Kentucky-Indiana Postgame Quotes

Dec. 13, 2008

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Kentucky Head Coach Billy Gillispie

On the victory against Indiana ...
"Nothing comes easy in college basketball, especially when you have two teamsthat are very competitive. Not only did both teams play hard today, they haveall year, and I expect nothing less. The defense in the first half was aboutas good as it gets, because they were helping each other and rebounding the ball.Now we need to improve on offense, stop the turnovers and convert the defensivestops into points. I couldn't be more happy about this win."

On Kentucky 's fast start...
"I started the same guys as I did last game because they have earned it, andthey have done nothing to lose the start. They got after Indiana today and theydid a great job. Coach Tracy Webster did a fantastic job reading the scoutingreport, and the starters did a fantastic job playing to the scouting report.That made it very difficult for Indiana to get baskets in the first half."

On Kentucky 's defense...
"You can't win a championship without great defense. This year, our team hasstepped up and played half court man-to-man defense. We have guarded as wellas anyone so far. Obviously we have given up baskets, but when we set up at halfcourt, I'm confident we will be one of the best defensive teams I've been around.This team is starting to rebound better, and I think they will be a defensiveteam. Last week we gave up 46 points in the first half, but we still had a chanceto beat Miami because of our second half defense. Today we took it to anotherlevel."

On the difference between the first and second halves...
"The change in the game was the number of turnovers. We had a few steals at thebeginning, but they weren't turnovers we could score on. We did start to getsoft with the ball, and we didn't play as smart as we possibly could. When wegot the 26-point lead, we didn't finish the half like we could. In the secondhalf, we didn't have a great offensive rhythm, and there were a lot of thingswe could have done to change the game."

On Josh Harrellson...
"Josh Harrellson was good in the first half. Josh has been a player that hasproduced both points and rebounds for us. He has done a good job, but he hasto continue to focus. I know he can be a good player and when he makes baskets,we can stretch out the defense. He is beginning to understand how to play for40 minutes, and I'm very happy with his play and progression."

On Patrick Patterson...
"Patrick Patterson needs to get a lot of points off offensive rebounds, and hedid that today. He also needs to get more free throws. Indiana did a good jobof getting on Patterson, and that allowed for Josh Harrellson and Perry Stevensonto get open. I wasn't concerned that we didn't get it to Patrick that much todaybecause we are getting better at finding him."

On Perry Stevenson...
"Perry played great today, and I wasn't surprised that he did. I told him thatI wanted him to have seven blocks and he had six. I wanted him to have four bythe first half and he had three. He is a good and smart player. Sometimes hedefers to other players too much and he needs to learn to change that. Perryis on track to play as well as he can, and when he does that, he will help ourwhole game."

Kentucky Players

#23 Jodie Meeks

About how UK started the game ...
"That was our main focus, to come out with a lot of energy and intensity. We'replaying Indiana , so that's a big rivalry. We just wanted to come out strongand play hard. We just wanted to come out and start as strong as we could. Wehaven't really been doing that this season and that was really important."

On if the team lost some of the early intensity in the second half ...
"No, I think we kind of relaxed a little bit. I thought the first half was verygood. We just have to put two halves together. It's still early, the second weekof December, we still have to work on that. (Coach Gillispie) said to make sureto walk out of the locker room happy. We weren't as focused as we wanted to bein the second half."

On the battle on the wing ...
"He fouled me a couple of times and tried to get me out of my game. I just triedto stay calm and focus on winning. We were winning at the time, so I did whatI could to keep playing hard and continue to win.

On the team's defensive intensity in the first 12 minutes of the game ...
"I think we did a great job of attacking the wings and for a five or six minutestretch they had a hard time scoring. If we can come out and play defense likethat every game, I think we'll be a very good team. (Coach Gillispie) alwayssays he has a lot of confidence in our defense. We just need to buy in and continueto play defense the way we've been playing."

