Kentucky-Arkansas Postgame Quotes

Feb. 27, 2014

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Kentucky Head Coach John Calipari

Q. (Question regarding if free-throw shooting was the reason UK lost the game.)

COACH CALIPARI: They beat us to loose balls. We missed 10 one-foot shots. We missed all free throws that mattered. We have a lead late, we're leaving timeouts, not executing.

We took two steps back today. Give them credit, they played hard. They turned us over, but we turned them over. They had 20 turnovers. We left two timeouts. At one point I sat down and I would not speak to them. What are we running? I already told you in the timeout.

We took a big step back. Great lesson. Had our chances to win. They made offensive rebounds. They miss a shot, the ball comes, we got no one. It was frustrating.

A lot of stuff today, all the things I'm talking about, player-driven. Everything was coach-driven today. There was not one player-driven thing today. That's what happens in that kind of game. When the other team is fighting, you got to be challenged by it, coaches, this is what it looks like.

Q. Looked like some guys were hesitant to shoot from the perimeter. Second straight game where you struggled to make anything away from the basket.

COACH CALIPARI: Our guards didn't play well. I mean, you could say shooting. I could tell you dribbling. We had three guys that had 11 turnovers between them. So our guard play was horrendous today.

Q. Some people projected a two-team league over the course of the weekend.

COACH CALIPARI: This should be five teams with maybe a sixth. That's what this league should be.

The sad thing is when we beat each other, the league is soft. Really. When everybody beats each other, it shows the parity of their league, how strong their league is top to bottom.

This league should have five to six teams in.

Q. How disappointing is it at this time of year to have a team that takes two steps back?

COACH CALIPARI: Disappointing. But it's done now. We'll have to deal with it. We have one practice and go to South Carolina. It's almost like: Next, let's see.

The difference with the Florida game was there was so much to be encouraged about, we could move on. This one is almost like you're waiting, what's going to happen in this next game. Hopefully they understand and take stock.

The biggest thing is you have to take responsibility. We throw the ball late to James Young in the corner, really, with timeouts, talking every timeout. You have timeouts, don't throw it away, don't put anybody in a bad position. The guy that had to get open didn't attempt to get open. So we throw the ball to James with the timeout. Turn it over, that's the ballgame.

None of the three want to take the responsibility. That's what young guys do. Can't alibi. Every one of them, ‘My fault, I should have done this,’ you're right, but I could have done this. You know, ugly.

Q. With all the talk about that celebration after the LSU win, what that would do, did you think this team had turned a corner?

COACH CALIPARI: You know what, at halftime I needed to take more guys out. Dakari (Johnson) just missed a bunch of one-footers. A couple guys shouldn't have been in the game. They should have been backups and we should have played other people. I knew that.

You're trying to nudge them to get them to go. You know, all I can tell you is disappointing. I didn't expect it. I thought they'd come out and play. They didn't. The other team played harder than they played. The game got physical. We couldn't make one-footers. It's physical, so what? There's bumping and grinding. Then don't play.

You know, you can't miss 12 one-foot shots. The guy bumped me, grabbed me, hit me in the face. So what. Let someone else play.

Q. You talk about how this was a good lesson tonight. Are you starting to worry that your team is running out of time to learn from these lessons?

COACH CALIPARI: No, we're still good. Just like anybody else, you have a bad game and now you move on from it. We had one at LSU and we just had another one. You know, in both games we had our chances.

The thing that disappointed me today is even with the lead, we had two guys that gave up on the game. You know it because you watched and you saw. They gave up on the game.

You got to just keep fighting. It doesn't matter how you're playing; it's about our team. That's what we're trying to bust through right now.

Q. You've talked a lot this year about having fun.

COACH CALIPARI: This was the game to have fun in because of how they play. They're running and trapping and scrambling. There's no real plays. Pass it, move it. One-on-one. You can get out and run.

This is the game to have fun in. We took 76 shots. 20 of 'em bad, but...

If the game got physical and they played really hard, you're not having fun 'cause they're playing harder than you. But this was the game. You know, you outrebound them. This is the game to have fun. There's no plays. They're trapping. Just throw it and run, go. But if you're not into it, if you don't have that energy, if you're not into team, you can't have fun. I don't care what kind of game it is.

