Wildcats Continue on Winning Streak
Jan. 30, 2012
Kentucky won its 13th consecutive game and fourth straight on the road, traveling to Baton Rouge,La., and collecting a 74-50 win over LSU.
|Kentucky vs. Tennessee |
Tues., Jan. 31 - 7:00 p.m. ET
Game Notes: UK | UT
|TV: ESPNU |
Radio: UK IMG
Live Video via WatchESPN
Terrence Jones had his strongest game of the season scoring a season-high 27 points and narrowlymissing a double-double with nine rebounds. Jones also blocked a game-high three shots.
Anthony Davis did post a double-double, his 11th, tallying 16 points and 10 rebounds to go along with three blocks and two steals.
Darius Miller also scored in double-figures, finishing with 13 points.
UK held LSU to 39.6 pct. from the field, the 14th time this season the Cats have held its opponent below 40 pct.
Located in Knoxville, Tenn., (173 miles south of Lexington), the Volunteers enter tonight's gameoff a 64-49 win against Auburn on Saturday.
Tennessee is led offensively by Trae Golden whois averaging 13.1 points and 4.8 assists.
Jeronne Maymon leads the Vols in rebounding, averaging 8.2 boards per game and is also scoring in double-figures (11.7). Freshman Jarnell Stokes is third on the team in scoring at 10.6 ppg and is second in rebounding, pulling down 8.0 boards pergame.
Cuonzo Martin is in his first season as head coach of the Volunteers. Prior to coming to Knoxville, Martin enjoyed a three-year stint as the head coach at Missouri State from 2009-11. In his final season in Springfield, Mo., Martin became the program's first-ever Missouri Valley Conference Coach of the Year and led the Bears to their first-ever regular season MVC championship. That team posted a 26-9 overall record, and its 15-3 mark in MVC games set a school record for conferencewins in a season.
At the 2011 Final Four in Houston, Martin received the Ben Jobe National Coach of the Year Award, presented annually to the top minorityhead coach in Division I men's basketball.
Martin also was a finalist for the 2011 Hugh Durham "Mid-Major" Coach of the Year Award, and The USA Basketball Junior National Team Committee handpicked Martin to join Matt Painter and Brad Stevens on the United States men's coaching staff at the 2011 FISU World UniversityGames in Shenzen, China.
Kentucky owns a 147-66 (.690) record in theall-time series with Tennessee.
The Wildcats have won four straight in the series and seven of the last eight including a 65-62 win in Knoxville earlier this season. Kentucky swept last year's series.
UK has won 18 of the last 22 meetings.
At 213 meetings, the Kentucky-Tennessee series ranks as the second-longest series in SEC history.
Pre-Tennessee Media Opportunity - Jan. 30, 2012
Head Coach John Calipari
On (LSU head coach) Trent Johnson apologizing for the fouls …
“We talked. I know Trent well enough. My whole point is that if you don’t call rough play, that’s what it goes to. Have to call rough play. On a post-up, if you move a guy three feet, that’s a foul offensively. If you move him two steps, that’s a foul. If that’s all let go, it leads to grabbing. Well I’m allowed to smash this guy in the face because that’s how the game’s going. That’s all I say is call the game the way it should be officiated. Then there are no issues. You don’t get to that. Just call the fouls.”
On how much Tennessee has improved since UK faced them earlier in the season…
“They’re better. All of them, they’re all better. (Jarnell) Stokes is getting more comfortable, but they’re all better. (Jeronne) Maymon is physical. He’s good. He scores. (Their) guard play is good. (Skylar) McBee is really playing as well as he’s played since I’ve seen him. Their other guards are playing good. They’re a good team. The only team that really got them was Vanderbilt. Every other game they could have won. Vanderbilt made shots. If they make shots against us they’ll beat us the same way they beat them. So Vanderbilt is really good.”
On the challenges of the rematches as they face a team for the second time in a season …
“I’m glad it’s at home, I can tell you. I don’t know if it’ll matter but you know, we’re playing them again. We’ve got a bunch of other games. We’ll have to play a team twice and in all likelihood, you go into a tournament and you have a chance of playing someone three times.”
On how even keeled (Michael) Kidd-Gilchrist is …
“I think it’s all he knows. He’s just doing what he does naturally. He’s just playing. I was a little worried when he ran down to protect Anthony because I didn’t want to see anything. Again, I’m preaching that we’re not fouling. We’re playing not to foul. We want six fouls at half. We don’t want it to be a rough house, win in the weight room kind of game. That’s not how we play. If I’m preaching that, then you have to stay in control. When that other stuff happens and they make the call, there’s no reason for anything else to happen. They made the call. Back up and go. The reality is that’s just what he knows. He doesn’t know anything different.”
