Kentucky-Delaware State Postgame Quotes

Nov. 22, 2008

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Kentucky Head Coach Billy Gillispie

On the game …
“Our goal was to make fewer mistakes. We knew it would not be a high turnover game because of the style of play. I thought for the most part we had more organized offensive possessions and it was a lot easier for us to be more organized against less pressure. I thought we made a step forward today.”

On the way Kentucky started the game …
“I thought we played good half-court defense the other night. We didn't have too much of a threat getting beat in transition today. Our biggest problems have been in transition defense not half-court defense. We have not been organized and talked to each other enough in those type of situations. There wasn't too much of a threat of people pressing us today and forcing us into a strong transition defense. I think against teams that play a half court defense then we should be exceptional. We had some obvious mistakes such as getting beat on the boards and that should never happen. It is very difficult when a team decides to use the shot clock every singe possession. It made our offensive trips much more important and forces us to way a very high efficiency rate.”

On Patrick Patterson's nine-point, four-rebound performance …
“We are obviously a work in progress. We are still missing the post pass way to many times. We are still learning how to play together. Patterson had many opportunities today.”

On Darius Miller's 13-point, four-assist game …
“I thought he played really well. He played two separate positions today and I thought almost every time the ball touched his hands something good happened. In my opinion, he passed up to many shots. I think he is a very unselfish player but I want him shooting the ball more. Not only am I expecting him to shoot it but his teammates are also. If a guy is open, then I want that person shooting. I thought he played really well defensively and offensively.”

On Michael Porter's eight-point, three assist performance …
“He had some open shots and he needed to take those shots and make them. These guys play for the University of Kentucky and if you are open then you should always make those shots. We still didn't shoot a very high percentage and we still need to make more plays closer to the basket with authority. Our three-point percentage was good today but that was mostly because of Jody (Meeks).”

Kentucky Players

#23 Jodie Meeks

On today's improvement …
“I feel better about today. We played with better intensity and more confidence. In the past two games, we haven't been coming out as aggressive in the first five minutes. In the first five minutes of today's game, we really came out great.”

On trying to give the ball more to Patrick Patterson
“We have to give him more touches because they played a box-and-one on me today. The more touches you give to Patrick (Patterson), more shots we get off.”

On Darius Miller's 13-point performance …
“We have to encourage Darius (Miller) to shoot the ball when he has the chance. He'll be a great player and he will definitely help us further along into the season. He needs to continue his hard work. Being a freshman, he might feel intimidated about shooting the ball and stepping on upperclassman's toes. It's not like that because we encourage him to take shots.”

#1 Darius Miller

On the game today ...
"It felt really good to get a win, especially in front of our home crowd. I was really worried about getting that “W.” Some people were frustrated about how we've been playing. We feel really good right now.”

On his play today...
“I think I played well, but could have played better. I was trying to get our big men some open looks. I don't think they have been getting the ball enough over the last two games, so I was trying to get them into a rhythm. Coach said I was hesitant on offense, but I couldn't really tell.”

On the team's focus...
“We have been focusing on our defense. I think we picked it up a little bit today. We did a better job than the past two games. We've grown into a family. These guys are like brothers to me and it didn't really feel good when we were losing.”

#54 Patrick Patterson

On his nine-point, four rebound performance …
“It's just one of those days. Coach has been telling me that I've been catching with just one hand and finishing with one hand. That played into a lot of my offensive game today. I just need to correct it and finish with two hands above the rim.”

On Kentucky 's performance …
“We're really trying to get back on track and this is just the first step. We want to get to No. 1 and in order to get there we have to practice. We played great defense, diving on the floor and going for the ball. We did get beat in certain areas so we're still working out some of our problems.”

On improving Kentucky 's defense …
“We really wanted to pick it up on the defensive end. We got beat by both North Carolina and VMI and a lot of that was due to defense. They were setting the tone and we're trying to work on setting our own pace.”

