Kentucky-Drexel Postgame Quotes

Dec. 21, 2009

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Kentucky Head Coach John Calipari

Opening statement ...

"Let me say one thing before we get started. I wasn't prepared to jump on that microphone afterwards that was off the top of my head. I really wanted Mr. Rupp and Coach (Joe B.) Hall to speak and for Hazel and Karen (Keightly) to be up there. I didn't really, without thinking, recognize the former players enough. I should have. This is about Kyle Macy and Dan Issel and all the players and what they have done here. What I tried to make a point of is that out of 2,000 wins, we really weren't a part of many. We had a job, which was to carry it across this line before that other blue team (North Carolina) got there. Hopefully, we did our thing although it was a small part to what all of those former players have meant not only to the program and the Commonwealth, but these fans."

On what his emotions were after the game...

"I was looking around and no one had left. They (the fans) are all still here and they probably have three- or four-hour drives tonight. They did not leave and it is incredible. It shows the connection to the Commonwealth's team. This is the Commonwealth's team. People just take great pride in this University and this basketball program."

On the play of his guards ...

"How about how he (Ramon Harris) is defending, again he gets in there and gets an offensive tip and defends. Here is the other thing, John Wall is John Wall. He is the main cog in this little machine we got going here. He is the guy that when he plays sloppy we look sloppy and when he plays a tighter game we look like a juggernaut. In this game, it was Eric Bledsoe and his intensity and fire in the way that he guarded. Then, when we put in DeAndre (Liggins) it was a lift. I know that the guy that he guarded was like, `Please take this guy out of the game.' You couldn't bounce it, move or spin. If he will do that, it is easy to play him. I just thought that he was tremendous today."

On how the 2,000 wins factored into the way the Cats played tonight ...

"I think you will have to ask them. But this is the information age and they know way more than I think that they know. They will read what I say. I am like, `Why?' They say that they just want to hear what I said. They do look at things more than I look at stuff. I would tell you that it was probably important to them to get there before that other blue team (North Carolina). I don't really know, you will have to ask them. We didn't spend much time talking about it though. I told them today, that we only have to get one more win before they get seven. They have to get seven or eight more, but we only have to get one and if you want it to be today, then let's go get it done."

Kentucky Player Quotes

#55, Josh Harrellson, F

On what is means to be apart of Kentucky 's 2,000 victory ...

"It's a great honor to be apart of this win. A lot of great players have played here and to hit that landmark it feels really great to be apart of."

On his thoughts during the postgame celebration ...

"It was crazy to see all of them (the fans) stick around after the game just to hang out with us and honor us. We were having a good time and happy to hit this mark and hope to keep on going."

On the crowd reaction ...

"They were going crazy. Anything anybody did they were cheering. They were loudest I ever heard. They just kept getting louder and louder through out the game."

On being able to play in the historic victory ...

"Getting out there and playing makes it a lot more memorable. Being apart of it was great but being able to be out there playing and scoring a couple points makes it a whole lot better."

#4, Jon Hood, F

On being able to play in win 2,000 ...

"As long as we won, I would have been fine. It (playing) wouldn't have mattered at all. That's the main thing with Coach Cal and everybody else. You win first and worry about your teammates next."

On how the chance to win 2,000 inspired the team ...

"We played really well. Drexel is a good team. We had it tonight and shots were going down. This is a good night to get it (win 2,000) but any other night is a good night to get 2,000 wins when you are the first one to get there."

On his emotions at the end of the game ...

"I had butterflies (at the end of the game). I haven't been on a stage that big with that type of applause. Midnight Madness had 22,000 fans, but it's hard to compare it to this because we just won a game and getting 2,000 wins."

On how the team viewed this game going in ...

"This was just another game. We are on our way to a national title. That's what we have wanted all year. We are waiting and working towards that (goal.). Everyday we have to get better if we want to achieve that."

# 33, Daniel Orton, F

On the game ...

"It's just been a great night. We're going to take this all in, celebrate for the night and get ready for the rest of the year."

On the postgame ceremony ...

"I thought it was great, especially with Coach (Joe B.) Hall. It was very touching with Mr. Keightley's family out there. It was an amazing ceremony. The fact that Pat even said something meant a lot to everybody."

On what it means to win 2,000 games ...

