Cats Take on Vols in Border Rivalry

Feb. 12, 2010

Cats Take on Vols in Border Rivalry

Riding a four-game winning streak, the Wildcats host Tennessee in the first meeting between the two schools this season. The Wildcats enter the game off a 66-55 win over Alabamaon Tuesday, helping UK maintain a game-lead over Vanderbilt in the SEC East division.

Kentucky Tennessee 
Gameday Information
Game Notes Kentucky Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader | Tennessee Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader
Date & Time Sat., Feb. 13, 9:00 p.m
Coverage TV: ESPN
Radio: BBSN
GameTracker GameTracker
Online Audio listen
Live Video via ESPN360
Live Blog
Location Rupp Arena
Lexington, Ky.
Brought to you by...
Paul Miller Ford
Tennessee Volunteers at a Glance
Head Coach Bruce Pearl
Overall Record 433-126
2009-10 Record 18-5, 6-3 SEC
Ranking 12 AP /12 ESPN/USA Today Coaches
Series Record Kentucky leads 142-65
Last Meeting Kentucky defeated Tennessee 77-58 in Lexington, Ky. last season
2009-10 Team Stats UK UT
Scoring Offense 81.6 76.7
Scoring Defense 65.5 65.0
FG Percentage 48.8% 46.1%
3-point FG Percentage 37.8% 33.1%
FT Percentage 68.2% 66.3%
Rebound Margin +10.2 +1.6
Assists 15.8 15.0
Turnovers 15.3 12.8
2009-10 Stat Leaders
Scoring UK: John Wall (16.7)
UT: Wayne Chism (13.1)
Rebounding UK: DeMarcus Cousins (10.1)
UT: WayneChism (7.0)
Assists UK: John Wall (6.6)
UT: J.P.Prince (2.3)
3-point FG Percentage UK: Darnell Dodson, Darius Miller, Patrick Patterson (40.0%)
UT: ScottyHopson (40.0%)
Blocks UK: DeMarcus Cousins (1.8)
UT: WayneChism (1.5)
Steals UK: John Wall (1.9)
UT: J.P.Prince (1.5)

Kentucky was led by freshmen DeMarcus Cousins and John Wall, who both tallied double-doubles. Cousins recorded his seventh straight double-double with 16 points and a game-high 13 rebounds, while Wall put up a game-high 22 points and a career high 10 rebounds, his first double-double in points and reboundsthis season.

DeAndre Liggins also contributed eight points and seven rebounds.

Cat Scratches: UK-Tennessee game among nation's best rivalries

Tennessee has always and will always be one of Kentucky's premier rivals. But is it becoming the biggest rivalry?

With the built-in border-state rivalry, the recent top-25 battles between the two teams and now the addition of the frosty relationship between coach John Calipari and Bruce Pearl, there's a pretty strong case that Tennessee means just as much as, dare I say, Louisville.

Those are fightin' words in some parts of this state when one starts talking rivalries and UK-U of L. To some, the Dream Game is not only the biggest game of the year for the Kentucky basketball team, it's the biggest, baddest and only game that matters.

Read the full story

Also on Cat Scratches

Kentucky Pregame Quotes

Head Coach John Calipari

On Bruce Pearl...

"I like Bruce (Pearl). This guy went to Tennessee and with football, women's basketball, baseball, and you are trying to find your way in men's basketball, he did it, and he got to an Elite Eight. I respect him. He can coach. They beat the No. 1 team in the country this year and they are adding three players for our game. So, they can come in here and beat us. They beat the No. 1 team, and as a matter of fact, beat them good. The last time I was highly ranked, he brought a team into Memphis, Tenn., and beat us. I respect him as a coach. We don't exchange birthday wishes or Christmas cards because we're rivals. Do you know of any two coaches, who are going at each other with two programs; that are going to exchange pleasantries other than when I see him on the road, `How are you? Good to see you?' But I respect him."

On Kentucky's young team...

"Still a work in progress, but we're getting better. Three freshmen start. A sophomore that did not play Division I basketball a year ago started. Basically, they played AAU basketball six months ago. (We have) Patrick Patterson, and then you come off the bench with a freshman and two sophomores who were here, but never played. They played five minutes a game. That's our team. We're immature, we're not experienced, we turn it over too much and time and score at times is not a factor in this game. That's who we are, but I still love my team."

On the rivalry with Tennessee...

"We're just worried about our team. I know how good they are, we all do. They beat the No. 1 team in the country and have three players that were made eligible for this game. We know how good they are.

"They have talented players, now. You are talking about a group of talented players. Obviously, Tyler Smith is a big hit for them. They are still a talented team. They have size, athleticism and they are well coached. So, they have won. As I said, I respect them. They withstood all of this stuff. No one goes to Vandy and wins; everyone loses at Vandy, so that game was one you would expect. Everything else, they have done what they were supposed to do and continue to win.

"I'm trying to keep me out of all of this stuff. This is about two programs. I've always been that way. You guys make it about me and the other coach. I want it to be about these kids. But, it's a good thing, because you want to see when it's time to step up, who steps up and who steps back. The only way you can do it is in games like this. Who steps up and who steps back? Next time you are in this kind of game, the guy who steps up, you are the first one in. The one who steps back, I've got you, just relax.

