Kentucky-Florida Atlantic Postgame Quotes

Dec. 27, 2008

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Kentucky Head Coach Billy Gillispie

On the game ...
"I thought we played really well today. I think that Florida Atlantic playedout of their minds. I was afraid FAU could play as well as they did today eventhough they haven't done that yet all season. They have good players and a reallygood coach. I thought they could play very well and they didn't miss many shots.We made a few mistakes defensively and we didn't pressure them enough in thefirst half. Landon Slone came in the game and played great defense and pressuredthe basketball really well. I thought FAU played great and that kind of gameis exactly what we needed. Our past couple of games we have got out to a biglead and got a little comfortable. We were not in a stressful situation duringour last couple of games. Today we got ourselves in a little stressful situationand it could not have gone better if you ask me."

On the players during the second half ...
"No one was able to guard No. 25 and he scored 31 points with 20 points at halftime.I think Michael Porter did a better job of guarding him than anyone else. Slonedid a great job of pressuring the ball and you have to have Jodie (Meeks) onthe court when we are shooting as poorly beyond the arc as we did today. We reallyneeded Meeks out there to be a threat. Perry Stevenson did a great job blockingshots. We were trying to stop their shooters and if they did penetrate then wewanted to block them."

On the pace of the game ...
"Our pace of play this game was really good but we just didn't make enough shots.A lot of people will watch a game and see a bunch of shots go in and start thinkingthat a team is really good. When you play the exact same game the next game andthe shots don't go in then people start thinking that a team has no idea whatthey are doing. For the most part our pace was really good and FAU did a goodjob of controlling the clock. When FAU came down the court they didn't shootfast. The teams we have been playing recently have come down and shot the ballvery quickly. FAU didn't turn the ball over much and they didn't shoot very quickly.FAU had the game going exactly the way they needed to. Now, had they come downand started missing a bunch of shots then the game would have been very differentbecause FAU would not have been able to be as patient as they were. They used20-25 seconds every possession. FAU is a great team. They have good players,a great coach and they have lots of games away from home. They had guys thatmade really good shots and they didn't come in here without getting our respect."

On Patrick Patterson ...
"FAU didn't have to guard as much on the perimeter so it made it very tough forhim to score. I thought he played really well and played great offensively. Hewasn't as good defensively as he has been. He is a force. We are really startingto understand how to get the ball to him. Now we have to start making some shotsto give him room to operate."

Kentucky Players

#10 Landon Slone

On the victory against Florida Atlantic ...
"In the first half, they came out hotter than us. In the second half, we picked it up and pressured them. I think they were a little rattled in this atmosphere."

On his play today...
"You can't just play defense, you have to know offense too. I need to go workon my shot because some of the shots I took today were wide open and I missedthem. I'm going to continue to work on that and do what Coach says."

On building confidence...
"My defense helped boost my confidence today. But, I still have to work on myshot. That is bothering me more than anything. Helping the team, making stopsand guarding players helps my confidence. The free throws I made at the end ofthe game also helped."

#21 Perry Stevenson

On if he thought the team would be 10-3 after a 0-2 start ...
"I don't know if we were really worried about it very much, that is why we arein the situation we are now, because we didn't worry about it. We just knew thatwe were going to have other opportunities to play other games and we tried tomake the best out of them."

On if his teammates told him to step it up at halftime ...
"Yeah they did, I wasn't playing up to my ability. I wasn't even playing up tonormal basketball standards. I am just like any competitor. I don't like to bepushed around and I think that my frame fools people because they don't thinkthat I will snap back. It just happens sometimes."

On the play of Michael Porter ...
"He is playing with a lot more confidence and trusting everyone on the courta lot more right now. You have to have that toughness at the point guard spotand Mike is a great candidate for it. If we see him pressuring the ball thenwe aren't going to let that pressure defense go to waste."

#13 Michael Porter

On turnovers...
"They didn't pressure us very much and we were able to get the ball inside. We need to get the ball inside, because our big guys haven't turned the ball over much. The big guys make plays and score, so there is no time to turn the ball over. That was a big part of keeping the turnovers down today."

On guarding Florida Atlantic 's Paul Graham...
"I don't think I guarded him differently than the other players because I was guarding him at the end of the game. He was more tired then. Luckily, he missed some shots, and that made me look better."

On the victory against Florida Atlantic ...
"I think we played well today, but Florida Atlantic also played a good game.They made some tough shots and executed their game plan. Like any game, thereis a lot of room for improvement. We could have helped each other more on defense,but it will come."

#54 Patrick Patterson

On getting a win...
"A win is a win, and we definitely need one right now to improve our record. We want the tournament committee to see that we have a winning record, so we can get in. After Christmas break last year, we had a loss. We needed this win to help continue our momentum."

