Kentucky-Florida Postgame Quotes

March 7, 2010

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Head Coach John Calipari

On Eric Bledsoe's play ...

"He was good. I thought that Darius (Miller) was terrific although he got hung up on a few screens and it is good to see Darnell (Dodson) pull up and we all know that he is making shots. We had a lot of guys do a lot of good stuff. Daniel Orton had a big block when they were still hanging around and he is making free throws now. I liked the start of the game. Those guys (the seniors) could have played (more) and I wish that we were up more at the half so that I could go back to that group to finish off the game but it didn't happen that way. We let them back in it. Florida is an NCAA Tournament team. When you go through all that they (the selection committee) are looking at, they are a tournament team. They have to win at least one in our league tournament and then they are in. If they win two games, it is a lock that they are in and I am routing for them. They never quit and went right at us. They outrebounded us and we are supposed to be the best rebounding team in the country and they outrebounded us and got 19 offensive rebounds. We shot the ball well and defended well, but we did some things that gave them a chance."

On going through his first senior day at Kentucky ...

"It was hard and the one thing that was really hard was seeing Mark Kreb's mother. We pray for her everyday and I got emotional just seeing that alone. I have been with these guys, I want to say 11 months, but with this summer and all you do it has been about six months. I just respect all of them and what they stand for and their families. When I saw Mark's mom, that hits you right in the gut."

On pulling out the game down the stretch ...

"We had two or three plays that we have been talking about like saving the ball under their basket and we throw it right to them and it is a three-point play. We don't rebound on a free throw and it is another three-point play and it goes from 18 to 10. You just sit there and tell them that these are things that we cannot do. I thought that Florida outworked us at individual positions which gave them a chance. I keep coming back to our goal has got to be playing harder than that other team. We have to. If not, we are going to disappoint ourselves somewhere along the way."

On what Patrick Patterson means to the team and the program ...

"I have been with him a short period of time, but you are talking about a young man that is going to graduate in three years and a young man that has done everything that he was asked to do. They asked him to play under the basket a year ago and he did it and didn't say anything. He made the choice to come back (to UK), I didn't talk him into it. He probably had people trying to talk him out of it, not me personally but maybe people that were close to him and now all of a sudden I am asking him to play out on the floor and shoot three and guard twos. He is doing things that he has never done before and he says, `Whatever you need.' Then I bring in a group of freshmen who are really good and immature. He is fine with it, you think about that. He could have said, `This is my team and I am getting all the shots.' He never did it. That is why we are 29-2."

On if he is happy with where the regular season ended for his team ...

"I am just glad that it is over. I just wanted it to end. I told them that we are playing for that other tournament. That is why we play. I have never coached a team that worried about a conference championship or a tournament championship. Every team that I have coached is worried about postseason and where we are going to get seeded. What happens is that instead of playing for that championship, you are playing for something bigger. I am not sure that we are quite there yet, but we have done everything that we were supposed to up to this point. We are playing for a one seed."

On John Wall saying that he might not be the best shooter but when it matters he is going to make them ...

"He said that? What I like is that someone would say that and then go into the game and back it up. Wow. I had two guys prior to him at point guard and everybody said were average shooter and they worked hard and got better and made the baskets they had to make. They are now doing well at that other level. I imagined that he worked so hard that will never come into play in his career. We will never be saying anything about it (his shooting). He is a great kid and is taking on leadership and talking in huddles and being aggressive with guys. We need it."

Kentucky Players

#1, Darius Miller, G

On having three really strong games in a row...

"I'm just trying to stay aggressive for the most part. Everyone is focusing on the other guys and it makes room for me to attack."

On did coach say anything to you to get you going ...

"No, he didn't really say much just to spend as much time as I can in the gym, get extra work and keep up my confidence. He was really positive about everything like he has been all season."

On if he is concerned about how the team struggles to hold onto leads...

"That's happened a few times this year and we really need to take care of that because it might not work against other teams we really have to come out and play the whole forty minutes against. Coach has stressed that for a while and hopefully we can go out and take care of that."

#11, John Wall, G

On what he thought when Mark Krebs shared a moment with his mom...

"We were happy for Mark more than anything. We were so happy that he got a scholarship offer. We are so happy for him and that he got to be on the team. To see his mom out there when he walked out meant a lot. He was pumped in warm-ups."

On the fact that some teams may feel like they have a chance in the tournament...

"That's what Coach Calipari said. Some teams get a run and they feel like they can win games. We haven't done our best to put pressure on them. We needed to do a better job at not letting them think they have a chance."

On how he feels going into the first SEC tournament ...

"I expect it to be crazy just like the regular season. We just have to be prepared. We had to use these games to keep getting better and at the same time use them to help us be prepared for post-season play."

#12, Mark Krebs, G

On if he thought he was going to get back in when the lead was 20 points ...

"I was hoping we would just keep the lead up and get them down 25 and it takes a lot out of the other team (to get back in the game). When we were up 18 I thought I had a shot of getting back in. I just wanted to make a shot and I thought I did but it didn't go. It was just really fun going out there and playing, especially with Ramon (Harris) and Perry (Stevenson) for the last time."

On if he can hear the crowd as he is getting ready to take a shot ...

"I'm getting used to it at the beginning of the year it was really bad because when I shot I thought I was doing something wrong. Now I'm just kind of used to it and every time I shoot I think it's going in and that's a good thought."

On where does the moment before the game with his mom rank ...

"It will be up there with my all time greatest moments. I can't think of anything more. It's an honor to put on the uniform and do this and be here for four years. It will rank way up on my list because my whole family experienced it. My family has been through a lot and most families have, but to be able to experience something this special it's awesome."

#54, Patrick Patterson, F

On his emotions for senior day...

