Kentucky-Miami Postgame Quotes

Nov. 16, 2009

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Kentucky Head Coach John Calipari  

Opening statement ...

"Let me say something before you ask a question. For us to win a game when they go 15-for-26 from the three-point line, I can't believe we won the game. We talked at halftime about if we get beat it won't be because of the three and to get out and push the guy. We wanted to make them bounce and make them do this and we still gave up some threes. But I will tell you, any issues, shot selection that is all on me. Let me give you the late-game situation, we are up three and we haven't even worked on fouling or what we are going to do. I'm just going to be honest. I am just trying to figure out how we are supposed to play. Secondly, coming back I never call a timeout in that situation. Anyone that has watched me coach knows that I don't call a timeout. I will call one if I see him run by me and I don't like what I see. I will call a timeout if there if two or three seconds left and I see that we can't get to the rim. Then we have to call a timeout and advance the ball with a pass, but I will be honest with you, we hadn't worked on it. And he went in there and I was like, `Go, go, go!' So a lot of stuff right now is because we have had only 20-something practices. But, I was ecstatic that we got down 18 points. Because I wanted to see what we were made of and when this team wouldn't go away the thing I loved about my team was they would say, `We are not losing this. We are not losing this game.' Patrick and all of them said that. So we needed this. It was kind of fun watching it. When you are not in a situation coaching and it is life or death and you are trying to get your team better you can feel the way I was feeling out there. Yeah, I wanted to win the game but I needed to learn. Patrick made big free throws and Darius Miller made two big shots. DeMarcus Cousins did the things that he is capable of and did it with a smile on his face instead of a frown. There were some other guys that didn't fare as well but what a win. You have to give them credit. What about Miami? 15-for-26 and we won. How the world did we win?"

On John Wall's development and how he stepped up and made big plays ...

"Well, let me say something. I called a timeout because I wanted Eric to shoot the last free throws. That is why I called the last timeout. We ran a play and John was cramping up so bad that I didn't think that he was going to be in. But he just went and got the ball and shot the free throws and went one-for-two. I told him after the game, `Listen kid, I don't mind you doing that but you better make both free throws. Don't go one-for-two and do that.' But the play that he made at the end, he had one thought: win the game. That is what you have to have, you have to have catalyst. I am happy that Pat made those two free throws because we have to know that he is going to make plays when the game is on the line. It is on him, not these young kids. There are a couple of plays down the stretch, the charge and the play in the middle and you can't do those when you are the veteran player. So those free throws and tip in down the stretch were huge. Folks, we are a post-up team. We just have to figure out how we are going to play. So many bad shots again. Just like free throws. I mean, I am sitting there saying, `I coach this team?' But I mean, we are freshmen and we do some of the dumbest things. How about the last play? We get the ball and try to advance a fumble. Just pick it up. No one on our team picks up a fumble. It is like a football player when the ball is rolling that instead of jumping on it tries to pick it up or tip it ahead and run for a touchdown and the coach on the sidelines wants to strangle somebody. It is kind of we're we are right now trying to figure everything out."

On what was going through his mind when John Wall's shot went into the air ...

"John's play was what I wanted him to do. The other thing, I would rather go home with four timeouts. I want to wear the other team down with the way that we play. I would rather go home with two timeouts which is what we did and I had timeouts if we needed them later. Again, fouling the last shooter is not something that we had worked on so there was no way that we could have done it. If we had, we weren't making free throws enough to foul them. If he makes one or two and fouls us we miss the front in on one-and-one and then come down and beat us in regulation. Then you say, `Why did you foul him?' You have to make free throws any way that you do this. It kind of played out the way that we wanted it to. I thought that we executed the last four minutes of the game and go the ball where we wanted to better. I think that part of it was that they just focused in on winning the game."

On Miami shooting better from three-point land then Kentucky did from the free throw line ...

"I do that to teams don't you know that. What was it, 58-percent? That is about what we shot two years ago, we were 58-percent from the line. Earlier we were about 51. So I kind of do that. The minute I join a team their shooting goes from 76 percent to 58."

