Kentucky-Columbia Postgame Quotes

Dec. 10, 2014

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Kentucky Head Coach John Calipari


Q. Was that unexpected, the way you guys started tonight? And also just your thought on the way Andrew played. I think he was 1-12 tonight.

COACH CALIPARI: I was disappointed in the energy level. But, see, that's what the platoons have done for us. It hides all this. Because instead of getting seven minutes of that, you get two.

Then you figure out how to play and you come back and you do it. I think the platoon has helped everyone on this team doing it the way we're doing it, every single guy.

You got to give Columbia credit. They came in, they were not afraid. They played Michigan State the same way they just did us, up at Michigan State (last season). And they knew they could do this. And Kyle (Columbia Coach Kyle Smith) did a good job of spreading us out.

But you saw more energy in the second half and you saw that you could take them out of things and we didn't play with any energy. There was no fire, there was no buzz, there was no nothing. But give them credit, here's the other thing they did:

Every time we broke down, left a corner, got broken down on a bounce, they made a three early.

I told the team, I said, look, they have just made like three or four threes, but they're not a great three-point shooting team, so just keep playing. Don't break down and leave corners. Make them take tough shots.

As the game went on, we did it. It was a game -- we had four turnovers. It's a game that, again, it's our third game in a row where we're not making shots. I mean, literally, not making like open shots, shooting air balls, and missing them so poorly, open shots.

I thought Trey (Lyles) was outstanding today. 10 rebounds and had a couple stickbacks. If he makes those, he goes two assists, two blocks, 10 rebounds, seven points, he was really good. Great motor. Great motor.

Q. What's the status of Tyler (Ulis) and Devin (Booker) and are they going to be back for North Carolina?

COACH CALIPARI: Don't know yet, I hope so. I basically said, if you don't practice tomorrow, you're not playing Saturday. So if they can't practice, then they won't play.

Q. What do you attribute the poor shooting to the last three games?

COACH CALIPARI: I don't know. Somebody said why don't we come down here and shoot? I said, we're shooting just as bad in the practice facility, maybe we should go to the blue courts outside and try it out there in the wind. Maybe the wind will knock some shots in.

But the crazy thing is we got good shooters. We're a good shooting team that's not making shots. Thank goodness, we're a terrific defensive team, because this isn't the first game we shot the ball like this.

I was proud of Derek Willis. Derek right now, if Devin can't play and Tyler does play, then Derek will be the two on that team. He'll be the other player.

Derek was really good today. I mean defensively active, played with confidence. There's just a couple things that he's got to do in the zone to post the ball, but I thought Derek was outstanding.

Q. Was there anything today that Columbia did that was surprising or caught you off guard?

COACH CALIPARI: They made those threes. The tape I watched, they hadn't been great three-point shooting team. And they started the game like they were on fire. It was 11-0 to start the game.

Thank goodness we had the three-point play to slow things down and get it back to eight points.

But here's the other thing that kind of surprised me: They, they fought us in the post. And they fought more than our guys fought.

They kept us away from offensive rebounds that we could get, except for Trey, everyone else just accepted being pushed and that was it.

They also -- we couldn't fight them for position. So we missed how many one-footers?

And then, if you got fouled, a guy goes 2-5 from the line. Those are demoralizing plays. And that was based on one thing: They fought and we didn't fight back.

Q. Are you happy with the shots you're getting and above and beyond making shots what do you see that you're not doing offensively?

COACH CALIPARI: I think there are opportunities for us to drive and we don't. Again, I thought the energy was so bad. We threw it ahead, got it back, and stood straight up and stopped, when there were areas to get in the lane and throw that lob we throw or go in the lane and throw him a shot that he can make. It's all based on that.

But it's going to be fine, because if anyone is out there, there were times Alex stopped today. Like just had no -- boom, out. Trey, go.

I mean, it's not real hard. The way we're doing this, the only thing I'm asking is, play with a high motor, really play with energy, clap, be enthusiastic, play.

If you don't choose to, then let someone else play.

This stuff happens. I'm happy with my team and I'm happy this happened today. It shows us. And you guys, you'll focus on Andrew 1 of 12.

What Andrew did today, he kept trying to draw fouls by throwing his body in. I kept telling him, they're not going to call that foul. That was last year. That's what he did.

Well, he's gotten away from it. Today he reverted back. They're not calling that a foul. If you go into the guy and throw your arm or shoulder they're not calling it.

So, of the 1-12, let's say seven of them were that way. Seven of them were that way.

Q. On the three-point shooting, is there a fine line between working on it and not making an issue of it? How do you try to bring it around?

COACH CALIPARI: I don't make a big deal of it. I'm not worried about it. You guys understand, if we go 10-17 from the three, against anybody, you know what that score's going to be. It's going to be really ugly.

But we can go 2-17, if we guard, and still have a chance to win the game. May not be a double digit game, but you can still win the game, because we guard.

That's what's kind of crazy about this. There's no pressure on you to make them. It just makes the game a little easier for the rest of us if you do.

We had a lot of good looks, we had some of them unguarded, like unguarded threes, and didn't make them. And that's unusual because we got guys that I think are three-point shooters and can make them, but, you know, we will see.

Q. In the first half I think you guys were a plus two in rebounding, you finished plus 13. What changed from the first half to the second half?

COACH CALIPARI: Trey Lyles went after the ball. I went to a different lineup. Dakari (Johnson) and Karl(-Anthony Towns) weren't getting balls, so I went with Willie (Cauley-Stein) and Marcus Lee and we started getting rebounds.

You know, this was one of those games where Marcus and Willie were the two that broke the game open. With Trey and, you know, the two guards with Derek Willis.

