Kentucky-East Tennessee State Postgame Quotes

Nov. 12, 2010

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Kentucky Head Coach John Calipari

FastScripts by ASAP Sports

THE MODERATOR: We'll take our first question.

Q. How do you think that your freshmen played in their first game?

COACH CALIPARI: I thought Brandon (Knight) had a great floor game. I thought he ran the team, he was in control. He went when he should have, he shot when he should have. That is amazing after the practices we've had.

Doron (Lamb) made shots, made plays, three assists, one turnover. I thought he defended almost as well as I've seen him defend this year. Terrence (Jones), other than a bad start to the second half, the first two or three minutes of the second half, really competed. Basically what he did is competed because Brown was killing us. What I told him after the game, ‘Kid, you may be our post defender. It may be you. You may be it, so they can't throw it to the post on us and score.’ But he did a lot of other things. He had no turnovers, which is incredible.

The one thing I want to tell you, East Tennessee State is a terrific team. They're picked to win their league. They're right there. They're playing without one of their better players. Yet, we shot the ball well, which is why that gap was there.

Offensively, you know, we did some good things and we found each other. (We had) 18 assists. We only had 10 turnovers. But the reality of it is we made shots. He has never played the 1-3-1. We prepared for it because I knew he had to watch the West Virginia game. We were a little bit more than ready to say, ‘OK, they're going to play us 1-3-1,’ and we were.

It's hard. You think about it. You have to work open a 2-3 defense, the 3-2 defense, a 1-3-1 defense, you got to go the dribble drive, you got to put in some sets, you got to put out-of-bounds play. They trap on the out-of-bounds plays.

It's a difficult first game to play a pressing team that traps and does some things on out-of-bounds plays, you have to prepare a little different.

But Murry (Bartow) is as good as it gets. That team is going to be very good.

Disappointing in our free-throw shooting. The three freshmen should have all had 20. Brandon (Knight) missed three in a row, which I've never seen him do. Terrence (Jones), you know, three for ten. So those two went 30% and 25% from the free-throw line. But they competed. That's what I wanted to see today. I just wanted to see some fire.

Q. Is this what you were talking about in learning how this team has to play?

COACH CALIPARI: Yeah, there was a play Terrence (Jones) got beat on the sideline. There was a play late that Josh (Harrellson) got beat. There was a play late that a ball went over Jon Hood, he was paralyzed, couldn't go. Those plays we have to be able to make.

Darius (Miller) is better than he played. I was on Darius because I want him to have to respond to that because we're going to count on him.

What I did, we went to a different lineup and that lineup exploded the game. That happens sometimes. You make one change and the game changes.

I thought Josh Harrellson was good. Josh is what he is, and he did pretty good. He's in the best shape he's ever been in. Eloy (Vargas) has to catch up to him. So we will see.

Q. Is that about what you expect out of (DeAndre) Liggins? Could you also talk a little bit about the week that Eloy (Vargas) has had and the things he's gone through.

COACH CALIPARI: Yeah. If DeAndre (LIggins) plays that hard, I'd like a few more rebounds, but six assists, three turnovers, a couple of the times he hit through to the wrong man. But, you know, I thought that he did well.

We need Darius (Miller) to be one of those catalysts for us. He's got to play. When it's on him, like he got 11 rebounds. He almost gets a double-double and I think he's way better. I would hope that's how I challenge all my guys.

But DeAndre was good. Darius was good. But they're better. Our freshmen played well, but they've got to get steadier, rougher and tougher. We've got to defend better.

Q. Cal, you guys had the best of it rebounding. Was that a case of gang rebounding, especially without Enes (Kanter)?

COACH CALIPARI: We have absolutely beat them since that first exhibition game. Today I said, ‘You guys will be off tomorrow’, and Terrence Jones went, ‘Yahoo’, until I said, ‘Until 6:00.’ He about fell on the floor.

But we've been doing that rough, tough stuff and I think it paid off. But I'm still trying to learn about the team. That's why you play East Tennessee State. I'll watch this tape. There's things I'm going to pull out of this tape to say, ‘We got to get better at this area and that area.’ How are we going to play a post defense?

