Kentucky, Georgia Clash at Rupp Arena Tuesday

Feb. 2, 2015

Georgia comes to Rupp Arena to face Kentucky on Tuesday, February 3. ESPNU will carry the game, and tip-off time is 7 p.m. ET.

Gameday
Gameday Information
Kentucky vs. Georgia
Tuesday, Feb. 3 - 7:00 p.m. ET
Lexington, Ky.
Game Notes: UK Get Acrobat Reader | UGA Get Acrobat Reader
Coverage
TV: ESPNU
Radio: UK Sports Network
Live Video via WatchESPN
Live Audio
Live Stats
Text Updates
UK Team Stats UGA
74.1 Points 71.2
50.7 Opp. Points 65.5
.461 FG .447
.326 Opp. FG .389
.361 3-FG .356
.269 Opp. 3-FG .308
.690 FT .684
39.2 Rebs 38.1
31.6 Opp. Rebs. 34.4
15.2 Assists 12.9
11.1 Turnovers 13.4
7.5 Blocks 5.1
7.5 Steals 6.6

Cat Scratches: UK, Hawkins looking to make best of Lyles’ possible absence

This is exactly why, on paper, Kentucky’s depth was so important.

The Wildcats, with 12 talented players on their roster, would be able to weather the occasional bump, bruise or illness.

They’ve already done it a few times, most notably after Alex Poythress went down with a season-ending knee injury, but it appears they’ll have to do it again. Trey Lyles’ status is unknown due to an undisclosed illness.

“Everybody on the team is going to have to step up because missing Trey, that’s a big part of our offense and defense,” Dominique Hawkins said. “He does so much for us, and like I said, everybody’s going to have to find a way to step up a little bit.”

John Calipari said Lyles is likely out for Tuesday’s game between top-ranked UK (21-0, 8-0 Southeastern Conference) and Georgia (14-6, 5-3 SEC). Beyond that, Coach Cal doesn’t know when the forward and his 7.5 points and 5.3 rebounds will return to the lineup.

The good news is the Cats have already survived Lyles’ absence once, posting an impressive 70-55 victory over Alabama without him. … Read the full story

This Week's News

Balanced Attack Lifts Kentucky Past Alabama

  • Playing without freshman forward Trey Lyles, who was sidelined with an illness, UK got a balanced effort in a 70-55 win over Alabama, the second victory over the Crimson Tide this season.
    • Four players scored in double figures and eight players scored at least five points
  • UK improved to 21-0, four wins shy of tying the best start in school history.
  • With Virginia's loss, Kentucky is now the lone undefeated team remaining in the country.
  • It was the Wildcats' 43rd win in their last 45 games as the Associated Press top-ranked team.
  • Kentucky was behind for only 20 seconds in the win. UK has trailed for 103:43 of a possible 855 minutes this season.
  • Sparked by inside players, UK shot a season-best 58.5 percent from the field.
  • UK made 7 of 15 (46.7 percent) on 3-point shots.
    • Over the last 11 games, Kentucky has shot 44 percent on 3-pointers, 77-of-175.
  • Kentucky had only five turnovers, just one shy from the season low of four miscues.
  • Alabama scored on the game's opening possession but Kentucky responded with the next seven points and the Wildcats never trailed again.
  • UK led by as many as 17 points at 37-20 and took a 37-24 lead into halftime.
    • The lead stayed between 12 and 21 points during the second half.
  • UK improved to 54-0 under Calipari when holding its opponent to 55 points or less, including a school shot-clock record (1985-86) 16 wins this season.
  • Towns had a perfect shooting night, making all four field-goal attempts and all four foul shots for a total of 12 points. All of his points came in the first half.
  • Cauley-Stein tallied 12 points, making all four of his field-goal attempts.
  • Devin Booker had 11 points, including 3 of 4 3-pointers. He's now made 25 of his last 38 long shots (65.8 percent).
  • Aaron Harrison chipped in 10 points, the 10th time in the last 12 games he has tallied in double figures.
  • Marcus Lee led the Wildcats in rebounding with five boards and also scored eight points, the most for him since scoring eight vs. North Carolina on Dec. 13.

Booker Nabs Freshman of the Week ... Again

  • Devin Booker averaged 10 points and 1.5 rebounds in wins over Missouri and Alabama last week and earned his fourth-straight SEC Freshman of the Week honor.
  • Booker is shooting 65.8 percent behind the arc over his last 11 games.
  • Only two other players in league history earned the accolade in four-straight weeks: UK's Nerlens Noel and John Wall.

