Kentucky-Florida Postgame Quotes

Feb. 26, 2011

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Kentucky Head Coach John Calipari

FastScripts by ASAP Sports

Q. Florida had next to no second-chance points. How well do you think you guys competed, especially rebounding?

COACH CALIPARI: “Well, that was great. When Chandler had one offensive rebound, that's a big day for us. You know, I put the challenge to Darius, just saying: ‘You're as good as anybody in this conference. Please, this is your game to show it. And he showed it. I mean, he's -- the thing for him now that's a problem, we are going to expect that kind of effort. Because you're capable of it; now, come on, bring it every game.’

But it was -- overall, we played fast without turning it over much. We played a team that's a Top-10, 15 team, whatever they are, and we rebounded the ball, defended pretty well. You know, we got caught up in some stuff late, but we had enough of a lead to not worry about it.”

Q. You spent most of yesterday talking about needing to want it more than the other team. Did you see that today?

COACH CALIPARI: “I did. I did. And not from just one guy. Again, a team full of guys has to play that way. We still had some breakdowns. Terrence played too low. We were talking all week about play high, big guys, play high because they try to duck you in. He was low and he got his fouls because of that.

There were a few pick-and-rolls where we came late and didn't do what we were supposed to do. But the reality of it is we just made the game hard for them. After watching the Arkansas game, we told you, they would put us in a thousand pick-and-rolls, and that's what they did today. Billy is a great coach and knew what he was doing.

But we made shots today. Darius, when you get Darius and Terrence getting some easy baskets, you're going to shoot a high percentage. So all of a sudden now we are good enough defensive team to try to create a gap.

Q. When you first got a lead in the second half, they made a run at you and kept coming at you; how did you feel you responded to that?

COACH CALIPARI: “I thought we were fine. I thought we put Brandon out and held the lead and even extended it, it shows me that's a point in the game where you just have to go and figure out how we are going to play when he's not in there because it got him fresh for the finish in the game. You know what I'm saying, you're not down, and you don't have three guys playing poorly, and you have to keep them on the floor so that he carries us, which is what he was doing at Arkansas. But I thought Terrence did some good things. Josh had 12 rebounds, how about him, 12 rebounds. I mean, just went after every ball.”

Q. (No mic).

COACH CALIPARI: “No, it's not what I did. It's what he does.

And Darius, you've got to figure out from within how you can step out and put it on auto pilot and play. The players know on this team, if you get it going, I will go to you 10 straight times, and that's what we did. You get going, I'll keep throwing you the ball.

Now, you know, again, if you get it going and all of the sudden you do something crazy, shoot a fadeaway, go nuts; no, I'm not going to you. That's not why I'm doing it. I'm saying, go at him. He just kept going at him and at him.

And I thought Brandon Knight we are not saying much about him, but he goes six assists, no turnovers. Can you see that he's running our team better and better and better? Just there was one play I wanted to grab him. We were up 10 or 11 and he throws it ahead to Terrence near halfcourt, and Terrence -- why? There's four minutes left in the game, pull it out. If he was ahead of the pack and had a layup, you throw that. And he even heard me say it, when he threw it, he looked at me, like, what, he has a layup, and the kid lost it. Now there you go. That's why you don't do that. But he's learning. I thought he was terrific the whole game. And he defended. He did a good job.”

Q. What has you excited about your team as the postseason nears?

COACH CALIPARI: “Well, there are a couple of things. One, the good news is the NCAA Tournament is not played on the road. As a matter of fact, we'll have so many people there, it will probably feel like we are at home. So that's a good thing for this team.

We have not responded, and let me say this -- my teams historically have won close games. They have not, this team, which comes back to me. Come up with a play; do something to help them down one; come up with something.

So again it comes back to me coaching this young team trying to figure out, how do I help them because that's what my job is. How do I help them do what they are trying to do to finish off a game on the road. Obviously I haven't done a good job of that.”

Q. Florida scored two or three times on in-bounds plays. What's going on there?

COACH CALIPARI: “I don't know. I'll watch the tape and probably punch the TV. The one play, Doron just left the guy. We were going to switch. They kept coming right off the screen and catching it and shooting it on the wing right in front of the ball and so we were going to switch. And we told Doron, stay home, Doron, you're going to take the guy at the rim. And it was Parsons. Parsons catches the rim and he doesn't guard him and I'm like, you have to be kidding me.

But they scored -- if they could have taken it out about 15 more times, they probably could have won the game, because they were scoring every time on out-of-bounds plays. I almost went zone.”

Q. In the first half when you were switching Lamb and Hood and Lamb had two fouls, how do you think Hood played and how difficult is it for you to play with guys with such a short rotation?

COACH CALIPARI: “We have to figure it out. I didn't feel comfortable not having him in our offense and he made that big shot and I took him right back out. Our game, whichever game is a four-point game, that basket is big.”