Thank goodness East Tennessee State did this to us. And Murry (Bartow) knew. He just kept going back at the guy. The guy is a great coach. He just said, ‘I'm going back, I'm going back, I'm going back’, and that's what he did. So we got to figure out, if they got a guy like that, how are we going to play, what are we going to do?

You notice we started trapping in the second half. We've not worked on it one time. That being said, I couldn't be mad when we did it wrong. I haven't worked on it. I haven't coached them. I haven't talked about it. I told them we're fine with that.

Q. John, you mentioned working on the 1-3-1. Before the Dillard game, you said you hadn't worked much zone offense. What did you think of your zone offense tonight?

COACH CALIPARI: Not bad. They found each other, made the extra pass, got it in the middle. A couple guys broke it down. Doron (Lamb) and Eloy (Vargas) broke down the offense, went to the wrong spots. When you do that, you don't have spacing against the zone.

The other thing is that every guy out there can make a three. Now you play zone at your own peril, where last year, you know, Dewayne (Peevy) said to me, ‘I went into practice, Cal, we didn't make any shots in practice.’ He said it. I forgot. That was the beginning of last year. We didn't make any shots. I kept telling them they were good shooters, we're good shooters, we'll be fine, we'll never be hurt by shooting, because I hope we're dunking on everybody.

But you're not going to do this every game, you're not going to shoot that well. If you defend, attack that glass, make free throws like we didn't today, you'll be fine. You don't have to make 50% of your threes, make 35. We were making 10, 19 at times last year.

But the gang rebounding helped us. Like I said, they're an athletic team enough to go after us. You know, all that kind of stuff was good. We did some good things. I'm happy.

I told them that this is a good team that's going to win their league. It's a good win for us.

Q. Coach, you had (Josh) Harrellson in the starting lineup tonight. Curious, are you looking for a set lineup for consistency or could this be a group that you may adjust throughout the season based on matchups?

COACH CALIPARI: If you look, the best lineup we had was with Darius (Miller) coming off the bench, if you looked today. So when I watch the tape, I'll say Darius was the one coming off the bench when we were the best.

Josh (Harrellson) played well. Got in foul trouble. We went to Eloy (Vargas) and we did fine. How was the small lineup today? I don't know, you'll have to tell me. I can't remember. I'll have to watch the tape and figure out how we played when we were small. I think that's when 41 went at Darius in the post and scored like four straight times - I think. If we go small, do we trap the post.

You know what I'm saying? We got a lot of things we got to answer. The other thing is, do we play some zone if we get in foul trouble because we're not playing a lot of people. In 1995 I didn't play zone. I played five, six guys. I just told them, ready, this is the best coaching advice I can give you: Don't foul.

Q. Can you talk about Kanter's situation.

COACH CALIPARI: Let me say this. One, I respect the NCAA's decision. I don't agree with it, but I respect the decision because it's a hard decision.

I will say this. Enes Kanter is like my son or any of your sons out there. He got nothing from anybody except his dad, and his dad did not do anything wrong. His dad did all the things he thought were going to make sure his son stayed an amateur. No one can argue the point that this kid wanted to be an amateur, and so did his father.

Now, if they did some things they didn't know were wrong by our rules, maybe. But they didn't do anything wrong. And I feel bad. So we're looking at the appeal and thinking that, you know, common sense people will look at this in a common sense way and say, You know what, the kid deserves better than this.

But, again, I respect the decision they made because it's hard. This is one they have not seen. And now it's like, Well, wait a minute. Educational expenses, we've never seen this before. They're things they haven't seen. I respect what they've done, I just don't agree with it.

That's all I'm going to say. If you ask me another question, I'm not going to answer it.

