Men's Basketball Press Conference Quotes

Jan. 28, 2000

Tubby Smith
Pre-Miami Game

"Playing against the Miami Hurricanes will be a real challenge for us. Whenyou step outside the conference this time of year, it can be difficult.Sometimes it helps you get a feel for teams in other conferences that mightmake postseason play. Miami is a team that has been to postseason play thelast couple of years, and they are talented enough to go this year. Theyare as athletic a team as we have played so far, so we'll have to be at thetop of our game.

"We are similar in a lot of ways. They are a good rebounding and excellentdefensive team. Leonard Hamilton has done a remarkable job there in abuilding a solid basketball program. They have two outstanding backcourtplayers in Vernon Jennings and Johnny Hemsley. Mario Bland gave us all wecould handle last year."

On UK facing Miami coach and former UK assistant Leonard Hamilton:
"There are a lot of people that have a lot of respect for Leonard who willbe coming to the game from Kentucky. Once you've been a part of the Wildcatprogram, the fans and media are still interested in what you are doing.Obviously, Leonard and his team coming to Rupp last year was bigger than usgoing there, but this is a big game on Miami's schedule and for LeonardHamilton's team."

On Miami having success against ranked teams at home:
"We are more concerned about what is going to happen tomorrow, rather thanwhat has happened in the past."

On J.P. Blevins sprained ankle:
"He's doing fine. It was just a slight turn. He played well in the Georgiagame, so he is fully healthy."

On UK's scoring drought in the second half against Georgia:
"It was a concern but we had some open looks. Saul took a three from thetop of the key and it went in and out. It is just a matter of making shots.Jamaal was playing so well, and he had not touched the ball a few timesdown the court, so we needed to go to our strength."

On UK's play in the last 11 games:
"We can always play better. Certainly, a lot of that was exposed in theGeorgia game and the Vanderbilt game where we had leads and then they wereable to get back in the ball game. We are a team that is not going tooverwhelm people. We haven't been able to put together runs that wouldenable us to put people away. I like the way we are are rebounding. We aredoing the things fundamentally we have to, in order to win. We areeliminating the mistakes we are making offensively and defensively. Jamaalis making shots inside, and he's being very patient."

On Jamaal Magloire's play this season:
"I think Jamaal has always been the most important defensive player sinceI've been here. Now that his offensive skills have been honed, he can scoreand has the confidence he can score. However, we use balance with fourother players which makes a team more dangerous."

On Magloire's improved shooting percentage:
"I think things are starting to fall for him. His balance has been better.He is catching the ball with his knees bent and is not bringing the balldown where people can slap the ball out of his hands. Knowing that the ballis going to come to him and that he is going to be counted upon to score,gives him the mentality to be ready to shoot."

UK Players

#42 Jamaal Magloire
"We are excited about this game. We are taking it as a challenge.Hopefully, it will be a winning game. They are tough. They are a goodteam. Their record doesn't really show that. They have good potential andCoach Hamilton is good. I think we have our work cut out."

On his role?
"I know that I have to make the easy shots. I have to get lots ofoffensive rebounds and put them back. I need to be a physical presence onthe court and also get into my new offensive role."

On his passing and scoring abilities?
"I think Saul and J.P. are doing a good job getting the ball to me at theright time so I can go for the good shots. I am getting double-teamed alot more, which makes it harder. I am finding the open man now instead ofthe closest man."

#21 Tayshaun Prince
"It doesn't matter as long as we are playing basketball against greatopponents. I think it is going to help us in the long run. To play a gamelike Miami at their place with their crowd is really going to help us."

On Jamaal Magloire?
"I think I was pretty much doing the offensive work. (Jamaal) stepped upin SEC play. He is taking a load off me. He is definitely helping us,getting the double-doubles all the time."

On Jamaal's passing?
"He used to let the double team come up and get it or hold it at his waist. He also gets bad passes, so it wasn't just his fault. I knew he wasn'tplaying well at the beginning. He wasn't letting the offensive game come tohim. Now it is and he really dominates the game."

#3 J.P. Blevins
"I think we are taking this as another game. There is no difference in thepreparation. We need to focus and play it like it is another conferencegame."

"I thought (Jamaal) was going to have a good year. I didn't expect thenumbers he has. He is a great addition to our inside presence. I think wehave an up on teams now. We have a 'go-to' guy in Jamaal and Tayshaun. Wegive them the ball and they score."