Kentucky-Vanderbilt Postgame Quotes

Feb. 12, 2012

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Kentucky Head Coach John Calipari

Opening Comments:

"This was two teams slugging it out, it really was. [Vanderbilt] wasn't going away and we weren't going away. We made some shots; they missed some shots; we won the game. Hats off to Vanderbilt fans. It was a great environment. It is why we do what we do, both players and coaches."

On the Play of Kentucky's Marquis Teague:

"It was great. He did great. He broke down defensively twice, but kept playing."

On Playing a Close Game after Several Big Wins:

"We need all of this. In every huddle, I kept saying this is great for us. It is what we need. To be honest, I would rather we be up 23 points. They are an execution team, a veteran team, seniors. They played like that. We got better today."

On the Play of Darius Miller Down the Stretch:

"I told him the three he made was the play that got us going again... I tell my guys that it doesn't matter how they play the whole game, it is the last three or four minutes...and he did that."

On Kentucky's Play:

"It was a good win in a hard-fought game... Hats off to Vanderbilt. Basically, they beat us in the second half... They caught up with threes. In the huddle, I kept telling my team to make them beat us with twos."

On Vanderbilt Missing Their Last Nine Shots:

"I will have to watch the tape. We are good defensively, but it may have been them [missing shots] too... Lots of people had this as a [loss] for us."

On Having a Week Off Before Playing Again:

"It will be a little different than last time we had a week off before playing Indiana... We will do tape work on Sunday, practice Monday, take off Tuesday, on Wednesday we will doing something special, practice Thursday and Friday so we will be ready for Saturday's game. It is late in the season, so they don't need two days off... We will change it up and doing something special on Wednesday."

On How Kentucky's Players Handled the Unusual Bench Configuration:

"It was hard to communicate. I knew it would be. I told Marquis Teague that anytime he was confused to just pick and roll, so that is what he did."

On Vanderbilt Being a Tough Environment to Play in:

"Every game we play is like walking into this... We get the other team's best shot and after the game, there are 25 cameras... Any of the places we have been end up being like this. We handled this game like we have other and will handle future games the same way. On our board, I tell the team to love the road, love this, relish this."

Vanderbilt Head Coach Kevin Stallings

Opening Comments:

"Congratulations to [ Kentucky]. They made a few more plays than we did. It was a pretty good college basketball game if you didn't care who won. Our guys hustled in the second half... We fought hard. We rebounded hard. They just made a couple more plays than we did. We're very disappointed."

On Whether the Game's Hype Led to Vanderbilt's Slow Start:

"It's hard to contain [our players'] emotions with all of the `Game Day' stuff going on."

On Vanderbilt's Second Half Comeback:

"Kentucky came out fighting [in the first half. In the second half,] we did a much better job of taking care of the ball, running good offense, and getting good shots."

On Kentucky:

"They're a really good team. They're hard to play against. They had to play tonight to win."

On Kentucky Forward Terrence Jones:

"He just played really well. He had a great first half and really hurt us."

On Vanderbilt's Zone Defense:

"I wouldn't have gone to it any sooner... We went to it in the first half and they dunked on us. The zone was good to us in the second half."

On the Last Four Minutes of the Game:

"We had several opportunities. We just didn't take advantage of them."

On if He Ever Thought the Game Was in Doubt:

"[I thought we were going to win] the whole game. I never thought we were going to lose, not even at halftime. I thought we'd come out in the second half like we did and get on top of the game."

On the Fallout from the Loss:

"It'll motivate us to prepare harder and try to get ready for the next one. A season and [your] life is how you respond to success and failure."

Vanderbilt Player Quotes

Jeffery Taylor

On struggling in the first half of the game:

"I think we played well for the first 9 minutes of the game. Then there was an 8 or 9 minute stretch in the middle of the first half where we couldn't score and we couldn't get a stop either. It's tough to come back from that kind of deficit, especially playing the number 1 team in the country, so I think digging ourselves that hole cost us the game."

On playing with the hype that comes with College Gameday:

"We're all Seniors and Juniors, the majority of us that play a lot of minutes, so we're not little kids that get too excited and then can't show up and play. I think we just couldn't get buckets for that 8 to 9 minute stretch and then we didn't come up with stops. I don't think it had anything to do with getting too hyped up for the game. "

On the loss:

"I feel bad for the fans. The fans always come out and support us. There were people that were out at 5 in the morning and I feel bad for them. I feel like we let our fans down tonight. Obviously, it was a great opportunity for us to come out and get a signature win, it is the last time I get to play Kentucky at home. And losing the game, I think we're all competitors here and I feel like we felt like we had this game, we were up 4 points with 8 minutes left in the second half, so it's disappointing on a lot of fronts. "

Brad Tinsley

On the game:

"We kind of dug ourselves into a hole for the first half, down 13. I thought we did a great job fighting our way back. We knew we had time to come back in the second half and I thought we took advantage of a lot of things, we played good defense and we took great shots, and that's what got us back in the game. We just didn't really execute down the stretch. "

On being unable to score in the last 4 minutes of the game:

"I thought for most part we got pretty good shots in the last 4 minutes. They made some great defensive plays, some blocks here and there, being in the right place. For the most part we executed what Coach [Stallings] told us to do and they just made some plays."

Festus Ezeli

On going up against Kentucky's Anthony Davis:

"There's more physical guys, but he's just very long. In the first half I think he got the better of me. I was definitely thinking about his shot-blocking abilities, so I was trying to maneuver a little bit and I wasn't really getting my shots. He's good at what he does."

On the difference between his first and second half offensive performance:

"It was tough, but I think in the second half, I understood what I needed to do. The first half, a lot of it was just bad turnovers from putting the ball on the floor and the guards caving in. I just have to do better next time."