#54 Patrick Patterson

On how UK started the game ...
"I think we started strong today. I think for the first 10 or 12 minutes we wereplaying hard-nosed defense and held them defensively in the first half."

On what determines how well UK does in a particular game ...
"For things to go well we need to play good defense. That's where it starts andif we're able to hold our opponents from scoring, that is going to key our offenseand create transition buckets. Tonight, we were able to execute that. DeAndre(Liggins) and (Michael) Porter were able to push it down the court."

On Coach Gillispie's reaction after the game ...
"He was happy in the locker room. He said although we should have played withthe same intensity we had in the first half and not lost it but besides thatwe got the win tonight. He said that everyone played well in most aspects ofthe game. Bottom line was that we got the win."

On whether UK is playing better now than they were earlier in the season ...
"I think so because we are playing better defense out there. We were able toplay a lot more physical."

#55 Josh Harrellson

On the team's performance against Indiana ...
"We started off the game excellent. We didn't let them score for the first eight minutes. They finally got a couple buckets, and only had 13 (points) at the half. That's great defense."

On Kentucky 's play in the second half...
"In the second half I think we kind of let up a bit and didn't come back with the same mentality we had in the first half. We need to carry that out through 40 minutes."

On the key elements that helped Kentucky win...
"I think it was our defense. We didn't let them score. Everyone was helping and played up-beat. Everyone had their heads right."

On getting several open shots...
"I was really surprised. Coach Crean recruited me from Indiana and he knows that I can shoot. They kept leaving me open. I was kind of shocked and wasn't ready to shoot some of them. I shouldn't have shot some of them. I should have been more set."

On how it felt to get the win against a big rival...
"It felt great. I think we only had one game that we got off to a good startand won. We came out here and got off to a good start against Indiana , a greatrivalry. It feels great to have a good win against them."

On if Kentucky is on the verge of gaining momentum...
"We're on the verge. We have a few things that we need to finish. We have a fewthings that need to click, but that's it. Then we'll be a really good team."

On what the team needs to do to gain that momentum...
"Everyone just needs to get their heads right in every game, like this game.Everyone just needs to come out with the same mentality, the same focus and thesame purpose."

On how he feels he is improving his game...
"I'm getting a little more confidence. Before the game (Coach Gillispie) gaveeveryone the green light to shoot if we were open. That gave me a little moreconfidence."

#21 Perry Stevenson

On his personal mindset going into the game...
"We needed to get ready from the start. We needed to do what we needed to do."

On how it felt to have a good start in the game...
"It felt great. It just gives you confidence for the rest of the game."

On the win...
"It was just bound to happen. We work hard in practice every day and (Coach Gillispie) always tells us that we have to get off to a good start to have a chance at the end."

On if he was disappointed in getting only six of the seven blocks that were his goal...
"Kind of, I was looking around for a stat sheet to see how many blocks I had, but I couldn't find one. I was like, `Please let it be seven.'"

On what goes right for the team...
"The question is probably `what goes wrong?' I don't think there is anything that can go wrong when everything is right."

On if the defense creates the offense...
"Defense is where it starts. (Coach Gillispie) is an intensifier and works ondefense every day in practice."

On if the team had less momentum in the second half...
"It felt like it. If we hadn't, the (point deficit) would have been 40 or 50.They got some confidence and we played even with them in the second half."

On if Kentucky is on the verge of gaining momentum...
"Definitely, like a rolling stone, we have to keep on going and gather moss.I think we're going to be alright."

