haveever seen for a junior college guy that came in with a lot fan fare. He has hadso much success over his career and hasn't played as much as he wanted to playbut I have been preparing him that perhaps his chance will come and when it doestake advantage of it and he did tonight. He played great and as good as all theother guys did. Jodie made the game winning shot and has been so good for usthis year. Galloway was the major difference for us in the game."

Kentucky Players

#13, Michael Porter

On the final minute of the game...
"Darius hit some really big free throws for us and got a big stop and then Jodiecame down and did his thing. I was looking right at the basket. I didn't lookat the ball in the air. Then it went in and it was a big shot."

On how he prepared for this game...
"I've been shooting a lot of extra shots. That always helps your shot in thegame. And they were falling."

On how tough a win seemed when they were down by six ...
"It was a really tough time, but everyone stepped up. Coach has been tellingus that the cream rises to the top and everyone stepped up and played big inthose last minutes. We pulled out a big victory."

#55, Josh Harrellson

On whether he felt the need to "step up" after Patterson left the game ...
"I felt the burden to try to carry over what he was doing and play as hard asI could and do whatever I could to help the team to win."

On always being ready to play ...
"It's tough to go through practice every day and to compete and never know ifyou're going to play. You always have to be prepared. You never know when somethingis going to happen, like an injury. You never know so you have to be ready."

On how Coach Gillespie said it was his best minutes all season ...
"It is the best minutes I've played. I was pretty productive and I think I justpicked up where Patrick left off. I had the right mindset to play hard."

# 23, Jodie Meeks

On Kentucky's last play of the game ...
"Coach Gillispie called a play where he wanted me to go get the ball. I triedto make the best of the opportunity I had. I thought it was going in but I tooka step back because my left calf had a cramp so I was trying to get the shotoff as quickly as I could. I double pumped and luckily it made it. God was onmy side when I hit that shot."

On teammate Patrick Patterson leaving the game ...
" I never like to see any of my teammates leave the game for injury. Hopefully he will be back as soon as possible. When he left, I was trying to get the team together and refocus so we could get the win anyway possible."

On winning at Rupp after back-to-back losses ...
"The team played as hard as possible. We played 40 minutes of great defense tonight.You have to give credit to Florida. They are a great team and Nick Calathes playeda great game tonight. For us to come in and show some toughness tonight was great."

On the crowd's influence in the game ...
"That's the loudest I've ever heard Rupp Arena. I'm glad they were able to beas loud as they were. I was happy they helped him miss the shots and we won thegame. It was a great atmosphere tonight."

On what this win means to the team ...
"It was a great win. We showed the heart of a champion. Even when we were downwe didn't quit. With the team working that hard to get a win it was great forus."

#3, Kevin Galloway

On tonight's game ...
"It was a good night. All year Coach Gillispie has told me to be prepared andmy chance would come. I've been staying aggressive in practice and working onmy game and now I got my chance to play."

On his passing ability ...
"I have always loved to pass. I try to look for the open man. I have confidencethat he can make the shot."

On being a leader in tonight's game ...
"I don't know if I took the game over. I just tried to be aggressive. Coach Gillispietold us we were being too timid. We needed to attack the basket and the transitions.I just wanted to be aggressive and put the ball on the court."

On finding his comfort zone ...
"At the beginning of the season I was a little frustrated. At the Tennessee gameI found my rhythm and my comfort zone. Since then my coaches have been encouragingme to stay aggressive. When I'm aggressive I play my game better."

Florida Head Coach Billy Donovan

On the game ...
"You realize that for our team that there is so many things that you have tobe on guard for. I feel bad for Nick (Calathes) because without him we wouldhave never been in that situation at the end of the game. Our guys have reallyworked hard and, I have made that comment that they have worked hard. I reallyhope this experience takes their focus level to a different level. When I saya different level, I mean in every little thing we do that if they are not laser-sharpin everything then it could come back and bite you. Nick made a great play andhe was aggressive and got fouled. I didn't really see the play at the end ofthe game but give the officials a lot of credit to make that call at the endof the game. There was no question our free-throw shooting hurt us. Also, JodieMeeks hit two big threes down the stretch was very big for Kentucky."

On the play of Jodie Meeks ...
"You know, I think we did a great job defending him. Jodie is a very classy kid.I recruited him and he is a great kid from a great family. As we were shakinghands at the end of the game he says, `Coach, I was really lucky tonight.' Ialways admire someone who is that humble. He is a great kid and he has had anunbelievable year. He is without question a Player of the Year candidate. Hemade some big shots and I believe we did a good job of defending him. We switchedwhen we needed to switch and had good guys on him. He made a really good shotand I have to give him credit."

On the play of Patrick Patterson ...
"I hope he is okay health-wise. He missed a lot of time when he went down. Heis a terrific low-post player and we tried to do the best job we could defendinghim.

On Florida's defensive pressure...
Our pressure was really good in the first half and we were able to steal the ball a couple of times. We only had one turnover in the second half and forced them to 19 turnovers. We did some good things in our press. We competed and played hard."

Florida Players

#3, Ray Shipman

On Jodie Meeks' game-winning shot...
"It's just one of those shots that happen to go in. We were all in the perfectspot. Coach said the game was well executed. I was on him at the end and we wereswitching. Coach wanted to switch everything because he didn't want Nick (Calathes)to foul. So Nick and I switched and (Meeks) threw up a prayer and then it wentin."

#23, Alex Tyus

On the loss to Kentucky...
"It was very tough. We put ourselves in the position to win and we just couldn'tcome up with it today."

On how tough it was to defend Meeks down the stretch...
"(Jodie) Meeks was very tough. He made some really good shots. We tried to guardhim the best we could, but sometimes it was out of our control."

#33, Nick Calathes

On what was going through his mind in the last few seconds...
"I wanted to knock down my free throws and send the game into overtime."

On his defensive efforts against Jodie Meeks...
"I touched the ball. I even slapped at his hand and he still got it up and madeit."

On his last free throws...
"I just missed them."

On if the missed free throws against South Carolina and Kentucky will affect him mentally...
"No, not at all. I will be in that situation again, and I will be ready."