Harrisons Lead Cats Past Mizzou on the Road

  • Facing its first second-time opponent of the season, the Wildcats earned double-digit performances from starting guards Aaron and Andrew Harrison en route to a 69-53 victory on the road at Missouri.
    • The win is the 20th of the season for the Cats, who are off to their best start since the 1965-66 season and the best in the John Cali pari era.
    • It also marked the 59th season with 20 or more wins in program history.
    • Calipari has led his teams to 20 or more oncourt wins 21 consecutive seasons, the most of any active head coach.
  • The Wildcats and Tigers combined for 54 fouls. The Cats rode a 9-for-11 performance from the line from Andrew Harrison in the win.
    • Harrison led UK with 15 points, one shy of tying a season high.
    • Aaron Harrison added 13 points for the Wildcats.
    • Both Harrisons had three steals in the game.
  • Kentucky jumped out to a 6-0 lead, trailed for just 27 seconds at 13-12, before Dakari Johnson's dunk gave UK the lead back, which it never relinquished.
    • Johnson had eight points and a team-high seven rebounds.
  • UK's largest lead of 20 points came at the 8:20 mark in the second half following a run-out dunk on a traditional three-point play by Johnson.
  • Kentucky earned a 16-point win despite logging just one block and yielding a 41.9 percent fieldgoal clip to the Tigers.

Media Opportunity - February 2, 2015

Kentucky Assistant Coach Barry "Slice" Rohrssen

On Trey Lyles' status ...
"You know what, don't fully know the extent of his illness and haven't seen him yet today because we're just about to head out to practice, but I'll catch up with him shortly."

On having to absorb the loss of players as the season progresses ...
"Well, any team is always added to by having depth. That's one thing coming into this season that looked like it could be a strength of ours, and we're fortunate right now where some other guys can make some contributions. Even as deep as our team is, it gives other guys chances. Like Dom (Hawkins) and Derek (Willis) moving forward."

On if Trey Lyles will play on Tuesday ...
"You know what? Probably know more during or after practice today."

On if UK is more balanced playing with three guards at a time ...
"Well, you know what? When you're shooting the ball like we did the other night, that's always a good feeling. When shots are going in you can look at three people out there. It depends what you need at the time. Again, shots were falling the other night. That was great ... maybe you give something up on the rebounding side when you're playing a smaller lineup or basically a perimeter lineup as opposed to an interior lineup."

On Hawkins' growing confidence ...
"Even from the Bahamas he's seemed to be comfortable. It's not always easy when you're not in a rotation. Going back to Bahamas seems like a while ago because it was, but he was comfortable then because he was playing in the platoon and in the rotation. Now, he's in the lineup a little bit more, so he is confident. I mean, he started the Missouri game, and banged a shot right away to start the game."

On the importance of Hawkins making shots...
"Well, it's always nice to make your first shot. One of the things that he brings is energy (and) effort to every game. He's a tremendous defender. It's nice having him in there. He can really guard the basketball. When he makes shots - like anybody else - it's always a bonus, but he seems more confident, more comfortable each game. He started two games earlier in the year, so it was no surprise coming back to him, but that's what he's doing in practice."

On Hawkins being a viable offensive option ...
"Like hockey, it's not a power play. It's not five against four. Dom is a very good player. We count on him to do a lot of things and scoring is one of them."

On the possible loss of Marcus Thornton for Georgia ...
"Anybody's leading scorer is important to them. I don't know exactly where they stand on what they're going to do with him this next game. Time will tell. They're a physical and aggressive team. They have some big guards and are well balanced. They have a lot of people scoring in double figures so you can't just look to take away one thing. They have multiple options in there."

On impressions of the SEC now as opposed to the beginning of the season ...
"It changed for us early on in the first two games. We weren't taking anybody lightly. We didn't feel like there was that big of a balance shift in there. You do have to go around the conference once. That's not just in the SEC, but everywhere. There are some teams that are going to play a little bit better than expected and may lose some players like Georgia. You have to take a lap around once to see what's going on."

