Kentucky-South Carolina Postgame Quotes

Feb. 26, 2010

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Kentucky Head Coach John Calipari

On Patrick Patterson...

"I am so proud of him. I got mad at him once tonight because he reverted back to one handed tips and rebounds. There were three rebounds if he had gone after with two hands he would have gotten them all and gone double-double with four blocks. He is a monster. One of his misses was a dunk but he caught the ball with one hand which means he did not have enough strength to turn around and dunk it. I am still so proud of what he is doing. We needed him to play like this. I would like for have 25 points and 12 rebounds every game. I want him to shoot the ball."

On Darius Miller ...

"I thought he was tremendous. I thought Daniel (Orton) was tremendous too. We need them and Patrick (Patterson) to play as well as they did. I thought he was aggressive. He took good shots. There were no timid shots. Darius played well. Now he just has to keep it up with tough road games in hostile environments. Daniel has been working on his free throw shooting. We will throw him the ball every time if he is making free throws. I thought he defended and did well. He had big numbers tonight too."

On South Carolina's rebounding ...

"They had 10 in the second half which is good news because last time they had 10 each half. This time they had one at half time. If we had ended the half right we would have been up 16 or 17. We have made mistakes sometimes with our endings, but that is due to our lack of experience. The rebounds South Carolina made were from our big guys helping and we did not get in there and mix it up or our big did not check out and they jumped over our back and tipped the ball."

On offensive efficiency...

"We were trying to post it every single time down the court. That is what we wanted to do. We thought we could get to the rim. We tried to open up the lane a little bit. When Eric Bledsoe went back in and played at a different pace you saw they player we need to have. I tried to make a point that if you miss a shot, we are a great rebounding team; we will go get the ball. I wanted to see if we had improved. I will be honest; we still did not play great but we played well enough to win. South Carolina played hard. They played the way they had to play they just did not make the shots they made in South Carolina. We also played better offensively today. We missed 12 lay ups in the first half. We still have a way to go. We have room to improve."

On defending South Carolina and Devan Downey...

"South Carolina shot 38% from the floor, they shot 20% from the three, and we out rebounded them by 16. We are happy. I am not worried about stopping one player. I wanted us to make the game hard for him and then go and play their other guys. Downey went 9 for 25. When you take 25 shots you will make some. We did a pretty good job. We were much better at pick and rolls because our big guys were up higher. We also brought Patrick (Patterson) up front instead of our five at times. We also rebounded with the guards. We make it hard on other teams."

Kentucky Players

#33, Daniel Orton, F

On beating the only team that beat you...

"It is a little sweeter. We have gotten a lot better. We just had to come back to prove it. One of our main focuses was their offensive rebounding. Coach Calipari said if we allow them two or less offensive rebounds in the first half then we should be pretty well off."

On Patrick Patterson's performance...

"He has played a lot more aggressive then he did in the first part of the season. He is getting the ball more so he is scoring a lot more. Pat is a really strong player. Josh [Harrellson] said `We get to see the old Patrick come out'. "

On your play...

"My offense is getting a lot better. I am playing with a lot more confidence. When [DeMarcus] Cousins comes out we can't lose on offense and that is one thing that we have been focusing on. We have been working on it and I am gaining a shooter's confidence."

#54, Patrick Patterson, F

On his play the last few games...

"I have just been more active, doing what coach (Calipari) wants me to do and doing what my teammates need me to do out there on the court. Just being more comfortable, and taking my time in the post. Luckily the ball has been dropping in the basket and my teammates have been believing in me. We have also been working hard in practice."

On how much a difference it makes for the team when he (Patterson) is very productive...

"I think it makes a huge difference. Especially when DeMarcus goes out, and we need somebody to score the ball inside I can step up and do that. Daniel is doing a great job of that (scoring while Cousins is on the bench) as well. It definitely helps the team out."

On if it is his duty to step up during a game, because he is the upperclassman...

"Yeah, I know I have to perform well and go out there with a lot of energy and just play. I have to come in every game, every night and play ball. I know I need to put up points, block shots, play defense, grab rebounds and just have a great game. I feel like I have to do that (stepping up in the game) because I am the veteran, the older guy out there on the court with the most experience and I should be doing that."

#34, DeAndre Liggins, G

On trying to keep the other four players on the floor in check ...

"We did an OK job of that. They got some offensive put backs, I think that Lakeem Jackson got some of those. Overall, we did a good job. I struggled guarding (Devan) Downey because of his size, but we got the win and that is all that mattered."

