UK Carries 15-0 Mark Into Conference Play

Jan. 8, 2010

UK Carries 15-0 Mark Into Conference Play

The Wildcats closed out their most successful pre-conference run ever with a 71-62 win over Louisville to go 15-0 in pre-SEC play.

DeMarcus Cousins, who was named the SEC Player of the Week, tallied his fourth straight double-double with game-highs in points (18) and rebounds (18) against the Cardinals.

Kentucky Georgia
Gameday Information
Game Notes UK Notes Get Acrobat Reader | UGA Notes Get Acrobat Reader
Date & Time Sat., Jan 9, 4:00 p.m
Coverage TV: SEC Network
Radio: BBSN
GameTracker GameTracker
Online Audio listen
Live Video via ESPN360
Live Blog
Location Rupp Arena
Lexington, Ky.
Georgia Bulldogs at a Glance
Head Coach Mark Fox
Overall Record 131-48
2009-10 Record 8-5, 0-0 SEC
Ranking nr
Series Record Kentucky leads 110-24
Last Meeting Georgia defeated Kentucky 90-85 at Lexington last year
2009-10 Team Stats UK UGA
Scoring Offense 82.8 65.6
Scoring Defense 64.3 64.5
FG Percentage 50.2% 44.2%
3-point FG Percentage 40.6% 33.8%
FT Percentage 68.8% 71.7%
Rebound Margin +11.5 +3.2
Assists 17.1 12.2
Turnovers 15.5 14.7
2009-10 Stat Leaders
Scoring UK: John Wall (17.2)
UGA: Trey Thompkins (16.2)
Rebounding UK: DeMarcus Cousins (9.6)
UGA: Trey Thompkins (8.0)
Assists UK: John Wall (7.3)
UGA: Dustin Ware (2.9)
3-point FG Percentage UK: Patrick Patterson (47.6%)
UGA: Ricky McPhee (41.3%)
Blocks UK: DeMarcus Cousins (1.8)
UGA: Albert Jackson (1.5)
Steals UK: John Wall (2.4)
UGA: Ricky McPhee (1.7)

John Wall, Patrick Patterson and Erick Bledsoe joined Cousins in double figures. Wall and Patterson finished with 17 points, with Wall scoring 14 in the second half, while Bledsoe tallied 12 points, going 6-for-6 from the free throw line.

The UK defense also held his 15th straight opponent below 50 percent from the field (UL - 32.2).

Pregame Quotes

UK Head Coach John Calipari 

On entering conference play and facing Georgia...

"This is what it's about. This is why we put on the uniform and the guys battle. I kind of told them, we have played all of these games, the second half of the season starts, and the issue becomes [the games] aren't all at home. You have got half of them on the road now and we are someone's Super Bowl every time we play. I watched the tape of Georgia and Mark (Fox) is doing a great job. They beat Illinois, they beat Georgia Tech, and Georgia Tech is ranked 17th in the country. They had a chance to beat them pretty good too, but Georgia Tech hung around. But, reality from start to finish is it was Georgia. They are physical, big, they have an athletic small forward, and their guards can shoot. They are a good team.

"These are the games that are scary because you know they are good enough to beat us. You hope your team understands they are good enough to beat us, and that we are going to have to play one of our better games to beat them. If you walk in and think you're just walking through and winning, you lose.

"We've had all week to practice. We're kind of going two to three times a day. So, our stuff has been worrying about us, which is normally how we approach games. But, we have the idea that you better come ready or you're getting beat. The kid inside, (Trey) Thompkins, is good. He is physical, he has strength and he's not afraid. Like I said, they know how good they are and I think they are ready to play a ball game.

"This league is a hard league. But, any league you are in, when you have to go on the road, it's hard. This league has a lot of young kids who are not getting experience. Kids came back and it's going to be hard. I am scared to death about the game against Georgia. If they aren't ready to play, we'll get beat."

On the conclusion of "Camp Cal"...

"They did pretty good. I think we have gotten better. It may not show Saturday, but the things we needed to do, we did. A lot of what you do in there is try to stretch them mentally. You are trying to get them to understand that they can do things they don't think they can do. So, you stretch them out and they start figuring it out. It's just as much mental as it is anything else."

On mixing youth and experience...

"They have done well, but these young kids work really hard and they are prideful in what they do. Patrick (Patterson) more than anyone else has shown them the way, but Ramon (Harris) and Perry (Stevenson), and the other guys who came back have done a good job in accepting their role. It's hard, because you are talking about two guys who started and are now coming off the bench and they're not the first guys off the bench. But, they've handled it well.

"The mix that we have is interesting. The young kids for the most part are respectful kids, and they will defer to their teammate. The veterans coming back respect the young kids for their talent. Everybody wants to play, and I told them I'm fine with that. If someone doesn't want to play, he's probably not good enough. So, they all want to play, but they also see and respect the talent of the guys on the team."

On the team's strong points...

"A will to win; being in a lot of close games; being up 15, and all of the sudden you look around and it's tied. Most teams fold, get scared, or panic, but this group says let's just finish this off. So, they are pretty good that way."

On John Wall's Sports Illustrated cover...

"I normally don't read stuff, but I wanted to see how it was projected because I have to deal with all of this stuff within my team. We talked about it as a team. Prior to it coming out, I did say, `The cover was unbelievable.' It was. When I read it I said, `That's who he is.' He has high expectations for himself, he is the last guy to leave our gym, he is the first one in there, comes with a smile, and picks up practice when it's dying. That's what he does in the game, when the game is dying, he picks it up. Just like he does in practice."

#12, Mark Krebs, Sr., G

On Camp Cal and what it meant for this team to bond together ...

"It was great, people talk about Camp Cal and everything, but it was actually really fun. It really brought the team together. It wasn't really hard physically, but it brought us together. We would have a couple of practices together and then at night have dinner and go do something fun together."

On conference play, especially going into it with young players ...

"It is good that we got to play against Louisville because that was a really physical game and that is what conference will be, really physical. When you play SEC schools, you are not playing teams that are a lot smaller than you. Teams now are going to be more like you, physically. You just have to out tough them. We are telling them to stick with it, it is a long conference season and we are feeling good right now."

On teams not being intimidated by the name Kentucky in conference play ...

"No, a lot of teams we will be playing twice so they are trying to get us one of the two times or both. It is tough as a team when you are going against SEC schools because you play so many great teams in a row. It is not like you have a couple of games here and there where you have a chance to regroup, it is a grind. There are no teams like that in the SEC now."

#21, Perry Stevenson, Sr., F

On if he thinks Kentucky is the team to beat right now in the SEC ...

"I don't want to say that and set our self up for failure, but we do like to keep a silent confidence in ourselves heading forward."

On Georgia beating Georgia Tech ...

"They (Georgia) are good. I knew that they were good (before that game.) They have good big men and good guards as well. They can beat anybody. They have veterans back and some new guys that are really good."

On if he thinks the conference is better than it was last year ...

"I have only really seen Georgia and Tennessee, I believe. They were both really good, from what I have seen. They have both gotten better."

#34, DeAndre Liggins, So., G

On if the young guys know what to expect when they get into conference ...

"I have just tried to take care of that before the game and try to get their mind right. They will have to listen to coach and work hard in practice, if they do that then everything will take care of itself."

On playing with a target on your chest being undefeated ...

"Yes, you have to. But you also just have to stay humble and really come in and execute. You really just have to execute on both sides of the floor and be poised."

On if they look different then they did last season ...

"They are better than last year. We need to just come in and follow the game plan that coach has set for us. I was amazed (when they beat Georgia Tech.) We have to do our job and work hard to get the win."