"I looked over at my mom and saw her crying, my grandma was crying and I thought I saw my grandpa crying. I was trying to hold back the tears. I looked at them and then the fans screaming and just tried to soak it all in. It was a fun day. We got the win, I was just hoping that we could continue playing like we did in the first half in order for the seniors to play more and those who do not already play enough. "

On what does he think of his team right now?

"I think we are great. We still need to improve on defense and communication. The pick and roll got us a few times today. We know we are strong on offence and we know we can push the ball down the court. We still have areas to improve "

On how he felt about changing his role as a player after his first two years...

"There was not much concern. I knew what Coach Calipari wanted to do and that he would help me. Day in and day out at practice I was on the perimeter working on my shot, right off the bat he had me as a ball handler. It was tough at first but as I progressed I caught myself realizing that I liked being on the perimeter better."

Florida Head Coach Billy Donovan

Opening statement...

"I think in the first half we certainly dug ourselves a hole. I thought we finished out the first half pretty strong. We had the opportunity to cut the lead to seven there, [Kenny] Boynton's shot was in and out. We went into the half down 10 and I thought we fought our way back into the game. I thought there were some plays that they [Kentucky] made with regards to loose balls and a couple of offensive rebounds on missed free throws that gave them some second opportunities. But over all, I though our guys competed pretty hard and played pretty well. They really tried to do the things they needed to do to put themselves in a position to win.

On Florida's game plan...

"[Erving] Walker picked up two fouls in the first half and we used him sparingly. [Ray] Shipman I thought gave us good minutes. [Vernon] Macklin picked up some fouls in the first half and [Erik] Murphy came in and gave us good minutes. Chandler probably didn't have one of his better games today, he probably turned it over too much. But, I thought Shipman picked up for that and did a good job. You have to sub sometimes because we are only really playing seven or eight guys. For Walker and Boynton, for the amount of minutes they play, you can't just keep them out there 20 minutes when they have to guard [Eric] Bledsoe and [John] Wall. Sometimes you have to sub and maybe you don't want to sub. I thought Walker really got on a run there in the second half, and the way he was pushing it and playing defense, he probably got fatigued. He got two pretty good looks at key points at the top that he just didn't knock down."

On facing Patrick Patterson and DeMarcus Cousins...

"I thought our guys battled. We were in a little bit of foul trouble. I think the biggest thing in playing against those two guys [Patrick Patterson and DeMarcus Cousins] is you just can't give them angles to the basket. You have to try to make them finish over top. Cousins has great pursuit of the ball. In my opinion, he does a great job pursuing the ball on the glass, which allows him to get fouled and to the free-throw line a little bit more. But, I thought we did a pretty good job of staying between he and the basket. Our guys battled and competed as well as they could up there. They really made an effort to go to Patterson down inside for a stretch there. He scored a couple of times, which is what he is going to do. He is a good player. "

On Darius Miller...

"I thought he played great. I really admire him, I've always liked him. I always talk about guy's intentions. His intentions -- he always plays the right way. He comes out there focused. He certainly hurt us from the three-point line. He knocked down a couple key three's in some key situations, especially in the first half. But he really played well. He does a lot of good things off the bounce. He is probably a better shooter as he has gotten older. I don't know if he was a great three-point shooter, but it is certainly an area of his game he has improved on."

Florida Players

# 33, Erik Murphy , F

On being able to get to the basket more in the second half...

"I just came in focused, tried to give a lot of energy and tried to do all the right things to help us win. Unfortunately, we fell a little bit short. I just tried to play hard."

On playing for the first time in Rupp Arena and what he thought of the atmosphere...

"It was crazy, it was wild. I know it's a great tradition, you can feel it. As soon as you walk in, you can feel the energy out there."

On matching up with Cousins and Patterson but still being able to grab six rebounds and score 11 points...

"People like that, who are big, strong guys you just have to play smarter than them and kind of use handles and just do stuff like that, so that's what I tried to do."

On how tough it is when the team falls behind early and then makes a comeback...

"I wouldn't say it's tough, I mean it's just sometimes things like that happen. It has happened a couple times the last few games, but that's just basketball sometimes and how it works.

#25, Chandler Parsons, F

On having a moral victory because they played a close game in Rupp Arena...

"There is no moral victory for us, a loss is a loss. They are the third best team in the country and we feel that we can play with anybody on their home court and their hostile environment. "

On Florida's scoring drought late in the second half...

"It was tied up with five minutes to go, so it is anybody's game. I think we made some "not so smart" plays. I know I turned the ball over a lot, and different guys driving the lane and not making good decisions with the ball. Credit their (Kentucky) defense, those guys are really strong and long down low. They block shots and they don't allow second chance opportunities. They (Kentucky) are obviously a great team."

On changing things with just a few games left in the season...

"We have to continue to execute our offense whether it be the first play of the game or with four minutes left to go. We have to screen, come off hard on cuts, and just the little things that will eventually get us the open shot."

#3, Ray Shipman, G/F

Was it difficult going in and coming out of the game frequently?

"It was difficult, but I was still cheering my team on. I think Coach (Billy Donovan) knew I wasn't hurt too bad, but he felt that the guys out there were the ones we needed on the court. This was a tough loss, but I feel like we can grow from this game."

On if continuing their energy and doing the little things, they will be alright...

"We have a lot of talent. We have one of the most talented teams in the country, but I feel like Coach (Donovan) is preaching to do the little things. The talented plays will come, but it is the little things that will make the difference. Like loose balls, blocking out, 50/50 balls and others and that should be our focus."

Does it worry you that the offense is struggling a little bit late in the game?

"Yeah, it's frustrating. It's frustrating not scoring and losing, but you can't get too down. This is the time in the season where you have to keep your head up and keep playing. We're just trying to get better and this game will open our eyes and help us with our offense."