East Tennessee State Head Coach Murry Bartow

Opening statement…
“Obviously the three freshmen played great. (Terrence) Jones and (Brandon) Knight and obviously (Doron) Lamb all played great games, not like your typical freshman games. They all played fantastic. We got down. I thought Isiah Brown played really well for us. We tried to mix our defense in the first half. We played some man, played some one-three-one, played some two-three and obviously – I think they had 10 threes in the first half. We knew this would be a very tough game coming in and they played well and did a lot of good things. We obviously just didn’t play good enough to win. I have a lot of respect for Coach Calipari and we appreciate him bringing us in. He’s been such a good friend to me and a great friend to my dad. We’re thrilled to come in here, I just wish we would have played a bit better than we did.”

On this year’s Kentucky team compared to last year’s Kentucky team…  
“Well, obviously it’s still early. Last year’s Kentucky team – there’s a lot of talent on this year’s Kentucky team, too – but last year’s Kentucky team, those guys just don’t come around here every day. (John) Wall is so special, (DeMarcus) Cousins’ so big, (Patrick) Patterson’s so big. But John’s (Calipari) teams always get better. I’ve played his teams at Memphis, his teams just always get better and better. There are very few coaches in the country that every year figure out a way to win 30 games, and he’s one of them. And his teams just get better and better. I think it’s a different cast of players, but the three freshmen are fantastic. I really like Miller and Liggins. I think they’re going to be very good again.”

On Terrence Jones… 
“He’s hard to guard. He’s one of those guys that can float out and make the three, he’s got the (isolation) game, he can go by you off the dribble, he’s kind of got that midrange game off the dribble. Plus, he’s very athletic, he can offensive rebound. He’s just one of those guys – Isiah Brown for us is a little bit that way. But he’s just got that whole – he’s not really a four, he’s not really a three, he’s not really an inside guy or an outside guy so he’s kind of got that whole game which makes him hard to match up on and hard to guard. He’s talented, very talented.”

On Isiah Brown’s game…
“In a game like this you’ve got to try to take some positives out of it. I thought 10 turnovers for us, pretty good number. Isiah Brown’s play was very encouraging. He was great. He was great, we just didn’t have enough players really to go with him. Really from the start of the game right throughout the game I thought he really played with great energy. Isiah’s got a great motor, he loves to play. He’s got a little bit of that Terrence Jones game where he can go in or go out. He’s developed. He’s developed so that’s very encouraging.”

East Tennessee State Players

#41, Isiah Brown, F

On his fast start in the game …  
“Like I said at the beginning of the year, I am just trying to be myself, try to be consistent. I feel like I have been pressing a little and then I started off the two preseason games well. So, I just continued to do what I do and not do anything extra. I just wanted to come out and play well and give our team an opportunity to play well. A team like UK is really good, so everyone had to come out and play their best game. I just felt like I should go out and contribute as much as I can. “ 

On playing well early in the year …  
“I don’t know why it’s so much different this year. I feel like I’ve been doing everything just like I did my freshman and sophomore year. I am probably a little bit stronger and having that experience from last year. Playing UK last year and seeing that jersey again. Spending the last few months thinking how I would love to have another opportunity to play them again and how I would do things different. That helped me a lot, just visualizing how I would play tonight.”

On how different …  
“Probably a little bit faster. They are very fast. They are high tempo. Last year they were athetic but this year they seem as athletic as last year. Probably a little bit more patient seeing how they have better shooters on the floor this year. I think that was the biggest difference I have seen from last year to this year.”

#1, Mike Smith, G

This Kentucky team compared to last year …  
“They are both athletic. I mean last year they had three beasts inside, and this year they still have big guys inside but they are very young. They like us will have to go back to work. They are going to be very good. We have to go back to the drawing board just like them and get better from this experience.”

On Brandon Knight …  
“Brandon was shooting tonight. He had a lot of threes. He did a good job of penetrating and finding open guys. They just kept going to them and he just kept making the shots.”

On Terrence Jones play …  
“Terrence is very long and very athletic.  He is going to be a great player.”

His team continuing to battle...
“Yeah, we came out a little sluggish. If we would have came out with the same intensity and fire that we did later in the game, I think we would have done a little better. We have a lot of work left. We have lot of veteran guys and we are going to get better.”