Indiana Head Coach Tom Crean

Opening Statement ...
"Obviously, everything that could have gone wrong for us in the first eight minutes did. Their pressure, intensity and enthusiasm level was as high as I have seen it this year. We contributed to it with turnovers and some quick shots. We got away from doing what we wanted to do, in keeping the game at a strong pace and that is a tribute to Kentucky and the way they played early on. We just couldn't deal with their length and athleticism. They both were huge factors and frankly we don't have the ability right now in this program to get to that gear. They took intensity up another gear because of the athleticism that they have and it was good. After that initial on-slot our guys started to settle in and trust the game plan. We still gave up too many jump shots without a hand in their face and we had too many turnovers, but the last 10 or nine minutes or so our guys settled in. It was encouraging to see the mentality that we played with during that time and we learned some valuable lessons through this. We did get better inside of the game in learning how to play and to stop the clock, how to keep the pressure on and create turnovers. Unfortunately, we could never recover (from Kentucky 's early run)."

On what he told the players at halftime ...
"I told them that it was a long game, and it is. Again, we don't have people that can co-sign that message for me in there. We learned it as the half went on, but we had to stick with what we wanted to do. There was no doubt in the coach's mind and the player's mind either as the game went on that we could play and complete and force the comeback."

On IU's turnovers ...
"We were delivering the ball to them. Our youth showed up today, but ( Kentucky ) turned it up and had another gear and they used it today. That is a credit to them. They did a really good job of it today. We were still able to get back and play with a lot of heart and hustle and be aggressive and get some turnovers."

On getting a little break the next two weeks with only two games ...
"We just have to continue to improve, which we are. We have to have a very good week academically and they have been great in there and have a chance to have a very good semester academically. These guys have been very good with what they have done academically, but at the same time we have to get better. It's about really locking in and keep improving."

On the atmosphere in Rupp Arena ...
"It was a great atmosphere and we knew that it would be. They have a tremendous program here. They know how we feel (about basketball) at Indiana and I know how they feel at Kentucky . When you have fan support and tradition and the way they travel and care about their program, which is the same that we have at Indiana, I think that it is awesome."

Indiana Players

#33 Devan Dumes

On the difference in the second half ...
"We didn't start out as well in the first 10 minutes. In the second, we were refocused and played well. We always play to win no matter what. Every situation counts throughout life. That's the focus, just to play to win."

On continuing to battle throughout the second half ...
"We always play to win. You have to work and every situation counts. That's our main focus, it's always to play to win."

On how he tries to motivate his teammates ...
"We have to get better. We really have to focus more. We have to play the full 40 minutes, especially when times are tough. We don't have starts like that at home. So, we just have to start off like we are at home every night."

On the atmosphere at Rupp Arena compared to other places ...
"No, (it wasn't intimidating). We just really did not focus for the first eight minutes. I don't think the crowd was too different."

#25 Tom Pritchard

On the play of UK sophomore Patrick Patterson ...
"It was obviously tough. I've got to go up stronger and he obviously blocked a couple of my shots. He is a great player. I need to work on pump faking in order to take away their jumping ability."

On the 14-0 UK run to open the game ...
"I don't think we got away from our game plan at all. Guys on the other team were just making shots. We got a little lost on defense and guys were just making shots."

On coming out strong in the second half ...
"We came out in the second half with a lot of energy. We knew there was not a lot more wrong that we could do. We switched our defense up a little bit and they got a little flustered with it and we stuck with it and did what we could do."

On building off this game for the rest of the season ...
"It helps us learn a lot, a real tough road game. All of our games aren't going to be at home - I wish they were - but we have to be able to come and play anywhere."

#3 Daniel Moore

On the start of the game ...
"We had a rough start but we got on track. We weren't ready to compete at thestart of the game. We just started off struggling and we got it going in thesecond half. Except for those fire five or 10 minutes, we competed."

On if being an Indiana native makes this loss hurt ...
"Yeah, growing up I had watched this game for a while, so it is a tough one to lose. All loses are tough though, so it is not like this one is that different, we just don't like to lose."

On getting off to a sluggish start ...
"I don't want to say we were stunned. We haven't had great starts on the road this year. I think it was their game plan to get a great start on us and they did and we weren't ready to play for the first seven or eight minutes."

On what coach Crean told the team at halftime ...
"He just told us we need to keep fighting, playing hard and competing."