On Karl-Anthony Towns' performance in the last two games during the first vs. the second half ...
"You could look at that as a credit to Karl. As an opposing coach, and having been a head coach before, you walk into a locker room and a guy is doing really well in the first half and you look at your staff and say, `How do we stop that guy?' Sometimes the situation and the schemes will dictate somebody like Karl. You'll double-team more in the post and things like that. You'll have a perimeter guy or whoever throws the ball in; he'll go down and dig deep. You can get help from the other side or get a double team. Conversely if a perimeter guy is hot, then you're running two guys at him or denying him entry passes on the ball. That could be something that he's going through."

On Town's approach to playing aggressive ...
"
Speaking on Karl in particular he's still a young player, he's still a young guy. You have to sometimes catch up to speed with the college game, understand positioning and angles more. Especially in the post you really have to know how to play angles in the post. It's a foot fight in there when you're battling in the post people see very large guys but what it really is is a foot fight. You're battling for space down low so you have to make that your top priority."

On Towns seeking coaching ...
"
All the time. He's one of our harder workers. He's a sponge, he's always trying to pick your brain and learn something. He's made some really good strides. For a freshman to be counted on and contributing and put into a position like this, now it seems to be his turn here where he's that freshman that comes in. But we are really getting good contributions and good minutes from all the freshmen. Karl has a really good work ethic. He likes to get in the gym, he likes to shoot. He calls on a regular if not daily basis to come in before practice, stay after practice and come back."

On keeping the team motivated ...
"We're very fortunate. It starts with some of our upperclassmen like Willie Cauley-Stein and guys like Alex (Poythress). They're not just good as players, but they're great kids. They've set a tone since we've got back here on campus. They came back for certain goals that they wanted with our team and individually. A lot of other people have fallen into line with things that they've said and demonstrated from early on."

On the benefits of off-court treatments like massage therapy ...
"When does the staff get one? Our strength and training department really goes to great lengths to make sure that these guys get the nutrition, hydration, rest, all key elements. Again there's so much x's and o's you can give them but if the body's not feeling right some things won't be up to speed. You've got to keep your guys tuned up."

On if treatments like massage therapy have helped UK since the end of last season ...
"
Not being here last year, one would only take that it helped really well. All the way up until April."

On staff input on different recovery techniques ...
"Actually Rock Oliver the strength coach and Chris Simmons the athletic trainer handle most of that, and go through the benefits and what they feel and what is necessary. Who needs it the most and when to do it."

On if he got massages when he was a player ...
"Zero.Maybe that goes to show my career and what happened."

#25, Dominique Hawkins, So., G

On how important he feels especially with the uncertainty of Trey Lyles' situation ...
"I feel important, very important. I feel like I need to come out and play and give great energy like I've been doing. Everybody on the team is going to have to step up because missing Trey (Lyles), that's a big part of our offense and defense. He does so much for us, and like I said, everybody's going to have to find a way to step up a little bit."

On if he's felt more connected to this team in the last couple of weeks ...
"Yeah I feel really connected with the team. Definitely been practicing more with them and with the blue group and been finding out what should I do and what can I do with the group, and when I'm open I'm trying to knock down open shots and even I'm attacking the rim. I'm able to shoot my floater. Coach (Cal's) just keeps telling me to be more aggressive and just do what I'm able to do."

On being more comfortable to take open shots ...
"I definitely have. My teammates are telling me to shoot it and when your teammates are telling you to shoot it you're definitely going to get comfortable with that. Even if I miss it they're still telling me to shoot it."

On if he can tell other teams are guarding him closer ...
"Oh definitely. I remember last year they'd just sag off of me and didn't play me at all, but now they cover me more. They probably watched film and seen that I hit my open shots."

On if that's one of the reasons why Cal wants him to hit those open shots to make the opponent respect him ...
"That's definitely what it is. He (doesn't) want the guy to be out there just playing against five. It'd be four-on-five if they're playing against us. He wants me to be to be able to have the confidence to hit the shots so they're playing five-on-five and not four-on-five."

On what the team misses without Lyles on the floor ...
"We miss length and athleticism with Trey. Rebounding definitely and also an offensive threat in the paint and like the corner jumpers. Trey brings a lot to the game and, like I said, a lot of people have to step up now."

On closing the gap left by Lyles by locking down on perimeter defense ...
"Oh yeah. We're definitely trying to pressure the ball more, make the point guard, or whoever's (driving) the ball up the court, make them feel like the pressure's getting to them so they're going to either throw it away or not get into their place so easy. As guards we're just trying to pressure them and make plays that they're trying to make happen harder than it should be."