Those seven broke the game open playing that way -- or those six -- but it was only a four or five minute stretch that we won the game. The rest of the game was, we were either losing or even.

FastScripts by ASAP Sports....

Kentucky Student-Athletes

#35 Derek Willis, F

On being able to make key plays tonight after such a rough start to the season…
“I am just trying to make the most of my opportunity. Devin [Booker] and Tyler [Ulis] are out so I was turned to tonight”

On having the right mentality even with little playing time and being taken out when in rhythm…
“It’s like having an NBA mentality, guys are working out until an hour before the game and putting in an hour after the game as well. You have the mentality to come in whenever you’re needed and you just take advantage of it and you’re always ready.”

On the team and everyone being happy for each other…
“I don’t know what is out in the media but everyone gets along. We are happy for each other and happy for everyone when they succeed.”

On the game tonight…
“We just got to keep our energy going and we can’ t come into Rupp thinking that we are going to run over teams. Yes we’re a really good team, it’s everyone’s Super Bowl when they come in here. It’s really tough, we just got to stay driven.”

#2 Aaron Harrison

On if he likes the shots he’s getting …
“Yes, I think so. Pretty wide open and penetrating and getting each other shots. We just have to start knocking them down.”

On the team getting off to a slow start …
“We just have to make sure we come out with energy. It’s kind of hard to play our style of basketball when the offense they were playing is really tough to guard.”

On Columbia’s 3-point percentage …
“Of course a lot of teams get excited when they play us and they play well, so it wasn’t really surprising.”

On Kentucky making 3’s …
“We don’t really need it but it would definitely help. It would definitely give us another side to our game instead of just going to the basket. I think we will start shooting it better. We are just in a rough time right now but we are winning and undefeated.”

On personally not shooting well …
“I’m just not knocking them down right now. I’m just in a little slump.”

On being the type to forget the game or instead deciding to going back over film …
“I just try to move on from it. If I think about it too much it will frustrate me. I’m not playing that well offensively right now, but we’re winning with our defense, and if that’s what it takes right now then that’s what we will continue to do.”

#41, Trey Lyles, Fr., F

On the team lacking energy early…
“From the tip-off, you know we were down 11-0. Guys were really just deflated and the second platoon just tried to come in and bring energy to the game.”

On Coach Calipari’s message to the team at halftime …
“He was just happy it was happening. He was happy that a team was coming in here and punching us in the mouth, that’s what we needed and we came out and responded in the second half.”

On his game individually…
“I’m alright, you know I missed too many shots but it’s on me to get in the gym and keep on working on it and shots will fall. I will do other things like rebound and play with energy.”

Columbia Head Coach Kyle Smith

Opening statement …
“I thought it was a really good, hard-fought basketball game. We competed against a very athletic, talented team. We applauded our guys for the effort they gave. Didn’t quite execute on keeping them off the glass, which is everyone’s No. 1 priority when they come in here, trying to fend off the waves of guys coming at you. It just kind of wore us down. But, I thought we did some good things and still had opportunities, even late in the game, we could have made. Made a couple threes, tied that thing up, and make it a little more interesting. Kentucky, as the No. 1 team in the country, they’re very well coached.”

On the ability to “take it to the hoop” vs. Kentucky …
“I think we were just prepared. We talked about it a lot, and we’ve gotten in some offensive situations where we drive and expect the help and kick out, and then Kentucky made a good adjustment. They’re kind of unique. You have to take what the defense gives you, and I thought Maodo [Lo] wasn’t afraid to go in there. He had a couple good drives, one first-half lefty layup, then a righty floater. You can’t simulate having those seven-foot, 6-11 guys swinging at it. If you’re going to win that game, you’re going to have to play pretty perfect. “

On 25 3-point attempts …
“It’s kind of what we do. The layup is a hard shot to make in this game. So, it was a little bit of our drive-and-kick situations, extra pass, and they made the adjustment. They’re so long. It’s funny, we hit a couple tough ones, and then we missed three or four that were wide open. You have to keep making those to keep the pressure on them.”

On controlling pace …
“I thought we controlled pace. That’s kind of how we play. I thought our guys last week took care of the ball. I think the first 30 minutes we did a really good job. Then, we talked a lot about lobs. They really are well-schooled, they must practice it a lot. They have the athletes and the right guards to throw the passes. We just say you have to stay between your man and the basket. It might cost us on the boards, being so concerned about it.”

Columbia Student-Athletes

#12, Maodo Lo, G

On what it was like to get an early lead…
“We’ve been in a similar situation before last year against Michigan State, it gave us confidence at first to have a good start but against Kentucky and a quality team like that it’s important to play consistent throughout the whole game and we just didn’t end up playing that well in the second half.”

On possibly having more quickness than Kentucky…
“No I didn’t sense that to be honest”

#23, Cory Osetkowski, C

On being intimidated playing at Rupp…
“We tried to take it like it was just another game, just one out of 28 games of the season for us, granted it was against Kentucky, the No. 1 team in the country, but we just came out here and tried to play exactly like we play all the time and that’s what we did.”

On thoughts about upsetting Kentucky during the game…
“I think we started off believing we could win in the locker room, yesterday and the day before. We have to come into a game like this believing we can win, and that was our mindset through the whole game even if we get down. We always believe we can come back, hit a shot here and there, get a stop. That’s what basketball is.”

#0, Kyle Castin, G

On the difference in rebounding on the offensive glass between the first and second half…
“I don’t think anything was different, I hit the glass the same way every time. I got a couple lucky breaks with the bounces just because they’re pretty big, so it’s the same routine as any other player you play against. You just gotta box them out and try to get the rebound and I just got a couple.