I thought Jon Hood did fine. Now, he broke down on a side pick-and-roll, and we talked all week on make the guy come off the ball screen, especially Parsons. And he turned him down and shot a layup. That was a critical play. And that's when I said, okay, let's give this a try. He deserves a chance, too. Jon did well. Jon did fine.”

Q. Talk about No. 500.

COACH CALIPARI: “All I was worried about was No. 20. That's all I was worried about. I'm not -- that stuff is, you coach long enough and you survive, I've been fired once, but you survive, you win some ballgames.

But I appreciate all of the players and staff that I've had. Hopefully I've helped them develop and reach their dreams but the reality of it is I was only worried about Florida. This one is a huge game for us this. Wasn't like some little game. This was a huge game.”

Q. Could you elaborate as to why it was such a "huge" game?

COACH CALIPARI: “Because you're talking a great basketball team that's well coached that's coming into our building with an idea that they are winning this game, and I've got a fragile team at times on the road, and now you wonder, are they going to be fragile at home.

And let me tell you, the shoot around today was our best shoot around of the year. That's what they don't get. The best practices lead to the best games. The best shootarounds lead to this kind of game.

But that means, everyone is going hard. You know, who the first guy in the shoot around was today? Doron Lamb. Now normally he's last. The shootaround at Arkansas, I almost threw him out of the shootaround and you saw how he played.

So at least he's learning. He's getting it. He's understanding. And I'll say, this I told him before the game, I believe in my team and I like my team. I think my team is as good as any in the country. Now we just have to finish and get better. Terrence has to be more consistent. Doron has to be more consistent. Give us something, Darius, you're capable of it. Keep running the team, Brandon. Jon Hood, if I need a few minutes from you, give us some. And they did that today and so that's why we win a game.

Kentucky Players

#55 Josh Harrellson, F

On his play overall...
“I believe I played 40 minutes tonight. I think we came out and executed for 40 minutes on offense and defense. We came out in the second half, got on a big run and we never looked back again. I believe this is the biggest win (of the season).”

On how good this team can be...
“We can be really good. Even tonight some people didn’t play as good they are, but a lot of people stepped up and played different than they normally do. If everyone comes and plays collectively on one page, I believe we can be one of the top teams.”

On the play of Darius Miller...
“He played out of his mind again. The last home game (vs. South Carolina), he did the same thing. Hopefully he does this for every game from here on out. It makes it easier on everybody else.”

#1 Darius Miller, G

On the key to his success tonight...
“I had a lot of open looks. I was just trying to be aggressive and take open shots. Really, I was just playing aggressive.”

On if he was surprised by his play...
“Like I said, I had a lot of open looks. My teammates did a good job of distributing the ball when I was open. Brandon (Knight) did a good job of coming off of screens, getting the ball back to me and stuff like that. Really, like I said I had a lot of open looks.”

On the game-changing play where he stole the ball and then hit a 3-pt shot...
“I was just trying to get us another possession and another opportunity so we can keep the lead. Honestly, I was just trying to get the ball.”

# 20 Doron Lamb, G

On how huge this game was on their ranking…
“We all knew that it was (going to be a good game) so we had to pull out early and try to get the win.”

On  how this game was a make or break game…
“I don’t think it was a make-or-break game, but it was a big game for us. We wanted to come out here and show everyone that we are still a great team, and hopefully we can win the tournament.”

On what people think of the team right now…
“People are probably saying that we aren’t a great team, but we are learning how to win on the road. Right now we have to learn how to keep it together and play together.”

# 12 Brandon Knight, G

On when Florida made the other run…
“I think it came from a little bit of a relapse. I think it helped us to maintain that lead.”

On coach trying to give him a rest…
“ It (rest) helps me mentally and physically. After sitting on the sidelines, I see what is going on and then I can come back in and make adjustments as an individual.”

On what he watches when he is on the bench…
“I just watch what is working and what is not working. What was working was we were grinding it, we had a lot of emotion, and coming off the post and getting shots. When I came in, I wanted to try and keep grinding the ball and also use a lot of the clock.”

Florida Head Coach Billy Donovan

On Kentucky junior guard Darius Miller’s performance…
“I think he’s one of the most complete players in the league. For whatever reason he has not necessarily played that way on the road this year, but he’s played that way at home. We tried to recruit him some. He’s a good player. I think the biggest difference for him from earlier on in his career to now is he’s really improved his shooting and now when you press up on him he can go by you. There were a couple of times where we had a smaller guy on him and he was able to take advantage. But certainly he was a huge difference in the game and I think last time we played them (Josh) Harrellson and Miller and even (DeAndre) Liggins and (Doron) Lamb, those guys really didn’t do too much. I actually thought defensively we did a pretty good job on (Brandon) and did a pretty good job on Terrence Jones. But Harrellson I thought did a great job on offensive rebounding. I thought Miller gave them a great lift scoring and I think to their credit they did make some very, very difficult, tough shots. They made some shots and there were some plays around the basket. About 10-12 minutes to go in the game our frontcourt just couldn’t quite finish around the basket that I thought were some opportunities to really stay within striking range. And then once it got to eight or 10 we were constantly playing from behind.”

