Men's Basketball Head Coach Billy Gillispie Press Conference

Jan. 16, 2009

Head Coach Billy Gillispie

  On Georgia's defense ...
"We have not performed very well against their defense (last year). Lastyear they physically dominated us in every single game. We got worse every timewe played them. We know it will be a very physical game and they will try tomuddy it up with their physical play. That is what they should do because theyare really good at it. I think they are a really good team that is waiting forsomething really good to happen for them. They were ahead of Georgia Tech by13 in the second half and ahead on Tennessee by double figures and they havehad a lot of close games. They have good people who are very sound with a verygood coach. They have four of the most physical inside defenders I have seenin the league. We have not done very well against really physical defenders.They also have some very good perimeter players as well. They have some extremelytalented youth and some great experienced players. I think they are a very goodteam."

On teams defending Jodie Meeks ...
"The coaches in this league already knew about Jodie (Meeks) and it is aperfect set-up if you are not mentally strong. It is a perfect set-up for Georgiabecause of the way they play defense, and I applaud the way they play defense.We have to execute better than we have at any point this season to go on theroad and win. Meeks has to be careful and not fall into the trap of just beinga three-point shooter, or fall into the trap of thinking that other teams willreally play a lot tougher defense on him and taking himself out of the game inthose ways. There are a lot of psychological things as well as physical thingsthat are possible traps, and he will have to be mentally and physically toughto overcome those. We have to understand that we are not just a three-point shootingteam, which will not work for us. We were able to make 12 threes the other nightand that will probably not happen again this year. We have to understand whereour bread is buttered and play to those strengths as the game unfolds. When youget a guy that is extremely hot the way he was, then you utilize that. Thereare a lot of things that are potential trap things for an inexperienced teamand hopefully we don't fall into any of those traps."

On how future opponents would defend ...
"I would doubt that anyone would change their philosophy about Patrick (Patterson).Everyone knows that we are trying to be a power basketball team and we are supposedto throw the ball to the post and play an inside-out game. Sometimes we do thatbetter than other times. I would think we would start seeing some junk defensesthat we haven't seen yet. I think we will see some guys who are really game planningand choosing to not guard some of our guys out on the perimeter. Some of thatstuff has been done before this season, but I would think that teams will continueto make Patterson and Meeks a centerpiece of their defense."

On the team's reaction to Jodie Meeks ...
"Our team is comprised of great, team-oriented people. Every single playeron our team thinks Kentucky first and individual second. I think everyone hasbeen truly happy when something has happened for another teammate; whether itwas the last guy on the bench coming in and making a three at the end of a blowoutgame, or Patrick scoring a lot of points. I think our team has made it very clearthat what they really want to do is win. We have a long way to go get betterin every aspect. I think it is a close group and I think it always has been.They will continue to get closer as we go along and they are happy for each otherevery time they are out there."

On Jodie Meeks ...
"I know that he worked extremely hard and I never saw him in great conditionlast year. Part of that was because of injury and not being able to get in thelevel of great conditioning that I expected. I would think that as freshmen,there are not too many guys in great condition or are very consistent. Patrickwas a freshman who was very consistent and probably the most consistent freshmanI have ever seen. I think conditioning has a lot to do with it and Meeks hastaken his game to another level in every aspect."

On the Georgia game ...
"I am not saying this is a trap game, but there are some traps out there.I want people to understand that there are some traps out there that Jodie couldget caught up in or our team could get caught in. I'm not talking about the endresult of winning or losing, but how we go about playing the game and there isa big difference there. We could be at our emotional peak and played the bestwe can play and still get beat because Georgia is still a very good team. Theycan expose some weaknesses that have been exposed to us before. I'm not talkingabout a trap game, but some psychological traps we could get caught in. For anyteam, I think you have to be concerned about who you are play after playing oneof your biggest rivals. I don't want to think that we don't have the greatestrespect for Georgia. They knocked us out of the SEC tournament last year, whenwe wanted to play in that tournament for a lot longer time. They did it withhard-nosed defense, great coaching and timely play. We are going to their homecourt and playing a desperate team, so we will need to play our best. They wenton the road and played Vanderbilt and held them to 50 points. They beat Vanderbiltwhen they had A.J. Ogilvy while whipping them on the boards. Believe me, we havegreat respect for Georgia and if they beat us then it was not because we didn'tapproach it in the right way."