Kentucky-Vanderbilt Postgame Quotes

Feb. 12, 2011

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Kentucky head coach John Calipari

On committing turnovers when the game was tied...
I don't know if it was that, but there was a three point shot where we fouled, there was a three-pointer in the corner where we're saying `do not leave him.' There was a breakdown late where a guy got beat on a straight line drive and Josh [Harrellson] had to come in and help, which was a layup. With all that being said, we still had a chance to win.

I liked our execution down the stretch. You're in a dogfight. We have a couple guys who don't have that mentality. They don't come up with the ball, maybe they don't attempt to. I liked the way Terrence [Jones] played. He was unselfish; really played well. Josh I thought really played well. That was a tough battle for Josh. We didn't play that bad, but we had the breakdowns and you can't give up...why would you foul the kid? The kid hadn't missed a foul shot. The last play we wanted to foul [Jeffery] Taylor, but we went for a steal instead of fouling him. Now he may have made those shots anyway. But again, that's just inexperience.

I thought Vanderbilt played great. I thought we played pretty well. When Darius [Miller] went down and I had to stick with Doron [Lamb] and I couldn't sub him, I really needed to, he didn't need to be in this game, almost like the game we played against Florida he needed to be on the bench. But Darius was hurt. I tried him a couple times and I looked at him and I said you know what, we're better off, lets see if the kid can turn it on.

On guarding John Jenkins...
There were some of them we were all over. We were playing almost like it was a box in one. Like we did against the kid at Notre Dame, just play him like it's a box in one. But we left him in the corner one time; I don't know what we were thinking. Just help down and we gave him a wide-open three and the one where we came off and we fouled him...I have to watch the tape.

On execution down the stretch...
We came back against the zone and hit the three in the corner and we came back and got the three off the hand-off and that got us back in it. We talked about them going into zone at critical times; he [Stallings] has done it on all the tapes that I've watched. We got the shot that we wanted. We kept telling our guys, when you drive, get it on the rim, don't look to pass it, just get it on the rim. And we kept trying to pass it. I don't know if guys were timid enough that they didn't think they would make it so they passed it, I don't know. But they fought...I'll watch the tape. All I remember is the very end where we gave ourselves a chance.

On DeAndre Liggins being in foul trouble and guarding Jenkins...
He did alright. We took him out and put Brandon [Knight] on him a little bit. Obviously it hurt because he had the fouls.

On Liggins playing with emotion...
Obviously I don't want him to get a technical foul, but he's not the issue for us. He's trying as hard as he can try. Anybody that tries that hard, you can deal with a lot of stuff. Where is the competitive fire in some of the other guys? Where is it? You have to have that competitive fire, a will to win. Don't put your head down to make a shot. Where there's a ball, just go grab that thing and we could win the game on that. Or someone else should have grabbed it. That's the kind of stuff we're dealing with.

On Jon Hood working on boxing out...
You have to do it in a game. Since we're not boxing, you have to come up with the ball. It was a rebound he should have had and kicked out for a three. It's too close of a game; you have to come up with the ball. He's going to have more chances. If Darius [Miller] is hurt, Jon is going to have an opportunity to play.

On if he's encouraged since the losses at Florida, Ole Miss and Alabama...
I don't know. I'll know when I go back and watch the tape. It's hard because I'm not focused on one guy, I'm kind of watching everything and sometimes I am focused on one guy and I'm not watching another guy. We did a lot of good stuff today, we really did. We missed so many wide-open threes; guys just couldn't make them today. One guy is 1-for-5, one is 1-for-4, another is 1-for-4, one guy is 0-for-2. They were wide open. We are the best three-point shooting team in the league, percentage wise, before today. Even though they made them, you would think that we'd make them, and we just didn't. Rebounding the ball against a big team...we only have 8 turnovers, and I'm playing all freshman. In that game, on CBS, in that high level, there was a lot of good. I just don't like losing.

On how frustrating it is to lose close games...
It's just as much joy as I've had when we won a bunch of close games. You go back and say let's look at this stuff. The greatest thing when you win, everything you did was right and if you lose the game, everything you did was wrong. It is a tough environment, a hard place to play. We gave ourselves a chance to win.

Kentucky Players

Kentucky forward Terrence Jones

On playing without Darius Miller after his injury...
He is very versatile. He rebounds, he can an open three, he can guard the wings or the post. He makes good decisions. Mainly it just came down to us having four turnovers and them really not having any in the last five minutes of the game. That's pretty much what lost it for us, us turning over the ball and them not. And them hitting three pointers.

Kentucky forward Josh Harrellson

How bad does the loss hurt...
It's just like the rest of them; it comes down to the wire. There were just a few things we don't do right, a turnover that we don't need and just execution. Tonight we came out and down in the stretch we actually executed like we were supposed to. There was a big three by Terrence [Jones]. We executed 41 for Brandon [Knight] and he made a big three. We just couldn't stop them on the other end. We couldn't really contain [John] Jenkins; he had a great game.

