Kentucky-Appalachian State Postgame Quotes

Dec. 20, 2008

Recap | Box Score | Notes | Jodie Meeks  | Game Gallery 

Kentucky Head Coach Billy Gillispie

On Jodie Meeks' performance ...
"
It was something else. He played great. I never had a guy score that manypoints on one of my teams. He was on fire and the guys did a good job of gettinghim the ball. He got some easy baskets at the beginning of the game and thatmade him feel good. He hit most of his foul shots. It was an unbelievable performance.I subbed four guys in so I could leave him in the game and let him come out aloneso he could get his well-deserved ovation. It was nice that the fans gave himthat ovation, and that was why I didn't put all five in together. He was throughthough when I took him out. I thought he earned that honor after the way he played."

On the game...
"We played an excellent first half. We didn't defend as well as we could have during the second half. They put some pressure on our defense and scored 48 points. I think the second half would have been different had the game been a little bit tighter. I thought we played great in the first half, and it looked like Appalachian State was not a very good team. That was not the case, they are a very good team, and I think they will do very well in their conference. They have a history of being a giant killer. They certainly came in trying to beat us, but our guys responded very well. We went against a team that is hard to guard, and I think we played a very good first half. We didn't start out shooting the ball really well, but we ended up shooting the ball much better over the last 15 minutes of the first half."

On A.J. Stewart...
"I thought he played much better. He has to cut down on his non-thinking plays. He has been practicing much better and the team has been practicing very well. I thought we would win because we have been practicing so well. This team has always tried hard and now we are starting to execute much better. There were a lot of times in the second half where we didn't execute as well as should have and we had lot of turnovers as a result. There wasn't a stoppage of play and we got a little tired. Stewart did well and we need him to play well because he is athletic."

On UK players...
"We played very unselfishly. We have a lot of young players and we need to keep getting better. They are out on the court; learning and remembering where to go every time they are out on the court. We are starting to learn what the pace has to be on every single possession offensively and defensively. I don't think we have any selfish players on our team. It may appear that sometimes we take some guarded shots but I don't think we have any selfishness."

On Patrick Patterson...
"Patterson has a lot of responsibility on the court, and it helps all of us when you have a guy that scores 46. Meeks didn't score that many thinking it would really help him. Patterson was really happy for his teammate and they are roommates. This team is very close. Everyone is happy in the locker room right now because they got a win. Some guys could have played better. Unless you shut a team out or hit all your shots then you could have played better. We are learning and getting better."

Kentucky Players

Kentucky Player Quotes

 

#22 Ramon Harris, Jr.

On returning for the first since being injured...
"It's a great feeling to be back on the court. I worked hard with the trainingstaff to come back without any injuries. We did a good job of that. I feel alittle sore and winded, but that is expected. Hopefully I can get back to theway I was before."

On support from the fans...
"I appreciate the fans because they have supported me since the incident. Theyhave told me they have been praying for me, and that is a blessing."

On entering the game...
"I wasn't focused when I came into the game. I wasn't rusty, I just wasn't focusedand I let them score. I didn't come into the game with my usual approach, andI was worried about getting hurt. My teammates supported me tonight, and theydidn't let my lack of defense prevent them from playing well."

 
On Jodie Meeks' 46 points...
"I see Jodie Meeks do that in practice every day, and I'm not surprised he hada big game. He has reached another milestone and it will be interesting to seewhat he does for the rest of the year."

#15 A.J. Stewart, So.

On Jodie Meeks' 46 points...
"We watch Jodie Meeks in practice every day and he always gives a good effort.It was fun to be out there with him today and help him out. I wasn't aware ofhow many points he had until the crowd started yelling, `Jodie'. Then I saw hehad 43 points, and I wanted him to get 50 points."

 
On getting 15 minutes of play...
"I didn't see it coming. I have played hard in practice the past few weeks, andI had a talk with Coach Gillispie and he said my effort wasn't there. Since then,I have picked it up. He is starting to reward me with playing time and I appreciatethat. I've tried to change dumb turnovers and plays. I used to come into thegame and not know my assignment or who I was guarding."

#23 Jodie Meeks, Jr.

