Kentucky-Radford Postgame Quotes

Nov. 23, 2011

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Kentucky Head Coach John Calipari

Q. Could you talk about Marquis Teague's play tonight?

John Calipari: It was good. I told him I'm going to give him one flub a half. He had one where two guys ran out, he looked away and threw it and it didn't quite go out of bounds and he had one in the second half right in front of our bench where he tried to say, ‘Michael, like, ooh, you left your feet and threw it.’ But one a half we can deal with. So he had five assists, two turns. He would have had three other assists but guys weren't prepared to shoot the ball. He thought he played in control, he went when he had to, and now he scores points without trying to score points.

But look, I've got to do a better job with him. This kid is going to do whatever I ask him to do. He's a great kid. I've got to do a better job. I've got to coach him better. I've got to be more prepared to really break down tape with him and show him and talk to him during the games. He's got to be right near me, at least for the next month, and then he'll be fine.

Q. What did you think of Sam Malone's stutter step and then move to the basket?

John Calipari: The one he turned over or the lay-up? It just makes you laugh.

You know what was funny? I walked in the office yesterday night, and he was in the gym shooting. One more of my stars, because you know what, he didn't get in practice that much. If you've been to our practice, he doesn't get on the floor and practice, so he wants to get ready for his opportunity. Brian Long better start doing the same thing. If you want to get out there and do something, then you're going to have to get yourself ready because you're not getting on that floor that much. But I was happy for him. He's a good kid.

Q. You guys posted (Terrence) Jones early on. Is there anything to read into that?

John Calipari: No, no, and he missed some baskets he needs to make. But you know, again, we're -- we are what we are right now. We're trying to figure out what we are. I've gone to seven guys, and then Eloy (Vargas), I'm getting him some spot minutes. But I told Eloy, you have two good games this season knocking people around, blocking shots, you're fine, so don't worry about it. I've got to figure out, and I told Kyle, if you don't come up with balls, Kyle I'm taking you out. Now, he had eight rebounds but he could have had another three or four rebounds.

You know, like I said, we've got a ways to go, but it was a good sign that our point guard was doing what he was supposed to, our zone offense was better, we attacked, we didn't throw it around the perimeter, we got it into the lane. But we've got a lot of work to do. I've got a lot of work to do with this team.

Q. Can you talk about your free throw shooting, how much more improved it was tonight, and also about what you just thought of your brief time you played in the zone?

John Calipari: Well, when you're up 30, you can make free throws. I need to know when it's a two-point game with two seconds to go and you're on national television who's making those, but up 30 you can make them. It's deceiving. I'm happy we did it because when teams look at our stats they start saying, you can't foul them. Good, don't foul us, because that's how they've been playing us to this point.

What was the other question?

Q. About your zone.

John Calipari: The zone I wanted to put in, and I think it's something that we need to think about doing some. And we've got to get better than we are right now. We got out of whack a little bit a couple times, but we're -- I'll look at the tape again, and we're going to try to figure out how we've got to play. Because we're long, you think you've got a shot, and someone has got a hand on you, but then we got a rebound. Kyle (Wiltjer) got that ball jerked from him, and Eloy (Vargas) went in there and rebounded, so maybe Eloy is the middle of that zone if we go zone.

Q. What does a game like tonight do to help you down the road when you play the schools like the North Carolinas of the world?

John Calipari: I don't know, but here's what I would tell you: After Old Dominion you had a lot of players in there wondering if they were any good, and wondering if our team was any good. We play Penn State, we're world beaters, we're beating anybody, where's the Lakers? Then you go to ODU and you're like, ‘Oh my gosh, we're not very good and I'm not very good and what is wrong with me?’ You want them to play well.

For me, I've always been this way as a coach: I want people to look at individual players on my team and say, ‘That guy is good and that guy really plays and this guy plays and that guy plays,’ and yes, I want them to say my team plays hard, they play great defense and they play together. Short of that, I want it to be about individual players playing well. If I can get them to play well and I can get them to play together where they're a team, good things will happen.

What happened up at ODU, we all went our own way and then everybody looked bad. There wasn't a player on the court except Darius (Miller) who looked like he was a good player.

