UK Takes 19-0 Record to South Carolina

Jan. 25, 2010

UK Takes 19-0 Record to South Carolina

The Wildcats continued their roll, remaining the nation's only undefeated team at 19-0 with a convincing 101-70 win over Arkansas on Saturday.

Darius Miller led the Cats with a career best 18 points, while pulling down five rebounds, dishing out four assists and recording two steals.

Kentucky South Carolina 
Gameday Information
Game Notes Kentucky Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader | South Carolina Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader
Date & Time Tues., Jan 26, 9:00 p.m
Coverage TV: ESPN
Radio: BBSN
GameTracker GameTracker
Online Audio listen
Live Video via ESPN360
Location The Colonial Center
Columbia, S.C.
South Carolina Gamecocks at a Glance
Head Coach Darrin Horn
Overall Record 143-66
2009-10 Record 11-8, 2-3 SEC
Ranking NR
Series Record UK leads 41-9
Last Meeting South Carolina beat Kentucky 77-59 in Columbia, S.C. last season
2009-10 Team Stats UK USC
Scoring Offense 83.2 74.8
Scoring Defense 65.6 68.9
FG Percentage 49.8% 43.1%
3-point FG Percentage 38.1% 33.9%
FT Percentage 68.6% 63.8%
Rebound Margin +10.4 -4.1
Assists 16.3 10.3
Turnovers 15.1  13.3
2009-10 Stat Leaders
Scoring UK: John Wall (17.0)
USC: Devan Downey (21.9)
Rebounding UK: DeMarcus Cousins (9.5)
USC: Dominique Archie (6.0)
Assists UK: John Wall (6.9)
USC: Devan Downey (3.6)
3-point FG Percentage UK: Eric Bledsoe (44.4%)
USC: Brandis Raley-Ross (42.7%)
Blocks UK: DeMarcus Cousins (1.8)
USC: Sam Muldrow (3.3)
Steals UK: John Wall (2.1)
USC: Devan Downey (3.2)

DeMarcus Cousins recorded his 10th double-double of the season with 16 points and 14 rebounds in only 17 minutes of work.

John Wall and Eric Bledsoe joined Miller and Cousins in double-figures with 16 and 10 respectively. Wall also tallied a game-high seven assists to along with three steals and two blocks.

Pregame Quotes

Head Coach John Calipari 

On earning a No. 1 ranking...

"I think our kids are excited about it. I think they wanted to be No. 1 which is a good sign, and now we are trying to teach them what it means to be No. 1. We talked at my house last night about it. What will come at them now; the different obstacles, different distractions that will take you away from what you're trying to do. An added level of that comes with being No. 1."

On handling the pressures of a No. 1 ranking...

"It will be everything. You'll have people coming out of the woodwork, ticket requests out of the woodwork, media requests and how we deal with those. All of the sudden, the guy who isn't very good looking becomes a beautiful young man. We'll talk some more and I have some other things to give them before we go on the practice court, but this is a pretty level-headed group. You start finding out, if it's a significant game, if they show up. The issue is, if they show up for every game; they are not machines and they are not robots. They are not going to (show up for every game). They are going to have some bad nights. They are going to have some flat nights. Let's just hope it's against an opponent we can beat anyway. But, I do know this, when it is time to show up, put on the uniform, and battle, they have been there.

"As we go farther into it, how are they going to respond to it? Our bench play was outstanding last game. That has to continue. We have to have a bench. It guards against foul trouble, injuries and all the other things that could happen. They responded to this point in a good way. They have been great in practice. They come alive. Again, I'm not a long practice guy. I want them to be fresh mentally and physically. I'm not a long film guy. If they are fresh mentally and physically, they are going to give me everything they have and that's all I want. I look at this team and I just keep telling them, `You have to play harder than them, and beat them to 50-50 balls. If you do that, we are good enough defensively and we are talented enough offensively. If we play together on both ends, it makes it hard on the opponent.'"

On the differences between this team and his former No. 1 teams...

"Those teams were junior-senior oriented. The Memphis thing was one freshman, and all juniors and seniors. The Massachusetts thing was all juniors and seniors, and the Player of the Year in the country. This is different. The guys are brand new. New style and new system. Again, I can say seven out of our top eight are Patrick (Patterson), and freshmen or sophomores. One sophomore did not play Division I basketball and the other two who barely played. That is our team. How will they respond? I have no idea. But, we are going to find out because we are going on the road against a team who can beat us, in a packed arena. We'll see how they respond."

On South Carolina's Devan Downey...

"He is going to get his, you know he will. He is going to take his shots. He can score a multitude of ways, he gets to the foul line and he breaks down your press. What you don't want him to do is make everyone on the floor 10-times better too. We'll guard him with different people. We may even play zone. I've seen a lot of teams play him zone, so he doesn't get in that lane. They try to keep him outside that lane by playing zone. So, that's another possibility."

On the maturation of the team...

"They are growing up. I'll give you an example. DeMarcus Cousins gets his tooth knocked out. What would he have done the first week of the season if someone had hit him in the mouth and knocked his tooth out? He would have said, `A tooth for a tooth.' He does nothing except go, `Did he knock my tooth out?' When he smiled the entire bench laughed, and we all laughed. He has come a long way. Daniel Orton had an unbelievable shoot around, which led to a great game. Now, is he convinced that's how he's got to play? Eric (Bledsoe) and John (Wall) are talking to each other the whole time they are on the court. That's what you want your guards to do."

