Kentucky-Boston Postgame Quotes

Nov. 30, 2010

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Kentucky Assistant Coach John Robic

FastScripts by ASAP Sports

Q. Can you just talk a little bit about what you all talked about at halftime and how well you felt you did as far as accomplishing that?

COACH ROBIC: Well, at half we wanted to get back to working on the things that we worked on the last couple days. We still didn't really communicate very well, and we did a much better job of that in the second half. I thought defensively we picked it up. We shared the ball, made the right plays in the second half, and that's something that we stress, also, and you can see that by the 21 assists. That was something that we really worked on.

We were a little leery going into it because we thought we were a little selfish in the last game, that we would pass up shots, but we were happy with the distribution and the shots we took tonight.

Q. When you guys opened the second half you made eight out of nine threes. How much does that maybe help get a good flow when you're making shots?

COACH ROBIC: Beats missing them. (Laughter.)

No, I mean, I thought all the threes that we took I thought were all good shots. I mean, we think that we have a pretty good shooting team, and the right players took the right shots, and they were open shots. And when we have them, we want our guys to take them. And more times than not they were off of penetration and a kick-out, both against the zone and man-to-man. We got good looks, and fortunately they went down.

Q. Could you just kind of talk us through what the week was like in terms of preparation, what Coach Calipari was there for, what was different tonight and leading up to it?

COACH ROBIC: He was -- we came back from Maui and we were off Friday. We practiced twice Saturday. We practiced twice Sunday and practiced once Monday. Coach didn't miss anything. We found out about the passing of his mother during the second practice Sunday. Coach continued to finish the practice, then flew to Charlotte and came back for practice on Monday and was at the shoot-around today and coached the game tonight.

I've been with him for 14 years and he's never missed a practice. It just shows the commitment that he has to not only his family in Charlotte but to this family in the locker room. It says a lot about him.

Q. Boston's coach called Josh Harrellson the "mother hen" of your team, said he's perfect for what you all want to do because he doesn't demand shots, he just does what he's supposed to do. How invaluable has he been early on being an older guy and doing those types of things?

COACH ROBIC: Well, if he does the things that he's capable of doing, he's going to score some points and get some rebounds. I mean, he's going to be a screener, a rebounder, a, quote-unquote, garbage man down low. He doesn't have the same post skills as DeMarcus (Cousins) did or Pat (Patterson) did down there, so he's going to be a little limited.

We only run a couple things for him. He's getting better. So is Eloy (Vargas) in practice. Kenny Payne and Orlando (Antigua) have done a really good job of just simplifying things for these guys having them have one or two moves and nothing else, but he has that ability -- they both have the ability to knock down free throws if they get fouled, and like Josh hit that big three against Washington, also. But it's something we're not going to live and die with. You know what, for the first time being in a role like this, he's done well after six games.

Q. After the UCONN game Cal said he was going to try to sit with Brandon (Knight) and define how he's going to play point guard. What is that definition and how well do you think he executed it?

COACH ROBIC: Well, this is the fourth point guard that he's done it with, and Derrick (Rose) and Tyreke (Evans) and John (Wall) and Brandon (Knight), they all struggled early. Brandon is a scorer, so he's probably the best scorer, true scorer, best shooter of the four, so it's a whole new learning experience for him.

He got a little bit better, but he was proud of the number of assists he had tonight, which is a different mentality for him. And if he continues to do that, it's just going to make our team better because the thing that we tried and Coach (Calipari) tried to explain to him is he's going to score within the flow of the game. He doesn't have to force the action.

His job is to get the other guys involved, and if he can get them involved, that will just make us an entirely different team.

Q. Would you say that (Doron) Lamb is instant offense coming off the bench?

COACH ROBIC: Well, what he showed you, he needs to be on the court. He really knows how to play. We were impressed -- we were impressed how he guarded on-ball defense tonight. We put him on the point guard and moved Brandon (Knight) off the ball, so that was something new for us, and he gives us a little bit better size in doing that, which is a nice little wrinkle for us.

He knows how to score the ball. I mean, he knows how to play. He has a great feel for the game. We have to get him to be able to talk. That's the biggest drawback with Doron right now. If we can get him to talk, that again is another way to make our team much better.

Q. I heard you say last night that you guys have got a new free throw approach, and you made 17 out of --

COACH ROBIC: Above our average.

