Kentucky-Lamar Postgame Quotes

Dec. 3, 2008

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Kentucky Head Coach Billy Gillispie

On the injuries …
“Well you get scared. Those things don't happen very often. Fear a lot of times is created by the unknown so it was scary. I feel bad for both guys. Those are my kids out there on the court and you feel helpless that you can't help them. But we have great people who can, so you hope and pray that they are going to be ok. When Ramon (Harris) was on the court he was obviously in a lot of pain. I don't think he was hearing much of anything anyone was saying. Like the doctor said, hopefully everything will be fine. We will learn more as we go. During that play Perry (Stevenson) dove for a ball on the other side of the lane so I didn't see the collision. I know Michael (Porter) got 10 stitches put in his eye. I don't know if he has a concussion or not, I didn't ask about that. I know he is not feeling really well right now. It was two guys going really hard and they collided.”

On DeAndre Liggins
“I thought he played well. I thought everyone played well tonight. Except for some defensive plays we had after we got a large lead, we still played well. We stay organized for the most part. There are still a lot of little details we have to eliminate. I think we made a major step forward tonight.”

On how we played after the collision …
“They did play hard and with a purpose but those are family members out there. We are a very close group. It is a testament to how much our guys love and care for each other. Our guys didn't put it out of their minds, but they were able to concentrate. I think they did an outstanding job finishing the game. A lot of times in those kind of situations it becomes very easy to lose focus because of the love for your teammate. To our credit our guys got the energy level up and still played hard. I think we were determined to not lose tonight.”

On Patrick Patterson's play …
“He has to rebound better but he knows that. We knew at halftime that we were not rebounding well enough. I thought he did some things tonight that he has never done in his career. He got some easy baskets and that is the way he can end up averaging 20 points per game. He did a good job getting to the foul line. The hard baskets are hard to come by. He played really well. I don't think he ever plays to the scoreboard but it is human nature to do that. It is hard to maintain your focus with a large lead, but you still have to go out and chase down every loose ball. All of us have to rebound better.”

On less turnovers …
“We put a lot of pressure on their defense. We ran harder and moved the ball fairly well in transition. We got some easy transition baskets. Lamar was in retreat mode when we got a defensive rebound and that left things open on the perimeter. Sixteen turnovers is still to many, but it is still a much improved number for us. Some of the turnovers were on the baseline and that is ok because it made them take the ball out and gave us a chance to get into our defense. There were still some turnovers that led to easy baskets for them and we have to eliminate that. We played against a good team and the score didn't show that. We saw some glimpses at times at how good Lamar is, but they are a well coached team that played hard until the end.”

Kentucky Players

#23 Jodie Meeks

On his assist-to-turnover ratio this season and taking better care of the ball tonight …
“Everything I am doing, I am doing as hard as I can. I just think I have to improve it this year. I think DeAndre (Liggins) did a good job of running the court tonight. Especially Patrick (Patterson), he had a good night. I think we were more patient on offense and our pace was better. We got the ball inside and got it to guys off screens for open shots. I have had a lot of turnovers in the past few games. I am just watching a lot of film since we got back from Las Vegas and been trying to correct things.”

On teammate DeAndre Liggins' play tonight …
“I was happy that he came in and stepped up for us when Mike (Porter) went down. We're not really sure how long Mike might be out, so he might have to step again on Saturday. Kevin Galloway stepped up tonight also.”

On the collision between teammates Ramon Harris and Michael Porter
“It was scary. I really didn't see it happen, with Mike and Ramon. I didn't really even know what to think and then I saw the stretcher come out. I was worried for them. We just hoped they were alright. Anytime someone can't walk off the court by themselves, you know something is wrong. We prayed for (Ramon).”

On his role on the team this year …
“It doesn't make a difference to me (to be in the media spotlight). I am comfortable in my role. To get big points inside we need to get the ball to (Patrick Patterson) as much as possible. I get my points off of him too because the defense sags towards him and gets me open.”

#21 Perry Stevenson

On the collision …
“I didn't even see it. I dove on the floor for the ball and I just looked up and they were both on the ground. I honestly thought he was just getting a break, I didn't know what else to think about it. It was definitely serious. It just hurts everybody to see a brother like that. Hopefully he's going to be okay. By the time he's done, it will probably too late to go see him but we'll go tomorrow. We were pretty scared. Anytime you don't know, it's scary. It was tough, but I'm more than sure he would have wanted us to do it. We rallied together and made sure that we finished the game. He would want us to.”

On turnovers …
“Sixteen from what we had the last couple games is an improvement. We have to get a lot better on it. I thought it was okay, it could have been better. It can always be better.”

On Liggins and Galloway …
“He plays better every time. DeAndre will be a special player. I haven't seen him take any days off. He shoots well in practice like he did today, he's capable, he can do it. We feed off of our point guard players and when he's running, we just have to keep up with him. Galloway practices well. You can't practice poorly and just perform when the lights come on, at least that's what Coach Gillispie says. They both are really good players and can handle the ball. In fact, I believe they are both true point guards. Even though Kevin is almost 6-6 and DeAndre is pretty tall too. Their height is definitely an advantage. You can see so much more of the floor than a smaller guard. It makes it a whole lot easier for them and for us. They'll find us on any and every play.”