 
On his offensive effort...
"It is a good feeling to get 46 points and I give credit to my teammates forfinding me. I didn't know how many points I had until I made a free throw andhad 38 points. When I found out, I didn't want to force shots and I wasn't concernedwith records. I had a good idea that I was hot. When you have that feeling youhave to do what you have been doing all game. I had to try to keep taking openshots and try to knock them down. I was trying not to force shots. My teammateswere looking for me, and were actually telling me to keep shooting. I don't careabout scoring 40 or 50 points every game, but when your teammates are tellingyou to keep shooting, it's hard not to."

On making Kentucky Basketball history ...
"It feels great. When you have a tradition that Kentucky has it is a great honorto score that many points. I will cherish this moment; Christmas is coming upso maybe this is an early Christmas present. The main thing for me is to geta win and getting to share it with my teammates."

On if he likes shooting in Freedom Hall ...
"I don't know about all of that, Louisville just has a great tradition in basketball.Last year was such a frustrating year for me that I am happy to be able to playpain free. I like just being out there and having fun."

On if he was trying to get to 50 points ...
"My teammates were trying to get me to 50 points and Coach Gillispie drew upsome plays for me to get off screens and I didn't knock them down. Some of theshots I missed were a little forced at the end of the game. Again, I don't worryabout that stuff, I was trying to stay in the game and get my teammates involved."

Appalachian State Coach Houston Fancher

On the play of Quinche Dowdell ...
"He had a leg injury that had kept him out for about a week and a half. Todaywas a good chance for him to do some stuff and get some work in. He made a fewgood plays tonight and played some hard defense. I thought that he really competedtoday."

On the play of Kellen Brand ...
"He scored seven of our 11 points early and made some tough shots. He reallygot our adrenaline going today."

On trying to keep up offensively with Kentucky ...
"When teams are scoring like Kentucky did, then you have to score with them.I thought we did a better job of that in the second half. They played their startersin the second half and we were able to move the ball and score. I just neverreally think that we were able to get by the original shock and awe that we wentthrough in the first half."

On them giving up high amount of points in their last two games ...
"Well we have been playing some good teams. Tennessee State is a good team andhas played well. Kentucky has some really talented and good players and theyare really building on their program right now and they are a strong program."

Appalachian State Players

#32 Isaac Butts, So.

On Kentucky's fast start to the game...
“They (Kentucky) came out strong and were really aggressive to start the game. They got their offense going really well and we failed to execute. We turned the ball over a lot early and they were able to then build a pretty nice lead.”

On Jodie Meeks' 46-point game...
“He had a great game and really shot the ball well. We didn't fight through screens like we needed to and he was able to get a lot of open looks. He really knocked down a lot of shots and really helped his team.”

On Kentucky's defensive performance...
“They (Kentucky) pressured the ball a lot more than we've seen. They have bigger athletes than we've played this year (which caused us to struggle), but we still threw away the ball too much. If we would have taken our time (more on offense) things might have turned out better for us.”

#23 Kellen Brand, Jr.

On the game...
"The game can speak for itself. I think if we would have came out with the same energy we did in the second half in the first half we could have held it close. But they got after it and they're a tough team. This is definitely a tough environment to play in. They came out with a lot of energy and focus and we just didn't match it."

On the difference between the team's play in the first and second halves...
"We were just playing a lot harder. Coach got after us about playing hard and having energy in the first half. And in the second half he just simply said if we don't play hard or tough, we won't be on the floor. I think everybody bought into that for the second half and just came out and played hard."

On Jodie Meeks...
"Jodie Meeks is a ball player. I like him because you can't really judge how to play him because you have to play him honest. He can get past you and if you back off of him he can shoot. I think at the next level he's going to be a great player. He just gets after it right now and that's the key."

On lessons they will take from today's game for the rest of the season...
"The lesson that we learned today as a team is that if you play hard, you never know what's going to happen. You can't judge a book by its cover. Just because they are Kentucky I think we laid down to that in the first half. In the second half, once Coach told us we had to play hard, you could see a difference. Going into the first half I thought they were going to just pound us. But we held from that and came out and played hard in the second half. I think that if we just play harder from the beginning of the game to the end it will make a big difference."

On what the key to success will be for the rest of the season ...
"We need to continue to stay together. You can't do it individually. You can't do it with two people; you have to do it as a team. I think everybody has to be on the same page in order for us to get it done. We just have to have everybody on the Appalachian page instead of the name on the back of your jersey. I think we need to just stay together and I think we'll be fine."