On if the team embraces still trying to get better even though they're an undefeated team ...
"I definitely think we embrace it. We want to learn more and get better each and every practice and every game also. It's kinda uncomfortable when Coach (Cal) is yelling at you and you're up 30-20 points, but we're getting used to it. We just know that Cal, he doesn't want any mistakes in the future, so that's why he keeps being on us."

On if Cal has said anything about going to a more traditional rotation while Lyles is out ...
"It's just been usual so far. I'm pretty sure he'd probably talk to us if like there's a tight game. He'll probably go to the rotation of seven or six or whatever he wants to do."

On if they're around Lyles at all, or if he's not allowed to be around them ...
"He's not allowed to be around us right now. Well, I actually don't know. I haven't seen him. I saw him yesterday but I don't think he's allowed to come to practice."

On if he feels bad for him ...
"Definitely because he's a part of our team, he's our brother, and I'm sure he wants to be on the court."

On if he's 100 percent from the little problem he had a couple weeks ago ...
"Oh yeah, I'm fine. I'm great."

On if it was frustrating having to miss a game after earning the playing time ...
"Yeah it was very frustrating because it was the--I think my third game I started, I can't remember if it was my third or second, might have been third. I know it was against Missouri and I played really well and after that I had to sit out because of it and I was very frustrated because I felt like my chance was on and I wasn't going to be able to get another opportunity. But, Coach (Cal), he threw me back in and I was able to make the most of it again."

On if it makes him feel good that Cal has the confidence to put him back in the starting lineup ...
"Yeah it makes me feel really good. It makes me feel like Coach Cal he really trusts me and believes in me."

On how much the team has been affected by flu season ...
"I feel like, I really don't know how to explain that, but I feel like it's just--you have to protect yourself. You have to dress up warm, be able to just take care of your body."

On if anyone on the team has been affected by the flu ...
"I really do not know if anyone has been affected by the flu."

On getting massages once a week ...
"It's great. Definitely helps out our body. When we can get away from basketball it's a good thing. I really didn't know how important massages (were) until I came here and it definitely helps us out."

On if they got massages last year ...
"We got them last year, but we didn't get them during the season. We got them at like, during March Madness. This year, I'd say we get them once a week. It's been excellent. It feels great too."

On where they get massages ...
"We get them in our training room. The (masseur), he comes here and gives us a great massage."

On if it helps with soreness ...
"Oh yeah. Soreness goes away in about a day, so the next day you'll feel 100 percent."

On how well the team is able to absorb the loss of Lyles ...
"Like, Coach Cal, he told us somebody is going to have to step up a little bit more in each and every game. It gives me the opportunity to be able to make some plays too. Also, maybe Derek (Willis) can get his opportunity like I just did. Hopefully he does. I'm rooting for him to be able to when he enters in a game." 

On hitting shots early and not hesitating ...
"I'm not hesitating at all anymore. When I get an open shot I feel like I can definitely knock down an open shot. If they every play me, Coach Cal told me to drive the ball and shoot a floater because that's my game."

On that making him feel better about his game ...
"Definitely, because in high school--I always refer back to high school because I was so aggressive, and I know I can still be aggressive. And now Coach (Cal) is encouraging me to be more aggressive and try to be able to score or whatever I need to do for the team to win."

On when the light bulb went off for him again ...
"I feel like it clicked when I started. When I realized I was starting I was realizing that, if I could just make a play and show everybody that I'm still the same kid I could be back in high school, that it could happen again. I was aggressive on my first start. I don't think I was able to score the ball but I feel like I was aggressive enough to be able to make plays on defense. But on offense I wasn't able to knock down my shots though, but I know if I was open I'd take the shot." 

#44, Dakari Johnson, So., C

On if they can be around Trey Lyles (illness) ...
"No, he's just been trying to get better. We don't really know what's going on. Coach knows."

On how he feels about his game ...
"I feel good. Just going to every game and keep on competing. A lot of teams are going to come at us."

On the biggest difference between his game now and from the beginning of the season ...
"It's just been getting more physical. You have to compete at a higher level because every game in the SEC is a dog fight."

On getting his shot off underneath the basket ...
"Yeah, just making quicker moves. We've been practicing a lot during workouts and practice just trying to get up quick."

On what state the team is in right now ...
"I think we're in a good state. Three games in five days, we've been resting a little bit, trying to get a lot of rest. Everybody is in a perfect mind frame, just going out there and competing."