Q. Yes. How did that go do you think? How important is it overall?

COACH ROBIC: Well, I think it's very important. It's going to come into play at some point in time, and we all know that it's a confidence thing. But these guys tried it their way, and (Coach John) Calipari just said now you're going to do it my way and everybody is going to have the same routine and shoot it his way. You know, and it's a confidence thing. We know they're not going to make them all, but it's funny, when you practice it that way, you get disappointed when you make nine out of 10. It sure beats five out of 10.

It's one of those things that is a streaky thing, as well. One guy makes, the next guy is going to make, or it could go the other way.

Q. How do you feel this got you ready going into North Carolina? What can you take away?

COACH ROBIC: Well, I think the biggest thing is that some (of the) things that we worked on, I think we got better in. There's some areas that we're going to have to address Thursday and Friday to get ready for that North Carolina game. Our transition defense is going to have to be a No. 1 key because they really play fast. Our post defense is going to have to be better than it was tonight because they're big and they force the ball low. And if they -- if we work on those areas, you know -- we need to address those area.

I think tonight we shared the ball well, and I thought we really guarded well, too, and especially in the half court.

Q. What about when you're talking about Saturday will be kind of the first true road test for this team. How important will that be as far as a learning experience for your new guys?

COACH ROBIC: Well, I mean, it's going to be a big deal because you're going in front of, what, 22,000 people for the first time. We played on the road at Portland and there was 10,000 people, which was a nice crowd, but this is truly everybody in that building except for the 40 tickets that we get are going to be for the other team.

It'll be interesting. I mean, those are the type of games that you play for and you coach for. I know our guys respect the other team, and it's going to be a challenge going on the road, but hopefully our guys are up for it.

Q. I just wondered if Cal is not doing his radio show, he didn't come out for this, what's the reason? How much of that is with his mom?

COACH ROBIC: He didn't say. All I know is DeWayne (Peevy) told me to go do media. He goes in the locker room and yells at people, and he yelled my name. So it's -- that's a personal thing, and we're all in this together. If he tells me to go run outside right now, I'm going to go run outside. He's my boss.

We're just pleased it was a nice tribute from our players to wear the black socks in honor of (Coach) Cal's mom, and he said in the locker room to the guys afterwards that he called his dad and told him that, and that's a neat thing and a special thing. Our thoughts and prayers go out to coach's father and his sisters and Ellen (Calipari) and the kids here and all the other grandkids. We're all in this together, and he knows that we're there for him.

Thank you very much.

Kentucky Players

# 3, Terrence Jones, F

On Kentucky's better play the second half ...
"It wasn't really a speech (at halftime). It was just everyone played hard. We drove the ball and passed the ball better in the second half. It opened up the game. We knocked down open shots."

"That's the team we need to be all year. That's when we play our best is when everyone is involved. Everyone is having fun and everyone is getting the same opportunity."

On why UK was tentative in the first half ...
"We weren't so much nervous about losing (early in the game), more nervous about playing selfish and looking like we're not looking for others. I say we passed up a lot of shots in the first half that some guys should have shot. In the second half, they did shoot them and made them."

#20, Doron Lamb, G

On what was said at halftime ...
"Well, our coaches said that we weren't playing aggressive enough and we weren't playing to our ability. He (Coach Calipari) wanted us to come out a lot harder than we did in the Maui championship game against UConn. He wanted us to compete and he knows we are 30 points better than we showed. When we were out there, you could hear the other team yelling and screaming because they were only down seven. So, we just wanted to come out at the beginning of the second half and be more aggressive."

On if he could hear the Boston players confidence ...
"Oh we could hear them. We heard them yelling and screaming (when they were only down seven). We just wanted to come out there and be aggressive and thats what we did. We made open shots, and got the ball to the open guys."

On the extra pass leading to 3-pointers made ...
"Coach Calipari told us it was going to be a big thing in the game. In Maui, he said that we were selfish and we were trying to lay the ball up between three people when there were open guys in the corners. So, we were just trying to be unselfish and pass the ball to the open man and make shots."

#12, Brandon Knight, G

On halftime adjustments...
"I'm just trying to grow as an individual, but the main thing is the team playing well and I thought the second half we were able to pick it up and play well and try to play as unselfish as possible. There was a lot of minor things we had to fix like passing and cutting through, rebounding with two hands, just certain things that we had to fix that we know we should be doing."

