Kentucky-Montevallo Postgame Quotes

Nov. 4, 2013

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Head Coach John Calipari

Q. Have you ever seen anything like that? (Talking about James Young’s basket)

COACH CALIPARI: No, but it's a great teaching lesson, you know, to tell them don't ever throw it back at your basket. It's probably not going to go in, but you're throwing it to them. You throw it at our basket maybe we get a lay-up, and if we don't, at least we'll have our whole defense.

I mean, when you're coaching this many young guys, it's just -- it made me laugh. That's why I didn't -- I laughed at it. Why was that only two points, because we threw it in?

Q. Yeah.

COACH CALIPARI: I thought he made a 3 out there. Have you ever seen that happen? That's why I wouldn't know it was only two points.

Q. Are you any happier with how your kids ran?

COACH CALIPARI: We beat them up pretty good this weekend. They had a lot of practice this weekend, and so I got to their legs a little bit. But that's fine. I thought we played better than we did last game, and that's all I'm asking. We're a ways away now, folks. But I'm learning about them every time they play, and Montevallo, they came out -- greatest thing was there were some juniors and seniors, and the kids balled. They weren't afraid. They were physical. They banged, they were not backing down.

You know, some things that I liked: Aaron (Harrison), who again, I had to take him out because of -- either he jogged the floor, James (Young) did a couple times, but he goes seven assists, no turnovers. And he's really, you know, not supposed to be our primary point guard. Dakari Johnson plays 15 minutes, goes nine points and five rebounds. And then Julius (Randle), you know, obviously it's a game -- you see I'm teaching them how to play out on the floor, but when the game is on the line, where is he going? Go get that ball next to that basket and get us something good.

I thought Willie (Cauley-Stein) came out in the second half and blocked shots, which he didn't in the first half. As a matter of fact I took him out because a guy drove and he stood on the weak side.

But again, we've made strides. We're better. We have five guys in double figures and another has eight and another has nine. But the one thing I'll tell everybody: We're still not a good team offensively or defensively yet. We just -- when I say team, one guy is breaking down, two guys are breaking down. One guy forgets where to go. One guy holds the ball too long. Instead of pass, pass, cut, cut, drive, it's pass, try to drive. And again, I mean, the most anybody shot were 13 balls, so it's not like guys are being selfish. It's just that you've got to play more for your team than yourself, and we're getting closer, but we're -- this was a good game for us. I'm glad we played this team, and I'm glad they played the way they played.

Q. You tweeted today you wanted to get Aaron back to his normal position. How much of that was the way he played tonight?

COACH CALIPARI: Probably. You know, it's a good point. So you watched the game? That's why I tried to put Jarrod (Polson) at point. I wanted to see him, because the reality is going to be he's going to play some point, probably 10, 12 minutes a game Aaron will play, but we just have to see. Hopefully today being off and tomorrow being off, Andrew (Harrison) can come back Wednesday and we can start. But if he can't, he'll be out until he's ready to go.

Q. What happened at the beginning of the first half? Talk about Willie getting sort of pissed off because he's not doing well and maybe Dakari is?

COACH CALIPARI: No, I think the second half, we just told him, come on, you had two rebounds at halftime. And again, he only had four, but he fought and he did some things. You know, we're a big team. We're big, and there were some plays that I thought we should make -- let me say this: I thought Alex (Poythress) played as well as I've seen him play. He went after balls. But again, I could go back and tell you there were five possessions that he gave up on. But that used to be 15. So now he's going after balls, he's fighting, and I was happy to see him play the way he played, too.

Q. What can you say about some of the rotations you had tonight, some of the lineups? What things did you like?

COACH CALIPARI: Well, again, I mean, the hard thing is without Andrew, you can't -- it's like, okay, we're playing without our quarterback. Now, the good news is his backup looks just like him. (Laughter.) But he's not him.

