UK Returns Home After Three Straight Away
Nov. 22, 2011
Kentucky improved to 4-0 on the season after posting three victories during the week including a win over Kansas in Madison Square Garden in the inaugural State Farm Champions Classic. UK then claimed the Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament Championship in Uncasville, Conn., defeating Penn State and Old Dominion along the way. Doron Lamb led the team offensively on the week, averaging 17.0 points while shooting 50 pct. (8-16) from behind the 3-point line. Terrence Jones averaged 12.0 points while pulling down 7.7 rebounds per game. He also handed out seven assists and blocked seven shots. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was the only other Wildcat to average in double-figures at 11.3 ppg. Anthony Davis finished with 13 blocks while averaging 7.0 rpg.
|Kentucky vs. Radford |
Weds., Nov. 23 - 7:00 p.m. ET
Game Notes: UK | RU
|TV: FS South/UK IMG
Radio: UK IMG
Live Video via ESPN3
Located in Radford, Va., (337 miles east of Lexington), Radford is in the Big South Conference.
After starting off the season with a pair of wins over Delaware and Shenandoah, the Highlanders, however have dropped three of their last four games.
Jareal Smith leads Radford offensively, averaging a team-high 11.7 points, while Johnathan Edwards leads the team in rebounding (6.5) and is second in scoring (9.7).
Radford is under the tutelage of first-year head coach Mike Jones. Jones spent the last two seasons at Virginia Commonwealth, which included a magical run to the 2011 Final Four with wins over USC, Georgetown, Purdue, Florida State and Kansas.
While on Shaka Smart's staff, the Rams posted 55 wins over the past two seasons, the highest total over any two-year span in program history.
Along with playing a major role in the Rams' success on the court, Jones helped land one of the top mid-major recruiting classes in the country a year ago.
Prior to his second coaching stop in Virginia, Jones served a six-year stint on Dennis Felton's bench at the University of Georgia from 2003-09. In 2008, Georgia advanced to the NCAA Tournament when the sixth-seeded Bulldogs won four games in three days to complete the most improbable SEC Championship run in conference history.
This is the first meeting between Kentucky and Radford.
The Wildcats face the first of three first-time opponents this season and their first since taking on Hartford in the 2009-10 season.
Kentucky is 29-4 against first-time opponents over the last nine seasons.
Pre-Radford Media Opportunity
Nov. 22, 2011
Head Coach John Calipari
On Anthony Davis’ scoring…
“He’s just got to get tougher right now, until he does that it doesn’t matter what we do. He’s got to bend over and play an aggressive game. We throw him the ball in the high post to drive the ball, but then again you have to be physical, you have to bend over, you have to play through bumps. You’ve got to play in an aggressive way; you have to bend over, which he is still learning. You just have to bend, it’s not hard to bend those knees; if you are standing straight up and down you have no leverage. Most guys are not strong from the waist up, but from the waist down, that’s where they get their leverage. So if you are standing straight up and down, you have no strength and then you have no balance and then you look like you are flopping around out there. He’s doing great. He has got to be stronger; he’s got to play lower.”
On playing through contact…
“The (Old Dominion) game got physical, Terrence (Jones) didn’t play through bumps, Michael (Kidd-Gilchrist) didn’t play through the bumps. The only guy that played through the bumps was Darius (Miller) and he got the ball wherever he wanted on the court.”
On having six guys playing between 25 and 31 minutes…
“Probably need to be down a little bit in the time. But again, we just need to get better acclimated with each other. I’ve got to do a better job with Marquis Teague because obviously he is not understanding since he is not playing the way I want him to so that comes back to me; because he is listening, and he wants to do the right thing, so he’s obviously just not understanding so that comes back to me.”
On what this team will ultimately do well against the zone…
“I think we will drive the ball and shoot the ball well if you’re going to give us those opportunities. We should rebound well, in a zone no one really has a man, they have areas, that means you just go after the rebound. If you notice, late in the game, all we did was throw it to the post, shoot it and go rebound and that’s how we ended up being up 10, 11, 12 at the end of the game.”