Q. You've talked about that, having them complement each other, huddle the right way, touch each other. Are you running out of buttons?

COACH CALIPARI: We're young. We're 18- and 19-year-olds. The biggest thing is take responsibility. As long as you take responsibility and know you need to change, you'll change. If you listen to the clutter telling you it's everyone else on the team and not you, now you don't change.

Just take responsibility, know what happened, let's make some changes and let's move on.

Q. Can you explain the number of lobs that you attempted that weren't successful? Is it just guys trying to make an easy play?

COACH CALIPARI: They gave us layups. They backed away and the guys were trying to throw lobs when they weren't there. A couple we didn't run where the lob would have been there. We weren't getting out and running. We were jogging the floor.

But the reality of it is they backed away, took away the lob. We've had that before. We've had teams do that to us. You shoot layups. Just go in and shoot a layup. You don't need to. Or if they're all in the lane, you won't believe this, come to a jump stop, pass it to somebody. They crowd the lane, you got to make that pass.

We got a little anxious today. Like I said, it's a great lesson for us. Hopefully they take stock in what happened, individual players take stock in how they played. Look at what you did. Look at your numbers. Look at what you did defensively.

We played defense. There was about a five-minute stretch I thought, Now we're playing. About a five-minute stretch. Then all of a sudden two guys started walking around, heads went down. I'm like, You got to be kidding me.

That's where we were in this game. Again, give Arkansas credit. They competed and battled. Neither one of us shot the ball very well, but they made their free throws.

It's really disappointing, 1-2, 0-2 in crunch time, in a game like this. You know what, this is where we are at this point. We're not going to be great every night out. This is one of those efforts that I'm not happy about, but it's what it is.

Q. What did you think of Willie (Cauley-Stein) being active?

COACH CALIPARI: Willie was good. Willie tried. Offensively rebounded, went after balls, blocked shots, had a presence. Again, this may have been a 15-or 18-point game if Willie wasn't in there.

Q. (Question regarding Julius Randle.)

COACH CALIPARI: He was. He played too many minutes. I'm trying to get guys to sub themselves. They just don't get it. The longer you're in there, you're not going to play better, you're going to play worse. If you're in there for numbers, you end up missing free throws, missing shots, not getting the key rebounds. You don't look good. You don't only hurt yourself, you hurt your team.

Less minutes. Sub yourself. Get yourself out of games. Wasn't just him. We had a couple guys that tried to play too many minutes.

FastScripts by ASAP Sports

Kentucky Student-Athletes

#30, Julius Randle, F

On the team taking a few steps backwards tonight…
“That’s the cost of losing. I guess it’s true. We did take a couple steps back. There were a lot of things that we didn’t do today that we have usually been doing. It’s hard, but we have to stay on-course and stay with the process.”

On if he saw a performance like this coming…
“No, I never see a loss coming. I never go into a game thinking we are going to lose. I never go into a game thinking that we are not going to put the effort out that we should and do the little things. We just didn’t tonight.”

On putting together 40 minutes of intense defense…
“That’s just something that we are going to have to figure out. We know it’s there. It’s just something we have to figure out.”

On if he is tired of answering questions about getting over the hump…
“I don’t know if it’s about me being tired of answering the question. I just want to see us reach our potential. We are not where we need to be right now.”

#15, Willie Cauley-Stein, F

On bouncing back from this game …
“Just forget it and move on. There’s not much you can do about it. There’s no reason to soak in it, just remember the feeling. It’s getting too close to crunch time. You can’t dwell on it and then do the same thing the next game because you’re thinking about the last one. Next thing you know, you’re way too far behind and there’s no return from that.”

On if his efforts were wasted …
“Not wasted. There were plays I should’ve made that I didn’t make. I thought everybody did alright. We just had some mental lapses late in the game and we started off sluggish so that didn’t help.”

On the slow start …
“I really couldn’t tell you. It just seems like the energy wasn’t there like normal. It wasn’t there from the jump like we tried to express.”

#22, Alex Poythress, F

On why Kentucky has difficulty with this Arkansas team…
“They play hard. They’re really scrappy. They played a great game hitting all their open shots, got to the foul line a lot. They just played a great game.”

On Arkansas performance tonight…
“Everybody is going to play their best game. We knew that coming here when we were coming into the game that they were fighting for their lives. They just played harder than we did.”