"It's something great to be a part of. First to 2,000 wins, no one else can say that. It's been a part of something great, like this team and Kentucky basketball."

On the mentality of the game ...

"Coach Cal says go out there and play every game like it is practice. We really did that today. We usually don't . We all just had a lot of fun today. It was like practice. We all just came to play today."

On being able to extend the lead on Drexel ...

"That's something that we've noticed is that we have teams down and have never been able to put them away. That's one thing we have been working on."

#5, Ramon Harris, G/F

On getting 2,000 wins ...

"Two thousand wins is very special, but we didn't win 2,000 all by ourselves.. It was a history of players and coaches that really made it happen."

On the mindset entering the game ...

"Coach told us if we want to do something special, we better come ready to play every day. If you are not getting better, you are getting worse. I think guys really took that to heart in the last few practices and getting ready for this game.. Guys tried to really focus and get better. I think it showed on the court tonight. "

On why UK was able to keep extending its lead over Drexel ...

"The reason why we kept doing that was Eric and DeAndre pressuring the ball. (Drexel) is a team that likes to get in the offense and, once they get in a flow, they are hard to stop. Eric and DeAndre guarding the ball really put pressure on them and took them out of there system a little bit. It started with them and everyone else feed off of them."

Drexel Head Coach Bruiser Flint

On the loss to Kentucky...

"We can't play that bad against these guys. We were awful. They shot the ball better than we anticipated almost the entire game. But, we played bad. We threw the ball to them, dropped balls and couldn't make any shots. You can't come into a building like this, play a team like this and play the way we did. Then you lose by 40.

"We aren't going to play in front of 25,000 people (again), but one thing I talked to the kids about was high-pressure games. We might not play Kentucky (all season), but we are going to play some tough games against Old Dominion and VCU. We have to come ready to play. Those are high-pressure, high-level games, even at our level, in terms of your mentality. We are trying to win a conference championship, so we can't play like we played against Villanova and Kentucky. Although they are good teams, they are high-pressure and high-level games. You have to play well to win those and win a championship. That's what I talked about after the game. I know it is Kentucky, and those teams (Kentucky and Villanova) are ranked, but they haven't beaten anybody like this all year. Other teams were in the game because those other guys came and they played. They were ready for a high-level game and we weren't.

"We are small, especially our guards. Our guards are tiny. In games like this, the length killed us. We are going up against (DeMarcus) Cousins and (Patrick) Patterson, and all of those guys. In games like this, we have problems just because of the length and size of their players. The biggest thing today was, we were able to keep them on the perimeter. They knocked down some early threes to start the game. When Ramon Harris hit the three I knew we were in trouble."

On Kentucky...

"They played well. They are big, physical and long. They are the biggest team in the NCAA. They will give you problems defensively because they are long. They have a chance and a lot of long guys. Young guys always run out of gas at times and they play in a tough conference.

"This team, pretty much other than Patrick Patterson, you are talking about playing all freshmen, one sophomore, and a couple of other guys mixed in. They are really young and that could be a problem down the stretch. But, talent wise, they are good. They just have to keep playing, and talent and size wise, they are good."

On playing Kentucky for its 2,000th win...

"We didn't plan it out that way. We didn't think they would be 12-0. They didn't think they would be that. We just happened to be that team."

Drexel Players

#45, Samme Givens, F

On how Drexel prepared for tonight's game ...

" Kentucky is an athletic team. We practiced to keep them out of the lane because they make a lot of dunks and alley oops. We tried our hardest to stop them from penetrating and getting a lot of open shots at the basket."

On using this game to prepare for future games...

"Tonight was a high pressure game. For the rest of the year we know what the atmosphere will be like going into our conference tournament, big games and other schools. This was a stepping stone for us, a building block for the rest of our games. We have to keep moving and working hard at practice. Hopefully we can turn that hard work into wins."

On the atmosphere in Rupp Arena ...

"This game was crazy. I guess every seat in the place was filled. When I looked around I was amazed but we still had to go out there and play. We knew we could not get swallowed up by the atmosphere."

On what hurt Drexel in tonight's loss...

"We really did not execute our offense as well as we wanted. When you do that against a team like Kentucky , who is long, big, and can fast break a lot, you will not do well. Kentucky killed us with the fast break tonight. We will go back and run our plays and try to execute better offensively."