#13 Michael Porter

On the team's defense ...
"I think defensively we tried to get up in their faces and force them out of their game to slow it up a bit. We tried to put a little pressure on them to help us get some fast-break points. We kind of needed that today. We needed someone to spark us defensively and Ramon (Harris) did a good job of coming out and playing aggressive defense in the beginning.”

On the team's offense ...
"I think we stood around the zone they played. I think we knocked down some shots, and that helped us. We need to be a little more fluid on offense and move it around a little bit more.”

On cutting down on turnovers ...
"We still had a couple of turnovers that we don't need. I felt they didn't force some of the turnovers, they were our mistakes. They didn't come out and pressure us or trap us today like the last two teams did. We are still working on it. We'd like to say we've gotten better. You'd rather have turnovers going to the basket than going away from the basket that lead to buckets for the other team.”

On his confidence on the court ...
"I always feel confident in myself. I play with confidence in practice and I just need to carry it into a game. I need to be able to shoot and make those threes for us to win. I need to be solid with the ball. I still have a lot of work to do.”

Delaware State Head Coach Greg Jackson

Opening Statement …
“We played a team today with a lot of intensity. If they continue to play with the kind of intensity that they played with today, regardless who they play they will really turn this season around. They are extremely talented at all five positions and they cause so many problems for us, especially offensively. It is so hard to get any type of offensive rhythm for 40 minutes.”

On playing such a difficult schedule …
“We play a very demanding schedule, of course in our conference in order to get into the NCAA Tournament you have to win the conference tournament. A couple of years ago we played Duke in the NCAA Tournament and lost by nine and playing these types of games will give us an indication whether or not we can play at this level. We will continue to play a very demanding schedule as we have in the past. Sometimes people ask me ‘Coach why do you play such a demanding schedule?' My philosophy especially in the conference we are in is that you are going to grow. Sometimes people put so much pressure on coaches to win basketball games that we forget about winning the lives of young people.”

On what Kentucky did to cause them problems …
“We couldn't match their intensity or challenge their efforts. They will probably end up one of the better teams in the conference. They are a young basketball team and they are still trying to understand the transition of a new coach and it is going to take some time. They came out today with a lot of desire and a lot of intensity and passion and you could see in their eyes that they wanted to make a statement. If they continue to play with that kind of passion and desire they will cause teams many problems.”

On Kentucky 's guard play …
“We didn't have the guards that can pressure their guards like other teams probably do. We are going to play a lot of Division I basketball teams and I can promise you of all the teams we will play this will be the most talented team on the defensive end that we will play.”

Delaware State Players

#21 Arturo Dubois

On the rest of the season …
“These games always help us get better, and they help us to improve and prepare for the MEAC. Hopefully we can be dominant there because of this learning experience. We have to grow as a team, because we are young and we still have to come together. Right now, we are working to get better and you can see that in how we play. Next time we have to play with the same intensity and run our system. We have to keep playing together.”

On personal improvements …
“I need to work hard, be tough on the boards, improve my defense, and get more rebounds. Also, I need to be a leader. I am a fifth-year senior and I want to show the team to play hard. That will help us stay in games.”

On playing against Kentucky in Rupp Arena …
“This is a beautiful experience and the crowd was great. It's an honor to play in this gym, because a lot of college players will never play here. We competed today and I was glad we could stay in the game. All of these out-of-conference games will help us for the rest of the season.”

#2 Trevor Welcher

On playing in Rupp Arena …
This was my first time in Rupp Arena. I have to say they have a lot of fan support, which made it pretty loud. Our team listens to our coach a lot, like every other team must do, but the noise level made it hard. We had to keep visual contact with our coach because it was so loud, but it was definitely an exciting experience.”

On preparing for the rest of the season …
We have a really tough schedule this season and we play some other big schools. We take what we can from each game and continue to build. We don't come to games just to participate, but we come to win. We can win our conference; we just have to listen to our coach and his philosophy.”

On making improvements …
“I have to keep taking instructions from Coach [Jackson] and I need to be more demanding on the court. We have proved in the past that all we have to do is listen to our coach and we can make it work.”