Wildcats Begin Four-Game Road Swing

Nov. 17, 2010

Cat Scratches: Pit stop in hometown Portland the highlight of Jones' road trip | Cross-country road trip provides valuable learning opportunity for young Cats | Video interviews with Cal, players

Wildcats Begin Four-Game Road Swing

Gameday
Gameday Information
Game Notes Kentucky Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader | Portland Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader
Date & Time Fri., Nov. 19, 10:30 p.m. ET
Coverage TV: ESPNU
Radio: BBSN
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Online Audio
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Location Rose Garden
Portland, Ore.

Following a season-opening 88-65 win against East Tennessee State, the Wildcats take to the road for the first time this season, traveling to the Northwest to take on the Portland Pilots in the Rose Garden in Portland, Ore.

Terrence Jones became the first Wildcat freshman to post a double-double in his debut since Jules Camara in the 1998-99 season. Jones finished with 25 points and 12 rebounds, while also producing three steals, two assists and two blocks.

Doron Lamb shot 7-of-10 from the field, including 3-of-5 from 3-point range, to finish with 20 points. Brandon Knight (17) and DeAndre Liggins (14) also scored in double-digits.

As a team, the Wildcats hit the most 3-pointers in a season opener (13) since the 1991-92 opener.

Pregame Quotes

Head Coach John Calipari

On last night’s SEC games and how the team looks…
“Well, from what I saw watching all of the games last night, I was getting depressed if I watched more than five minutes of the games. There are some really good teams out there. There are some teams that are playing really well. I was in a dead-sweat watching those teams play last night. I thought South Carolina played really well. Florida played well until the last five minutes, I guess. When I saw that game, it was like basket, basket, basket. Look, this is a hard trip. This is a dangerous game because now (Terrence Jones) thinks he is on vacation. He doesn’t know we are playing a basketball game because he has never done this before. He has already lined up what he is going to do by the minute. He probably hasn’t listed the game at 7:30 on Friday night, so you have that issue. We are on our way to Hawaii to play three teams that are better than us. This is going to be a learning situation for us. We have to figure out what we do, how hard we have to play. Obviously, when school ends (for the Christmas break) we are going to have plenty of time to regroup and see how we play both on defense and offense. But right now, you have to go with what you have; and right now we are the youngest team out there. Whether it’s Portland, or any of the three teams we will play in Maui, we are going to be the youngest. There are going to be things that will happen and I am just going to have to tell them to go make a play. That’s where we are.”

On Terrence Jones returning home…
“Yeah, he and I talked about that. He came in and I told him that I have never had a player go home and play well, so good luck. I mean, naturally, he is just happy we are going.  What I will tell you is for November and being such a young team, we’re okay. We are not awful; we’re okay. But, when I watched all of these teams playing defense, switching, pressing, scoring on out-of-bounds plays, I was like, ‘What?’ We don’t even have those plays in yet. That’s when I turned it off. I just said stop it.”

On what he is concerned about…
“We have many different issues than we did last year. One is we are not playing as many people. You have a lot of room for error when you play as many guys as we played last year. Last year, if someone was off their game, we could just sit them and we would be fine. We don’t have that luxury this year. The second thing is that we don’t have as big of bodies. So now, you are looking at teams exploiting the post. I look at that and say, ‘How are we going to do that?’ Obviously, we hadn’t worked on that before East Tennessee State. We talked our way through it in the second half. We have really got to figure out what we are going to do and how we are going to do that. We are better in the pick and rolls. How are we going to play the pick and roll? We have got to be a gang-rebounding team. We can’t just have one player gobbling up every ball. We don’t have that yet. It is just them accepting what we are. There is an excitement level that is pretty good. But, again, we are only practicing 10 or 11 guys, and so that makes things tough.”

On (former UK player) Eric Bledsoe’s impressive start in the NBA…
“I said he would be the surprise of the draft. I have been wrong before. I think it was ’78. It might have been ’77. I coached the kid so I know he has a toughness, fire and a will to win. He is not afraid. He just has to be more confident in himself. We had to convince him that he was good enough. That was all year. We told him that if he just would do what he was doing, he would be fine. You hug him a little bit, and you let him know what you think about him and you stick him out there. He cares about the team. The hardest thing about this is to get a player to trust someone else when they have never had to. Their whole life has been about survival, and where am I going to stay tonight. Now you get that young man to trust everyone and convince him that everything is going to be okay. It’s neat when you have a player in the NBA who is scoring more in the NBA than he scored for you. That is cool. When you score more in the NBA than you did for us, you know you have talent.”

#3, Terrence Jones, F, Fr.

On what the trip to Portland will mean to him …
“The trip will mean a lot. It’s always good to have the chance to play in front of my mom and grandma and show them how much I’ve improved since high school, and as a college player.”

On how much he has improved …
“I’ve improved a lot on my shot, and playing harder.”

On what message Coach Calipari has tried to get across to him on playing at home …
“Mainly just to stay focused on the game, and not worry about who is in the crowd. He’s just told me to go out there and play basketball.”

On being from Portland and knowing about the team and their strengths …
“Coach has explained how good they are in practice, and to not take it lightly. I haven’t seen them this year, but they’re pretty good.”

#4, Jon Hood, G, So.

On looking past Portland being dangerous …
“It is (dangerous), it’s real bad. I know they have one player that can really shoot the ball. They told me yesterday he led the country in shooting. We are going to go up there, have some fun, and try to get the win.”

On what to learn on a long trip away from home …
“Just get closer. We can always get closer as a team. It doesn’t matter if there are a lot of seniors or a lot of freshman. That is what these trips are made to do, help us get to know and trust one another.”

On how good last year’s Cancun trip was for a bonding experience …
“It was very good. We did everything together. It’s good to get out of Lexington and go to a place like that with your teammates and experience all those things together with just your team.”

On the chemistry getting better …
“The chemistry has gotten better. We are still working on it though. You have to trust new people real quick and that is something we are adjusting to, and getting better with.”

#55, Josh Harrellson, F, Sr.

On bonding during the holiday trip to Mexico last year and if he hopes to get something similar from this trip out West …
“Yes, it is definitely the same thing. When we were in Cancun, every night we went out to eat as a team. All of us, no coaches, just players. We would go to the pool together and everything that we did we were always together. It is a good experience and we definitely need it.”

On what he knows about Portland …
“I know that they are a pretty good shooting team and their big guys are pretty good. I know that they play really hard. We haven’t watched anything on them and we haven’t really talked about them much. That is all I know right now.”

On if Terrence Jones is excited about going back to his home state …
“He really hasn’t said much about it, but everybody loves to go back home, especially mid season. This is his only time before Christmas to go back so I am sure that he is excited to see his family and friends again.”

On what he can do to stay out of foul trouble …
“I just have to play smart and within myself. Last game, I was just so anxious to get to play finally and I went out there and committed some dumb fouls. I just have to play within myself and play smart.”