On whether his early statements that his team needed to be physical have prepared him for what he sees now …
“It’s prepared you all to watch it a little different too see what’s going on and now you can visually see it. The second thing I’ll tell you is that Terrence (Jones) played different down at Louisiana and that’s why we had some toughness. Michael is not going to change how he plays. He does what he does. Terrence has to give us that physical presence. If he gives us the physical presence, the other guys can do what they do. You can’t ask Kyle (Wiltjer) to do it and you can’t ask Eloy (Vargas) to do it. Unless you’re asking Anthony (Davis) to do everything, get rebounds, block shots, dunk, score and be tough, which you can’t ask him to do it. So, if Terrence battles, I’m going to tell you, this (Tennessee game) will be, to (play tough) will wear you out. This is going to be like the hand-to-hand kind of deal where running around, like I jog on the treadmill, that’s one thing. You go outside and play basketball and get bumped and grinded and all of the sudden you hurt in muscles you didn’t even know you had. This is going to be a body-to-body kind of play that’s going to wear people out.”
On Trent’s comment that if Terrence (Jones) continues to play well then UK should win the national championship …
“I don’t know if it’s that much but let me just say this. We were all happy in that locker room. The team was ecstatic. It wasn’t scoring. He was tough. He came up with balls. He posted physically strong even though the guy battled him. He battled back. The four jumps for a ball, we haven’t seen that all year. Well that’s now what we’re all looking for. Everybody will be saying that if he’s capable of doing that then let’s do it every game. Now, it’s hard because they’re not machines. They’re not computers. But, it’s what you strive for. It’s what you prepare for.”
On Doron Lamb’s play …
“He’s OK. I still think he’s better than he’s playing and again the rough house game. (Skylar) McBee is going to get up in him, now are you going to fade from that or are you going to create the contact, go to the line and make two free-throws? Are you going to get to the rim and draw fouls or are you going to run and avoid the contact and throw it and hope it goes in? The way we are being played it is very important. What has happened, Darius Miller is playing really aggressive offensively. He’s getting in the middle, he’s making that little floater, he’s making his shots, he’s going strong to the rim, and he’s dunking balls when he can. He, offensively, is playing like he did at the end of the year, last year.”
On Anthony Davis remaining calm after hard fouls …
“Well when you get knocked to the floor like that and he got hit in the face really hard one time about four plays later. He kind of went back and down and was like, ‘are you kidding me? I thought we were playing basketball?’ And then he runs back, or he smiles. He’s on his back, he gets up and he smiles and shakes his head. Again, in the rule book, if I leave my feet and you slide under me it is a block 100 percent of the time. If I have my position and you move me two feet out of my position that is a foul, offensively or defensively. I have a right to that spot, if you move me out of that spot it is a foul. When Naismith invented the game it was a foul and it’s a foul today. With him, as he gets pushed around that is just what you are saying, they can’t do that. He has a right to the spot . I know they want to be physical, they just can’t move him. They can lean on him, but the minute they start moving him two feet those are fouls. He has been great, he hasn’t said one word and let me just tell you, the best thing for our team is all this happening. It’s going to be just as physical Tuesday and it’s good for us because it’s the one way, I told you two years ago, everybody said you have to hope they miss shots and we did, we went 0-20 (in NCAA tournament against West Virginia). This team they are saying you better get into their bodies and be physical, one coach said, ‘hit them and be real physical,’ that was according to one of their players, anyway. If you can negate that like I’ve been saying for three weeks then you have a chance of doing something.”
On Marquis Teague finally hitting his stride …
“He is running the team better. Right now, he is doing a better job running the team. That is all I am asking him to do. Defend, stay on that court, and if you’re tired come off and run our team. It is hard for our guys. These guys want to score, including Eloy (Vargas). If Eloy grabs the ball at half court, he may try to shoot a hook (shot) out there. They are used to scoring 25 a game. It kills them. Seven rebounds, seven assists, three steals, what a game he had. No, I could have scored 15 more points. What? You don’t have to. Michael (Kidd-Gilchrist) had one point (against LSU); played great. It doesn’t matter. That is not how you are being judged on this team. This team is about how you are doing your job, how you are playing, and like I said, we are hopefully getting better. These will be some tough challenges. (Tennessee head coach Cuonzo) Martin has created a team every year that has a chance to win a championship because they defend in the half court, they play tough, hard-nosed, aggressive basketball, they will post the ball, to make you do stuff to create 3s, they are running good stuff. I am just telling you he is doing a fabulous job with this team.”
