Kentucky-UNC Asheville Postgame Quotes

Nov. 30, 2009

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Kentucky Head Coach John Calipari

On how he thought that Kentucky played tonight ...

"I thought that we finally started to get aggressive in the press since we haven't done it in three weeks and we have practice that. I thought that it looked good. We had eight turnovers which isn't enough, we should have at least 11 or 12. If you have eight turnovers it means that you are not aggressive enough. They laughed when I told them that in there. They said, `You say we have too many and now you say that we don't have enough.' I just don't think that if you have eight turnovers that you are playing with enough aggressiveness. We created 19 turnovers and only gave them nine offensive rebounds which are things that we have been trying to work on. One thing that I will tell you that is funny is like DeMarcus. We worked on his free throw a little bit and got him instead of a full motion to put it under his chin and shoot it from there. These kids respond when we coach them, but there is so much to do. There is only so many fingers to put in the dike and there is water squirting out from everywhere. So we work on this and that goes haywire then we work on that and this goes haywire. You know what, I didn't like the effort in the first part of the game but I like the way our guys went out and played after halftime. They really tried. We broke down a little defensively. One of the reasons that Darnell hasn't been playing is because he refuses to get out there and guard. I wanted to let him run a little bit but he breaks down on straight drives and we just have to get him thinking like the other guys."

On the passing by the two guards in the game ...

"We have been on him (John Wall) and Eric (Bledsoe) both to throw it ahead, just give it up. The ball moves up the floor faster on a pass than on a dribble. They are listening and trying. Like I said I like what we did against the zone and I thought that we worked the ball better. I think that we got the ball inside and looked over the top and did some better things. Folks, we just have a long way to go. We are just an OK team right now. Sometimes we are not bad, not good, but just not bad and sometimes we are just plain bad."

On how far along he thinks they are compared to some other top-rated teams like North Carolina ...

"We are not near those guys, right now. I don't think so. You know what the great news about playing them is that we are going to find out. We are going to find out. You are talking about a well-coached team with terrific players. They have McDonalds All-Americans and a bunch of them not just one or two. They are young at guard and we are young everywhere. You are talking about two teams who are trying to figure out what is what. I have watched and they play and run hard. They run the floor and their big man fly. If you jog up the floor and you are guarding a big man then they are getting dunks. That is just how it is. Everyone talks about our length but they are as long if not longer than us. When they put Henson at the three at 6-foot-10 then all of a sudden they are really long. I am going to watch this tape on the bus back and I haven't really seen North Carolina. I think that I saw about five minutes of a game that they have on TV. I didn't watch too much of it. I will start to watch them more tonight. We have an off day tomorrow and come back Wednesday and Thursday and have a backed-up practice on Friday because of the afternoon game. This next 10 days we are going to find out exactly where we are. It is not bad if we lose all three, it is not bad as long as we learn where we are and what we need to work on. The only way we will do that is playing those kinds of teams."

Kentucky Players

#11, G, John Wall

On preparing for the rest of the season...

"UNC Asheville is a pretty good team, but you have to push yourself to get prepared. We have been working hard on our offence and defense. My mind set is that I need to be a competitor on and off the court."

On North Carolina...

"They have a great team this year. We need a good team who is going to challenge us and North Carolina is going to do a good job of that. They have good post players, guards and a great coach in Roy Williams. I knew when I saw it on the schedule it would be a game we would need to get prepared for and Coach has done a good job of that."

#33, Daniel Orton

On preparing for North Carolina...

"I am really looking forward to it. I am ready for it and ready to get started in practice for it. We need to stay calm, focused and not get overwhelmed for it. We can't waste our energy early, we need to use it in the game. We need to focus on what we have been doing and preparing like it is any normal game. But, that is hard because it isn't, but it's something we have to do. We have to go through our normal routine every day."

On improved team communication...

"It started with Ramon Harris talking, and it carried from him. It carried with us out of Cancun, and Coach Calipari talked about how well Ramon talked to everybody. It motivated all of us to talk."

#15, F, DeMarcus Cousins

On your comfort at the free throw line...

"In practice, I had to sit out because of my hurt hip. But the whole time I worked on my free throws and I had to shoot free throws 81%, so I was feeling confident. After I missed the first one I just thought `Here we go again.'"

On how much you practiced your free throws...

"I shot 250 free throws that were tallied, but I shot a lot of free throws in practice; probably at least 500. I changed my form a little bit, but after some practice it feels a lot better. I am pretty used to it now."

On how ready the team is to play North Carolina...

"We haven't prepared yet, but we will be doing a lot of that this week. These next practices are going to be very intense. We will be ready for North Carolina."

On your impression of John Wall having fourteen assists, and only one turnover...

"That's John, he can do anything if he puts his mind to it. John (Wall) is an incredible person, and an incredible player, but that doesn't surprise me at all."

UNC Asheville Head Coach Eddie Biedenbach 

Opening statement ...

"We are far from the team we are supposed to be so far this year. So far, we are making great improvement and every game has been an improvement. This game was an improvement and we learned a lot. Some of our big guys got some playing time that will help them. Every season is a work in progress and we are improving. This was a good game for us and Kentucky has great talent."

On the difference in the first and second halves...

"It's more of what we didn't do. We didn't attack their press well, we didn't stay behind or move the ball, and we didn't do some things with scheming. We were trying to get passes through good athletes. We were trying to throw and lob over them. That doesn't work and we know better than that. But, we needed games like this. When we do those things in practice and against other teams, you get away with them."

On Kentucky...

"Kentucky gained a lot in this game. They gained confidence and they didn't turn the ball over much. Our pressure wasn't all that bad, and Kentucky played better than they had in previous games. As far as the turnovers, they played smarter than they had been playing."

On John Wall...

"I've watched John (Wall) for a long time and I saw him first when he was a junior. What impresses me about him, is he is not an AAU-type street player that runs up and down, and dunks. He is a very solid basketball player that makes good solid basketball plays. I can see why he is rated so high. When I saw him in high school, he was not flamboyant, but he did things easily. He can still do those things easily in college. He is definitely a great player. It looks like he is solid the way he handled the team and talked. He is fairly mature for a young kid, too. I think he has a lot going for him."

UNC Asheville Players 

#15 Sean Smith, G

On what is it like playing against Kentucky ...

"It's great to play someone of that caliber and to play them in Freedom Hall. It's great. It helps to play better competition going into conference play."

On how would you compare Kentucky to Tennessee ...

"They're both really good but their styles are a little different. It will be a good match up, Kentucky presses a lot more is the biggest difference."

On what do you think about John Wall ...

"He's a great player. He's a great all-around player which really makes him great. He's just really good."

#33 D.J. Cunningham, C

On playing against John Wall ...

"He's a great athlete. There's nothing you can do about him, he does whatever he wants just like he did when I played against him back in AAU ball. He's changed a little though. Before he would just push the ball as hard as he could and try to dunk on anyone but now he's slowed down a little and looked to give it up a little more. That's a part of his game that has really improved."

On how would you compare Kentucky to Tennessee ...

"Kentucky is much better by far and the sky is the limit, but Tennessee is still a top 10 team."

On what does it feel like to play against DeMarcus Cousins ...

"He's a great big guy. He's very skilled especially for a freshman and that skill is going to take him along way. I played better than I thought against him, I was proud of myself, but he's probably the best center I have played this year."