On the effort of the RedHawks ...

"They were great. They didn't stop playing and I know they were tired. We had guys cramping up so I can't imagine that they didn't have guys cramping up. They played guys the whole game just like I did. They had two of three guys that played the majority of the game. A kid goes 8-for-10 from the three, are you kidding me? Again, we left him a few times and other times we had a hand on him. I told you, our halftime we talked about if we get beat it wasn't going to be from the three and we almost got beat from the three."

On what was different after Kentucky got down 18 that got the Cats back into the game ...

"The defense turned up a notch. I couldn't get them early in the game to go up and really play somebody. I said, `Go up and make the guys make plays. You guys are letting them run around and make jump shots. Make them make basketball plays. Make them put it on the floor and make plays in traffic.' That is what they did. John Wall pushed up and Eric Bledsoe pushed up and Darius pushed up. They didn't go away. We made our run but they didn't go away. We were down 18 with a freshman team guys. And every time that we did something they just took the air out of our sails by making a shot. We still won the game. There was good here, but I will be honest with you there is no reason to be upset with any of these kids it all goes back on me. We have to do a better job on shot selection and take care of the ball better. We were out of control I can't tell you how many times. We need to get inside better but the guys inside have to catch the ball and make a layup. Now they did late in the game because they were exhausted and early in the game we weren't. You know, deliver the ball and then you catch it with two hands make a play and hit free throws. Again, I am happy that we won know. But I think that any time that you can be tested like this is good for your team. This team is going to do really well in the MAC, if they don't win it they will be one of the teams in the running. Morehead the same way and Sam Houston State is picked to win their league and Rider is too and they have already beaten Mississippi State. Those are our first four games."

Kentucky Player Quotes

#11, John Wall, G

On the feeling of making the winning shot ...

"It felt good to make a shot like that and I just have to have confidence to make those and I did."

On whether you've been working on a shot like that ...

"Yes, I have been on my shot the past couple days especially with Coach Strickland. I just have to have confidence and hold my follow through and it went in."

On what's going through your head when they hit the three to tie the game ...

"We just have to get the ball in quick and go down the floor. They were playing good help side defense in the half court so we had to move the ball quickly and get a good shot in transition."

On was there any thought of passing it off on the winning shot...

"A little, if I was double teamed then I would pass it off but they sagged off a little and I got the shot off."

On what it was like when you all were down 18 in the first half ...

"It was kind of like back in my high school days when we got down I tried to do everything myself. Coach Calipari took me over to side and it was just a learning experience. He just said, "You can't do it by yourself." Then I took a couple minutes break then I told him I was ready and that I needed my teammates and I just made plays that I should have been making from the start. Then Darnell Dodson started hitting some threes then we got our confidence going."

#1, Darius Miller, G

On how Miami had so many open shots ...

"I couldn't tell you but they were knocking down a lot of tough shots. Then we picked up our intensity and our defense improved."

On were you surprised that John Wall hit the last shot...

"No not at all. We scrimmage in practice and go through those scenarios and he seems to hit them every time so expect that from him."

On being down 18 and keeping your confidence and knowing you're going to still win ...

"I think we just had to pick up our intensity. I think we started out kind of slow but once we picked it up I think we were fine."

#54, Patrick Patterson, F

On Miami's effort tonight...

"Miami was hitting every shot that they threw up. No. 20 I think only missed one shot; the same with No. 14, No. 12 and on down the list. They played great basketball today. Coach Cal said he wanted to see what we'd do when we were down. He wanted to see if we were going to flight or going to surrender."

On the mindset in the huddle ...

"Pretty much we just had a mindset of not losing. We wanted to win. Coach Cal was constantly getting on us. Like I said, they weren't missing shots. They were on a pretty long streak of making everything that they shot. We had a couple turnovers and were missing shots and Coach Cal was constantly getting on us. Everybody in the huddle was like `Coach, we ain't going to lose this game and we're going to keep fighting."

On the resilience the young guys showed tonight in coming back for the win ...