And so I wanted Jarrod to start tonight and play him (Aaron) at the position he's going to feel more comfortable with. You know, Marcus Lee didn't get the minutes. I wanted to get him some more minutes. But it's a tough deal right now, and even Dakari, because Dakari deserves to play, and I'll tell you, he gives you a great post presence. He turned it over a few times, Julius turned it over three times, and Jarrod three times. That's six. 16 turnovers is too many, and a lot of them unforced, just like -- four of them were lob passes that hit the shot clock, like what in the world?

Q. So Aaron is Eli Manning?

COACH CALIPARI: Yeah, yeah, he is. We'll see what he can do.

Q. How do you think on a daily basis, how is Julius's effort and the kind of things you see game in and game out? Is he just a natural like that?

COACH CALIPARI: The thing I asked the kids this week, I had individual meetings, and I said, have you ever been coached like this, and they all said the same thing: No. I said, well, I know I'm raising the bar, but tell me what you mean. He says, you hold us all accountable on every possession, and I've never been coached that way. So what these kids do is they coast on a possession, maybe they don't run the floor, maybe they don't make a hard cut, and I'm stopping it. If you've ever been in my practice you know that's the biggest thing, and --

Q. You don't let them --

COACH CALIPARI: There's a reason for that, too. And the same with the twins and the same with James Young. I mean, we've raised the bar. The biggest thing I can tell you is we've got a long way to go, but we've made strides. We're not a good team right now. We've got a nice collection of guys, but we're not a good team.

I put on the board, our execution on defense and offense will be about 30 percent right now. Seventy percent of the time we're wrong, so just talk your way through it and scramble, cover for each other, be a good teammate. That's where we're lacking right there. I don't mind that we're wrong a lot, it's that we can do the other stuff.

Q. It didn't look like you posted guys up intentionally a lot tonight. Was that part of the floor --

COACH CALIPARI: Well, if you look at our team, most of the teams I've had, I haven't been able to just say, okay, we're going to post a James Young, who's 6'7", against a 6'3" guy. We're going to post Julius. We're going to post Dakari. We're able to do that because we have some guys. Our point guard is 6'6". He's going against a six-footer, we'll post him.

Now, you may post to shoot a 3. In other words, post them, they come out down and help, and all of a sudden it's pass, pass, pass, and a guy gets a wide open shot for a drive from that.

But Julius was a beast. Now, he got 11 rebounds. I thought he should have had 20. There were four or five balls, easy six balls, he should have gotten, and he didn't. I got on Alex a little bit on a couple of those, because again, he had four, and he played 17 minutes, but he could have had eight.

Q. Seems like all that is about getting comfortable playing on the perimeter.

COACH CALIPARI: Well, I don't like the spin because I think people are going to play the spin. I'd rather him just go to his right hand and shoot it. If you miss it, we'll tip dunk it. You know what I mean; get to your right hand. Like you're saying -- so what's everybody say? When he drives right, everybody get in the lane because he's going to spin and he'll run you over. They put it on the scouting report. We've got to get James Young going right more. They jumped on his left hand a little bit and he settled for some jumpers.

Like I said, all in all, we made strides. They have tomorrow off. We come back Wednesday, Thursday, we play Friday, we have a practice on Saturday, we play Sunday, travel Monday, play Tuesday. So basically it's on. And whether we're ready or not, and we're not, the bus is taking us to the games and the plane, and we've got to play games. So we're going to have to learn as we go.

FastScripts by ASAP Sports

Kentucky Student-Athletes

#22, Alex Poythress, F

On his play tonight…
“I just tried to bring energy off the bench and play as hard as I can. I try to take advantage of every opportunity I get. I have been a little more emotional this year. I am just showing my passion for basketball. Coach Cal likes me to do it, but I personally feel I should do it.”

On Montevallo’s effort…
“I was real impressed. It made us play harder and execute better. This game will prepare us for tough games. We have three games in five days, so we are just trying to get ready for that.”

On the young team…
“We are still a young team, and we are just trying to play and get better one practice at a time. We have a long way to go. The coaches know that and we know that. I am excited to play with them. I just want to play basketball.”

