Kentucky-MVSU Postgame Quotes

Dec. 7, 2008

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Kentucky Head Coach Billy Gillispie

On if he thought there was a little hangover from yesterday's game …
“Yeah maybe a little bit, but I thought that everybody did okay. We did some good things today, but we definitely have some things that we need to improve upon. The most disturbing thing is that we got beat yesterday because we didn't defend and we didn't defend well enough today either. We only forced 16 turnovers today and they have been turning the ball over more against their other opponents. We started to recognize a few things better like understanding where our best player is and try to get him the ball a little bit more.”

On the defensive performance …
“Our defensive numbers look good, but they got the ball too much and we didn't execute the ball screen good enough. When we were successful defensively it was because we had a personnel advantage and regardless of the personnel you want to try to be in the right position and help your teammates. We will get better. They (MVSU) are quick and Coach Woods is doing a good job with them having them run their sets and be patient with them. We are getting better at guarding quick players, we struggled with that earlier in that area, but hopefully improvement will continue.”

On Landon Slone's play …
“He plays hard and shot the ball well today. I think that he can make shots and is used to scoring points, but more importantly he plays hard and that is why he was in there early today.”

On the point guard situation …
“We have work to do there, but we are improving all the time. We are inexperienced, but we are making giant improvements each time we play and that is what you have to do.”

On the leadership of this team …
“If you don't know what leadership is then I can't explain it to you. Leadership is 24 hours a day. It is making things better when things aren't well. I'm concerned about where it has been in situations when things weren't going well, but we will have it. We have had decent leadership, but it won't be a big issue because it will continue to get better as we go through the season. It can't be just one player it has to be everyone. We have to have a great leader and we have the ability to have a great leader, but taking that responsibility is a little out of his comfort zone and we are asking so much of him already.”

On DeAndre Liggins' play …
“He has the potential to do special things and is getting better every time he plays. Guys need to understand that you need to be ready for the ball, because he will deliver and deliver it hard and it will be coming in a position for you to score. The problem is that we have to eliminate the bad plays and the plays where we go without thinking. He has the potential to bust open the game with his penetration and ability to finish plays in the paint. He hasn't shot well lately, but he is a good shooter. I like his ability to put pressure on the defense in a full court fashion and he can overplay the defense and get easy baskets.”

On Kevin Galloway's play …
“He played okay. He didn't play a lot of minutes, but we are still trying to figure out what guys can fill certain roles. This team is going to be really good. Six-and-three is not a good record for us right now but this team is improving at a fast rate. For (Kevin) Galloway to continue to be on the floor he has to not turn the ball over and be the best defensive player in the Southeastern Conference.”

Kentucky Players

#3 Kevin Galloway

On getting a break after a long stretch of games...
“We just have to continue to work hard and be prepared. We will be alright. Just mentally, having all those games back-to-back is a little tough. A break will be good for us.”

On finding out he was starting tonight…
“I found out that I was going to start right before game time. It was amazing to start in Rupp Arena.”

On figuring out his role on the team…
“It's been a little difficult, trying to figure out what is exactly expected of me. You have to go hard, but just trying to find that level of hardness that you have to get to. But, you have to compete everyday and get better.”

On the transition to a college player…
“Coach Gillispie has had me really embrace a defensive role and that's what I've really been trying to do and concentrate on that. It's never been my role on other teams, but I have always been capable of playing great defense. On offense I need to just make simple plays and always look for the homerun play and have less turnovers.”

On the black uniforms…
“Those are pretty nice. We could wear them just like that with the Keightley on the back.”

On Jodie Meeks…
“He took it really hard yesterday. But, he bounced back and was really focused on trying to do other things as far as scoring tonight. But, he was also trying to rebound and defend a little better. Consequently, his shots started to fall more.”

#54, Patrick Patterson

On playing two days in a row
“I think we came out a little slow again. We may have been dragging a little bit after yesterday's game. We may have been a little tired. We just had to push through being tired from last night and we weren't as quick as we should have been at times.”

On Patterson's play…
“It is hard to battle and get myself open sometimes. Coach Gillispie has a lot of conference in me to make a play. My teammates always look for me down low and they did a better job with that tonight. I told everyone to put the ball up and I would go up and get it but there were a couple of plays where I wasn't able to get the ball or the ball slipped out of my hands.”

On MVSU's defense…
“Everyone was looking inside to get me the ball in the post. Yesterday, maybe people weren't trying to get me the ball as much. Today, everyone knew what they had to do and what coach wanted them to do.”

On DeAndre Liggins' play…
“We have a lot of spark plugs on this team. It was DeAndre's night to have a big game. He came off the bench and wanted the ball. He can really push the ball in transition and he is not afraid to have the ball in his hands. All the big guys have to be ready to run the floor to put ourselves in the right position. He will make a pass to us when we get up-court. He played great defense, getting into people's heads. He rebounded really well tonight and put his body in the gaps to steal the ball.”