On Marquis Teague…
“He’s got a ways to go; he has a long way to go. He’s turning it over way too much. Most of them are of the variety, what’s the hardest thing I can do here versus just throwing it to him. Just give it up early; he is taking one or two extra dribbles before he passes. Again, I’ve just got to coach him, he’ll listen and learn.”
On Darius Miller’s role…
“He may be starting; the way he played last game I may put him in the starting lineup. Some guys went back to playing passive and they aren’t going to be on the floor. The first three minutes of the game Michael (Kidd-Gilchrist) wasn’t there, he didn’t play well. We have to keep looking as we go and we’ll figure it out.”
On Darius Miller being OK with coming off the bench…
“They all better be OK with coming off the bench. That person has to be able to come in and lift the game, his energy lifts the game. Whether it’s him or anybody else who comes off the bench that is what you want. We won a few games with him there but if he wasn’t on the court in the last game then we don’t win the game. He’s been there; he’s done it on the national stage while these other guys are still learning. We’ve got a good group; I like the team, I like their attitudes. I think we had a little bit of a wake-up call, but a lot of it was that we didn’t do a great job preparing for a 3-2 (zone). You can’t put that on young players, the other side is, are we getting better each day?”
On what Radford’s game plan will be…
“If they watched the tape they’re going to try to be physical, they’ll play zone and they’ll hold the ball. I just watched tape on them and they are a good enough team to come in here and beat us if we don’t play our game but if we do, it will be hard for them.”
#23, Anthony Davis, F, Fr.
On blocking shots …
“It came pretty naturally. When I was short, I always wanted to go block shots. I’ve seen other guys blocking and watched their form. I always tried but I was too short when I was little. It just came naturally as I grew and I loved it. It’s all about timing and knowing when they’re going to shoot. Wait for them to shoot or else you can’t block the shot. You rely on timing. You keep working on something and it’s going to come. You really can’t work on blocking players’ shots. It’s like a natural ability to me, but you still have to work on it. I always tried to do it when I was young and I was shorter. That’s why it came naturally.”
On improving his offensive game outside the paint …
“I think I still have a long way to go. Offense is really not designed for the bigs to get the ball on the perimeter. So coach (John Calipari) incorporates that into the offense now. He’s put bigs in the middle or at the perimeter to rotate the ball and to take a hand off the dribble. So (coach Calipari) is giving us a chance to showcase all our skills.”
#33, Kyle Wiltjer, F, Fr.
On coach Calipari’s thoughts on his toughness …
“He just wants me to get tougher every day in practice. He said I am going against Terrence (Jones) every day. If I can defend him and rebound against him then I can do it against anybody. He just really emphasizes working on getting tougher. Getting tougher means getting a lot of rebounds and loose balls in your area.”
On Anthony (Davis) going out with five fouls in the Old Dominion game …
“You have to always be ready to play. With players in foul trouble you especially have to be ready. I’m just always going to be ready for when coach Calipari wants to put me in.”
On learning more from the Old Dominion game …
“Most definitely, watching film from that game we definitely saw the things we need to work on. They showed a lot of zone so I’m guessing coach is going to work on zone offense a lot now. The thing we did better in the second half of that game was attacking the gaps in the zone and not settling for jump shots. It definitely shows us what to work on and it was a good game for us to play because it shows we have a will to win, even though it was close we still pulled out the win.”
On teams attempting to slow them down …
“We have to be ready for all sorts of things. When people don’t think they can match up against us we will see all sorts of defenses. So we’ll just work every day in practice to be prepared for that.”
On dealing with his minutes fluctuating early in the season …
“I was fine with it, I just try to stay positive and work hard every day in practice. I don’t worry about my minutes I just worry about the team winning and we got the wins so I was happy.”