Kentucky-Rider Postgame Quotes

Nov. 21, 2009

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Kentucky Head Coach John Calipari

On UK's three point defense ...

"There were a couple of things that started to happen today. Yesterday we watched film of the three point shots from the Sam Houston game. We showed them the lack of communication and transition defense where we did not match up well. Some of it was almost hysterical, they were laughing at each other. Then we went out on the court and the only thing we really worked on was transition defense, how to match down. We had worked on it, but obviously we had not worked on it enough. There has to be a sense of urgency defensively. We had that today. If there is a sense of urgency defensively you are not going to give up shots, you are going to come out and play. This is hard with all these young players. We have had to teach them not to talk to officials, because that is my job. Another lesson we taught was, if you are not playing well that is okay. You cannot come down on yourself and let down your team. Today's shoot around was the first day they came out with a sense of urgency and they were focused. That means they were more concerned about their teammates than themselves. We are making strides; we just are not very good right now. I like the fact that we got the ball inside today. I have changed some of the things I have done historically because this is a different team. I played Daniel [Orton], DeMarcus [Cousins], and Patrick [Patterson] together and it worked. Now we know we can do that. I am going to play those boys together, because Daniel [Orton] and DeMarcus [Cousins] deserve minutes and Patrick [Patterson] has to play. There is only one way to make that happen and that is to play them together and I am fine with that. There was a lot of teaching in this game that I liked. We are just so far from where we need to be. John [Wall] had only two turnovers and that was great. Eric [Bledsoe] had five turnovers and that is three too many. He can have two turnovers but not five. If Eric [Bledsoe] has fewer turnovers we are down in the range we like. That means we are being aggressive, we will turn it over some, but we are not being too aggressive and playing out of control."

On post play...

"When DeMarcus [Cousins] is seven out of ten, Patrick [Patterson] is eight out of thirteen and Daniel is five out of seven that is why we shoot 50 percent for the game. They are all capable. They are starting to find each other now. This is the same Rider team who beat Mississippi State on the road by 15. I was fearful of this game until I saw how we defended early in the game and then I felt fine. The reason is because I have seen us defend the last three games and I know if they came out and made shots and we did not defend, we would not win."

On distributing the ball early and involving several players ...

"I saw that today. We talked about it and said to find your men early and keep your head up. This is old. John [Wall] is 18 years old. I have a whole team of 18 year olds. It is a learning process for us all."

On early fouls ...

"What happens to these guys is that if they do not stay in a stance or they stop playing, they will foul. They do not figure that out. The third foul DeMarcus [Cousins] got down low was a freshman mistake. I love the fact that Patrick [Patterson] went crazy rebounding the ball. That is what he needs to be for us. He should be able to go get twenty or twenty-five rebounds. He did great today. We are not taking away from his inside game we are just adding that he can play from the perimeter too."

On DeMarcus Cousins ...

"Here is the great thing that happened today. Daniel [Orton] played so well but I want to make sure that I am bringing DeMarcus [Cousins] along too. I have a lot of things on my plate that I need to get done. I need to bring all these guys along. I was going to start DeMarcus [Cousins] in the second half, but I asked him and he said to let Daniel [Orton] start because he had been playing so well and he would come off the bench. That is a big step for our program. That means they are starting to care about each other. That means they are starting to be able to see when another man is playing well to leave him in the game and not worry about themselves. I told them to give him the ball and get something going. We need to get these guys going. We have big games coming up. We are not ready for those games."

On signs of improvement ...

"We showed signs today. If you know how we are trying to play you will think some of our shots are bad shots. Then you do not understand what I am saying and how I am trying to teach. They get in there with that aggressive mentality you are going to get points. If you think about it we are trying to shoot lay-ups and post-ups and shoot some three-pointers. That is why people are running into the lane and giving us wide open threes."

On Ramon [Harris]...

"I thought Ramon [Harris] played really well. He defended and rebounded. He did a fabulous job even though he did not make any baskets. That is fine. I had to take him out in the first half after he made a good rebound but a bad pass. I told him I am going to play him either way. If he makes shots he is going to take Darius' [Miller] time, because that is what he does, he makes shots. That is what he did again today."

Kentucky Players

#11, John Wall, G

On his play...

"I was trying to find my teammates and help them make shots because they were running the floor and I wanted to get them the ball. The key to not turning it over was me not making lazy passes. Last game, I made a couple of turnovers because I was fatigued. The other day coach came in and showed me the turnovers I made and a lot of them were pointless turnovers, so today I came in and tried to watch my turnovers and find my teammates."

On the improvements made in today's game...

"We felt much better about today's game. In practice we watched film and coach showed us where we were making mistakes. They knew coming in we weren't a good defensive team guarding the three so we tried to do better. I think we did a better job today. We were more focused. It's just a learning process for everybody. None of us have played under Coach Cal and we didn't know how he taught, were just learning from our mistakes and listening to what he's telling us."

On the team's defensive play...

"It was a great game. They weren't making some of the shots they usually make so our defense did a great job. We fouled a little bit too much at the end and I think we can keep getting better at defense. Everybody played big. I smiled more than I usually do because we were having a great time and we were playing defense. We have to do this every game."

#54, Patrick Patterson, F

On if he was part of the discussion of Daniel Orton starting the second half ...

