Kentucky-Lamar Postgame Quotes

Dec. 28, 2011

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Kentucky Head Coach John Calipari

Q. (Michael Kidd-Gilchrist) played a great game but he seemed to get into foul trouble again a lot. Is he getting into foul trouble too early for you?

COACH CALIPARI: Yeah, I told him, I said normally when a guy gets two fouls, I will not play him the rest of the half. The problem with this team is you need his toughness so bad, that I ended up shoving him back in there. And we are a team that is not playing to foul. The first foul I think was a (little) shaky -- whether it was or not, I don't think it was. But the second one he reached in and grabbed, and you just can't do it. He's just learning.

Let me just tell you, we have got a ways to go. I have got to give Pat (Knight) credit. He did a heck of a job. Kept his guys hanging around, ran their stuff. Again, they rebounded with us, you know, made their free throws until the very end, and turned us over. We had 17 turnovers. I mean, that's not what we do.

And again, I'm not babying these guys, I'm not. I've not babied a player, not one and I'm not going to baby these guys. We have to start playing better, and we have some guys out there that are not playing rough enough. We have guys losing concentration and we have guys breaking off plays. We have got a ways to go.

Q. You probably don't know, but Louisville lost tonight at home by three --

COACH CALIPARI: Who did they play?

Q. Georgetown.


Q. Yeah.

COACH CALIPARI: Surprises me. So Georgetown is good? Isn't Georgetown a top-15 team?

Q. Yes, they are. Just your thoughts going into Saturday.

COACH CALIPARI: I'm just -- I'm not in a great frame of mind to talk about Saturday. I'm like, right now, there are no excuses. I don't want to hear it.

We had a guy that said, "I couldn't get open."

"Good, you're out and I'll play somebody else. How about that. Your job is to get open."

"Well, I couldn't."

"Okay. Then you won't play. How about that." I mean, there were just things that went on in the game that just aggravated me.

And you know, like I said, I'm not babying these guys. You're going to do what you are supposed to. This team should be playing better than we are playing.

Q. What did you think of Terrence (Jones)'s comeback, attempt?

COACH CALIPARI: It was okay but I went at him late because I didn't want to hear any excuses. I don't care that you're missing shots, missing free throws, layups. Go get balls. Go be tough. Go defend and we don't have to do all this.

But I tell you, if you're going through the motions, then we are going to go right at you and we are going to show the world; you're going to have the ball.

You can't hide here. This is Kentucky. There isn’t a rock big enough, no cracks big enough. You're out there. And either you're going to perform or you're not and there is no excuses why you're not.

Like I said, we got a ways to go. We've got two days to get ready for a very, very difficult game against a very good team with good players that are well coached. It's going to be a hard game for us. If we are playing like we are now, we're not winning that game Saturday, I'll tell you right now.

Q. How impressed were you with No. 5, Mike James' performance for Lamar?

COACH CALIPARI: I knew, I think last year he had a game of 52, and I knew he could get hot like that. A couple of them were tough shots, and a couple of them were terrific teardrops that he made. So he really played well. The whole team, they did what they had to to stay in there, but he came up big for them.

Q. On the team’s rebounding effort …

COACH CALIPARI: What bothered me is they had 14 offensive rebounds. And what we are doing right now, unless Michael (Kidd-Gilchrist) gets the ball or Anthony (Davis) gets the ball, we are not getting the ball. We have other guys that are flinching going after balls, or ducking, or hoping Anthony or Mike will get it.

I mean, our guards are not rebounding -- and you've got two guys rebounding the ball. And the rest of us are kind of hanging around. Well, we can't be that way. There are a lot of long rebounds. They had 14 offensive rebounds.

Anthony was tremendous. Here is a kid, didn't ask for the ball -- think about it. If you were him, and you're having six blocks, 13 rebounds, don't you come over to the bench and say, “How about getting me some shots other than dunks?”

