Gameday: Kentucky at Vanderbilt
UK Takes Winning Streak to Nashville
Fresh off another Jodie Meeks offensive outburst and their second straight win, the Wildcats head to the Music City to take on the Vanderbilt Commodores in a nationally televised Super Tuesday game on ESPN.
Meeks broke another arena scoring record, doing so at Arkansas’ Bud Walton Arena this time with 45 points in Kentucky’s 79-63 win over the Razorbacks. Meeks was 17-for-24 from the field including 7-for-12 from the three-point line. He also pulled down seven rebounds, recorded three steals and dished out a couple assists.
Ramon Harris chipped in with seven points, nine rebounds and five assists as the Wildcats defeated Arkansas for the 10th straight time.
- Kentucky is in its 106th season of basketball.
- Kentucky is the all-time NCAA leader in wins with 1,984.
- The Wildcats are 131-42 all-time against Vanderbilt, including a 51-25 mark in Nashville.
- Jodie Meeks leads the Southeastern Conference and ranks fourth nationally in scoring (25.8 ppg).
- Meeks, the SEC Player of the Week, is averaging 27.9 ppg in SEC games.
- Patrick Patterson is tied for third in the nation in FG percentage (64.3) and 32nd in rebounding (9.1).
- Patterson is the only player in the SEC to rank in the top six in scoring (6th - 17.8) and rebounding (4th - 9.1).
- UK ranks third in the country in blocked shots per game (7.2), fourth in free throw percentage (77.9), eighth in field goal percentage (49.0) and 16th in assists/game (16.4).
- Perry Stevenson ranks ninth on UK’s all-time blocked shots list (130).
- Jodie Meeks (1,037) became the 56th member of Kentucky’s prestigious 1,000 point club.
- Patrick Patterson (839) is also approaching the 1,000-point mark which would make him the 57th members of the prestigious club at UK.
Head Coach Billy Gillispie
On Patrick Patterson's ankle…
“He hasn't been able to do much at all. His status is the same, day-to-day. When he is healthy he will be able to play and practice.”
On Jodie Meeks' performances this season…
“I've not seen anything like it. I've not been a part of anything like it. I'm sure things like that happen all the time, but I definitely haven't been a part of anything like that. There are times when guys have unbelievable seasons. Those things happen. Every team has a guy that will play the lights out all year. But for him to do what he has done for us all year, he has put us on his shoulders since day one. We obviously have some things we need to work on. As far as shooting behind the three-point line, we don't have a lot of guys that have been consistent with that all year long. I think we are getting better and more confident as we go. But for him to have such tremendous pressure to be basically the lone guy that has been there day in and day out and to do the things he has been able to do, is just unbelievable. Hopefully that will continue as these other guys are starting to play well. Like I said from the start, we had two guys scoring and I wanted to make sure we maintained those two (scorers) and add on to it as we went. Then all of a sudden we had less production, which made it very difficult for a stretch. Hopefully we won't go back to that. We need more guys to play well and Jodie to continue what he has done all year long.”
On if Jodie Meeks masks deficiencies of the team by making his shots…
“No question. You can be fooled into thinking that because a guy has made as many points as he has made that the team has played well, but sometimes you have and sometimes you haven't. The end result is the most important thing, especially if it is in your favor. The process of the entire 40 minutes is most important when it comes to understanding what you're really good at and what you're not good at. The end result doesn't always allow everyone to understand what is going on.”
On balancing Jodie Meeks' scoring and getting the whole team to be aggressive on offensive…
“I want them to make the right decision when they have the ball, regardless of how anyone else is playing. You definitely don't want anyone to force the issue, especially when (Jodie) Meeks is playing well. One guy is not good enough, no matter how well he has played. It takes more than one guy. (Meeks) has just been so good for us this year. When trying to read players' minds, I think what they are starting to do better is accepting responsibility. They know that when they are open they are supposed to shoot and make it. When they are supposed to drive and offensively rebound, they know to do that. I think you need to have a regard for the game and know how it is supposed to be played. They have to know that (Meeks) can't do it by himself. They also have to know when he is on one of those rolls to look for him, but not at the expense of standing around and forgetting everything else. It would never work that way.”
On Vanderbilt's pressure against Jodie Meeks in their prior meeting…
“They are a good defensive team. They are a sound team in every respect, but they are one of the best defensive teams in the conference. They have vastly improved since the beginning of their season. They have (A.J.) Ogilvy back, and he looks to be 100 percent healthy and playing the lights out. He didn't even play against us here and they still beat us on the boards. They have very talented freshmen who played their first game on the road against us.”
On the loss to Vanderbilt at Memorial Gym last season…
“They played unbelievably well. They had a great team that beat us in every single thing that we did. I think that was one of the things that was overlooked, as far as people talking about the game, is how well Vanderbilt played. They made us play very poorly. (Patrick) Patterson got two fouls early in the game and we had to get into the bench earlier than we would have liked. They could have beaten anyone else in the country by a large margin that night. They were unbelievable, one of the best performances I've seen.”
On Memorial Gym's setup…
“I think it is a major advantage for them. It's something you don't see very often. I think it is an advantage the more experience you have and the better you are at the lead guard position. I think inexperienced teams that struggle at the point guard position are at a disadvantage because they may depend upon more instruction during possessions. The major advantage for Vanderbilt is that they're used to it. It happens to their opponents once a year, but happens to them 16 to 18 times a season. I think it is much more magnified when there is an inexperienced team with an inexperienced point guard. I think the greater the leadership on the team, the less the gym setup would matter.”
On Kevin Galloway…
“He did great the other day. He came in and played for a few minutes. The most important thing for Kevin and for us is to win. There will be some days when he plays more than other games just like everyone else.”