UK Plays in First Rounds of Cancun Challenge

Nov. 18, 2009

UK Plays in First Rounds of Cancun Challenge

The Wildcats open play in the first rounds of the Cancun Challenge Thursday against Sam Houston State, riding a modest two-game winning streak to open the season.

Kentucky Sam Houston State
Gameday Information
Game Notes UK Notes Get Acrobat Reader | Sam Houston State Notes Get Acrobat Reader
Date & Time Thursday, Nov. 19
7:00 p.m
Coverage TV: Live on FS South; delayed BBSN (coverage details)
Radio: BBSN
GameTracker GameTracker
Online Audio listen
Online Video via ESPN360
Live Blog
Location Rupp Arena
Lexington, Ky.
Sam Houston St. Bearkats at a Glance
Head Coach Bob Marlin
Record at School 202-123 (12th season)
2009 Record 2-0, 0-0 Southland
Ranking Not ranked
Series Record First meeting
Last Meeting First meeting
2009 Team Stats UK SHSU
Scoring Offense 73.5 82.0
Scoring Defense 64.5 49.5
FG Percentage 49.5% 51.5%
3-point FG Percentage 33.3% 28.6%
FT Percentage 63.5% 60.0%
Rebound Margin +15.5 +12.5
Assists 11.5 29.5
Turnovers 19.5 14.0
2009 Stat Leaders
Scoring UK: John Wall (19.0)
SHSU: Gilberto Clavell (15.0)
Rebounding UK Patrick Patterson (11.0)
SHSU: Josten Crow (6.5)
Assists UK: John Wall (5.0)
SHSU: Drae Murray (6.5)
3-point FG Percentage UK: John Wall and Patrick Patterson (50.0%)
SHSU: Josten Crow (50.0%)
Blocks UK: DeMarcus Cousins (2.0)
SHSU: Three with (1.5)
Steals UK: John Wall (3.0)
SHSU: Josten Crow (2.5)

Kentucky faced its biggest challenge in the young season, needing a jumper from John Wall with 0.5 seconds left to claim a 72-70 win over the Miami Redhawks. Wall finished the game with a team-high 19 points. Junior Patrick Patterson added his second double-double in as many games with 17 points and 10 rebounds while freshman DeMarcus Cousins tallied his first career double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds, all in the second half.

UK takes on Sam Houston State and Rider in the first two rounds of the tournament in Rupp Arena.

Cat Scratches

  • Kentucky is in its 107th season of basketball.
  • Kentucky is the all-time NCAA leader in wins with 1,990.
  • Once again, every Wildcat basketball game will be televised live, including both of UK’s exhibition games as well as the Blue-White scrimmage and Big Blue Madness.
  • Kentucky and Sam Houston State are playing for the first time.
  • The Wildcats are 1-0 against teams comprising the Southland.
  • Patrick Patterson recorded his 23rd career double-double against Miami. He is one shy of 10th on Kentucky’s all-time double-double list.
  • Patrick Patterson was named Associated Press Preseason 1st Team All-America.
  • Patrick Patterson and John Wall were named to the Naismith Preseason Watch list.
  • John Wall was named to the Bob Cousy Watch list, given to the nation’s top point guard.
  • Patrick Patterson was named preseason SEC Player of the Year, while freshman John Wall garnered the second most votes and was named a second team performer by the league media.

Pregame Quotes

Head Coach John Calipari

On John Wall's shot to win the Miami game …

“In those situations I don't call timeouts. I let them bring it up and if I don't like what I see or don't like the situation or who has the ball, then I will call a timeout. I will yell at the official. The thing that I liked was that he wanted to make the game winning shot and wanted the ball in his hands. Now it looks like we have two or maybe three guys that, when the game is on the line, they are not afraid to make plays. As a matter of fact, they want to make a play which means that they are not afraid to miss in those situations.”

On if he could hit that shot when he got here or if that is something that has developed since he arrived at Kentucky …

“(Assistant coach) Rod (Strickland) is working with him and we are working on some things, but when I watched this tape, he didn't play particularly well. He played OK, but not particularly very well. He didn't give the ball up early enough and there were probably eight or nine chances where he could have given the ball up to Eric earlier and let Eric make a play. He thinks that when he can't make a play then he needs to pass it, but you can't be a point guard and think that way. So we have to work on it. I will be honest with you, that was Derrick Rose and Tyreke Evans. It is stuff that we have to work on with him. It was a good shot, but we've got work to do today.”

On Darnell Dodson

“I was so mad at him earlier in the week. I said things that I haven't said before and used words that I haven't used before. The other thing is that Darius is starting to play better and I want to ride him a little bit because I think that he is a big factor in what we are doing. But, he went in and helped us. He didn't do much in the second half, but he came in the first half and stopped the bleeding when we needed it.”

On Darius Miller's improvement from game one to game two …

“He made shots. It changes your complexion and your whole look. Again, I apologized to him because I saw it two weeks earlier that he was moving his shoulders back. I saw it on the tape and meant to say something to him and just never did. The day before, I just said, ‘Your shoulders are back. Don't change your shot just don't throw your shoulders back.' When your shoulders go back and your head goes back then your shot goes back and there is only one way to shoot it and that is flat. You can't shoot that ball up or you will fall on your back. He is working at it and I am happy for him. I usually say something and I don't know why I didn't. I think that I was mad at him for not making a shot is why I didn't, but I don't really know. Then I finally said, ‘Listen kid get over it.' He is a great kid, they all are great kids. They are trying. We all have to get a little better rhythm in the game, our rhythm stinks right now. In other words, we race it up and that means shoot it fast. No, if we race it up that means to put pressure on them to make them all run into the lane so you can pass and pass and now they have to close out and you can start motion or posting or whatever you want. We have to get better at posting up. I am going to start working with the big men myself, because we have to start posting better. But, you have to catch it and be big in there and make a shot!”

