Kentucky-Dillard Postgame Quotes
Nov. 5, 2010
Head Coach John Calipari
FastScripts by ASAP Sports
Q. How close did they come to giving you the fight and the effort and all of that teamwork that you wanted?
COACH CALIPARI: DeAndre (Liggind) and Darius (Miller) were way better. Terrence Jones was off the charts compared to the last one. Brandon (Knight) is Brandon; he gives you about the same every time out. Eloy (Vargas) and Doron (Lamb) were fine. You know, they've been there.
Like I looked at Terrence, obviously, it's in there because he did it. So if you can do it once, it means you can do it. But we're not deep enough to have a couple guys not give us some.
But we shot the ball. I mean, it's kind of like you make open shots, it changes what everything looks like, and we did that today.
Happy for Jon Hood, you know. Happy how he played. Josh (Harrellson) in the first half, you know, played, which is why I started him in the second. Wasn't as good in the second as he was in the first.
But the first half, again, those guys how many minutes are they going to have to give you? I don't know. But whatever it is, it's got to be quality. It's got to be tough. It's got to be, you know -- so 28 assists. We had talked about it the last exhibition; pass the ball to each other. We even went a couple possessions when we passed it but we should have shot it, should have driven the ball.
But I'm okay. It's kind of in between where we want to be, but, there are signs. Look, folks, we shot well, so we scored a whole lot of points. We defended fairly well, rebounded fairly well, but we've got a long way to go.
We've got two really important days this weekend. It's been almost football practice. Short of us putting them in helmets and pads, that's what it's been. So we've got to do mornings of football practice, and then we'll come back in the afternoon to play basketball. That's what we'll do this weekend. Then we'll give them Monday off.
But we've got no choice. We've got to be a rougher team, a tougher team without fouling. We've got to have more pride to go after balls. Every ball has to be like, I have to get this ball. There is not an option. I've got to get it. We still don't have a team full of guys, but they're trying.
Q. What did you like best about Jones tonight?
COACH CALIPARI: He had a passion about playing. There was no coolness high school kid when it doesn't go right, they try to be cool like I don't really care. You know, this isn't really me, but you can't be that way. He even started the game a little bit that way.
But what you saw was when he got near that goal, the thing that he does, that not many in the country do at his size, his second, third and fourth jump. So go in there and do it. Just go in there and go rebound every offensive rebound. Go after it once, twice, three times. Don't accept being blocked out. Then run that court.
You saw him run and say is he that fast? Well, if he's that fast, run that fast, and these guys found him. Compared to the last game where he was crying in his soup after, this was a good one for him.
Q. When he reached back to get that ball, was that athleticism you saw right there?
COACH CALIPARI: You know, he had blocks too, ends up with six blocks, and again, understanding that we're Pikeville and Dillard, we aren't playing high school, so there are things that we're doing in this game that we're not going to do in a regular game.
Let me tell you a play that I love. I get so upset, one of our players comes down. He gets a guy ahead and instead of trying to shoot it to him, he gets a charge and it's his third foul. I went ballistic.
Well, Jon Hood comes down, Terrence (Jones) makes a steal at half court and he could have driven in and shot it himself. He give it's to Jon Hood who dunks it. Now all of a sudden Jon Hood's shoulders are back, chin is up and he's ready. So the very next play Jon Hood has the lay-up, and throws the lob to Terrence who dunks it. That's the kind of play.
The other thing I really loved was Brandon Knight going on a breakout. He could have shot it, he throw it back to Terrence, let's Terrence dunk it and gets everybody going. We're learning, we're getting better.
Again, folks, I'm dealing with all freshmen again. So we've got to do it in a hurry, but we're getting there. You saw there were some sloppy plays. We've got to play defense different than we did last year.
I talked to Jay Wright on the phone for a half hour, and got some ideas from his '96 or '97 team when he had Foy and all those guards. Remember that team he had? They went to the Elite Eight.
He and I talked about defense, and how to play with that kind of team. So there are some things I'm going to do different than I did last year. But the first thing is you've got to be tough. If you're not tough enough, doesn't matter what kind of defense you're playing. And two, you've got to rebound the ball. If you don't have a big beast, then you all have to rebound. Everything we do starts there.
Then when we're talking, we rebound, we can scramble it, switch it, we can trap a little bit. We can do some things that will scramble up the game which is in our favor. A grind-it-out game with this team, we're too young. If they grind it out with us, we're going to have problems.
So if we're to scramble though, we've got to be tough, we've got to rebound and really, really talk to each other.