Q. If Marquis (Teague) gets one flub per half, what happens on the second flub?

John Calipari: I'll probably be very aggressive with him. Depending on time and score, I may take him out, I may not take him out. I had a young man at UMass named Antoine Brown, and I used to have three of those flubs in my pocket a game. I knew he'd spin and get it stolen, and he was my only point guard. He was a freshman. He was a two-guard in high school. He would spin and get it stolen, and I'd be all right, on the third one, you're all right, and on the fourth one I'd start getting mad. Fifth one I got really mad. But you've got to -- as a kid is learning you've got to give him a couple a half or a couple a game, not a couple a half, one a half -- and he tried. He's trying. He's listening.

Q. Slow start on offense, seemed like defense kind of got things going. What did you like on both ends of the ball?

John Calipari: Well, there's two things you can do when a team tries to hold the ball, which is what they were going to do until the shot clock winds down, hopefully make shots: You've got to really bother them. You can't let them just do it because they're not trying to score. So try to steal balls, try to get up in people, try to be active with your hands, block balls and run. After a while you're wearing them out more than they're wearing you out.

But we didn't -- we came down and we walked, we missed a shot, we got a ball tipped from us. It was 4-0 versus being 12-0 and then we got going a little bit offensively and made some plays.

But like I said, we are what we are right now. We're still trying to learn, we're trying to figure things out.

Q. You've said a couple times now that you think you've got to play some zone. Why is that?

John Calipari: Because I think there's some teams that you can zone that we're going to play that I think we can come down and they want to get into their rhythm of play and we can play some zone.

It's also -- I don't see us giving up wide-open shots because we're so big. You know, I just don't see it because we're so long and big. I would probably do it with a big lineup so that every shot is a contested shot and it's not bad. I've never had a big zone like that. You think about it, we're 6-foot-10 across the line and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist has a 7-foot-2 wingspan at one guy, and maybe it's Doron (Lamb) or Marquis (Teague) at the other guard. I mean, that's a big zone, very big.

FastScripts by ASAP Sports

Kentucky Players

#3, Terrence Jones, F

On how the team played tonight…
“We did better than the game before. We are still improving. We showed a better effort on the things coach challenged us on.”

On the slow offensive start …
“It’s okay if we have slow offensive nights if we are playing well defensively. Everybody’s playing hard, but sometimes it won’t fall for you. We did a good job sprinting the floor and creating offense from our defense.”

On how Marquis (Teague) played tonight …
“Really just listening to coach. He really tried to prove to him this game that he was listening and doing what he asked. He did a good job of running the team.”

On the difficulty of playing in games being a heavy favorite…
“Staying focused. On Sunday’s game we lost focus (because we were) ready to come back home after being gone for so long.”

#23, Anthony Davis, F

On Sam Malone’s drive and score …
“He does it in practice as well. We already knew he was going to do something. We are trying to get Brian (Long) to shoot the ball too.”

On how well the team is playing together …
“I think we are playing very well. Nobody is trying to play for themselves. Coach Cal stresses that we need to play as a team. We can’t beat the other team by ourselves so playing together makes the game a lot easier.”

On needing a win after the Old Dominion game …
“Any win would be great after that. We really didn’t play well. I wasn’t staying low and being aggressive.  We needed it to get our confidence back up.”

On the play of Teague and listening to Coach Cal…
“He just wants to listen to Coach Cal and be a great player. He knows Cal can help him because he has a lot of point guards in the NBA.”

#25, Marquis Teague, G

On how he played tonight, and how he felt he played...
“It felt good, just play good one game. I mean, not turn the ball over as much and get the win.”

On if his 'mind was tying up his feet' in previous games...
Yeah that's the case, I was just trying to make the hardest play instead of the easiest. Trying to make a highlight play instead of the fundamental play.”

On what was going through his mind while he was messing up...
“Coach Cal was telling me things thathe was wanting me to do, and I was trying to go out there and do them to perfection, which was causing me to mess up.”

On how he plays with a lot of emotion:
“I play with a lot of emotion, thats how I've played since I was little.”