He didn't say anything. Let's these guys go do their thing and he does his. My point is, look, don't put that all on him. You go above the rim and go get them. If we are to be any good, because again, like Indiana, he had foul trouble.

Q. Darius (Miller) made a few shots from the perimeter back here. It still sounds like you were pleading with him to shoot more, to screen for the ball.

COACH CALIPARI: Yeah, you've got to be aggressive, and if you're not aggressive defensively, if you're getting pushed and shoved, it's hard to be aggressive offensively, it really is. You don't want the ball. You're in a dear-in-the-headlights look.

I'm telling him, scream for the ball and if you're open, shoot it, and if you don't shoot it, I'm taking you out, because he's a good enough shooter.

Like I said, this is -- Lamar right now, the games I watched, they did this to everybody. They did it to Ohio State. They did it to Louisville. They did it to us. They beat Rice on the road. They beat Charlotte. This team has done this. They are a veteran team and Pat's (Knight) done a great job. They are defending, they are playing physical, they are rebounding, which means they have a chance in every game and then all of a sudden they have got three guards that are all pretty good.

So for us, it was -- like I said, it was just a grind. And the turnovers, I think we had about seven or eight that were unforced. Just jump in the air and throw the ball. I haven't seen that since the first weeks of our practice.

So, again, we have got a ways to go, and give them credit.

Q. Is there a point of emphasis that you're going to stress before the game on Saturday?

COACH CALIPARI: Look, I'm not in any frame of mind. I watched them play. I've got to go watch the tape. You know who I watched them play against? Lamar. So I watched the Lamar tape. So I've seen them play that game and I was watching Lamar. So now I've got to go back and watch the Lamar - Louisville game.

Look, (Peyton) Siva is outstanding. I think the big man has really gotten better. The young freshman is good and there are two or three other guys that really, they have come on. They shoot the ball. They play extremely -- they are a good team. It's going to be a hard game for us to win here.

Q. Marquis (Teague) had four or more turnovers for a third straight game. How do you assess where he's at right now?

COACH CALIPARI: He didn't do a good job of running the team. He was trying to score when the guys were wide open, and I told him that.

"Well, just run the team then."

"I didn't see them."

"Well, your head wasn't up then."

There was a lot of that today, you know, where we didn't have -- if we walked out of a time-out, we broke off a play and I called an immediate time-out, "You're out. You just left a time-out. Why would you not do what I asked you to do?"

"Because I didn't want to."

"Good, now you're out. Sit down."

I mean, that stuff we have got to cure for us to be the kind of team that this team needs to be. I don't know. I'm not very happy. Do I seem happy? I don't seem happy?

Q. Given the youth of this team, any chance they might have been peaking ahead a little bit, looking to Saturday?

COACH CALIPARI: I don't think so. This is who we are. This is who we are, and this is what happens to us, especially when we break down and stop playing. But we do that. We did this -- we did it against Samford, we did it here and we have done it and we are not changing and that's what's frustrating for me.

You have to start changing. You've got to start listening. I'm throwing guys into the mix and saying, you make plays. I'm making you make plays or you're going to show you're not into this.

And so I'm not -- I'm not going to baby anybody. It's not what I do. I've never coached that way. I'm going to tell them the truth. Everybody will say, well, I like how coach keeps it real, until I'm keeping it real with them, then they don't like it.

Oh, you want me to tell the truth? Well, let me tell you the truth. And so, you know, we either cure this or we are going to start taking L's. You start taking on water, and when you do start taking on water and you start getting the dear-in-the-headlight look, and now every game becomes a war. Or you can get better, and you can look at this and take responsibility and say, I know how I've got to play and I'm going to do it. I'm going to prepare that way. We are what we are right now.

Q. You said Terrence (Jones) needs to go get balls. Is he getting beat physically? Is it an effort issue?

COACH CALIPARI: We are going to look at the tape but I'm just telling you, he needs to step on the gas. He's got to play like he's fighting for minutes. If he does that, he'll be fine. If he just moves around the perimeter and doesn't come up with balls. Come on, think about it. Fight like you're playing -- you know what I told Josh Harrellson? You work -- I told him how proud I am and I love him to death.