On if this team is playing its best basketball of the year …
“We are just trying to get better day-to-day. We missed all of those free throws. We missed about six layups in that game. But, we played good. We played as well as we have all year. But, now let’s see how we do in practice, let’s see how we do tomorrow. Let’s see how we build on that tomorrow.”
On what Michael Kidd-Gilchrist has to do to become a better player …
“He has to start defending. We can’t just start the game and let them do what they want. I can put him on anybody I want to put him on. I can put him on a one, a two, a three or a four if that guy is hurting us, and that’s why he is so vital. I said this after the (LSU) game. Terrence (Jones) really played well. Michael (Kidd-Gilchrist) still might have been the best player and he got one point. There is not many. You can’t say ‘I am going to have my best player come off the bench.’ The guy that is doing the things that he is doing, he has to be on that court. Now, what makes me mad about him is that he fouls, like 30 feet from the basket, and he gets a body foul. Then he gets two fouls, and I am trying to tell him he doesn’t need to block any shots, just body guys up and let them block it. He is doing fine, and the other guys are doing fine. We’ve got six starters, and even when Kyle (Wiltjer) is playing the way he is, and I think he is playing really well also, we have seven starters. That’s why we are where we are right now. The other thing is that when people watch us, they say ‘Man, they are unselfish. All of these All-Americans pass it to one another, and they make the extra pass, they have seven guys.’ That’s why we are where we are, or we wouldn’t be here. I mean, trying to get that challenge across to them is the most important thing. Everybody has to sacrifice and ‘do less’ so you are ‘doing more’ for us.”
#1 Darius Miller, G, Sr.
On the new uniforms …
“I think we’re all excited to wear them. I mean they’re pretty nice uniforms and to be able to get something special like this, I mean it feels good to be a part of something like that.”
On how he’s playing the last couple games …
“I’m just trying to be more aggressive – that’s all. My teammates did a great job of getting me open looks and I’m trying to take advantage of all the opportunities that I have.”
On this year’s Tennessee team compared to other Tennessee teams in the past …
“They’re pretty good. They play extremely hard and extremely physical – maybe more physical than some of the past Tennessee teams. They have a lot of guys who are strong and they use their body really well, so we’re going to have to come out and do a good job and be prepared for that. We’ve been doing better playing against physical teams, so hopefully we negate that tomorrow like coach has been talking about and have a good game.”
On if they’re playing their best basketball of the season …
“We feel like we’re playing pretty good basketball, but we know we have a long way to go to be a championship team. We have a lot of stuff we need to work on, we still have defensive breakdowns; we still need to work on executing sometimes on offense. I mean we’re not where we need to be, but we’re at a good point for where it is in the season.”
On if he’s comfortable being the sixth-man now …
“I never had a problem with it honestly. I mean I’m still having the same opportunities as everybody else. I still feel like I’m a part of the team – a big part of the team. So I mean whether he starts me or brings me off the bench, I could care less.”
#3 Terrence Jones, F, So.
On his importance and impact on the team …
“I think every player that plays a large amount of minutes is important and can step up in different games. I think last year that was a big key to how far we went is a different player making a big impact in each game of the tournament.”
On the helpfulness Anthony Davis drawing some defense and giving him more space …
“Yeah, I mean when we go to the lane right now, I mean they’ve been trying to make charges on me still a lot, his man. But it’s just been easy playing with everybody that can play around you.”
On not having any double-doubles this season …
“I mean it’s hard to rebound with all these dudes on my team. There are three dudes trying to get ten each game. I don’t even keep track during the game so I just play it by what they say at the end of the game. I didn’t even know I had nine (rebounds vs. LSU); I would’ve asked Coach [Calipari] for another 30 seconds or something. But it’s just fun playing.”
On if they are playing the best basketball and what to improve on …
“I think right now we’re playing real well and just getting a lot of chemistry with so many games. And Marquis [Teague] just running the team and running the floor like he’s been, letting it be our pace of the game, executing when we need to, it’s just been coming down to him and I think that’s why we’ve been so successful on offense.”
On Michael Kidd-Gilchrist’s importance to the team…
“That’s what you need on your team to win is guys that can have still impacts even when they don’t have scoring games. And for this game we could be like that for guys all the time with other guys being hot. So as long as they’re still making progress for us to win it’s still good to have him in.”