Kentucky-Long Beach State Postgame Quotes

Dec. 23, 2009

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Kentucky Head Coach John Calipari

On him being concerned about the game and Long Beach State jumping out on them early ...

"I have done this so long, that there are certain things that you can expect. On the game before Christmas and following the 2,000 th win where there is a celebration and people are going nuts, there is going to be a little bit of a letdown the next game. Especially, when you have little to no practice time and it is 36 hours later. Let me tell you, the good news was that at the end of the game we were able to grind it out and execute everything to a tee, down the stretch. When we had to make plays, we did it, which was a good sign.

"The second thing, is that it was a great lesson for DeMarcus. The kid did hit him, but just walk away. He hit him (back) and now you are out the whole half. Look what you do to your team? He wanted to argue the point and I was not buying it. It was a great lesson for him because he went back in the second half and was tremendous.

"Eric Bledsoe, wasn't playing well and wants to show it on his sleeve, you can't do that. Because you are not playing well, who cares? It is about our team. It isn't about how you are playing, it is about how our team is playing. So just do what you have to do. That is why I didn't start him in the second half. He looked at me in the locker room in the second half and said, `Coach, I'm going to be ready in the second half that is my fault.' I said, `Good, but I'm still not starting you.' Then you leave him in there in the second half and he plays the way he is capable of playing. This is all lessons for this team. They are so inexperienced and so young. They don't understand. It wasn't just the young guys, the veterans did too. I thought that Patrick (Patterson) got pushed around and shoved around. Obviously, our big people other than DeMarcus, did the same. They were sitting with the cheerleaders half the game. It wasn't just one group or one guy it was everyone."

On DeMarcus Cousins' play ...

"He has grown up and he is getting better. He knows, but he has never been held to a standard that he is now. You just have to hold him to that standard and let him know that this action is going to get this reaction from me, every single time, not every once in a while. You are out and we will win without you. He knows that and he was the best player on the floor. He got tired to start the second half and I took him out. He looks and me and I said, `You know, you are now going to put yourself in and out of the game because of how you are playing, don't play tired.' They are still learning that. They have to be empowered enough to know that when you are tired, come out, and then tell me you are ready to go and then you are going back in."

On the play of the bench in the first half to get the team going ...

"What we said about this team, and I watched this team a lot, is that we were scared to death of this team. I will tell you why, because their little point guard is a man. They have two shooters that are as good as we will see and they got athletic big guys who shoot it and go get it. That is all they do. If they miss, they miss, because they try to get the next one. My team has been a ball-watching team all year. Which means that they shoot it and then go like this (looks up to the ceiling and moves his eyes from right to left.) They are not shooting it to make it, they are shooting it to get the next one. It was what we thought, they get 13 offensive rebounds which is a big number. T.J Robinson gets seven. Dan is a terrific coach and after the game I said, `I knew that you would play this way. I knew that you would have them ready.' How about them? They play an overtime game last night and take a red eye last night to get here. They can't do anything and get up for the game today and play the way they played. They ran out of energy at the end. They should have. Where did they get the energy to play in the second half, I have no idea. They were good and I told all the kids after the game that I wished them luck and told them how well they played."

Kentucky Players

#5, Ramon Harris, G

On Long Beach's play ...

"They just played smart. They played within the game. They didn't try to force anything. They were getting fouls. Coach told they were going to come in and play smart, and they did. Their big man got us up in the air and that created fouls."

On if the team was set up for a letdown after win 2,000 ...

"I don't think so. No matter when you play, you got to come to play. Anyone can beat you on any given day, so you have to come ready."

On adjustments in the second half ...

"We just played smart. I thought we did a little more switching in the second half, like we had planned to do in the first half. It makes it easier and caused us not to foul as much."

On why you think maybe the team didn't come to play ...

"I'm not going to make excuses for our team. Some guys are ready to go home. Some guys are ready to see their families. There is a little excitement for what's going on after the game as well, but no matter what goes on after the game, we have to come ready to play."

#11, Darius Miller, G

On if there are guys who think they can turn in on and off...

"I think we do think that at times, that we can just turn it on and off in spurts. Coach talks to us about that. We all know that we are going to have to fix that or it is going to come back to bite us."

On if people can get spoiled playing with Wall and how easy he makes things...