[Not audible]…
“They’re a team that really tries to drive the ball hard, I mean that’s what they do. I thought we did a better job in Gainesville of guarding the ball than we did in this game, in particular on Miller. He really drove us hard and he made some tough shots. There were a couple times where we did play pretty good defense and we got lifted in the air and we fouled and sent them to the free-throw line. But definitely I thought the difference in the game was it was a one-point game at the half. I was not totally pleased with the way we came out to start the second half, they went on that run. (Kenny) Boynton knocked down a couple 3s which got us right back in the game and we were close. Then, like I said, right around that 12-minute mark, that 10-minute mark, I thought we had some plays around the basket that we just didn’t finish that would have maybe answered some of their runs. Then, with some of those missed shots, they score and the lead goes from two to eight, nine, 10, it’s in that range where we had some opportunities in the front court to finish some plays.”

On Florida’s shot selection, specifically in the first half…
“I think one of the things on the road is because of your offense being away from you, you’ve got to get into offense and I thought a couple things to start the game; one is I thought we got the ball inside and when we did get it inside I didn’t think our frontcourt guys were very patient. I thought we rushed and went to quick. We bobbled some balls, we had some angles. Patric (Young) got called for a travel, Alex (Tyus) bobbled the ball out of bounds one time, Vernon (Macklin) got the ball inside a couple times and we didn’t convert. I didn’t think our shot selection was that bad as much as we didn’t convert when we got the ball in some areas of the floor whereas I thought Kentucky did convert when they did get the ball in the areas of the floor they wanted to.”

On Florida sophomore guard Kenny Boynton gaining confidence with his game…
“He played very, very well. I think the one thing with him is he shot the ball well. That’s part of it. That kept us around because again, we’re down by seven coming out to start the second half and he makes a switch and goes zone after a timeout and knocks a 3 from the top. Then we ran a play for him and he hit another 3 from the top and then he made a couple other shots that kind of kept us around. But I don’t want him as a player to judge or evaluate his performance based on just how he’s shooting the ball because you know what, he had to do a lot tonight. He did a good job guarding (Brandon) Knight and he also was productive offensively.”

Florida Players

#1, Kenny Boynton, G

On his offense…
“I just basically was taking what the defense was giving me, sometimes they would run over screens and I was just bumping back. It’s something that we worked on in practice yesterday, moving on screens and I just knocked down open shots.”

On playing against Brandon Knight…
“At the end of the day, I’m trying to get a win and he’s trying to get a win and we’re playing hard for both of our teams. I think he played a great game, but we’re just trying to play hard and do what is best for our teams.”

On the one-on-one match-up with Brandon Knight…
“It is pretty hard to stop a player coming at you one-on-one, full speed going the full court. The majority of their plays were those one-on-one type plays so you have to try and stay in front of your man and depend on your help.”

On how this affects them going to Alabama…
“I think it is going to make us stronger. A loss makes us stronger, we’re going to watch film and realize what our mistakes were this game and I think we are going to come out ready to practice hard. It is just going to make us stronger. We have to focus on every team one-on-one. Alabama is our team to focus on now and I think we have to come ready to practice tomorrow and get prepared for them.”

On Florida being able to contain Terrence Jones…
“I think in practice we focused on Jones and Knight. That was our game plan. Coach (Billy Donovan) told us before the game in Gainesville, those three or four guys run in double figures and were going to be keys to the game. I think tonight they hit big shots. All of those guys, (DeAndre) Liggins, (Doron) Lamb and (Darius) Miller.

#25, Chandler Parsons, F

On how differently Kentucky played today versus down in Gainesville…
“They shoot the ball incredibly here. The atmosphere here at Rupp Arena is special. They are very good here (at Rupp Arena) and are tough to beat.”

On Kentucky’s 3-point shooting…
“We expected it (for UK to shoot the ball well from 3-point range). We knew they shoot the ball well and have explosive talent. We just really needed to guard the ball better. We needed to do a better job of containing their dribble-drive offense.”

On how difficult it was to matchup with Kentucky…
“They are very difficult to matchup with. They can put the ball on the floor and have guards who can throw it down inside. They have a very good all-around offense. At home, they are very tough. They make shots and their crowd really gets into it. They played well tonight.”

On Kentucky’s rebounding…
“Harrellson grabbing six (offensive) rebounds made it tough down there. Rebounding is an effort thing. We just needed to play harder than them and keep them off the glass. Their big guys did a great job of crashing (the boards) tonight.”