UK Travels to West Leader Alabama

Jan. 17, 2011

Gameday Information
Game Notes Kentucky Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader | Alabama Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader
Date & Time Tues., Jan. 18, 9:00 p.m. ET
Coverage TV: ESPN
Radio: BBSN
Online Audio
Live Video via ESPN3
Text Updates
Location Coleman Coliseum
Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Cat Scratches: Better starts a key to road games | Pre-Alabama video interviews with Cal, Jones and Harrellson

The Wildcats did their part in helping to force an eight-way tie for first in the Southeastern Conference, posting an 82-44 win over LSU on Saturday.

With five players scoring in double figures, UK posted its largest win in an SEC game since a 38-point win (87-49) at South Carolina in the 2006-07 season.

Brandon Knight led all scorers with 19 points and was joined in double digits by Terrence Jones (17), DeAndre Liggins (15), Darius Miller (15) and Doron Lamb (10).

Josh Harrellson tied his career high with 14 rebounds and Lamb dished out a career-best and game-high five assists.

The Wildcats pulled down a season-high 50 rebounds and held the LSU offense to just 26.2 percent from the field while shooting 50 percent (10 of 20) from 3-point range.

Pregame Press Conference Quotes

UK Head Coach John Calipari

On if he believes his team will be better on the road this time around …
“I don’t know until we get out there and play. We’re talking (about) a young team. We seem to start games better. We seem to play better defense. We haven’t sustained it. I mean, even LSU in the second half for a 10-minute stretch it was an even game in the second half. But we’re trying. We’ve got a bunch of guys trying, they understand what I mean about being content and being committed and they’re trying.”

On if he’s gotten feedback on his appearance on ESPN …
“I did (get some feedback). When I went out recruiting I was stopped by a lot of people who were really kind. The best call I got was from my daughter telling me (she was) proud I was asked to be on the panel. She just said, ‘Dad, do you understand just to be asked to be there was something special for her,’ she said. It was really a neat experience. What I talk to my team about, because they have uniforms on, you’re treated different.  If you didn’t have those uniforms on you’d be treated different. You have to understand that there’s still a ways to go and because they’re content with how they’re treated there’s still reason to stand up and make sure if there’s anything unjust that you see out there that you say it and you say something, because if you don’t say something about it you’re agreeing with it. That was our message today to them.”

On the feedback he’s received from his players …
“It was funny, they liked that I went up and said it would be absurd for me to say I understand what it means to be African-American in this country or in the ‘60s or at this time. Terrence (Jones) said, ‘I’m glad you said that.’ It was from the heart. The one thing for me, I was not at all uncomfortable in any environment, in that environment. The views that I have are all based on how I was brought up. My two aunts now live in my grandmother’s old house and I was going to take a picture of the two houses that are next to each other. This house was the Harley’s, a black family, and this was my grandmother’s house, and literally they were feet apart. When I was about 9- or 10-years old there was stuff going on in Coraopolis, (Pa.), and my dad left my mother’s house with me and Mr. Harley was on the front porch and he said, ‘Vince, you’re fine, I’ve got your mom.’ And I thought, what a nice man. That was the beginning of my race education. I’ve been blessed. You’re brought up and born in certain areas and different things. I’ve been fortunate. It was by chance.”

On how difficult it is for players like sophomore guard Jon Hood and freshman guard Stacey Poole to come off the bench and play free because they are afraid of messing up and sitting out again …
“Well, the mistake is you don’t come up with the rebound. You’re afraid to go get the rebound? See, that’s the cop-out what you’re talking about. I don’t want to make a mistake. He’s not taking you out for missed shots, you went 1-for-6. If you rebound and defend I can leave you on the floor. And some of the guys have buzzard’s luck. Whoever’s their man shoots it and scores and they’re all over them and it doesn’t matter, I feel bad for the guy. But, if you defend and rebound I can leave you on the floor and let you work through stuff. If you don’t rebound and defend I’m not leaving you on the floor to go 1-for-6, because the bottom line is we’re trying to win. So, when you say making a mistake, it’s effort. Are you backing up? Are you getting out-toughed? Are you letting that guy grab the ball out of your hands? Then you don’t deserve to play. It’s not about a missed shot or layup, guy’s miss them. They’re going to miss shots; they’re going to turn it over some. Now if they’re out there not defending, (not) rebounding and trying to make crazy plays I’ll take them out.”