#15, Willie Cauley-Stein, F

On when James Young threw the ball in…
“I thought we were on the break, I thought we were going to have a dunk. I saw him throw it up and right when he let go of it I was like ‘oh my gosh you have to be kidding me.’ It was cool though.”

On how the team played tonight…
“I know where we have to go. We are making strides, but there is still a lot to work on and we still have to come together more as a team. That’s when we will start taking care of business.”

On what is still missing to take this team to another level…
“The team chemistry. We still all think, shoot, I’m just a sophomore and I feel like I’m a senior, but we are still playing like we are in high school where you can take every shot. You can’t do that, you have to play for everybody else and try to get everybody else plays. That’s how the energy goes up and then you’re flying around on defense and you get a steal and then a dunk. That’s just where we have to go and we aren’t all the way there yet. You see it in spurts, but once we get there, where we are flying around for 40 minutes, it’s going to be scary.”

#2, Aaron Harrison, G

On if being moved back to shooting guard helped him relax on the court…
“Yes, it was really relaxing. I got to run the floor and not worry about bringing the ball up the court. Playing point guard is a learning experience. I just feel more comfortable running the wing.”

On James Young’s basket for the other team…
“That was funny. It wasn’t in our basket, but it was still funny.”

On where the team stands defensively now compared to Coach Calipari’s expectations…
“Probably pretty far from it. Sometimes we miscommunicate a little bit, but are getting a lot better every day. We should be where he wants us to be soon.”

On the fact that he will play some significant time at the point guard position this year…
“I’m starting to get the feel of getting other players involved and making sure I am attacking while I get other players involved. That’s the biggest deal with me is balancing those two out.”

On knowing when to attack versus involving others…
“That’s the tough thing I am going through right now. Just to know when to dish it or take it myself.”

On having seven assists and zero turnovers…
“The guys finished the balls that I threw to them. They weren’t really tough passes. They were probably tougher shots to make than passes. They made me look good on the stat sheet.”

Montevallo Head Coach Danny Young

Opening statement…
“I thought we came out and played very hard considering the depth we had. We don’t have a lot of depth and (Kentucky) has such great depth and length inside. They are so well coached, but I thought our guys came out and played as hard as we could and did a pretty good job.”

On Kentucky going inside most of the game…
“We didn’t do a very good job. We were supposed to trap down with the top guard and big guys, but we did an awful job of doing that. They are so much bigger and stronger than we are. We didn’t get in position and we didn’t follow much of the game plan. When Ryan (May) got hurt there early in the game, that took a little bit away from us and what we do. Trying to keep them off the glass was too big a task.”

On Troran Brown…
“I thought he competed really well. I thought we did a lot of standing at the end when he got going. He took some bad shots. He’s used to kicking out to Ryan May all the time because Ryan is a phenomenal shooter for us. He hit probably 50 percent for us last year. We had another starting guard who was out with a sprained ankle that didn’t play and is another cog in our wheels, so our depth was a little low. We just had to ride out with what we could.”

On how his team rebounded the ball tonight…
“I thought they fought hard and I thought they boxed out about the best they could. That’s a hard game for the officials to officiate because they are so much bigger and stronger. There gets to be pushing and shoving down low and that’s just a battle that’s difficult to win. We tried to keep them off the glass, but they almost doubled us up, which is something we really work on in practice.”

Montevallo Student-Athletes

#25, Troran Brown, G

On his team’s performance…
“My thoughts on the game, I thought we came out, played pretty hard against a good, talented team. I don’t know. I thought we fought on both ends of the floor and did what our coach asked. Bringing a lot of energy.”

On James Young’s basket…
“He saved me, pretty much, that’s what I say. That was a turnover on me.”

On guarding Kentucky’s Julius Randle…
“You can’t. Real talented, strong, a nice leftie. I like his game, number one to me, draft pick.”

On how the team prepared…
“Our coach told us to just come out and fight. Going against the number one team, there is pretty much nothing you really can do. Bigger guys, stronger.”