On Calipari saying they got tired…
“No, I don’t feel tired I just feel like I wish we could have had a couple minutes left. Its nothing you can’t fix. You would hope that in the year we would have this stuff down but we have got some time so hopefully we can work it all out.”

Arkansas Head Coach Mike Anderson

Opening statement …
“What a great ball game. It wasn’t a thing of beauty from a shooting standpoint. There was outstanding defensive play tonight. Neither team wanted to give in to the other team, and it took overtime. If you have watched us play basketball this year you would know that we have played in many games like this. It was good to see us come out on the right side of the ledger. It was a gutty performance by our guys. I think defensively we just locked in. Kentucky is a tremendous team. Willie Cauley-Stein I think was single-handedly keeping Kentucky in the game. Julius (Randle) is going to do what he does. We made James Young get in foul trouble and I think that helped. It was a team win, and I think there were some unsung heroes. Kikko Haydar came in the end and made two big free throws to make it a two possession game. Alandise Harris had some big buckets today. Coty Clarke was really good. You don’t win in this particular place unless you do some good things. I think that we did that.”

On the planned to play the Harrison twins…
“They do a great job of penetrating and going to the basket. We did a good job of making them work and shoot jump shots. I think our guys did a good job of making them take tough shots. They are great at driving and throwing lobs. I think our defense was on the same page. When we had breakdowns someone came and helped out.”

On sweeping Kentucky…
“Our guys played with a lot of confidence. Coming into this game our guys had already played Kentucky and our guys are familiar with them.  I knew it was going to take an outstanding performance, especially defense. That is all we talk about. We talk about not getting annihilated on the glass and we did that for a period. Fatigue was not a factor and we were ready to get on the loose ball. Kentucky missed some free throws that allowed us to send it into overtime. Defensively we did what we had to do and made plays. It was a big game. Every game is a big game. I have had the opportunity to be in this building quite a few times. Many times we went away and really got smoked. We were pretty good tonight and time ran out on Kentucky. It has been 20 years since Arkansas won a game here. I guess you can look at other teams and its been awhile for them to win here too. We were fortunate and now we have to turn our attention to Georgia.”

On finishing the game strong…
“You have to have short-term memory. We are down to three games left in the season. We can’t have a backlash on this game. This game is over and there is nothing we can do about it. Our team is playing a Georgia team that beat them in overtime. The game continues to get bigger. You have to come with tremendous effort each and every night. I was proud of our bench. That has really been the strength of our team.”

Arkansas Student-Athletes

#4, Coty Clarke, G

On making all of their free throws …
“That’s part of capitalizing at the free throw line. We needed those going into the stretch. I think we were perfect from (the free throw line) so that’s a good thing on the road.

On what this says about Arkansas …
“Staying poised, staying with each other through adversity and everything. We’ll worry about Georgia now before we worry about postseason.

On adjusting to UK driving to the bucket down the stretch …
“We know that was probably their offense, was to attack, attack. They’re a good rebounding team, so when they miss it, Willie (Cauley-Stein) and Julius (Randle) are there to clean it up and so that was our main focus. When they attack, put a body on them and rebound.”

On Kentucky missing free throws and Arkansas making free throws …
“I’d say it was for us. They got tired and you could tell when they were going up and missing. We were able to capitalize. For us making our free throws, that’s good and staying perfect at the line. You need that going in against a team like this on the road to maintain. That’s what we were able to do.”

On what he saw in the past possession …
“I was watching the ball and staying with my man and I saw him drive. My first mindset was that he wasn’t going to pass. So, when he brought it back up, I timed it and was able to get a hand on it.”

#2, Alandise Harris, G

On withstanding the late UK run …
“We just had to stay poised. We’ve been down, we’ve been up. We just had to make plays to get us to where we needed to be. We aren’t worried about postseason. We’re worried about Georgia on Saturday.”

On containing the Harrison twins …
“We wanted to keep them out of the lane. They’re good players, you can’t just stop them from being in the lane. You just have to play good D and have good help. If we deny them the ball down low, then we stop them.

On sweeping Kentucky and what it means …
“It means a lot. Coach (Anderson) just told us that we haven’t done that in 20 years. It’s something like history that nobody has won here in 20 years and we’ve never swept them. It’s kind of like a little history. We are moving on to the next game.”