Wildcats Return to Rupp Arena to Host Tide

Feb. 8, 2010

Wildcats Return to Rupp Arena to Host Tide

The Wildcats return to Rupp Arena for a brief, two-game stretch beginning with a Tuesday night affair with Alabama.

UK enters the game on a three-game winning streak after an 81-55 win at LSU.

Kentucky Alabama 
Gameday Information
Game Notes Kentucky Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader | Alabama Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader
Date & Time Tues., Feb. 9, 9:00 p.m
Coverage TV: ESPNU
Radio: BBSN
GameTracker GameTracker
Online Audio listen
Live Blog
Location Rupp Arena
Lexington, Ky.
Alabama Crimson Tide at a Glance
Head Coach Anthony Grant
Overall Record 89-35
2009-10 Record 13-10, 3-6 SEC
Ranking nr
Series Record Kentucky leads 98-35
Last Meeting Kentucky beat Alabama 61-51 in Tuscaloosa, Ala. last season
2009-10 Team Stats UK UA
Scoring Offense 82.3 68.2
Scoring Defense 65.9 62.9
FG Percentage 48.9% 45.2%
3-point FG Percentage 38.6% 35.1%
FT Percentage 68.6% 69.0%
Rebound Margin +10.3 -0.7
Assists 16.0 14.4
Turnovers 15.3 12.5
2009-10 Stat Leaders
Scoring UK: John Wall (16.4)
UA: Mikhail Torrance (15.3)
Rebounding UK: DeMarcus Cousins (10.0)
UA: JaMychal Green (7.1)
Assists UK: John Wall (6.8)
UA: Mikhail Torrance (5.6)
3-point FG Percentage UK: Darnell Dodson (41.4%)
UA: Charvez Davis (36.6%)
Blocks UK: DeMarcus Cousins (1.9)
UA: JaMychal Green (2.0)
Steals UK: John Wall (1.9)
UA: Tony Mitchell (1.6)

Led by DeMarcus Cousins' 14th double-double and sixth straight, the Wildcats improved to 7-1 at the mid-way point of the SEC season. Cousins finished with a team-high 19 points and a game-high 14 rebounds. Cousins is the first Wildcat since Chris Mills to record six straight double-doubles.

Patrick Patterson (16) and Eric Bledsoe (10) joined Cousins in double-figures.

The Wildcats outrebounded the Tigers 53-33, tying the team's largest margin in SEC play this year.

Cat Scratches Feature: Just 'another game?' Alabama could be test for Cousins' maturity development

DeMarcus Cousins has taken on a slew of monikers this season. He's played the role of comedian, Peter Parker, Big Cuz, Boogie and even Russian (this picture says it all), but Monday may have been his most intriguing character yet.

Cousins put on his best acting hat in front of the media Monday, rehearsing an act that was in complete contradiction to some candid comments made earlier in the year.

"It's just another game," Cousins said of the Alabama game. "No big deal."

Read the full story...

Kentucky Pregame Quotes

Head Coach John Calipari

On Alabama...

"I watched the (Alabama) tape against Vanderbilt and I'm sick to my stomach. They were up three with two minutes to go and they had the ball. They had Florida beat, but they threw the ball away, the kid makes a crazy play and they don't get it inbounded. Their point guard is really good. They have athletes on the wings and they have a couple of bangers inside. They aren't deep, they are only playing seven guys. But, it's another dangerous game. It's a hard game to play and (Alabama head coach) Anthony (Grant) is establishing what he is trying to do. They are a team that he is starting to put his imprint on."

On the SEC...

"There have been about five games that have had gaps. Tennessee had one, we had a couple. There have only been four or five. Tennessee was on the other end when Georgia beat them by 20. Other than that, every game has been two or three buckets. To be in the game with Tennessee, Florida and Georgia, they (Alabama) had a chance to win all of those games. The best job you do in coaching is when you are trying to keep a team that is undermanned with a chance to win and keep them believing. Look at (Arkansas head coach) John Pelphrey; Look at what he did. They came here and we beat them by (31). They haven't lost since then. That is coaching. He could have lost his team after that game. They are in first place (in the SEC West)."

On team improvements...

(DeMarcus Cousins) is growing. I haven't had a player come that far that fast. Then again, look at John Wall and what he has been able to do. He is running our team better. Look at Eric Bledsoe, look at Daniel Orton. How about DeAndre (Liggins)? He is leading our team in three-point shooting. He took a lot last year. All of the sudden, we have a guy who is a key part to our team. Right up and down the line, I love the attitude of the guys who aren't getting as many minutes. Ramon (Harris) has had to step aside because some of these guys are playing well. Now, Darius (Miller) had to step aside a little bit because the other guys are playing better than him. Their attitudes haven't changed. I appreciate these guys, all of them. From the guys that are playing a lot to the guys that aren't playing. Josh (Harrellson), here is a kid that could have left and gone somewhere where he'd probably play more. But, he stays here and he is behind two really good big guys, and he accepts it and he comes every day. He knows I'm trying to get him in games, because I want him to know I appreciate how hard he is working. But, this entire team has been fun to be around. We're not great every night out, but they are all trying to do what is asked of them.