I said, now let me tell you, Josh -- I texted him this.

"You work like you've made nothing. You've accomplished nothing. Work like you have accomplished nothing." I told Terrence the same thing. "Just work like you're trying to achieve something. You haven't achieved anything, so go work for it. And he'll be fine.

I mean, I'm with them, but I'm not babying him and I'm not babying Darius (Miller) and I'm not babying Doron (Lamb) and I'm not babying my point guard, not babying Michael (Kidd-Gilchrist). I got all over Michael. "This is like the fifth or sixth game you've gotten two fouls in the first half. In a normal game, I can't play you the rest of the half, and you know what, we have got a problem now."

Q. You said crisis brings about change. Are these relatively big margins, you win by 20-some, working against you in a way?

COACH CALIPARI: No. I'd rather win like this than lose and learn that way. Maybe we can learn from this. But at some point you've got to get stepped on and be stepped on good so that you understand what we are trying to say.

Again, I want each of these players, when you look at them, you say, wow, you're not saying that right now about some of these guys.

Forget about how my team (plays) and coach -- I don't care about that. I want you to look at individual players and say, man, look how much better he is. Look at this kid how aggressive and tough he is. Man, look at that. I want you to say that about every player. Are you saying that right now? No. And that frustrates me as much as anything else.

FastScripts by ASAP Sports

Kentucky Players

#14, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, G

On Coach Calipari playing him with two fouls in the first half…
“I’m just getting better and better on the court and he needs me out there. I think that is why he puts me back in the game in those situations.”

On the upcoming game against Louisville…
“I don’t know much about Louisville, but I know about the rivalry, of course. I’m not really worried about Louisville, I’m just worried about us.”

On what he knows about Louisville-Kentucky games…
“I know that these types of games can get very physical. But I’m going to see on Saturday. I’m going to have a lot of fun with Louisville.”

#3, Terrence Jones, F

On his injured finger…
“It’s getting better. Just to be able to be back out there playing with the team is a great feeling.”

On if there has been any thought about the Louisville game yet…
“Louisville is the next game, so once this game ended, that’s where our focused moved to.”

On his experiences in the past couple of weeks…
“It has been different and difficult. I have been fighting and working out to get back to normal. It’s been different with the injury. Not being able to go out and play with my team like I want to after a tough game like Indiana is hard to take.”

#1, Darius Miller, F

On the level of concern for playing sharper this Saturday...
“We had a few mistakes today, a few mental lapses. I'm sure we are going to get everything worked out in the next two days before we play. I'm not really concerned, I'm confident in my team and I think it will be a great matchup.”

On if he will look to shoot more...
“I shoot when I'm open and if I feel like I have a mismatch I will try to take advantage of it. I feel like I did what I needed to do tonight.”

#25, Marquis Teague, G

On any special meaning with the Louisville game...
“I just want to come out like any other game and play hard and win. I want to play well and win. I did almost go there but, I'm here.”

On the meaning of the rivalry with Louisville...
“Players have told me about it. I heard in previous years that it has been really intense. We know how important this game can be.”

On the pressure Louisville puts on opposing guards...
“I know they press and pressure the ball a lot. I'm just going to find my teammates and make easy plays, just play my game. I'm not really worried that much. I think if they press us, as soon as we break the press it makes it easier for us to score.”

Lamar Head Coach Pat Knight

On how Lamar competed …
“We couldn’t have played any harder. This is just going to help us in conference. I thought we gave them everything we could. We made them keep their starters in until the end. I was really pleased with how hard we played and how much they competed. We don’t need to hang our head; this is a team that I think has a chance to win the national championship. If my guys play that hard and compete like that I think we have a good chance to win our conference.”