Q. Talk about the differences from last year and on defense that you expect this year?
COACH CALIPARI: Well, I think we can switch a whole lot more than we did a year ago. And I think that we can also do some scrambling that I didn't want to do last year because I didn't think we needed to.
See, last year when you drove in on us, it was getting blocked. We led the nation in shot blocks or blocked shots that were right there. It was not just one guy, it was like three or four. This team's going to be different.
So now it's like, OK, in a grind-it-out game, it's going to be a little harder for us. So I think a lot more switching we should be able to do. We're all alike.
At one point we had Terrence (Jones) at 6'9", and everybody else between 6'5", and 6'7". I mean, Denny Crum used to do it. Denny Crum did the greatest job of taking you out of your offense by playing a bunch of guys.
He never liked the small guard. He liked 6'5" guards. I kind of like 6'5" guards. So now everybody could switch every position, and that's what he did. He took you out of what you wanted to do. The guy won national titles playing that way, national titles at Louisville.
Q. That blue suit Dale had on, you got plans for one of those maybe in the future?
COACH CALIPARI: There are three suit that's I've seen that I say I don't know if I want to say gag me, but there's a white suit I saw. There was a gold suit that I saw. I don't know if it was yellow or gold where the pants were too long. The guy at West Virginia wore it. Then that suit right there. Those three right there.
But, hey, look, he's a great guy. A former player here, and it was so great that they walk in this building and get that kind of ovation. And it's great for his team to see that the Big Blue Nation appreciates former players and still loves them.
Now they wanted to beat him, but prior to the game they gave him a great ovation, which was really neat.
Q. What do you maybe hope that team will do for (Jon) Hood's confidence?
COACH CALIPARI: Well, what I hope it does -- well, let me tell you what Doron did which was the greatest thing. Remember the dive at half court because I was killing this kid. Come on, you've got to pick it up and play. You're not doing what the other guys are doing. You're not playing at the level, you don't have the passion. Come on, baby, get into it. Come on, let's go.
He dives on the floor for that ball, throws it ahead, we score. The very next play he's in the corner and makes the three. When you play that aggressive, you're aggressive offensively. When you play tentative on defense and you're getting thrown into the cheerleaders and getting sparkles on your face, OK, when that stuff happens, offensively you're playing timid, too.
You can't just be timid on defense and aggressive on offense. No, be Aggressive. You're aggressive (defensively) and it makes you aggressive on offense. And, again, that is a lesson. It's just, you know, we'll go to practice, and we've got some time next week and we'll see.
I don't know if I'm going to play the small lineup or the big lineup. Probably won't know until game time what I want to do.
Got to still watch some tape on East Tennessee State. I've really watched nothing. Got to get in my mind what we'll have to do to prepare for an NCAA Tournament team, our first game with this young team. Kind of scary.
Q. On trying to get Josh Harrellson easy shots at the rim …
COACH CALIPARI: Yeah, and he was struggling. I've seen him do it, but you've got to have an effort and say I'm going to dunk the ball. I'm going to go out and get this. Not that I'm going to wait, so. But he'll be fine.
I'm just telling you, Josh (Harrellson) is in the best condition he's been in his whole life. He's playing better than he's ever played in his life, and I'm asking for a little bit more. That's what it is. I'm asking for a little bit more. He gives us a little bit more, I'm telling you.
But we need him. And Eloy (Vargas) got to make strides now. He's got to make strides. So, thanks.
#55, Josh Harrellson, F
On Coach Calipari asking more out of him …
“I don’t want him stop asking for more. I don’t want to sit on the side. I can always get better.”
On the game …
“I thought I played well. I went in there and played as hard as I could and gave it all I had. As a team we played well. Jon Hood came out and played the best I have ever seen him play in a long, long time. Everybody finally saw how he can play.”
On Terrence Jones ….
“His wingspan is 7-foot-4 and he can jump for being 6-foot-9. He is a great finisher around the basket. He is really explosive, really strong and when he wants to play he can definitely play. We are just trying to get more consistency out of him.”
On the teamwork …
“With the passes and alley-oops everybody gets out of their chairs and starts cheering. And when the fans start cheering we get all hyped. Our adrenalin gets going and we get all hyped.’
#4, Jon Hood, G
On his overall thoughts of the night ...
“It’s still just the preseason. We have a long way to go. Not only for me, but the team in general. We still have a long way to go and a big weekend coming up, so we have to just move forward.”
On the progression in practice ...
“In shoot around, I thought I shot the ball pretty well today. I came early and shot a little bit, and I thought I shot the ball really well. I was pretty confident.”
On the teams energy level in practice ...
“Practice has been really physical. I mean, its exactly what coach has said it has been. We started to click tonight. Terrence (Jones) played really well and everyone had energy, which was really nice.”