On playing North Carolina...
"We are doing our best to prepare and be ready to get a win. We've been working on talking and playing as a unit, help side. If we're talking and have each other's back and we're unselfish, I think that is when we are at our best, so we're working on those things. It should be a battle, but if we come together we'll be alright. We're looking forward to it a lot, to come out and prove ourselves as a team and as a unit."

On Josh Harrellson ...
"He has been getting better each and every game and that is what he has been doing this year overall. He has improved a lot with his conditioning and we need him to contribute each and every game trying to hustle after boards and not go after stuff with one hand; go after balls with two hands and just be a monster."

#55, Josh Harrellson, F

On his new nickname of the "Mother Hen"...
"I am just taking in my role of trying to rebound and get put backs as well as not really trying to get the ball to me. I am trying to be a better defender and a rebounder. I am going to start taking charges. Today was the first time I have ever tried to take a charge."

On his role on the team of being a "Mother Hen" figure...
"I can just try to take the freshmen under my wings, lead by example and be a vocal leader out there when it is needed."

On the Boston coach saying he is perfect for this team...
"I guess in a way I am. We have so much offense that I do not need to score 20 points a night to be successful. If I can just put my 10 points in and if me and Eloy (Vargas) combine for a double- double, and go out there getting offensive rebounds through each other then we will be fine."

On Boston having an upbeat tempo at halftime...
"Coach told us before the game to listen. We could hear how excited they were and at halftime they started doing the same thing. We all decided to just get to work and start out on defense. Coach told us it was defense first."

Boston Head Coach Patrick Chambers

Opening statement...
"All I can say is that must have been one heck of a halftime speech. I'm going to have to ask him for a copy of that. We played pretty hard for 20 minutes, and then their talent, their strength between them I mean they're really talented and Coach Cal's a great coach. We were hoping to just hang and hang as long as we could. And that spurt in the first five minutes (of the second half) was just crushing, absolutely crushing. I'm proud of our kids, I didn't think they stopped competing and they didn't stop playing. That's what you always teach; don't hang your head, just keep competing, keep playing hard, keep playing through adversity and there was a ton of it out there tonight with the fans and the made 3s, and, you know, balls not going your way, bouncing the other way and missing shots. But that's credit to Kentucky. It's obvious in that second half they were still thinking about UConn. They came out and really stuck it to us and that's what great teams do and that's why they're ranked as high as they are. I give them all the credit in the world, and this is going to be a great experience for our team. And down the road, the next time we're in a venue like this, we're going to learn from it and we're going to play a little bit better and maybe steal it. Again, all the credit in the world to Kentucky. I'm proud of my guys, I thought we competed, we're just not as talented."

On the momentum building 3-point baskets and the effect they can have for a team...
"It's crushing. As soon as you see the first one go in it just starts to open up. If at first it was a golf hole, now it starts to open up to a nice big ocean. And they were finding the bottom of the net and we weren't. That was a huge momentum change. But they took good shots, they were good, open uncontested 3s, and when you're shooting uncontested 3s they're going to go in. And on the other end, we're shooting contested 3s so we have to work hard. We have a lot of work to do. We're a work in progress and our margin for error is very small, but we're going to get there."

On comparing Kentucky and Villanova's basketball teams after playing each team this season...
"They're very similar. The seed is there, the drivers and the shot makers are there. They shoot similar in 3s - on a good night they're going to get 10-12, on a tough night they'll get four or six, but they'll get to the foul line. They're bigs play similarly, they're going to rebound and defend and block shots and do all the dirty work that you need so those two teams are very similar."

On John Holland for Boston cooling off after a hot start...
"I just think he ran out of steam. He played a lot of minutes and those guys are big and they're strong and they wore us down. That's what happens when you're on our level, you can try and do all the lifting in the preseason and the offseason but it's never going to be to this level. Hopefully we'll get there someday."

On the play of Kentucky senior forward Josh Harrellson...
"I love that kid. He does everything that you want a center or a big man to do. He plays ball screens great, he rebounds the basketball, he blocks shots. He's the mother hen out there. You hear him talking the whole time, he covers for everybody. If there's a blow by, he's right there making good plays, good decisions. They gave him the ball a couple times which is good for us but he made a couple hook shots and he made a layup and he did some good things. I really like him. He's perfect for this team."