On Kentucky 's defense...
"Our defense was bad in the beginning and we let Paul Graham get off to a goodstart. He got some three-pointers and he penetrated the basket. Our defense wasn'twhat it was the last few games, but we started to pick it up."

On Landon Slone...
"Landon Slone was our defensive presence tonight and he was constantly playingaggressive defense. He was able to establish the offense, and he set the post.When he did that, the perimeter opened up."

Florida Atlantic Head Coach Mike Jarvis

On his thoughts of the game ...
"Obviously, when you look at it at the end and you see the rebounds and the points in the paint, that makes a big difference. The home-court advantage is so wonderful. When your home is Rupp Arena and you are playing a team that most people think that you are going to beat by 30 and there are still 20,000 people all wearing there blue and white must be nice. It was great to be in this atmosphere again. I hope that our kids learned and grew a lot tonight. A game like this should help us. We are proud of how hard our kids fought, we can always play better but I thought we gave ourselves a great chance to win today and that is all you can ask. We will be back here again and we will have more players, because this is just a great place to play."

On the play of Paul Graham ...
"I wish he would have made those free throws that he missed when we were up four, but he is a very interesting young man. He really makes you grow as a coach, because when he has a night like tonight you really know what kind of player he can be and when he doesn't try to do too much then he is very good. He is also playing good defense as well. He is playing well right now and right now he is our best player. He took a lot of shots tonight, but when he is shooting like that he is very difficult to guard. Hopefully he will continue to grow and play well."

On what they did defensively on Jodie Meeks ...
"First of all, you are not going to stop Meeks from scoring. We told our kids that he might be the best guard in the SEC. You are not going to be able to stop him but what you try to do is make him work for what he gets. Whoever was assigned to him defensively, we tried to chase him around and give him extra attention. When we got help from other guys coming off screens that helped a lot also. The nice thing about Meeks is that as good as he is offensively, he is also a great team player. He knows when to give the ball up and that is what makes him special. Of course, when you have a Patrick Patterson to give the ball up to helps a lot."

On how they guarded Patterson today ...
"When you look at the final result, I would say that we didn't do a very good job. I thought for the most part that we did a decent job. With the execution that Kentucky had and they are a very good team at the high-low game, if you don't play Patterson right then they will throw over the top on you. That is what they did more times then we wanted them to. When we played them right, then at least we made him work a lot harder for his shots. He is one of those guys that you watch play and he is the kind of kid every coach wants to recruit. He plays hard all the time and it doesn't matter who he is playing against. He is just a warrior."

Florida Atlantic Players

#01 Shavar Richardson

On the game ...
"We came to the game expecting to win, not just keep up. In the second half we should have put the game away with about eight minutes to go. We should have never kept it a close game. We knew that if we kept it close, it wasn't going to go in our favor."

On the momentum change in the second half ...
"We came into the second half tied, so we came back into the game with the thought that it was 0-0. When they went on their run, we needed that one stop to stop their run, but I guess we got overwhelmed by the home court and didn't get the job done."

On being on the road for eight of last nine games ...
"It shouldn't mean anything to the team but unfortunately it has. We haven't been doing well on the road and that is something we've been discussing in the locker room and in practice. We need to do better on the road and be better playing games away from our home court. We haven't identified why we play better at home than on the road. Once we identify that, we will be better and can have a more complete season during conference play."

On Paul Graham ...
"It's not a surprise. Paul is a great player. He came into the game and started off pretty well so we just followed him and tried to get everything positive from what he was putting out on offense and defense. He may not be our best defensive player but we started him out on Jodie Meeks and did a good job and we were just trying to help him. He lifted us offensively and kept us in the game and gave us a chance to win."

#25 Paul Graham

On missing the two free-throws ...
"On the missed free-throws, at that time it felt like it was good coming off my hands but I guess I didn't get enough lift or follow-through as much. I know it hurt inside, missing those two free-throws. I'm just going to spend more time before and after practice shooting free-throws. It could have helped us."

On posting 31 points vs. Kentucky ...
"Coming into the game I just had an assignment from Coach and I just did what he told me to do. I really wasn't looking to score as much and I just tried to play within the game and play within our system. The system that we were running tonight got me looks and opened up opportunities for the team in the game. I really didn't expect that, but I just did what I could to help the team."

On returning home next game ...
"Going back home is always a good thing and always fun. That's the best thing for any team. They love to play at home and enjoy it. So returning home will be a good thing for us and uplifting. Coming into this game and playing as hard as we did and losing in single digits, we will carry the momentum into our next game. We aren't going to let this game let our team down. All we can do is go back to the drawing board and see what we did wrong in this game. We will go into our next game against South Alabama , which is at home, and continue to play as hard as we can throughout the course of the year."