Cats Face Razorbacks in Fayetteville

Feb. 22, 2011

Gameday

Gameday Information
Game Notes Kentucky Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader | Arkansas Game Notes
Date & Time Weds., Feb. 23, 8:00 p.m. ET
Coverage TV: SEC Network
Radio: BBSN
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Location Bud Walton Arena
Fayetteville, Ark.

Riding a two-game winning streak, the Wildcats travel to Fayetteville, Ark., where they will attempt to extract their road woes against the Razorbacks.

Most recently, Kentucky extended its home-winning streak to 32, the second-longest streak in the country, with a 90-59 win against South Carolina on Saturday.

Darius Miller led all scorers with a career-high 22 points on a career-best 6-of-8 shooting from 3-point range. He also added nine rebounds and three blocks, one off his career high. Joining Miller in double-figures was Terrence Jones (19), Doron Lamb (18), Brandon Knight (12) and DeAndre Liggins (11).

Jones also pulled down a game-high 12 rebounds for his SEC-leading 10th double-double of the season. He has a double-double in four of his last six games.

Pregame Press Conference Quotes

Kentucky Head Coach John Calipari

On what Arkansas will be feeling before the game facing a Kentucky team that is 1-5 on the road in conference play …
“They probably think they can beat us and I don’t think it’s going to lighten them up. It’s like, this is a chance to get them (Kentucky), and let’s take advantage of it. The building will be packed – is it shirt night down there? I’m telling you I’m getting into the t-shirt business, this is crazy. I got a great call from Coach (Eddie) Sutton. He said, ‘I’m going to be at the game, I don’t need tickets. I’m all good; I’m going to be there. So I’ll see him prior to the game. It’s going to be a war. Every game we have from here on in is a war. We either have to bow the necks and play or you get beat.”

On how big of an X-factor Arkansas junior guard Rotnei Clarke can be …
“It’s hard. It’s a tough thing because he’s shooting deep 3s. He could do to us what (Vanderbilt guard John) Jenkins did to us. He’s a quick trigger, he gets to the foul line; he’s really good. But their other guards are good. Their other guards all try to get in the lane and create havoc. Their big people are throwing lobs at the rim. They’re running good stuff. They’re playing really hard. I just watched their Georgia game. They had a chance to win that game, they should have won it. I watched the Alabama game. They should have won that game, had their chances to win that. This is a team that is a dangerous team.”

On if junior guard Darius Miller could be his X-factor …
“I don’t know. I think Terrence (Jones) and Brandon (Knight) are very critical with how we have to play. And then those other guys, you need someone whether it’s Doron (Lamb), or Darius (Miller), or DeAndre (Liggins). Josh (Harrellson) has been pretty steady. He’s like right there. I think those three, you’re hoping for two of the three to play well.”

On what has enabled Kentucky to play better the last two games …
“Playing at home.”

Is it as simple as that, or is there more to it?
“Well you saw that we were shaky against Mississippi State at the end and we weren’t against South Carolina. Some people said to me, ‘Why don’t you sub with six minutes to go?’ They (South Carolina) were pressing. Did you watch the Mississippi State game against our first team? So, that’s why I didn’t. And then the second thing is I’m trying to build up the team of guys who are playing. We’re still not quite where we need to be. Good group guys, they’re trying. They were good in practice yesterday. I expect the same today and we’ll go from there.”

On the team psyche he’s looking to build …
“Five minutes to go, how do we play? Up 18, remember Georgia? Remember South Carolina down there? Remember Mississippi State? Well, let’s work on having a lead and finishing them off and finishing a double-digit win which we did. You’ve got to play to win. It’s kind of like prevent defense in football prevents you from winning. Playing not to lose, leads to losses. You’ve got to play to win. You’ve got to know the clock. You’ve got to know that you’re up double-digits, you don’t have to look at the score, you know. If you’re down you speed it up, if you’re up you try to work clock and score when you have the opportunity. It’s all stuff we’re learning.”

On the players saying the preparation has been better the last week or so …
“We’re just probably demanding a lot. We’re not practicing as long; that may be helping them. Yesterday’s practice was shortened; this one’s going to be shortened even more. So I’m backing up off practice now. The issue has been this team needed to be coached. Normally at this time of the year we’re practicing an hour to an hour and 15 minutes. That’s it. This year’s team just has so much to do you can’t just say we’re good where we are. We’re not good where we are. We’ve got to get better. And they’re getting better.”

On if their road woes have been a hurdle that has added pressure to the players …
“You know what I’ll probably talk to them about, is that we’ve got two more road games. After that everything’s neutral and our fans are everywhere. So let’s use these to get better. Let’s look beyond just wins and losses. Let’s start playing better. I thought Vandy, we played good on the road, I really did. I thought we played well until the last three minutes had a few turnovers and defensive breakdowns. But short of that, I thought we played with some energy, I thought we played confident in a tough environment.”

#1, Darius Miller, G, Jr.

On how he feels about Josh Harrellson’s progression …
“I was really happy (and excited) for him. He has put in a lot of work, and not just this year. Just to see it pay off for a guy like him (feels good). He has always been there for me.”

On how Josh Harrellson has grown …
“He is playing with a lot more confidence and doing a lot of great things for us. He is having a great year. I always knew he could play since he got here. Like I said, he is playing with a lot more confidence and he has really helped the team.”

On how prepared they are for Arkansas …
“We feel like we are prepared. We are going to do a really good job of preparation today to get ready for them even more. We feel good and ready to go. We feel comfortable, so hopefully we can come out, play the whole 40 minutes, and stay focused.”

#20, Doron Lamb, G, Fr.

On the confidence level of the team …
“We feel confident. Everybody’s happy, smiling while we’re having great practices and doing what Coach [Cal] tells us in practice. If we keep doing that then we’re going to win our games on the road.”

One what was done differently in the last two games …
“We played defense. We really stepped it up on defense and focused on rebounding. We had more rebounding as a team and if we keep doing that we’re going to win a lot of games.”

On whether he expected the season to be this strenuous …
“You could say it has been. I had no idea how tough it was as a college player but you just have to keep fighting as a team to pull out wins.

On improving on the “motor” aspect of playing …
“I’m working harder now to get better. I’ve been coming 30 minutes before practice to get sweaty before practice and it’s getting me better prepared for the games; so if I keep doing that it’ll get me more ready for games.”

On if he’s ever had to do this much conditioning before …
“No, I’ve never had to do this much. It’s because Coach [Cal] is pushing me harder and I just want to push myself. I have to do what I have to do to get better.”

#30, Eloy Vargas, F, Jr.

On how the team is currently playing …
“I think we are playing really well right now. Right now, we are focused more on defense and rebounds.”

On Arkansas trying to get revenge on last year’s defeat …
“Well every team when they play us, wants to beat us. They want to beat us so they can say that they beat Kentucky.”

On him being more comfortable playing now than the beginning of the year …
“Well, I feel more comfortable now (playing). Before, I was kind of holding back a little bit. Now when I get into the game, I am trying to play more minutes. I was afraid to mistakes.”