"It was tough today when they were in foul trouble and we had to play without them. You definitely can get relaxed and spoiled when they are out there because they can make a lot of things happen. "

#21, Perry Stevenson, F

On if finals week affected the team's play ...

"We are student-athletes and we had to take care of school last week. We've been playing a lot of games lately and it takes more work when you're a college student."

On the task of guarding DeMarcus Cousins in practice ...

"He's impossible to guard. Shaquille O'Neil might be the only person who can contest his shot or his miss. He is very hard to deal with in practice."

On if the size of Daniel Orton and DeMarcus Cousins presented problems for the opposition ...

"Not many teams have guys that big and if they do, it's maybe one big guy. When you play against a big guy in an actual game, it's not too surprising because you're up against them every day in practice."

Long Beach State Head Coach Dan Monson

Opening statement ...

"When you are playing a team of that caliber, your margin for error is so small. We got (John) Wall and (DeMarcus) Cousins out in the first half. Obviously, we aren't as deep as them, or as physically big and strong. We squandered a little opportunity when we were tied at half, because you know they are going to come out with Cousins and Wall. You know it's going to be a whole different second half. Like I told Coach Calipari at the end, it was like a heavyweight fighter battling a weight class lower. They just pounded it inside in the second half and we just didn't have a physical answer inside to matchup. We were pretty even on the boards at every timeout then (the difference) ends up at seven. It was indicative of the last 10 minutes and them wearing us down."

On Kentucky's inside game ...

"They were pounding the ball inside and we didn't have a lot of answers for that. We have a good young team, with four sophomores starting. Today, their length and size bothered us more than anybody more than anybody has in there. They blocked 10 to 12 shots. Our big players are 6-foot-6, 215 (pounds) or 220, and theirs are 6-foot-10, and 260. It's just a different weight class."

On playing difficult non-conference games ...

"I just feel like our preseason is truly a preseason. It's for us to get better. We're only going to get better. We are only going to get one bid out of our league this year and we need to get it. We need to use our preseason to challenge us. A lot of stuff that we did today, you can get away with. Some of those shots inside that were getting hurried and stuff were because of Kentucky, their length and size. We missed a lot of stuff around the basket, and our guys are learning to slow down and finish in there. We play these games early so we know what we need to work on when we get in the league so we can get better, and be fortunate enough to get into the NCAA Tournament."

On T.J. Robinson ...

"That was probably T.J. Robinson's worst offensive game. I give Kentucky credit. He was frustrated and he admitted that after the game. He has been a load for a lot of people. He is one of those odd-sized (players), with quick feet and gets an angle on guys. He makes it difficult and you could see a little bit of that today."

On Kentucky ...

"They are a young team, and they are not going to play with that emotion and energy every game. They didn't quite have it today, but I was proud of our guys because I thought we caused some of that. We didn't back down and we battled."

Long Beach State Players

#22, Casper Ware, G

On facing John Wall ...

"I was focused on controlling that ball and my team. If I focused on that, our team was going to be disconnected, so I just wanted to keep my team together. He is good, he knocks down open shots and he is a great player."

On the rest of the season...

"The biggest part is to play hard and play smart. If we can do that, it should be easier. Of course we are going to feel better after this game, we just have to focus for a whole 40 minutes."

#33, Stephan Gilling, G

On playing Kentucky after playing schools like Notre Dame, West Virgina, Clemson, UCLA and Texas ...

"The other teams we played, in my opinion, were a little bit better. This team has a lot of talent and has a lot of athleticism and that is how they win. Individually, they are probably better scorers then us. We tried our best."

On building upon some good shooting performances ...

"I am just trying to maintain that. In the beginning, Greg Plater and I, we knew we were going to need to get up a lot of shots."

On how this game prepares LBSU for the season ...

"It really does (prepare the team). It gets us started. It gets us motivated and experienced. It brings us together this year and we always want a strong chain instead of individual links."

On the play of John Wall ...

"I would say I am a fan of John Wall, I have seen him play. I think he did very well today. I am very impressed with their big man (Cousins)."

On his impressions of Wall ...

"His versatility, quickness and athleticism are impressive. He probably has it all."

On what impressed him about DeMarcus Cousins ...

"His size and his strength. He knows how to finish well around the basket."