On making the "easy play', lobbing it to Terrence (Jones) or Anthony (Davis)...
That is as easy as it is going to get”

#20, Doron Lamb, G

On starting off slow and relying on the defense...
“You got to work as a team on defense early in the game and get the stops. Steals and rebounds will lead to easier offense.”

On Thanksgiving plans for tomorrow...
“I think Marquis (Teague) and I are going to Twany (Beckham's) in Louisville; a little team bonding.”

On playing the zone in the second half...
With Terrence (Jones) and Anthony (Davis) on the wings blocking shots, it really helps us. With me, Marquis (Teague), and Michael (Kidd-Gilchrist) at the top of the key, the other team can't really get a shot up.”

On not overlooking these next couple games before the high profile games...
“Just don't go out and force shots because it's a weaker team. Just play hard on defense and the game will come to you.”

Radford Head Coach Mike Jones

Opening Statement …
“It was a great experience for our guys to come in here and play in front of a great crowd. I thought our guys battled, coming into the game we knew that they were going to be bigger, stronger and more athletic at every position and if we just fought hard good things would happen for us. Unfortunately, the ball didn’t fall in the hole early in the game. It is very difficult when you spend a lot of energy on the defensive end and the ball just doesn’t fall. It is just human nature to get a little frustrated and I think some of that happened at the beginning of the game. I was very pleased with our defensive effort at the beginning of the game, the score could have very easily been 20-0 and instead it was 12-0 before we got our first basket.”

On having open shots…
“We had open shots. I would say – haven’t looked at the tape – we had six or seven open shots at the beginning of the game that just didn’t go down. We thought we could hurt them in transition and we got out in transition and got some looks but they didn’t go down. We had to come back and battle on the defensive end which I thought we did a pretty good job.”

On Kentucky’s length …
“They remind me of the Syracuse team that won the national championship that year (2003). We played them when I was at the University of Richmond and they would sit in the zone and we had to figure out how to get the ball into the middle and it’s hard to because of their length, and when you think you have a shot they’d close out quickly and be able to put pressure on it. I definitely think if they did play some it would be tough to score against them in that.”

On defending all of Kentucky’s options …
“The tough part is when they are on that back line and you help at all and they just throw it up to the rim. Once they get up in the air, then they are pretty much on their own, but if you can get them before they are in the air then I think you have a chance. The biggest thing for us coming into the game were two things, one, getting back in transition, and to do that we couldn’t afford to turn the ball over. In the half court the biggest thing was to just stay in front of the drivers because they all want to drive. I thought they did a really good job of getting inside the zone with drives. We didn’t close out the right way, we’d run up to them and the next thing we knew they’d be by us and we’d end up scrambling. They were able to get a lot of good shots because they were able to get into the defense and kick it out. They are a difficult matchup, they have a lot of skilled players. Terrence Jones, (Michael) Kidd-Gilchrist and (Darius) Miller are good at taking one or two dribbles and kicking it out and I think that’s one thing that hurt us the most.”

Radford Players

#24, Brian Darden, G

On going up against Kentucky’s frontline …
“It was a new adjustment for us. We have to come out and play harder. If we played harder, we could have done better. They (Kentucky) had pretty good pressure, but if we would have executed better, we would not have as many problems.”

On how this game will help prepare Radford for its conference schedule …
“I think our team will accept that we are all in this together and need to play as a unit. We need to improve on executing our offensive plays. I think our defense has been tremendous for the most part and we need to concentrate on executing our offense.”

#23, Johnathan Edwards, F

On playing in Rupp Arena …
“The fans here are very enthusiastic. When you grow up as a kid, you see Kentucky and this is a different atmosphere. We have played in big arenas, but this place is different. The fans are passionate.”

On playing against No. 2 Kentucky …
“They are a lot more athletic than the teams in our conference. They are a lot bigger. When you play against a team like this you have to be very sharp offensively. You have to pay attention to detail. They are a very good team and aren’t No. 2 in the nation for nothing.”

On Radford’s non-conference schedule …
“This is one of the toughest non-conference schedules I have been a part of. We have been able to prepare for a lot of different styles. Even though we’ve played a lot of games in a short time, in the conference tournament we’ll have to play three games in four days. This prepares us for where we want to be at the end of the season.”