#3, Terrence Jones, F
On his overall improvement ...
“I just wanted to improve from the first game. In the first game, I had a lot of nerves, and I didn’t play as well as I wanted too. I wanted to prove to (Coach Calipari) that I wanted to play harder. We have practiced really hard to get ready for today’s game and I feel it showed.”
On the main difference in the two exhibition games ...
“Intensity, passion, everyone was talking more. We were just going harder at every ball.”
On him being at his highest level ...
“It takes a lot of the older guys like Darius Miller. Coach Calipari wants everyone who is going to play to step up. I’d say practice was about five-times harder than it was before.”
#12, Brandon Knight, G
On improvement from the first exhibition game ...
“Our intensity improved a lot and I thought our energy was a lot better. We still have a lot of work ahead of us. I just want this team to be good. We have a lot of work ahead of us.”
On how much practice influenced tonight’s performance ...
“It set the tone a lot. It enforced what we need to be doing in the game. It showed us how hard we have to practice and how hard we have to play. We need to get ready for the next level.”
On Terrence Jones’ performance ...
“Terrence stepped his game up. He went back to the old Terrence. He had a monstrous game, just trying to dunk everything and just playing at such a high level. It opens up the game a lot more and guys are a lot freer. Guys want to play fast and we want to run the court, so thats what were going to do.”
Dillard Head Coach Dale Brown
On Kentucky’s defensive effort…
“I thought they played great on defense. I thought they got after our guys a lot and got a lot of pressure. They made every situation difficult for us. The length of the Kentucky team is just unbelievable – 6’6”, 6’7” guards. It’s a beautiful thing to see as a coach on the sidelines. You can really extend the defense and create a lot of havoc. And that’s what they did. Our guys, I guess, got caught up in the arena and all the people out there. You know, coming from Dillard University, playing in front of 800, 1,000 people at the most. This was like night and day to these guys. I tried to prepare them for it and let them know what to expect, but they had to see for themselves. It was just too talented, too aggressive for us.”
On what a game like this can do for a small school like Dillard…
“It does a lot for a school like Dillard University, a school that was devastated by Hurricane Katrina. Out of all the schools in New Orleans – Tulane, University of New Orleans – Dillard was affected most by the storm. The school was under water and they’re still in the rebuilding process there. It just does a lot because my scholarships are not like everybody else on my level. I get like four scholarships. I pretty much have to give partials to stretch them to try and bring in as much talent as I can. It’s very tough, but I believe good things are going to happen for me at the end. Just got to keep pushing and plugging at it and hopefully it will get better for me. It’s very tough.”
On who would win between the 1993 Kentucky team or the current team…
“1993, easy. Because we got after it on defense every single possession. We played hard, diving on the floor, loose balls. We were so much better on defense. We took pride in guarding people. That would have been the difference in the game.”
On if he tells his players to take pride on defense…
“You have to understand, I’m in a situation where I got five walk-on players and some of these guys have never really played organized basketball before. My 6’8” center I have, Rashad Johns, he never really played basketball before. He was just a student enrolled at Dillard and came up to me and asked me if I was going to have basketball tryouts. I was like, ‘Hey, you’re already on the team. You don’t have to try out.’ But it’s really tough there. I played (John) Pelphrey last year and Travis (Ford) last year and it was a similar situation. They’re just so big and guys are much better than my guys and talent prevails. Those two teams played hard also. So I have a lot of respect for Travis and Pelphrey also for giving me a chance to come in and raise funds as well.”
On the ovation he received prior to the game…
“It was great. Lexington, and throughout the state of Kentucky, the way people treated me really, really great and wonderful the whole time I was here. I spent a lot of time here after UK basketball. Great city, I miss it, I don’t miss the cold weather because it’s warm in Louisiana every day, pretty much. But (there are) unbelievable people here. Like I said, I appreciate the opportunity of being back here. I don’t have the words to tell you guys, I’m getting emotional now. But it was wonderful. A lot of memories here. I look up and I see the 1993 banner up there. Wow.”
On Terrence Jones…
“I love him. I love that he’s an inside-out guy. He can put the ball on the floor. He’s a pro. He’s going to be playing at the next level. Really, love his game. I love the versatility in his game. He can step out and shoot the three. I heard a lot reports that this team couldn’t shoot the basketball, but you know, you have games like that where you don’t make shots. But tonight, watching these guys shoot the ball, I was like, wow. (They were) shooting it from so many positions and bringing people off the bench and hitting threes. It was just great to see. I think this team is going to be OK this year. My personal opinion.”