Cats Return Home for Two in a Row

Jan. 16, 2012

The Wildcats return home for a pair of league games this week beginning with Arkansas on Tuesday night. UK just completed a two-game road stretch where they posted a 2-0 record, including a 65-62 win over Tennessee in Knoxville on Saturday.

Gameday Information
Kentucky vs. Arkansas
Tues., Jan. 17 - 9:00 p.m. ET
Lexington, Ky.
Rupp Arena
Game Notes: UK Get Acrobat Reader | UA Get Acrobat Reader
Radio: UK IMG
Live Video via ESPN3
Live Audio
Live Blog
Text Updates
Postgame Press Conference

Kentucky had to come from behind, trailing the Volunteers by as many as eight in the second half, but the Wildcats were up to the challenge, including freshman Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, who led UK with his third double-double this season. He finished with 17 points and a game-high 12 r ebounds.

Fellow freshman Anthony Davis finished with a game-high 18 points and added eight rebounds and four blocks, while Terrence Jones was the only other Wildcat in double-figures with 10 points.

Scouting Report

Located in Fayetteville, Ark. (697 miles southwest of Lexington), Arkansas is in the SEC West division.

The Razorbacks enter the mid-week tilt off a 69-60 win against LSU and have won eight of their last nine games.

The Razorbacks have two players scoring in double digits led by B.J. Young's 15.0. Mardracus Wade (11.0) is also averaging in double-figures.

Devonta Abron leads the Hogs in rebounding, averaging 5.2 boards per game.

Arkansas was dealt a blow two games into the season when Marshawn Powell was lost for the season to a knee injury. Powell was averaging 19.5 points and 6.0 rebounds at the time.

Mike Anderson is in his first season at the helm of the Razorbacks. Over the past five years, Anderson was the head coach at Missouri where he inherited a program that had been sub-.500 for two consecutive years and had the Tigers dancing to the Sweet 16 three years later. He guided Missouri to an overall record of 111-56 (.665) with 13 wins over ranked opponents, four NCAA Tournament victories and a 75-13 mark at home.

Series History

Tuesday's match-up marks the 33rd meeting between the two schools with Kentucky owning a 24-8 advantage in the series.

The Wildcats have won 10 of the last 11 in the series. The Razorbacks' defeated the Cats in overtime last year in Fayetteville.

Kentucky is 11-2 all-time against Arkansas in Lexington, and has won eight in a row in Rupp against the Razorbacks.

Pre-Arkansas Media Opportunity Quotes - Jan. 16, 2012

Head Coach John Calipari

On Arkansas’ fast tempo …
“When they speed you up they are getting in to you. They don’t press like normal teams where if you complete a pass they get back, they come running at you and then they try to rotate and run another guy at you. It will be different for our guys. It’s another thing for our point guard and our guards to feel and work their way through. They are a good team, they smashed Mississippi State. LSU was never able to get into any of the stuff and they had a chance to beat Mississippi on the road. They may be 2-1 but they could easily be 3-0 in the league.”

On the help of depth in a fast-tempo game …
“We played Nolan (Richardson)’s teams and Mike (Anderson)’s team when I was playing six or seven guys. Guys would rather run up and down than get in a stance for 25 seconds each time down anyway.”

On Arkansas forcing Kentucky to play too fast …
“We’ll see, that’s what they are trying to do. We have to rebound the ball on both ends, we have a chance offensively because they are spread out and then defensively you have to get the ball and go. (Arkansas head coach) Mike (Anderson) is doing a good job.”

On rebounding in conference play …
“We’ve done OK. Obviously there are a lot of areas that we have to improve and that’s my whole point to this basketball team. The margin would be bigger than it is if we got 50-50 balls and they didn’t jerk so many out of our hands. On 50-50 balls they are getting their opportunities but the other one is we have the ball and they are just jerking it out of our hands and there have probably been eight of those. As we get more focused on bringing balls in I think we will be fine.”

On block/charge calls …
“They may be looking at the line and just seeing his feet are out and just calling it. The question becomes, if I am in the act of shooting but I haven’t left my feet can he then slide in there? Because that’s what they are doing. I don’t know, I’m probably going to have to call (SEC Men’s Basketball Coordinator of Officials) Gerald (Boudreaux) and ask. If I’m in the motion to shoot and he slides under me but I haven’t left my feet, is that a charge? Maybe that clears it up with all of us, me included. Yes it is, OK then we’ll step in there; if a guy goes to shoot then we’ll slide in there. We just let them deal with it, I have to deal with 13 of these guys getting them to play right, that’s what I’m worried about; I’m not worried about officiating.”

#3 Terrence Jones, F, So.

On his finger treatments …
“No, the wraps are the same. In a game, it just depends on how much my finger is throbbing, and then I choose whether I want a tighter (wrap) or a looser (wrap).”

On the frustration of dealing with his finger injury …
“It’s really frustrating because I can’t use my left hand like I want, and I can’t open it or close it during the game, but I am playing, so I am happy I am doing that.”

On how he feels the team is playing …
“We are playing a lot better just because I feel we are winning tough games on the road that last year I feel we were in the same situation, but weren’t coming up with the wins. All that matters is wins and losses, and I think we are turning it up when we need to.”

#25 Marquis Teague, G, Fr.

On what he has heard of Arkansas’ style of play …
“I have heard they are real aggressive, and that they press the entire game, and they want to play up and down.”

On if he is looking forward to playing an up-tempo game …
“Yeah, that is how we like to play. It is transition basketball basically.”

On how fun it was to play defense successfully vs. Tennessee …
“It was fun. I feel like we all did a good job on defense. We played together on defense, and we were successful.”

On the difference in his defense …
“I just took pride in it. I didn’t want (UT guard Trae Golden) to come in there and kill me. I just took pride in stopping him and tried to help my team.”

#33, Kyle Wiltjer, F, Fr.

On if he can help with Kentucky’s depth…
“Yeah, most definitely. I’ve been working hard every day in practice and (staying) ready in the games when (Coach) Cal throws me in there. It helps with depth if me and Eloy (Vargas) have good minutes and help the team out.”

On if it would be refreshing to face a team that didn’t want to slow them down…
“We don’t mind any type of play. We want to be ready regardless of how the team is playing. We just want to play our game regardless of if they’re trying to slow it down; we want to continue to push it out. We’re not too worried about how they play we’re just worried about ourselves.”

On how the road experience has been for them…
“It’s been pretty amazing, just the atmospheres we’ve played in. Everywhere we go it’s sold out and packed. It’s been fun. It’s a growing process for us but we’ve got a couple good wins on the road.”

On if the road atmospheres are more than he expected…
“No, I’ve watched college basketball a lot over the last couple years. I mean, it’s a little more than I expected, just the fact that everywhere we go it’s packed and sold out.”