On if freshman forward Terrence Jones will continue to come off the bench …
“I don’t know yet. I’m going to watch practice today. He was really good in practice yesterday, or two days ago, and I want to see him today. (We’ve) got to get him to pass the ball. Right now he’s not passing as much as he needs to. We have that movement, and it’s not only that there’s a high-energy level with that other group. There’s also pass, pass, pass, pass, pass, pass. And if it goes, pass, pass, you hold it, stop. You’re not going pass, pass, pass, pass. You’re going pass, pass, stop. So we’ve got to get him moving. I told his teammates, when I watched him in high school, what impressed me most about Terrence Jones wasn’t his shooting, wasn’t his rebounding because he didn’t always go after the ball, it was his passing. Unbelievable passer. We’re just not seeing it right now. So we’ve got to get him to do that, yet I need him to score. It’s kind of like Brandon (Knight). We need you to run our team and pass the ball but I need you to score some baskets too. (Am I) asking a lot of him? Yeah, but I think he’s capable.”

On Alabama …
“(They are) really good defensively, really tough. Their inside guys remind me of the Georgia players. Very physical, get you near the basket, and if you’re playing half speed you’re going to get killed. Very active in the zone, they trap, they do good things and they run their stuff. They run good stuff. I’m trying to find a tape to build my confidence up and I haven’t found one yet because I start watching – and then I watched our game we played with them last year. The games we played with them last year, they were right (there), they had chances to beat us both games. They’re doing well.”

On having eight teams currently tied for first place in the Southeastern Conference …
“It speaks about the balance of the league. People wanted to say South Carolina and Alabama weren’t that good or that LSU’s not – now we got them pretty good, but the reality of it is they’re 2-1. Think about that. And Mississippi’s lost a couple games that they easily could have won. They had Mississippi State beat dead to rights, and they somehow slip, and they had Florida at Florida. It’s crazy. It’s what the league’s supposed to be; a bunch of good teams fighting it out and playing.”

#3, Terrence Jones, F, Fr.

On what it feels like to be SEC Freshman of the week …
“It was good. We were moving the ball so well. Everything is just coming easier. We are getting open shots. Against LSU, I was just trying to be a post presence and just get fouled.”

On what he learned from the loss at Georgia …
“We just learn from losses like that, and I just feel like we have been playing really well together the last few games. We are having great starts, and we are just moving the ball well.”

On what bothered him most about the loss to Georgia on the road …
“Mainly, the way we started the game. We just let them be the aggressors, and we were trying to play catch-up. We really have been working on that and trying to have better starts to games.”

On being a bench presence …
“Well, I think Doron (Lamb) was doing the same thing. It’s just the way the first five minutes of the game goes. For us, it’s been going well the past two games.”

#55, Josh Harrellson, F, Sr.

On playing against Alabama’s big men …
“I have played against them the previous three years and I know one of their best players is their four-man, so we have to play well and very physical this game.”

On how he performed in the last game (vs. LSU) …
“I thought that I could have finished a little better under the basket, but I think I went after rebounds with two hands and I just showed coach that I was not reverting, so overall I did alright.”

On what he and the team have learned about playing on the road …
“Just that we have to be prepared from the start of the game. We cannot let them take it to us; we have to initiate everything. We have to be the first ones to score, first ones to – I guess you could say – throw the first punch and from there keep taking it to them and not back off. It is a big step for us as a young team to get ahead of our opponents and not give that up.”

On if he got a chance to see the town hall meeting that Coach Calipari attended …
“I did not, but I heard he did a good job. He is courageous for doing it and I am proud of him as a coach.”

On if road conference games are any different that road non-conference games …
“Maybe a little bit, but not much. Every road game is the same. Alabama is already sold out and we are their biggest game of the season, so it is just like everywhere we go: the game is sold out and we have to come ready to play.”

On if his experience is any different now given his role on this year’s team …
“A little bit, actually I remember my first year here against Alabama, I played over twenty minutes so I have a little bit of experience against Alabama. It is a new year and I am a totally different player than I have ever been so hopefully I will be prepared to play hard.”