Cats Host SEC East-Leading Commodores

Jan. 29, 2010

Despite a huge day from freshman forward DeMarcus Cousins, Kentucky dropped its first game of the season, a 68-62 loss at South Carolina, it’s third straight loss to the Gamecocks.

Cousins led the Wildcats with career-tying 27 points to go along with 12 rebounds and three blocked shots. Cousins hit a career-best nine free throws (9-10) and finished with nine field goals, his most since back in November.

Kentucky Vanderbilt 
Gameday Information
Game Notes Kentucky Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader | Vanderbilt Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader
Date & Time Sat., Jan 30, 4:00 p.m
Coverage TV: ESPN
Radio: BBSN
GameTracker GameTracker
Online Audio listen
Live Video via ESPN360
Live Blog
Location Rupp Arena
Lexington, Ky.
Vanderbilt Commodores at a Glance
Head Coach Kevin Stallings
Overall Record 328-194
2009-10 Record 16-3, 5-0 SEC
Ranking No. 21 (AP)/No. 23 (Coaches)
Series Record Kentucky leads 131-43
Last Meeting Vanderbilt defeated Kentucky 77-64 in Nashville, Tenn.
2009-10 Team Stats UK VU
Scoring Offense 82.1 79.5
Scoring Defense 65.7 66.9
FG Percentage 49.3% 49.8%
3-point FG Percentage 37.6% 37.2%
FT Percentage 68.7% 68.9%
Rebound Margin +9.7 +2.5
Assists 16.0 14.1
Turnovers 15.1 14.1
2009-10 Stat Leaders
Scoring UK: John Wall (17.1)
VU: Jeffery Taylor (14.1)
Rebounding UK: DeMarcus Cousins (9.7)
VU: A.J. Ogilvy (6.1)
Assists UK: John Wall (6.6)
VU: Jermaine Beal (3.2)
3-point FG Percentage UK: Eric Bledsoe (43.6%)
VU: John Jenkins (48.9%)
Blocks UK: DeMarcus Cousins (1.9)
VU: A.J. Ogilvy (1.7)
Steals UK: John Wall (2.1)
VU: Jeffery Taylor (1.2)

John Wall was only other Wildcat in double-digits, tallying 19 points, while Eric Bledsoe chipped in five assists.

The Wildcats shot a season low 38.6 percent from the field.

Pregame Quotes

Head Coach John Calipari 

On the loss to South Carolina and preparing for Vanderbilt...

"The whole process has been learning for all of us, including me. I told them yesterday, after really sitting back and looking, I have to get more involved and call more timeouts. Stuff I haven't had to do in the past, or didn't choose to do because it was a veteran type of team. There were two or three situations I can't believe I let unfold. I'm putting way too much on John (Wall) and Patrick (Patterson). I'm saying to them that this should be on me. Let me get these guys playing right, because they are trying. We went down there and it looked like there was some anxiety from some guys. We talked about that a little bit. This team (Vanderbilt) reminds me of my UMass teams. Just a team of five guys, three guys off the bench, and they all know what their jobs are. They make shots and they are tough. They are not beating themselves. Kevin (Stallings) and I talked to day and I told him what a great job he is doing with that team.

"I hate to lose. I hate losing; I would have like to have won them all. But, what you do is prepare for it if it happens. I was prepared to do two things. One, tell them that was a win for me. We played well, they had the last shot. But, I couldn't use that. So, what happened was we got beat to everything. I don't want them to feel the responsibility of all of this. A lot of this has got to fall right to me. I want them to understand that, so it's less on them and more on me. I've probably done Patrick (Patterson) and John (Wall) a disservice by saying how good they are. All that does is put more pressure on them to perform every shot, every bounce. That's not fair. I don't know if I got intoxicated winning so much, if I lost my mind and got arrogant because they were playing so well. I got a little arrogant and said some stuff I don't need to say. So, hopefully we'll get back here and figure all of this out. But, we are playing a terrific team. The one thing I told them, now we are not going to be undefeated. It's about us getting better. Now, winning and losing shouldn't be as big a part of their mind.

"We want (Patrick Patterson) to demand the ball and we want him to score more. He'll be fine. They are not machines. John Wall played awful (against South Carolina). Until I watched the tape I didn't realize it. He did not run our team, broke off plays and stopped on defense. John Wall really hurt us. He had a breakout that he tried to dunk instead of get an and-one. We had a lob that he didn't come down with. He tried to shoot it from his hip. They are not machines. There are going to be five or six games a year we are going to play awful. (They'll be) so bad, you aren't going to believe it's the same guys. You hope it's against a team you can beat anyway. Sometimes it's not. Then, there is going to be five games, like the Arkansas game, that we are going to play so well. The other 20-25 games are in the middle. That's who you really are. We aren't as bad as we played. We held them to 34 percent, we did some good stuff. We are tougher than we played. We are more aggressive, we are a better offensive team and we are a better shooting team."

On working with Patrick Patterson before practice...