"You have Patrick (Patterson) playing better. You have Darnell (Dodson) playing somewhat better. You have got the guys on the bench playing better. Now, where is that next step for us? We have one month. We have three weeks. Now, where can we take this? All I know is we have Alabama at home, we have to go to Georgia, and everybody is getting beat by 20 at Georgia."

On DeMarcus Cousins and Daniel Orton...

"DeMarcus (Cousins) threw a pass to Daniel (Orton), Daniel kept it above his chin and scored. I said, `Do you understand when two big guys like you are in together, usually they won't pass to anybody else except each other, because the guards shoot all the balls. So, if he can't shoot it, he's finding the other big so he can shoot it. That's how you two should play when you're in there. If we give it to one, go find the other or score it yourself.' Reality of it is, one of those other three perimeter guys are going to shoot it if they have it. Daniel needs more time, which we are going to continue to give him. I wish he had been here in the summer for that knee, because there are times where you see he is still a little hobbled by it. Other than that, he has done great."

On John Wall...

"He has been great. He is finally understanding he doesn't have to play up to the hype. He is running our team the way he needs to run it. He had seven assists last game. He is not trying to make as many fabulous plays. Because he went 2-for-9, everyone says he didn't play well. What if he was 7-for-9, then all of the sudden you would have said he is out of his mind; I'm going to start focusing on his defense. If I focus on it and he knows I'm focusing on it, he'll get better. So, we'll shore up his defense a little bit from where he's been. He watches the ball on rebounding, he'll get hung up on screens, he stops playing a lot, and he ball watches a lot if his man doesn't have the ball. If you concentrate on it, you'll do it. He is athletically good enough to be as good a defensive guard as there is in the country. Now, all of the sudden, we change as a team."

On DeMarcus Cousins...

"He listens and when you tell him something he understands it. He can go do it. He is a very intelligent person, very smart. Then, he gets on the court and sometimes he is too smart for his own good. When I say something funny or sarcastic, some other guys in the room may not catch it. He catches it every time and starts laughing. He may be the only guy laughing. He wants to learn and he wants to get better. He has come so far and he has done the things we are asking. He wants to score and rebound, but it's more about us winning. Who bragged about John Wall early in the year more than him? He was John Wall's public relations machine early in the year."

#15, DeMarcus Cousins, Fr., F

On how special of a game this is, playing Alabama...

"It is just another game. I can say that with a straight face, no big deal."

On how good of a team they are...

"They are a big, athletic team. They can play ball."

On playing well at Auburn, is it similar playing another Alabama team...

"It will be the same. Like I said, it is just another game. That is the way it is, and should be."

On how much of a different person he is now compared to a year ago...

"I feel like I have grown up a lot. My decision making is a lot better, but I have matured more, and I feel like my basketball I.Q. has gotten better; the choices I make in the game, as far as basketball, have gotten a lot better."

On if physical play is helping him grow as a player...

"It is helping me, but I also take it as a complement. That is the only way they think they can stop me."

On how hard it has been to keep his composure...

"It is not hard, it hurts. Let me beat on you all and see how you like it. You just have to keep playing."

#33, Daniel Orton, Fr., F

On moving up in the rotation and getting more minutes ...

"Here lately I've wanted a lot more responsibility so that's something I am looking forward to and something I'm expecting to have here soon. I've been playing okay, stepping up a little bit, but I still have a long ways to go and have a while to get there, so I'm in a good position right now. I've been working on my offensive game a little here and there. Things are coming along, more so than anything I have to say I'm just getting more comfortable playing at the collegiate level."

On being on the floor with DeMarcus (Cousins) ...

"We have a great chemistry. We can both pass the ball really well and he's a great finisher so having him on the court is a positive for me. The two of us on the court together being so tall and so big, going to a 2-3 like we do, it's hard to score inside and guards really can't dribble so it makes them have to shoot. There are so many positives from the situation I have to say and not that many negatives. The height factor is something people could be intimidated by and also how well we both play defense. The intimidation factor comes into play and it helps DeMarcus (Cousins) in so many ways. We have a bunch of great shot blockers here."

On John Wall's few points against LSU ...

"You know he didn't show up in the point category, but he showed up everywhere else. He puts people in position to score so we do need him; we need everybody on this team to win the game."

On how he and DeMarcus (Cousins) have helped each other ...

"Just his weight, playing defense against him is one of the main things, playing against his banging style and how he throws his weight around has helped me really. On defense I always block his shot so that something that he's learning. He is learning how to score on a shot blocker. I really don't think he has ever been against a 6'10," 6'11' presence like that with long arms. Against Mississippi State he's going to have (Jarvis) Varnado to go up against. That's going to be a true test for him and we'll see how that goes."

On playing Alabama tomorrow ...

"We're just going to play our game and hopefully we'll have the same type of energy we had against Vandy and LSU. Just come out and play a great game and hopefully be hitting on all cylinders really."