On if this game is encouraging...
I think we really acted mature towards the end of the game. Coming to Vanderbilt is a tough place to play. It's always been tough. Just coming here and executing down the stretch like we did. If we had played a couple stops on defense we would have been fine, but we couldn't stop them, but they couldn't stop us either and we executed everything. We move forward in that step.

On Jenkins making a basket late in the game...
He just scooped it, went under my hand, it bounced around the rim a couple times. I thought it was going to come off and it rolled in. It was just one of those days he was having. I don't think he missed very many shots. He's a great player and he was hard to contain tonight. He had a career night.

On close losses on the road...
These past road loses we have had, I think they hurt worse than this one. We did make strides in this one on the offensive side of it. Coming out and executing down the stretch like we didn't do at Florida, we didn't do at Alabama and Georgia. Coming out and being able to execute at Vanderbilt, it's one of the toughest places to play. It was big strides for a young team like us.

Kentucky guard Brandon Knight

On guarding Jenkins....
He's continually moving. You give him a little bit of space and he's putting it up and hitting it. He's a great player.

On why he was guarding Jenkins...
That was mostly because Deandre [Liggins] was in foul trouble. Dre started off on him, and then when he got into foul trouble I was on him. Whoever was on him was just trying to make sure to get a hand up on every shot.

On late turnovers that led to Vanderbilt points...
Down six is only two baskets. Terrence [Jones] was able to hit a three, then I was able to hit a three so that's your six-point spread there. It was just a matter of getting stops on the other end.

On playing against the zone...
Instead of trying to get the ball on the rim, some of us tried to make passes in the middle of the zone. All we had to do was just try to get on the rim so we would have a chance to rebound or make the shot. We tried to make difficult passes instead of shooting it.

Vanderbilt Head Coach Kevin Stallings

Opening Statement
"Well, I have said it a lot this year, if you don't care who won, that was a great college basketball game. It was two teams going at it toe-to-toe. We had a guy that they had a hard time stopping and they had two guys we had trouble stopping. We endured foul trouble. I am very proud of my team. It was our goal to put them in foul trouble, but it ended up being the opposite. We had to play line-ups with guys that don't play together very often. I am very proud. Our bench was phenomenal [Kyle] Fuller, [Rod] Odom, and [Steve] Tchiengang were as good as I could have hoped for and John [Jenkins] was spectacular. We'll take it. I wish it could count for two, but it only counts 1. And the way this league is, we don't get a lot of time to appreciate our wins. We soon have to turn to a really good Georgia team. I am proud of our guys and how they played."

On Guard John Jenkins Play Elevating Him to the National Stage
"I'll let the media worry about that. He will still get yelled at in practice Monday. He's a great team guy. He runs around and shoots and he does his best on defense. That's what makes his success fun to watch...He's a great teammate and a great kid."

On His Teams Play
"Tinsley and Festus made huge free throws at the end and that was important...It was a fun game and a fun atmosphere and I am really proud of our guys. Steve [Tchiengang] doesn't usually play in the forward spot and he played it better that anybody...He played it beautifully."

On John Jenkins Playing 40 Minutes
"I took him out in the first half...At one point [Basketball Staff, Dan] Muller told me he'd been in a long time and we needed to get him out. I told him we'll get him out tomorrow."

On the Importance of Beating Kentucky
"We were tied with them in the league. This was a big game where standing are concerned. It keeps us in the league race. Kentucky has a high rank and RPI so this was a good game for the entire thing...Home games are also critical. We did what we needed to do."

On Kentucky Forward Terrence Jones' Play
"I mean this in the most complimentary way, he's a beast. He's a great player in every way...He's a handful. We knew he would be before the game and he's not the only player [Kentucky has] that's a handful."

Vanderbily Players

Vanderbilt guard John Jenkins

On the game:
"I watched a lot of tape on them going into the game. Liggins is a great defender and I tried to find ways to get open and my teammates did an outstanding job, best of the year, setting screens and just trying to find me open in the right spots and I was able to knock them down tonight."

On leading the team to a win over Kentucky:
"I told Coach (Stallings) this must be a dream or something because this can't be real. Being from here you see a lot of great games against Kentucky and just to be apart of that legacy now is just something special."

On his sprained shoulder:
"It definitely hurts right now, but during the game I feel alright. During half-time I was extremely hurting and I put heat on it and right now I'm hurting really bad too, but it's something that I've got to play through."

Vanderbilt center Festus Ezeli

On John Jenkins energy during the game:
"It gets everybody going. When John gets going, it gets the crowd going, it gets the bench going, everybody starts."

On improving his foul shot:
"I work on it so much, I'm in the gym shooting. He (Steve Tchiengang) was complaining yesterday because I was hogging up the line because I was on the line for about an hour shooting free throws. When I'm practing it I'm thinking in my head about those situations, game situations."

Vanderbilt forward Steve Tchiengang

On playing at forward for the first time in a game:
"Coach always talks to us about being able to step your game up and play beyond our role when a guy goes down and I think we did a great job these past few games."

On maintaining energy after a tough game Thursday night:
"Coach (Stallings) told us there's no tired until three o'clock. You have to that's why we came out here, to play in big games like this and I think we did a good job today and got the victory."