UK Remains Only Undefeated Team in SEC

Jan. 23, 2009

Kentucky Pregame Notes Get Acrobat Reader | Press Conference Quotes

After claiming a 73-64 win over Auburn Wednesday, Kentucky remains the lone undefeated team in the Southeastern Conference. UK claimed its fourth straight win in league play behind masterful performances once again by Jodie Meeks and Patrick Patterson.

Meeks led all scorers with 31 points, his sixth 30-point effort of the season. Patterson posted his 10th double-double of the season with 21 points and a career high-18 rebounds. Patterson had already recorded his double-double by halftime with 12 points and 12 boards.

Perry Stevenson also tallied a double-double, notching his second of the year with 13 points and 12 rebounds.

The Wildcat defense held its opponent under 40 percent shooting for the fourth straight game.

Cat Scratches

  • Kentucky is in its 106th season of basketball.
  • Kentucky is the all-time NCAA leader in wins with 1,981.
  • The Wildcats are 97-35 all-time against Alabama, including a 27-21 mark in Tuscaloosa.
  • Jodie Meeks leads the Southeastern Conference and ranks third nationally in scoring (26.0 ppg).
  • Meeks is averaging 32.0 ppg in SEC games.
  • Patrick Patterson ranks fourth in the nation in FG percentage (66.8) and 25th in rebounding (9.6).
  • Patterson is the only player in the SEC to rank in the top five in scoring (5th - 18.3) and rebounding (2nd - 9.6).
  • UK ranks second in the country in blocked shots per game (7.4) and field goal percentage (50.8), fourth in free throw percentage (79.3) and 10th in assists/game (17.3).
  • Patrick Patterson has recorded 10 double-doubles this season and 16 in his career, tying him for 20th on UK’s all-time double-doubles list.
  • UK is 14-0 when leading at the half this season.
  • Kentucky has not allowed an opponent to shoot 50 percent or higher from the field this season.

Head Coach Billy Gillispie

On Alabama ...
"They are a very athletic team and (Alonzo) Gee is one of the most athletic guysin the conference. He is an explosive athlete that can play out on the floorand around the basket and finish while being a very good leader. They have athletesat every position and they have good strength and size. JaMychal Green is oneof the better freshmen anywhere and was one of the top recruits in the nation.They have guys who can make shots, they are very tough to keep out of the laneand they have great drivers and finishers. They are playing extremely hard andthey have been very competitive. You can tell they play with a great deal ofpride. They were picked to win the west side of the SEC at the beginning of theyear. Four games into conference play they haven't done much to hurt their chancesat winning the west, so it will be a very tough game for us."

On how different is Alabama without Ronald Steele ...
"In my opinion, they have played with a new resolve the last few games, no disrespectto him. He would make any team in the nation better when he is healthy. Theyhave a bunch of eager guys and they are playing extremely hard. They are a goodteam and it will be a tough game to play on the road. They are very athleticand their interior guys have improved so much since last year. They were prettygood last year and they outplayed us on the interior when they played here. Lastyear, we had to make some big plays down the stretch to win when they were withoutHendrix playing. We know we have a tough game ahead of us."

On Alabama losing a main part of their team and what impact it could have ...
"No one wants to lose a main guy and nobody wants to lose a guy as good as RonaldSteele, Patrick Patterson, Richard Hendrix or any of the guys that have madeAlabama or Kentucky better, but it can affect you. You never know what differentthings can trigger eagerness to play and tweak the mindset chemistry wise. Ifyou allow yourself to be caught up in a trap just a little bit then you get yourselfknocked off. We have a great deal of respect for them when Steele is playingbut we really respect (Alabama's) other guys too. We know what kind of challengethat it is going to be with their athleticism, ability to get into the lane andget offensive rebounding and forcing help."

On if he has some bench players that are ready for breakout games ...
"I think that our guys are eager and gaining confidence as we go. I have beensaying this but I really believe that we have some guys that are ready for bust-outgames. Not really just one guy, DeAndre (Liggins), Darius (Miller), A.J. (Stewart),Josh (Harrellson) and (Kevin) Galloway are ready to bust out when given a chance.I have got to put them in (the game) and we can't play five or six guys, in orderto play our best over the conference schedule. The other night we were fortunateto get a win against a really hot team that played well. We need more peopleto contribute than we had the other night."

On Kentucky's turnovers against Auburn in the last game ...
"No disrespect to Auburn because their defense is vastly improved in the fouryears that I have seen them play, but a lot of the turnovers were that we didn'tthink very well. We always talk about when we run a handoff play that it is ahandoff not a pitch and we pitched it and it goes into the back court. We threwa few out on the baseline where I thought that we should have gone after thema little harder. We didn't think on our turnovers and we can't afford to do that.We don't have a big enough margin of error, I thought that we were over thatbut everything happens over the course of a long season."