UK Returns Home for Single Game vs. Georgia

Jan. 28, 2011

 

SIDs pay tribute this weekend to Oklahoma State men's hoops SID Will Hancock 10 years after the tragedy

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Game Notes Kentucky Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader | Georgia Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader
Date & Time Sat., Jan. 29, 4:00 p.m. ET
Coverage TV: ESPN
Radio: BBSN
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Location Rupp Arena
Lexington, Ky.

The Wildcats got the proverbial monkey off their back on the road, collecting a 67-58 victory over South Carolina in Columbia on Saturday.

UK used a solid defensive performance in the win, holding South Carolina to 33.3 percent from the field, including just 16.7 percent from 3-point range. The Cats were just as effective at the charity stripe, going 24-of-28 (82.8) from the line, including 6-of-7 down the stretch in the final minute of the game.

Brandon Knight recorded his eighth 20-point game this season with a game-high 23 points. He was joined in double-figures by Darius Miller (18) and Terrence Jones (14).

Jones, Knight and Miller also added seven rebounds each. It was a career-high for Knight.

The Wildcats return home for a single game against Georgia, before heading back on the road for two straight at Ole Miss and Florida.

Pregame Press Conference Quotes

Kentucky Head Coach John Calipari

On how much revenge factors into Saturday’s game against Georgia …
“I don’t know. I don’t think much at all to be honest with you. I just think you’re trying to win a league game and so are they. It’ll be a hard-fought game, they’re a good team; they already beat us and they beat us handily. They mushed us, really. We’ll see if we got better, that’s what it’ll be. It’ll be a test  of, have we gotten better, have we gotten tougher, can we play through bumps, and can we physically score in the post when they’re letting us shoot it, can we make a basket from two feet? Those things, those will be what we’ll see in this game.”

On if he’s seen progress in the aforementioned areas …
“I don’t know; you just have to see. This is the team that really damaged us with it and we’ll see in that time frame if we got better. I have no idea. We’ll either after the game say, ‘Boy, we got better,’ or we’re going to say, ‘We’re the same guys.’ It’ll be one of the two.”

On what he got out of not having any midweek games …
“Well, we took a couple days off, Sunday and Monday. I was able to get out and do a little recruiting even on Tuesday, even though we practiced on Tuesday. And then Wednesday, Thursday, Friday I’m working on our team. I’m not working on anybody else. It’s not Georgia, it’s not Florida, it’s us. We have to do what we do. If that’s not good enough the way we play and we’re playing at our best and we still get beat, you get beat. You move on. I’m just trying to get us to play better.”

On what makes Georgia senior forward Trey Thompkins so difficult …
“He’s a veteran; he understands and puts himself in great positions to score. They run a lot of stuff to get him the ball, and he’s a good foul shooter. He can make it from 15 (feet) to make a 3. So he’s dangerous in pick-and-rolls. He’s a good player.”

On if Larry Brown has talked with the team …
“He’s here for me, mostly. I want him to watch and give me ideas and talk to me. He’s staying at the house, so we’re going to dinner together and talking basketball. But I did tell the team, if any of you want to meet with him, it’s like Bob Rotella when he comes in. If you want to talk to him about your game and what you can do to improve it’s not a bad deal, he’s a hall of famer. So he’s here until Saturday, if you want to meet with him, great. Just like I would with Mike Tomlin or anybody else that comes in and can speak to my team. We had P.G. Peeples talk to them the other day. I do a lot of that. But the reality of it is he’s here for me to give me another set of eyes to maybe throw me some ideas that we haven’t thought of. I feel good that he’s here just because I like hanging around him and being with him I’m more relaxed.”

On if he would rather have renovations done to Rupp Arena or have a new arena …
“I’m hearing all this stuff, I think you all remember I talked about the University of Kentucky being the gold standard, whether it’s the lodge, whether it’s practice facilities, whether it’s academic, whether it’s compliance, whether it’s how we travel or the arena we play in. At this point, I’m not in the chase. It’s almost like when you guys come to terms with what we’re doing let me know so I can take a look at it. I’ll give you some ideas at that point. I’m worried about beating Georgia. That’s what I’m worried about. I haven’t spent any time (on it) to be honest with you.”