On Kentucky’s strengths and weaknesses…
“They do everything well, you are dealing with a young team. I was talking to coach (John) Cal(ipari) before the game and they are just going to get better with each game. Usually a team has a weakness, if they can’t post up you can focus on the three or if they don’t have guys that can shoot you can double down the post, they don’t have a weakness, they have guys that score in the post, shoot 3’s or drive. You have to pick your poison and give up at least one thing and then if they get going on that you have to take that away and leave something else open. They cause a lot of problems defensively, that’s why we mixed in zones and traps, we just threw everything at them because if you let them get in a rhythm they can get 10 or 12 points on you like that. Coach Cal would want me to say they can work on everything but they are very, very good. This is a special team that could get Coach Cal his first championship. I think they are that talented and I like their demeanor on the court, they don’t talk trash, they don’t act like they think they are better than anyone else, they just go out there and play and beat you. I like them. When you watch as much tape as we do it was kind of enjoyable watching them on tape. I hadn’t really seen them play on TV; I started watching the game tapes and realized they are the real deal.”

On Mike James’ performance …
“He can do that. He’s got to be careful but I think his shot selection is getting better; I really like his mid-range game. Instead of starting shooting threes and going cold from there like he did against Ohio State he started driving the ball first to get his confidence going and I think that’s what helped, he attacked them and got to the free-throw line. We had a lot of shots blocked but I kept telling my guys to keep doing that because we will be able to get those shots off in the conference, we have to just keep working on things that will help us later. We let him take a couple crap shots, when a guy gets hot you have to let him to take a few of those because he may hit them.”

On Kentucky’s effort …
“I don’t know, it’s a real problem. Here’s what they are facing, they play Louisville on Saturday, I don’t care what you tell the kids, they are looking forward to that game. Especially with the internet it is so easy, you can’t shut the kids off. We were hoping that would play to our favor. It’s natural for kids to kind of overlook but that’s just part of dealing with kids and coaching but believe me, these kids will be ready to play Saturday. From a hustle perspective, they still battled, they still beat us pretty good but I can’t wait to see that game myself Saturday. That’s just where you’re dealing with the kids, I don’t care how much you protect them or tell them about it they get on the blogs and the internet and everybody is writing about that game. I don’t know what happened with the Louisville game tonight but you might have had that problem there too. It’s hard dealing with kids, if you could just shut them off, lock them in a room and take away their cell phones and computer it would be great but you get fired for that stuff now a days.”

Lamar Players

#5, Mike James, G

On his individual performance …
“I played alright. At the end of the day, we came away with a good experience, but it wasn’t a win. The main focus of the game is to win, and we didn’t do that.”

On what he learned about his team …
“I learned we are a good team. For stretches, we let Kentucky do what Kentucky wanted to do, but there were also many stretches where we hung right with them and played pretty well.”

On playing in Rupp Arena …
“It was really cool. There were a lot of people, which made for a great atmosphere. It was fun. You don’t get to play against people like this everyday. I know some players from Kentucky, so it was just a fun game to play.”

#1, Anthony Miles, G

On playing in Rupp Arena …
“Anytime you get to play Kentucky, (at Kentucky) is a great experience. You never get the chance, especially not conference, to go somewhere and see twenty-plus thousand fans all supporting the team. So it was a good experience and even though we got killed, we battled hard, we competed, and that’s all you can ask for.”

On his overall impressions of Kentucky …
“How athletic they are. They are really athletic and they put a lot of pressure on you. (Anthony) Davis is a shot-blocking machine. Like I said, we’re not going to have people like this in our conference. The coaches said go out there and compete and I think we did that the best we could.”

On how playing against Kentucky compares to Louisville and Ohio State …
“To be honest, I think Kentucky is better. Athletically, I didn’t think Louisville was as athletic, or Ohio State was. At the same time, they’re all good teams. Like I said, Kentucky’s a good team. We probably will never see a team like this again. (We’re playing a) top-five program, just battling to see what happens. You all see the results.”