"I do this at times with certain guys if I think guys are thinking too much, in a slump or anything like that. Whether it's shooting, trying to get them to do more or trying to be more specific in what I'm looking for in different areas of the court. I told him we are going to spend 30 minutes before every practice and get him out there early. A lot of times, when they start spending more time, they feel, `OK, I'm going to get through this.' This is in their minds. We have guys that do a five-minute shooting drill, make 68 shots, then go in the game and go 1-for-7."

On distractions before the loss to South Carolina...

"That environment was a ridiculous environment. We had a call from the President, so you are talking about distractions. John (Wall) had three busloads of people down there. Patrick (Patterson) had half of his town down there. All of the sudden, we had more distractions, an unbelievable environment and an inspired team with a guy that can make bad shots. We addressed it and hopefully we'll get better at it."

On Vanderbilt...

"You can't worry about one guy; every guy that they have can shoot threes, can bounce the ball and pass the ball. It's like my UMass teams. Everybody is a basketball player and they are physically tough. You are not going to punk them. You aren't walking into the gym saying, `Let's throw an elbow and knock somebody down. Knock them out for introductions.' That's not happening. None of that stuff is working in this game. They are a veteran team and they are tough."

On fan reaction to the loss...

"What I told them is 99.9 percent of people in this state absolutely love you. The other four wrote stuff on your website. So, why would you deal with that? Don't be mad at the 99.9 percent of people that absolutely adore what you do, how you are, how you perform, what you are doing for our state, university, and program. Take down your site if you can't deal with it. Don't have it up. Again, they reacted to some stuff. Every coach from Coach (Joe) Hall up told me there is one percent of people in this state that are absolutely out of their minds, you can't deal with them. The other 99 percent are beautiful, loving, great hearts. You can't let it bother you."

#3, Darnell Dodson, So., G

On what the team expects from Vanderbilt tomorrow...

"We expect them to come out and play a really tough and physical game, so we just have to come out and match their level of intensity."

On what the past few days have been like after UK suffering their first loss of the season...

"It was hard the first day, but we had a good practice yesterday and everybody is back focused on bouncing back and winning Saturday's game against Vanderbilt."

On if there is an amount of pressure that has been taken off this team by its loss on Tuesday...

"No. We are still a top five team and all of our opponents will continue to give us their best games. So we just have to keep playing and working hard in practice and stay focused."

#24, Eric Bledsoe, Fr., G

On the 24-hour rule after losing and if the team is past the loss...

"It was a tough one to take because everybody was rooting for us when we were winning, but since we lost, everyone has been downing us."

On if he thinks Coach Cal was looking forward to an opportunity like this to see how the team will respond...

"He was trying to see how we would respond after a loss, so I think it kind of helped us out. We were winning and trying to stay undefeated, but now it just seems like everyone thought it was the end of the world. And that is how it felt when we got back to Lexington."

On if he feels like the pressure has been taken off a little bit...

"Yes I think so, because everyone thought we were going to keep an undefeated record, but some people wanted us to lose. So the pressure is off of us now a little bit."

On what he sees in this Vanderbilt team...

"They are a pretty good team, they work hard. Their post players and guards, they never stop playing."

On what he thinks the team learned after the first loss...

"It was a team effort, and there is no one man bigger than the team. We have to come in and practice and work, just like we have been doing. Hopefully it will carry over."

On if he thinks the team played like a bunch of individuals, not a team...

"I think so. We needed some players to step up, but everybody has bad games, and does something they shouldn't be doing. But we are learning from it."

#54, Patrick Patterson, Jr., F

On how he is taking the loss...

"We all took it pretty tough especially the day after. I don't think anybody had smiles on their faces. We were all extremely frustrated. Coach said think about it for a day and after that just let it go, move forward and that's what we are doing right now."

On Coach Cal spending extra time with him ...

"Coach Cal said he wants me to come out early before the next couple games. He wanted to show me some stuff, and he wants to help me improve on my offensive game and build up my confidence. He said I was a little bit anxious. He just wants to calm me down and get me back to the way I was. It was both perimeter and low post stuff; shooting the ball, catching it so I don't bobble it. Coach said he has a place for me at the post."

On the game vs. Vanderbilt ...

"Yesterday everybody was practicing hard. The teammates were out here early taking shots and more focused. We definitely will have a better effort. Vanderbilt has a good winning streak; they are doing well right now and have an extremely tough team. (A.J.) Ogilvy is a tremendous basketball player. He is very strong down low. He can post the ball, and he can also run. He has improved so much on the jump shot. Last year he was able to drive the ball from the perimeter. He can do so much as a big man. We know what type of team they have and we want to do whatever we can to win the game. We are going to bring our `A' game and play our hearts out."

On your personal play against South Carolina...

"I just wasn't finishing; I wasn't catching the ball. They tried to give me the ball three times in a row and I bobbled the ball. It was just one of those days and it happens to the best of us. My teammates tried to step up, DeMarcus (Cousins) put us on his shoulders, John (Wall) did whatever he could, Eric (Bledsoe) tried to make some plays and so did the rest of my team. We had some chances to make some plays and we just came up short."