On posting up …

“What you have to do is face the ball. A player that doesn't want to play and wants it easiest will let the guy get around him so that they got to throw it over his head and he gets a free layup. ‘Ah, I'm a man. I'm a scorer,' he says. But a guy that is a man makes the defender stay behind him and catches it and then scores through the defender. I have done this a long time, the guys that have no confidence in their game let the guy go around them and then yell, ‘Throw it over the top!' Then the guy shoots a layup. Except, it is a hard pass and he one hands it and doesn't catch it. They come from the weak side and it is out of bounds and he says, ‘My bad.' So we are going to get back to facing the ball and getting down. The other thing is getting down low. You can't play standing straight up and down.”

#1 Darius Miller, So., G

On how he felt in practice, and playing since the first game…

“I've been comfortable in practice, the coaches and my team mates have done a good job helping me with that. To be honest, I don't know what happened in that first game.”

On what Coach Calipari has been working on and focusing on the most since the game…

“A lot of defense, and still trying to get in the flow of the offense, get everything right. We are still making mistakes in the offense; we don't have it all the way down yet. We are working on the defense and trying to get that down as well.”

On Calipari's attitude on the sidelines when the team was down eighteen…

“He was still very positive, and he knew what we had to do. He just tried to get us focused and pick up our intensity. I haven't really seen many people be positive when down eighteen, but he was.”

On if he expects to see the zone defense a lot this year…

“I think we will see that a lot. We just have to be ready for it. John (Wall), DeMarcus (Cousins), Patrick (Patterson) and Eric (Bledsoe) did a good job of giving other people open shots, and we just need to knock them down.”

#15 DeMarcus Cousins, Fr., F

On what he's going to try to change early in games …

“I just need to get my motor going early. A lot of times I come out and play laid back. I need to come out with a better approach. I was very laid back in high school so it's just bad habits from back then.”

On being able to overpower everybody in high school and adjusting to college level …

“In the high school level you can easily overpower everybody but at this level everybody is as strong as you, so you're going to have to show skill. It's just all an adjustment, regarding the speed and the strength.”

On how long it's going to take for everybody to flow together …

“We just need to keep working hard and its going to come along fine. It's hard but if we keep working at it we'll get there. The transition from offense to defense or from defense to offense is the hardest. We go so fast out there. Coach Cal says we're supposed to run fast, but our mind should be moving slow, so it's just something we'll have to keep working on.”

On the final play of the Miami game …

“To me it was a smart play. We didn't give the defense any time to set up or anything. We attacked them when they were on their heels; it was a smart play by John (Wall). John is a special player. All the hype is true.”

#33 Daniel Orton, Fr., F

On his eye …

“It's getting better. When it first happened I didn't know it was that bad. I tried to go back and run down the court then I saw blood dripping down my eyelash. It's not a big deal.”

On how important it is to get off to a good start …

“You can't possibly come back from 18 every game. We're sure we're going to get everybody's best effort and that's one thing that everybody saw. Number twenty came out shooting, I've never seen anybody come out and shoot like that, it was incredible. They played good as a team.”

On how every game is a super bowl for the other team …

“Especially from the other night, you can tell that you're going to get every team's best effort. Everybody is going to come out and play well so we expect to get the best of everybody's (opposing teams) effort.”

On developing physically …

“In high school you're a lot bigger than everybody so it takes a lot less effort to score and play defense so you do develop lazy and bad habits in high school. This summer really helped me develop. Working in San Francisco and working against college players and pros that are my height. If I didn't work I would get out played. I feel going out there this summer really helped my development.”

#54 Patrick Patterson, Jr., F

On how Darius Miller fits into the dribble drive offense…

“He fits in perfect. In practice and in the game, he loves to drive the ball and he loves the floater. He is improving a lot on his jump shot; his confidence is still going up. We all feel that Darius is one of the best fits to the dribble drive offense, because like we saw last year, he likes to drive people up, dribble, and key shots. He is one of the best people for this offense.”

On how he had zero points in the first half against Miami…

“It's all a confidence thing, transitioning from practice to a game. If you make one mistake, it affects your next play. Coach is trying to stress possession by possession; to play the next possession, and not worry about anything else.”

On if he watches other college basketball games, and if he studies them or watches for fun…

“Yeah, I watch them. I don't necessarily study them I just watch them for fun. I look at all what people say about each person, whether it is Duke and talking about Kyle Singler or Jon Scheyer, or if it is Kansas, and they are talking about Cole Aldrich. I just look to see how they play. I also watch from a fan perspective as well.”

On what you expected when you got to the sideline when down eighteen, and Coach Cal's demeanor…

“He was calm but also said its okay, but this is what I want. I want us to win, but this is going to show how tough we are. This will show who is scared and who's not. This will show who's ready to play, and who wants it the most out there. He said he loves situations like this, and to see what his team is made of. He was yelling and screaming at us and he was getting on us, but also at the same time he was trying to see what we were made out of.”