On Patrick Patterson...

"He is very humble and we need him to play well every game. He is trying to be that guy and we are hoping that he just continues to play well."

On his performance tonight ...

"I got stuck up on a couple of plays due to miss communication and Coach kind of got mad. I don't think that I played well, but overall I guess I did fine. It was not my best game."

#1, Darius Miller, G

On how he feels that he played tonight ...

"I think that I played alright. I played better then I have been. I just came out and played more aggressive offensively and defensively."

On seeing Magic Johnson ...

"That was crazy, he is one of the best players ever and for him to come in and talk to us before the game was great. I am happy to be able to talk to someone like that and meet someone like that. I was shocked to see him."

On the team getting blocks and rebounding well tonight ...

"We were trying to not give them easy baskets or easy layups. We were all helping off our man and trying to help out teammates. I was able to get some blocks from that. We have been focusing on rebounding since we have played them because they out-rebounded us bad last time. I just try to get my body on a man and be aggressive."

South Carolina Head Coach Darrin Horn

Opening statement ...

"We knew coming into the game the difference is transitioning and rebounding. [Kentucky] is as dominant a team as I've ever seen in those two areas combined. We knew that was the key coming in and that was what we were able to do the first time we played. Tonight, we just didn't do the job we needed to in those two areas to give ourselves a chance. I thought our guys fought, we cut it to six with the chance to cut it to five on Johndre Jefferson's put back, but they were just too deep. They got easy inside baskets from their post presence with [Patrick] Patterson, [DeMarcus] Cousins, and you can put [Daniel] Orton in there. It was the difference in the game for us. The positive thing is to see how Lakeem Jackson played the way he did down the stretch at the end of the game. What a tremendous amount of fight and tremendous amount of competitiveness. That is what we want our program to be about. That is what we are trying to build at South Carolina and I think we feel good about the direction is headed, and we take Lakeem as an example."

On the difference in the first and second half ...

"The biggest key for us in being good on the offensive glass is good organization and guys knowing where the shots are coming. We took some quick shots and ill-advised shots in the first half and that makes it hard for our bigs to get there. One advantage we do have is our bigs are probably a little quicker than theirs and that's why we had some success on the offensive glass. In the second half, we were much more controlled and took better shots, and it gave our bigs a better opportunity to in terms of knowing the shots go up in time and being able to get them."

On Patrick Patterson ...

"I think Patrick Patterson is terrific. He is one of my favorite players in the league and country. I don't know why anybody has ever said anything about him all year long not playing well. He does all of the little things and he is tough. I've never seen that kid not play hard, ever. He is capable of doing what he did tonight in terms of offensive production. I think the fact that he hasn't done that a lot is a credit to the depth and strength of this team."

On keys to the game ...

"They posted everybody on their team at one point I think. Especially when Devan Downey had two fouls. We knew that and we knew that in the first game. You aren't going to take everything away, so that is why the key still comes down to transition defense and rebounding, in my opinion against Kentucky. That stretch where we closed the gap in the second half, they weren't getting those. They were getting some post ups, but they weren't getting as many put backs, they weren't getting some transition, and we were getting some good shots on the other end. Those two things are the keys to playing them. They are going to be good inside and anybody we play is going to be better than us on the interior. That is not a news flash to us, so the difference is transition and rebounding."

South Carolina Players

#30, Lakeem Jackson, F

On the difference of this game from playing at home...

"We just didn't follow our game plan. We slipped up on a couple things and the crowd got to us a little bit on a couple of possessions. Those are probably the biggest things."

On the Rupp Arena crowd...

"It was really loud. It's probably the loudest place I've played in. Mostly it was the things that we went over but didn't capitalize on such as points in the paint. I think they had 56 points in the paint. We stopped them in transition that was probably the main thing we were looking for."

On Patrick Patterson and DeMarcus Cousins...

"They are really big guys. I didn't block them out and they had second chance shots."

#2, Devan Downey, G

On the game and the final outcome...

"I thought we fought, but it kind of got away from us at the end. We lost by 20, but if you watch the game it didn't seem like it was a 20-point difference. We fought, but they just had a couple of runs at the end."

On what South Carolina had to do ...

"We have to take care of the ball especially when the ball isn't falling. But you can't control the shot falling, so we just kept trying to take good shots."

On difference between the game in Columbia and the game in Lexington ...

"It was just like we expected. We knew they were going to come out and play off so much emotion. We knew there were going to be runs and everything, coach told us. The keys to the game were transitions, rebounding and getting good shots."