On the philosophy of not showing his team a lot of tape of their next opponent …
“I watch the tapes and I say, ‘They’re not going to play this way against us so why am I even watching this?’ But my point of not overloading my basketball team with their tapes is I’m worried about us playing well. I’m not worried about you playing against Georgia. Let’s play our best and let’s worry about our team. They’ll see tape right before the game of what we need to show them. If there’s a team I think they need to see a half of, I’ll say, ‘Hey, the second half of their game against Florida is in there. It’s in your locker. If you want to look at it, fine. If you don’t, that’s fine too.’ And I may do that. I do that twice a year, three times a year maybe. But I want them focused on us. If we do what we’re supposed to do offensively and defensively and it’s not good enough – next game. Who’s next? And again, like you said, every game we play anyway, I don’t care how they played last game. I don’t care what they looked like. It does not matter. ‘Well they can’t do this.’ They will against us. ‘They don’t do this well.’ They will against us. That’s what you face. But that’s the great thing about being here as a player or as a coach. You’re going to face the other team’s best, at home or on the road. If you’re on the road you’re facing their whole town. You’re facing an arena that’s not packed except when they play you. And it is the biggest game and if you can win that game, it’s significant, it means something. That’s the great thing about being here. But the other side of it is, if you think you’re a no-show for a game or we’ll just walk through and win – you’re not. You’ll lose it every time. You will not win one of those games.”

On playing a team coming off a heartbreaking loss such as what Georgia is …
“Doesn’t matter. They had a chance to win that game, they had a chance to win the Tennessee game, they could easily be 5-0. They beat Mississippi, I watched that game. They were up 25. They’re a good team. They’re a top-20, -25 team, that’s what they are.”

#1, Darius Miller, G, Jr.

On the last Georgia game …
“They got us pretty good down there. They dominated pretty much the whole game. So we have to come out and be ready to play. We are confident about our chances.”

On the Florida vs. Georgia game and how it may have drained Georgia for Saturday’s game …
“I think it could be pretty tough for a team. I don’t think it is going to have any effect on them tomorrow. I know they are going to come out ready to play. They probably are going to have a pretty good game as we expect them to have so we have to be ready to go.”

On being tougher …
“Yes, I think we are playing better than we were then.  We have gotten better throughout the whole year.  We have all done a good job of working hard in practice this week. I figure we will come out and be ready to play tomorrow.”

#5, Jarrod Polson, G, Fr.

On his sense that he will play in a game the week leading up to it …
“Yes, (Coach Calipari) mentioned it quite a lot during the three days before preparing for South Carolina. So, I had a little sense he might put me in.”

On his playing time and why he got his chance …
“Hard work in practice – we have to play a lot of defense against the (first) team. I’m just trying to get up on them, making it feel like it is a game situation every day. I just give hard work in practice every day.”

On how long he expected it would take for him to get a chance …
“I definitely thought it would take a while, but I thought it would happen and it has happened.”

#55, Josh Harrellson, F, Sr.

On the emotions of Georgia after the double overtime loss to Florida …
“In a way they will be hungry, but in a way it demoralizes them because it is a heartbreaker to lose a game like that, especially at home.  They are definitely going to come back and redeem themselves. Just like when we lose a game we want to come back and beat a team by 30.  So, if they have the same attitude it is going to be a tough game for us.”

On what they need to do to win the game that they didn’t do in Athens …
“We need to finish around the rim.  As a team on the whole we missed a bunch of layups. We weren’t very physical with them and that’s what we need to do this game, be more physical.”

On being more physical …
“We have been working hard just trying to be more physical; especially in practice playing through bumps, those types of drills. We just need to play more physical.”

On not having a game this week …
“In a way it has been a breather, but we love to play games.  That is why we are here, to play the games.  When we get a bye week it’s always harder to maintain focus throughout the week.”