"I remember taking my team to Knoxville last year. Having to go into that arena knowing we were playing against a really good team. It will be interesting how our team responds. Our team last year took on that challenge. But, I had a veteran team."

On Kentucky's turnovers...

"I hope we get it down to 12 or 13. We are at 15 or 16. But, the reality of it is we are playing so aggressive, we keep people on their heels. People aren't able to deny us as much as they want because we are running it up your throat, we play fast, and we play athletic. If that means a few more turnovers, I'd rather have that than less athletic and less speed. I'm just trying to get them to recognize the importance of the ball. They are having to learn. Learn on the run."

On Darius Miller...

"He is good. He stopped in the office today and I said, `You have to listen to me less and just go play. You are worrying about me; don't even look over at the bench. I'm going to leave you in for four minutes and let you go. Play.' I told Ramon (Harris) the same thing. Darius (Miller) had his game day last year against this team (Tennessee). I didn't realize that Kentucky had beaten Tennessee twice last year. I didn't know that. They beat them twice, obviously one of them was in Knoxville, but Darius had his biggest game of the year. I think he's feeling confident going in."

#1, Darius Miller, So., G

On if ESPN College Gameday being at the game matters to the team...

"I think everybody is pretty excited about it. We are playing a competitive team, so I think we will all be ready to go."

On if Gameday will be a distraction...

"I think that will be motivation for us really, and help us to get focused. We know it is a big stage to be playing on, so I think we will be ready."

On if he thinks Tennessee will come out tomorrow playing for their conference lives...

"We think they will be ready to go, also because of Gameday stuff. We know we are really going to have to bring it, or they are going to make it a tough game for us."

On how surprised the team is that Tennessee has been playing well, even with their distractions ...

"They have all kinds of good players and are a talented team. We figured they would still be a good team; they may be hurting some without their other players, but we still know they will be competitive."

On his impression of Scotty Hopson...

"He is a great player; I have always had a lot of respect for his game."

On the meaning of the rivalry with Tennessee and if the freshmen understand it...

"They seem like they are ready to go and they have been focused throughout practice, so hopefully they understand how big of a game it is."

On how Coach Calipari has tried to help his game...

"Really he just wants me to play with more intensity and be more aggressive. Just try to go out and play like I always have throughout my whole career."

#12, Mark Krebs, Sr., G

On the rivalry between Kentucky and Tennessee...

"It is definitely a big rivalry in the SEC; we play them twice a year, so it is always important to get that first win between the two and to get it at home. Both teams are going to come out fighting. It has always been a big rivalry and this year it is a pretty big game."

On f the team considers it a statement game...

"We take it as a statement game. Every game is big for us right now. We are ready to play, we are confident going into the game which you have to be. If we keep that up, whether College Gameday is here or not, we will be ready to go."

On the play of teammate DeAndre Liggins...

"He has been doing this a while. When he gets in the game he plays within himself and he plays really hard and he gives us a spark off the bench that we really need."

On what makes Tennessee so dangerous...

"They are a fighting team. They are not going to just play and if they lose, oh well. They are dangerous. They are going to come out ready to play."

On if they are even more dangerous coming off a loss...

"I always thought that coming off of a loss you come into the next game wanting to win, so they are going to come out ready to play. If they came off a win of like forty points then they may come in slacking a little bit, but they aren't and they are going to be ready."

#33, Daniel Orton, Fr., F

On how excited they are for College Gameday...

"We are all excited about it. It is something that we all looking forward to. The fans are really passionate about it; they sold out Rupp Arena. To go over to Gameday would be something cool to see."

On if he is worried that Gameday will be a distraction...

"Not at all. We are all focused on the game and focused on what we have to do. It will be a big game for both teams. With Gameday here, it will put pressure on both teams to perform."

On if this feels like the stretch run for him in the season...

"It is something that Coach Calipari has been trying to instill in us, but we haven't given it too much thought. There isn't much of the season left. We will probably never be on another team like this again. With great players and the great talent we have, one day in life we will look back on all of it. So for now, we need to embrace what we have."

On if he would say that he has matured as a player and a person ...

"Yeah I would have to say so. Growing up and going to college has made me a mature person, but there are so many different aspects. Playing on this team, you see so many different things that help you to grow."

On what else this team needs to improve on...

"We have a lot of room to improve. No one is ever perfect; there are always areas to improve in. We can always get better. Coach Calipari said that he can improve in not sitting back as much. There are certain areas where he has to call time outs to keep things from getting out of hand. At certain times we require hands-on approach, but a lot of times I think he can just let us loose. I can improve on my offensive game. It is getting there."

On coming off the bench to play...

"It's really not that bad. I can listen to coach Calipari and what he tells DeMarcus (Cousins) to do. I can learn from DeMarcus' mistakes and make sure that I don't repeat them. Starting is fun, but it really doesn't mean everything to me. On the bench you can figure out the opposing team before you get out there."