#10, Landon Slone

On practice…
“I get the chance to play against some of the best guys in the country at every practice. The guys on our team prepare us to play every day. I think that helps more than anything. I was thinking the other day that I get guys like Jodie Meeks or Kevin Galloway guarding me every single day. It has really helped me a lot.”

On what it means to play for Kentucky …
“I'm playing for people back home, but most importantly I am playing for the University of Kentucky . I want to represent my school the best way possible, and when you play for Kentucky , you play for the entire state. When I am on the court I am thinking that I want to do whatever I can to help the team win. That is my main goal. Playing with Kentucky across my chest means everything to me since I am from Kentucky .”

On being ready to play…
“I was a little surprised that Coach Gillispie called me to go in the game tonight. I know I have to be ready whenever he calls my name. Coach prepares us to be ready and he expects to be ready when he calls on us. If he wants you to do something certain ways then you have to go out and do it. He gets more and more trust in guys every time you go out and do what you are supposed to do.”

MVSU Head Coach Sean Woods

On playing at Kentucky during the tribute to Mr. Keightley...
“It means everything to me for the simple fact that I got stuck in San Antonio at the Final Four before getting to say goodbye to Mr. Keightley. Our team had the chance to practice in that wonderful practice facility yesterday. The whole time we practiced I never knew they had a chair against the wall there in his honor. After my team left I broke down. Mr. Bill means everything to every person who has ever walked through or been associated with this program.”

On his team's performance against Kentucky …
“We are who we are. We are going to play hard. Because I got the job so late and I was only left with three scholarship players so I'm just trying to get the most out of these guys. My guys keep scrapping. Some of my guys have never played basketball at this level before. They still don't believe that they can compete even when they are playing well against good teams. Our guys still have the mentality that the other teams will make their run. When it kicks in that we can compete, we will be better. We will be good in our league, but I want these guys to continue to fight and put up a good appearance against good teams.”

On coming back to UK ….
“It was awesome. I was just glad I didn't have to play against anyone that coached me. That made it easier for me. It's not the same coming back with different people on that bench. It gave me a sense of security that I wasn't going against the guys that tutored me.”

On MVSU's schedule…
It is unfair to my guys to have to play the schedule we have. It has been good for my guys, but it has been tough too. Our schedule is tough. You could have a team like North Carolina play our schedule and I guarantee they would have two losses for the way our schedule is set up. But, our schedule won't happen like this again. It's unfortunate that I walked into a situation like that, but our guys will benefit from it. They aren't giving in and that's the main thing. It has been okay. Our guys keep fighting and getting better.”

On Kentucky 's team…
“They have good talent. They are going to be good once their point-guard situation is solidified. That's their struggle. They don't have any play-makers right now. They are still trying to find themselves. Coach Gillispie had a tough time at the beginning of last year and he ended up being Co-Coach of the Year in the SEC. I like this team. He has the pieces. He just has to solidify his point guard position and they'll be okay.”

MVSU Players

#15 Shannon Behling

On coming to Rupp Arena with former Wildcat, Coach Sean Woods...
“This was a wonderful experience and we wanted to come out and get the win for Coach Woods. This was a big homecoming for him. Coach Woods loves this place and this is home court. Unfortunately, we couldn't pull it out for him and we had some mistakes that killed us in the end.”

On the difference between the first and second half…
“The difference in the first and second halves was mental toughness. Coach (Woods) preaches about it all the time, but we lost our minds in the second half. We had a few extra turnovers that killed us.”

On Mississippi Valley State 's fouls and field goal percentage…
“I think home-court advantage made the difference in fouls and field goal percentage. We were in Rupp Arena playing the Wildcats and it was bound to go their way. Now we need to learn to play through that.”

On personal improvements…
“I need to stay focused and build my stamina. I also need to play with my teammates because we have a good squad. We need to learn to pull games out, stick together and play for 40 minutes. I need to work on my ball handling skills and become a more active ball handler. If I get better on offense, we will be a lot better.”

On the rest of the season…
“I predict that we will win our conference. We need start winning these out-of-conference games to help our RPI out. We have to keep playing hard and stay together as a team.”

#03 Tashan Newsome

On what it was like to play in Rupp Arena ...
“It was an experience of a lifetime and it was great playing in front of so many fans. We were hoping to pull out a big win for our coach and our program but it just didn't go our way tonight.”

On the difference in the first and second half …
“In the first half, we got winded quickly. It took us a little time to get into our offense and build our confidence so that we believed we could win the game. In the second half, we came out alright but we had a lot of unforced turnovers, which has hurt us in the past couple of games.”

On what they need to do to bounce back from this loss …
“We need to improve on our team offense because we had a lot of unforced turnovers. We need to play for the entire 40 minutes. That has been killing us in the past couple of games. As long as we play hard for the whole 40 minutes and limit our turnovers, we'll be alright.