#54 Patrick Patterson

On the play tonight …
“It was a really good night for me and my teammates as well. Darius [Miller] played a good game out there. Coach wanted me to run in transition whenever I couldn't get the rebound or whenever I wasn't near the ball and that is what I'm trying to do, get easy run outs. We were able to utilize a lot of things out there. Running the transition worked well with DeAndre out there and looking up court. The two game half court offense was able to work the ball around, our first two shots were three-pointers off of single down screens. Josh [Harrelson] and A.J. [Stewart] were able to work the side of the post and the guards were able to feed us the ball. From an offensive stand point it went really well tonight.”

On his rebounding …
“Oh yeah, I heard about it in the locker room at halftime and he was right. I wasn't hustling to get the rebound like I was in Las Vegas . I wasn't trying to position myself to get the rebound. I was lackadaisical on the rebounding part. I just wasn't in the right position. I wasn't boxing out my man the way I should have been. I wasn't hustling to rebound, hustling to the glass. I think I was more worried about the offensive and other things than rebounding.”

On Darius Miller's dunk and play …
“I would put it up around a 10. I talked to him when we went back there and we all wondered why he didn't keep pushing. He sort of slowed down a little bit hoping the guy would try to jump with him. All of a sudden he just takes off in the air and finishes it. I don't think he realizes how good he is. He really can be a good athlete and a good basketball player. At this point I really don't think he realizes it. Eventually he will realize it and see himself improving every single game.”

Lamar Head Coach Steve Roccaforte

Opening Statement …
“I thought Kentucky came out and played very well. They shot the ball well from the two and the three. They turned us over and made easy baskets out of that. We were in the hole from the start. That's not how we've been playing the five games prior to this so I'm disappointed in that, but I think Kentucky had a lot to do with that. They were a lot bigger and more athletic than us, but that's happened to us before and we've been okay. I thought they played terrific. Whenever you shoot the percentages they shot and do what they did, it will be hard to beat them.”

On preparing for this weekend's tournament at Louisville …
“Coming into this we said that one game is not going to make our season. We were 1-5 at this time last year and this season we are 5-1. We have to set our sights on Ohio University on Saturday and try to be 6-1 when that game is over. We have to get better. Kentucky is a top-25 team in my opinion, they are an NCAA tournament team, and it just shows us that right now we're not. That's where we are striving to go, but we still have a long way to go. After 35 games, that's when it's going to matter where we are and if we got better. We have to use this game to get better.”

On Coy Custer and Kenny Dawkins …
“Coy Custer is a redshirt sophomore. He's getting better every day. I thought he played well tonight. Kenny Dawkins is our best player and our leader. They did not play like they've been playing. They had 26 and 19 points last game, so I'm disappointed they didn't play their best games, but I think Kentucky had a lot to do with that. The guys guarding us were a lot bigger, stronger and more athletic. We knew that coming in. I just thought we would play a tighter ballgame and run and defend better, but we didn't.”

On keeping the team's confidence up despite a deficit …
“We wanted to come out in the second half, cut it down as much as we could and see what we could do. Once it got to the six or seven minute mark I was concerned about getting injured guys (Jay Brown and Ashton Hall) out of the game. I wanted to get them out of the game and prepare for the next game. When you're out of the game and you know you can't win, you get those injured guys on the bench. We got some other guys playing time. They work hard every day and they deserve to get in the game. They did a nice job doing what we like to do.”

Lamar Players

#52 Coy Custer

On his performance …
“I'm not worried about myself. As a team, we need to play better. We aren't about individuals. We are about being a team. We just need to follow the game plan like we should have (tonight) and it would have been a better game.”

On what areas the team needs to improve on …
“We just need to improve on turnovers. We had too many turnovers. We let ( Kentucky ) get too many fast breaks. We need to shorten our passes and make better decisions.”

On what made it difficult to come back into the game …
“We went into halftime and were down by 26 (points). The key to coming back was to execute our offense and defense. We didn't end up doing that.”

On how the team will refocus before their upcoming tournament in Louisville …
“We're just going to work on our offense and our execution. We're going to work on running our plays, running our defense and playing better basketball overall.”

#14 Kenny Dawkins

On his thoughts of the game tonight …
“We played poorly. We didn't execute on offense and didn't come ready to play tonight. Kentucky is a good team and we will regroup tomorrow. You have to take one day at a time. Any time you lose it is frustrating for any team, but a good team will bounce back the next game.”

On how they can improve after this game …
“Communication is very important. We have to come out and play hard. We have to just take this loss and go back to practice and try hard.”

On what Kentucky did to get out to a big lead …
“They came out and played aggressive and hard. They had a high intensity level and we weren't able to match that tonight. They got a lot of transition points early that put us in a hole that we couldn't get out of. The transition points are what killed us.”