On what he means by getting extra rest ...
"The practices, we've been getting massages. The practices haven't been really a lot of contact. It's been hard practices still. We do a lot of scripting. We go hard when we're out there. Then after, we relax, get a lot of rest."

On if they're doing that because of playing three games in six days or because it's February ...
"Just about the three games. It's a tight schedule so he's been trying to get us a lot of rest, give us massages, let our bodies recover."

On how long the massages are ...
"Around like 30 minutes."

On if a Geisha girl does the massages ...
"It's a dude, but he's good with his hands, I guess."

On how often they get massages ...
"About once a week."

On if that's throughout the season or if it's extra because of these three games ...
"Yeah. No, it's not extra because of this. We've been getting them throughout the season."

On the benefits of the massages ...
"It really helps us. We're sore in our legs and our bodies so it just helps us recover."

On what they know about Georgia ...
"We know they're a really good team. They've been competing in the SEC really hard. We know they're a really tough team. It's going to be a dogfight."

On if anyone passes on the massages ...
"No, nobody passes on the massages. Everybody needs it."

On how well they can absorb the loss of Trey Lyles, or any one player ...
"We have a lot of players. It's that next man up mentality. Derek Willis is going to get his chance. Everybody has to do a little bit more because Trey does a lot for this team. Everybody's going to have to step up."

On if they're capable of moving along if one man goes out ...
"It's just the next man up. People get their chance and everybody has to do a little bit more."

On what it means to him when Coach Cal says he sometimes gives his opponents the respect of Wilt the Stilt ...
"I'm not really sure what that means."

On giving his opposition too much respect ...
"Everybody is going to come in with that mentality of giving us their best game. We just have to compete at a high level. Everybody's going to try to come at us so we just have to compete and play at a high level."

On playing without Trey Lyles ...
"It's the next man up mentality. The same people are going to get their chance to play. Derek and everybody else just has to do a little bit more. He's a real good player and we can't replace that so everybody's going to have to step up."

On whether Trey Lyles is quarantined right now ...
"I don't know. I haven't really seen him around so I really don't know."

On what they miss the most without Lyles ...
"His rebounding. He's very versatile so he can play the three and stuff like that. He's an inside-out player."

On whether they have to play more of a guard-oriented lineup ...
"We practice using a lot of lineups, a lot of different lineups that you would see. Sometimes going small, using a guard lineup. Sometimes going big even. So we've just been practicing on certain situations that we might have to use."

On whether this team can make up for Lyles' absence with ball pressure ...
"It's a lot of pressure up front when you have those three-guard lineups. Just pressuring the ball is a big thing of what we do defensively. So it might help us."

On Calipari still demanding improvement like last year even though UK is unbeaten ...
"It's the same thing. He's treating us the same way. He's not stopping off the pedal or anything. He's going to be who he is. He's still treating us like we're not undefeated. We still have a burden on our back."

On whether that's how they keep going without a loss ...
"We can't get complacent. We're just trying to get ourselves better each and every day. That's how you do it. We just try to go hard. We don't even focus on the undefeated talk or anything. We just focus on getting our team better each and every practice."

On whether it's hard when Calipari is on them even when they have a big lead ...
"Yeah, it's kind of weird. But I guess that's how it is. That's who he is and he's not going to stop."

On this stretch of three games in six days ...
"It's kind of sore, but at the same time they're doing a good job giving us massages and stuff like that. Just getting us a lot of rest but also during practice time going hard."

On responding in the second half after Coach Cal got on him ...
"I didn't do--on the free-throw line box-out, I did the wrong thing and picked up my second foul so he got on him. That's who Coach is. He's going to get on me and I just tried to respond well."

On reminding Hawkins to take open shots ...
"He's gotten better with that. He's improved on his shooting. He's getting up extra shots, so why not take them? And he's much more confident."

On whether they should name the SEC Freshmen of the Week award after Devin Booker ...
"Oh, yeah (laughter). He's hot. He's a real good player. He's not just a shooter. He's a good defender and he does multiple things so, yeah, he's a real good player."

On whether going unbeaten is in the back of their minds ...
"I mean, maybe, if we get to that point. But every day we're just trying to focus on getting ourselves better and competing against ourselves."

On the strength of the SEC ...
"SEC is a tough league. Every team is going to try to come at you. Every team is real good, no matter what. They do a good job scouting you and stuff like that, so the SEC is just a great league."

On being the last unbeaten ...
"We don't really pay attention to that. Every day we just try to get better. We don't pay attention to undefeated talk."