"No, not at all. I figured DeMarcus would be starting the second half because he started the first. They asked DeMarcus if he wanted to start and he said, `No, let Daniel start because he's playing well.' It shows that were starting to grow up and look after one another when someone steps up and says, `No leave him in he's playing better right now.'"

On what did you see early on to know that you were going to have big night on the boards ...

"I have no idea. Luckily at the beginning they were bouncing my way as we started progressing and at halftime I asked how many rebounds I had and they said, `Thirteen, go ahead and get yourself some more.' I was like, `OK, OK.' Then I got to 18 and he took me out and I was like, `He's got to put me back out there especially when John went back in.' I was like, `I need two more, just two more'. I really wanted 20 but unfortunately they didn't bounce my way at the end."

On does having to big guys on the team with you help take some of the attention off you ...

"Oh, definitely. I know one play specifically when there was so much attention on DeMarcus and Daniel that I was able to just drive right down the middle. It makes it a lot easier because they draw a lot of attention and because of their size and ability to score down low. Coach Cal just wants me to cut to the basket when one of them catches the ball."

#33, Daniel Orton, F

On today's performance ...

"We all played well. Everybody showed up today and I feel that we played well as a team."

On DeMarcus saying that Orton should start the second half over him ...

"We have a lot of great guys on this team and this showed how great our personalities are. We all have great people around us and it reflects how much we all love each other and how much love is on this team."

On his play today ...

"I came up today and whatever I did today I'm going to do the same routine everyday and try to get the same effects. I woke up really early, which I never do. So maybe that was it. But I'm definitely going back and sleeping the rest of the day."

On interior passing with the big guys ...

"That's one thing today that we did really well, the high-low. DeMarcus, Patrick, and I were all good passers, so that's going to be something you're going to see a lot throughout the year. Us being so big you have to go inside and destroy teams, and in doing that it's going to open up the outside for the guards to get open shots."

#5, Ramon Harris, G/F

On Coach Cal saying he played well even though he didn't make any shots ...

"It's a good thing, I just try to help the team as much as I can, any way that I can. Just as long as the team wins I'm happy."

On showing more of your offensive skills ...

"I feel the same. I feel that I just take my shots with the flow of the game. I'm not going to force anything. I watched film with the coaches and they told me I should have shot there and here, but I'm not going to force anything I'm just going to play with the flow of the game."

On Coach Cal saying this was the worst defensive game in 20 years, think you played better tonight?

"We still made our mistakes and like I said before it's the beginning of the season and we have a lot of new guys and we are all still trying to learn a new coaches system. I think once the season goes on, we will become a better defensive team."

Rider Head Coach Tommy Dempsey

Opening statement ...

"I was proud of the way the kids competed. I wouldn't say we did well offensively and we struggled to shoot the ball for the second straight game. We never gave in, we never quit and we worked hard to defend them. (Kentucky) had an incredible size advantage, which time and time again, they took advantage of. The fact that we didn't shoot the ball well allowed John (Wall) to get out in transition quite a bit. He is as good as I've ever seen in the open court. We missed a lot of open threes, and I thought if we made some of those shots, we could get back in transition defense. When the shot comes off of the back of the rim hard, they are out, and they have the ball in the hands of the guy who has created that. We played a great team today. We came out and we fought from jump until the end, and I thought we played with a lot of pride. We just didn't have enough to compete with them."

On playing Kentucky's defense ...

"I know they have taken a bad rap for some of the three pointers that have gone in against them, but I watched every game, and a couple of kids went nuts against them. They hit tough, fall-away, in-your-face threes. They gave up open shots, but you can't expect them to not give up open shots in the course of the game, especially when they are pressing, jumping in passing lanes and trying to create offense with their defense. Of course when you play that way you're going to give up open shots at times. I watched the film and said to myself, `If we have to hit shots like that all night to stay in the game, it's going to be a long night.' Those were some spectacular performances, and I don't think it was strictly a product of Kentucky not playing defense. But, I did think they looked better tonight. They were active and their big kids were aggressive guarding the perimeter. They made it hard on us."

On Kentucky's talent ...

"They are pretty good. They need to learn how to play together and value defense. I think they are trying to get better screens and things like that. They have to be one of the most talented teams in the country. It's just a matter of playing with a sense of urgency defensively. I think they took their foot off the gas here and there, but when they are engaged, start playing the big-time programs, and start locking in, they are going to have a special team. You guys are going to like what you see as the season goes forward."

Rider Player  

#5, Ryan Thompson, G

On scoring a team high 16 points in Rupp Arena ...

"I didn't have the best game, and it seemed that I could never get into a rhythm. The atmosphere was crazy and it was a great place to play. I think that we really battled today. It was a tough loss."

On Kentucky jumping out to big lead ...

"They were making shots and really got the ball inside. They have a big height advantage on us and that was a key. We didn't want to let them get the ball inside but they had some big guys down there so it was hard especially with rebounding the ball and second chance points."

On what Coach said about what they can learn from this game moving forward ...

"A game like this just shows us what we need to work on which is rebounding and working hard and playing defense. I think that he liked how we played. Without looking at the score, he will be happy how we fought. That is why I am happy with my team. We all fought and we had a lot of intensity and tried to win the game. It just got pulled away from us."

On what is the most important thing that they need to work on ...

"Defense, our offense is going to start clicking. We didn't make as many shots as we normally do but if we play defense and stop the ball then we will be fine."