On Darrin Horn and South Carolina...

"Good man, good coach. What he did at Western Kentucky and now what he is doing there. I know he is from this area. I met his sister and she said, `I'm Darrin's sister. I hope he loses twice to us this season.' I know he beat us twice last year. They are good and he does a great job. It's a great program and it will be a hard game for us. It's sold out, and you know it's going to be crazy. You walk in with the young ones and you hope they bring it."

#33, Daniel Orton, Fr., F

On being ranked number one ...

"It's a great feeling. It's one of a kind, something that we can all bask in together and enjoy this moment. On the court, of course other teams are going to come after us, but people have been asking us if we're going to get everybody else's best effort, I think we already have from every team that we've played. I really don't think there is more that other teams can give us."

On the improvements of DeMarcus Cousins ...

"DeMarcus (Cousins) has come a long way, especially with his attitude and how he deals with everything. The way he keeps a cool head, I really don't see how he does it, it's something special. It's a skill that he's obtained over the last couple months and is something he has done really well with."

On whether or not being number one means more to the freshman or veterans ...

"I really don't think it means more to anybody. I think it means something special to all of us. It's the first time that any of us have been number one, so it's something that we all are sharing together."

On hearing that all 65 coaches voted UK number one...

"We're not really worried about it; we're just looking forward to the next game. I've heard that, I've been told three or four times that all of the coaches voted for us."

On the South Carolina's Devin Downey...

"He is a great player and of course their main player. Hopefully we can contain him this game and keep his scoring down. He's a true scorer. I know he is going to look for his own buckets so hopefully we can just stop him and keep him contained."

#11, John Wall, Fr., G

On being No. 1 in the country...

"Coach is going to talk to us about it before practice today. It means a lot and it shows that we are doing a lot of great things and getting better as a team. Being No. 1 in the country means a lot. But we have more games to worry about before the tournament."

On playing on the road as the No. 1 team ...

"I don't think it's going to be different. It's going to be a sold out crowd, their fans are going to go crazy. Everybody is going to come out and play to the best of their ability, making shots that they usually would not make. I think Coach has been preparing us well and we have been preparing ourselves for it too."

On if they are surprised to be ranked first ...

"It surprises me a lot. I knew we had a chance to be a good team, but everybody had to come in and listen to what Coach says. We are doing well, but we still have a lot to learn. We can get better in every aspect of the game. We could still get better on defense. Just because we have one good defensive game doesn't mean it will happen every game. We just have to keep getting better and work hard in practice."

On why he thinks they are such a good team...

"We are just coming together as a team. We are not jealous of anyone because they get more attention or the hype. Patrick was used to being the most talked about player on the team, but it doesn't bother him. He will come out to perform for every game. We are binding together as a team, that's the main thing. If your team is happy and you're doing a good job on the basketball court there is nothing to be down about."

#54, Patrick Patterson, Jr., F

On how it feels to be number one in the nation...

"It feels good. It is something we have worked on all year to be number one, and we want the respect of others, and I feel like we have earned that now. Everyone is just happy, and we want to continue working hard and just get better."

On if it can be worse as the number one team and getting opponents' all out effort...

"Definitely, I think so. Especially since we already have a target on our back being Kentucky, and having John Wall and all these other people on the team, and it is even worse having the number one beside our name. I think it will improve other teams' play, and make them work even harder to try to beat us. We just want to win."

On going back to South Carolina after a loss last year, and what it will be like...

"They have a different team, and we have a different team. In our minds, especially people who played here last year, it is a constant replay of what happened. Their team scoring on every shot, them blocking all our shots, and definitely my play. It is still in my mind how we played, but like I said, they have a different team, and we have a different team. We will just go down there with a different game plan, and hopefully come back with a win."

On if you can exploit their lack of size underneath on the front line...

"Hopefully we can. We are a bigger team; we know we have a lot more size, and more weight. It is just about taking advantage of our advantages, and just wanting it more than they do and coming back with a win."

On if the Devan Downey shot in the paint in Rupp brings back an image in his mind...

"Every time I think of South Carolina I think of Devan Downey, and his step back shot over Jodie (Meeks) when we played them (in Lexington), and it was just a total team effort against us when we played them (in Columbia). Those two were the main memories I had, especially since it was just last year. Hopefully we can change what's in our mind, and play better than they do and bring back a win."

On if it will be anticipated differently when going to play someone being the number one team...

"I figure it will still be the same. The only thing different is that they will probably work a lot harder now, knowing that we are number one. They are going to come out more fired up; we know we are going to get teams' best shots against us, they are going to do things they haven't done before. Every team we play makes shots against us, so we know we are always going to get the opposing team's best shot."

On if he always has to be conscious of where Devan Downey is, even though he's not guarding him...

"Definitely. We know they run a bunch of 1-5 screens; they have five man setups; they run plays with him coming off of screens, coming off curls, we know he is the number one factor on that team, so wherever when he is on the court; it is going to take a total team effort and all five of us to stop him."

On how he thinks John Wall will match up with (Devan) Downey...

"I think he matches up great. He and Eric (Bledsoe) are both extremely quick, and are very fast getting down the court, and they play great defense. I think John and Eric will play great defense on him, plus DeAndre (Liggins) has been coming along so far this season, plus we have great defense off the bench. So we have three people that can play with him."