"It was great for them. Usually the younger guys usually get scared in a situation like that when you're down. In a high-talent school like Kentucky is, that's not a good situation. Usually in times like that when you're down by that many points you have a tendency of giving in. But luckily with the class we have, they've been in situations like this before and they continue to fight and just keep battling."

On coming out with a win in a close game...

"In previous years we had situations like this and we had our wins and our losses. This year, it feels good to be in a situation like this and come out on top with the win."

#15, DeMarcus Cousins , F

On John Wall and his game-winning shot ...

"With the hype he had, it's all true. John Wall is legit. He's the real deal. There's no guard out there better than him. I said to him after the game, `John, you just started your legacy.'"

On how he felt he played tonight ...

"In the first half, I believe I stunk. But in the second half, I believe that I helped us get that win tonight. I just put it all on the floor. I felt like I wasn't helping on either end of the floor. I just felt that I was awful and I had bad body language, but in the second half all of that changed."

On what caused his bad body language...

"Those two fouls. They just kind of brought me down. I was just thinking about the last game, which I shouldn't have been doing. I just didn't want to start off with two bad games and being in foul trouble. So that kind of had me down, but we came out with the win - that's all that matters."

Miami (Ohio) Head Coach Charlie Coles  

Opening statement ...

"That was a good game. I enjoyed it. I didn't enjoy the outcome, but I enjoyed that basketball game."

On Nick Winbush...

"Nick (Winbush) played well. Nick was the best shooter on the floor and it's something else, when just before you get the ball you can hear them (the fans) say, `Oh no.' Nick did a good job. I'm proud of Nick. Let's hope he has more where that comes from."

On defending Kentucky's penetration...

"We did okay for a while. We still need to get our guards to do a better job. We had a kid last year, Eric Pollitz, and boy, what I wouldn't give for him. I think if we had him, we may have won the ballgame just because of his defense. We have got to get better on the perimeter. I thought our big guys did a good job defending, but fell asleep on some rebounds. They (Kentucky) became Kentucky and athletic, and they got a couple of dunks late."

On Miami's play and what they take from the game...

"I'm going to give our kids some credit. They lost a tough game last Friday, and I don't think they played well at all. They had to get on the bus Sunday after taking Saturday off, and they came down here and played their hearts out. The one thing I told our guys after the game was, `I'm worried, because I hope this isn't a one-time thing.' I don't think we'll shoot that well again, although Nick (Winbush) is a good offensive player. I've been telling people and arguing with everybody in sight, that this man can shoot. This guy loves to play. I was happy for him. We have to take this and make a positive without taking a moral victory."

On Kentucky's players...

"I liked him (John Wall). I wish him the best of luck. He is a wonderful kid. I don't know if he played particularly well and he needs to work on things, but I'm not his coach. I like the way he conducted himself. I like the way all of those kids did. I really did. When they were warming up I had a conversation with (DeMarcus) Cousins and we shook hands. I don't know him. I think he thought I knew him or he knew me, but we don't know each other. I like that kid. There wasn't a whole lot of in your face (during the game). That's what I liked about the game tonight. You had us playing, playing, playing, and you had them trying to get going. I thought it was a good ballgame."

Miami (OH) Player Quotes

#20, Nick Winbush, F

On what got you hot tonight...

"I like big games, so when I hit the first one I just did it again. I kept shooting and I kept on hitting, so that was about it."

On playing in Rupp Arena...

"I've never played in any place like this. I loved it, and it was the most fun I have ever had playing basketball in my life. That is pretty much all I can say."

On the atmosphere before the game, and what is going through your head as you prepare to play...

"We have to win. We have to prove people wrong. The whole place was against us the whole game. We should have won that game in my opinion. We wanted to beat them tonight, and I think we could have done it."

#14, Kenny Hayes, G

On the last shot against John Wall...

"I wasn't guarding him, but when I hit the shot I just flew back because I saw him running to the ball, and then he flew down the court. I think everyone was back, but he is very fast and good. He hit a big time shot. It was contested, but he made it."