Cats Travel West to Las Vegas Invitational
Nov. 26, 2008
After going 2-0 in the first two rounds of the Findlay Toyota Las Vegas Invitational in Rupp Arena, the Wildcats travel to Las Vegas for the final two rounds of the tournament.
UK wrapped up the Lexington portion of the invitational with a 91-57 win over Longwood on Monday. Patrick Patterson had a career game scoring a personal best 28 points while pulling down a game high 12 rebounds to go along with six assists and four blocks, both career highs.
Kentucky takes the Kansas State Wildcats in the third round in a game that will be aired on ESPNU. The winner will then face the winner of the West Virginia/Iowa game in the championship on ESPN2.
- Kentucky is in its 106th season of basketball.
- Kentucky is the all-time NCAA leader in wins with 1,968.
- Jodie Meeks’ is averaging 24.3 ppg through the first four games of the season, the best four-game start by a Wildcat since Jamal Mashburn averaged 25.5 through the first four of the 1992-93 season.
- Meeks leads the Southeastern Conference and ranks 10th nationally in scoring (24.3 ppg) while Patrick Patterson leads the league and ranks 20th nationally in field goal percentage (.675).
- The Wildcats muscled Longwood in the paint, outscoring them 54-16. It was the second time this season, UK has tallied 50 or more points in the paint, recording 70 against VMI.
- Kentucky leads the league in assists with 71 and ranks second in the SEC in free throw percentage (.728) and blocked shots (35).
- UK has held its last two opponents to 31 percent or less from the field.
- Once again, every UK basketball game will be televised live, including both of UK’s exhibition games.
Kentucky Head Coach Billy Gillispie Quotes
On Kansas State …
"In the four teams that is playing in this tournament, we are the only one with any loses. Kansas State is a really well coached team. They lost some key players after last year, but they still have about nine players this year who really play hard. They are very aggressive in everything they do both offensively and defensively. They play right into the weaknesses that we have exhibited so far this season, so it will be a good test for us. They are very physical and over play everything. They make it very tough for guys to finish plays inside. I'm sure they will trap us considering the way we have handled the trap so far this season. Offensively, they rebound very well and they push the ball very well."
On guard play …
"We'll see this weekend how we do, I think it will be a great test for us. We are going to have some hiccups along the way because things cannot change overnight. We have a greater awareness of what we need to be trying to do. We are starting to show a little bit more composure. In the last two games we haven't seen the press as much as I think we will when we play Kansas State. It will be interesting to see how we play this weekend, how many times we turn over the ball, how many shots we get and how many plays we finish."
On the season …
"I just want to keep getting a lot better and we need to get a lot better in a hurry. Most importantly, I want to win. That is the most important thing for me, always has been, always will. Sometimes you can be successful when you get beat but I want to be successful and get a win. I think that the best teams are the teams that can keep improving while they are winning and not have to suffer setbacks. We haven't won enough to find out if that is going to be the case with this team or not."
On being ready to play …
"I want all of our guys to be mentally prepared to play the game. You can't get back what you lost, but what you can do is improve upon where you are today. When you lose, it is over and you have to move on. Life is about 10-percent what happens to you and about 90-percent about how you handle it. We have to handle things the right way come win, lose or draw. People talk about a team will come out stronger because they lost. I don't buy into that theory. It should make no difference if you played poorly and lost or played well and won. If you don't approach your next time out the right way then you suffer a setback again."
On traveling to Las Vegas …
"You don't have to be in Las Vegas for distractions to be a big concern. I think that I am very proud of our guys because they have consistently been very responsible in every aspect. I don't expect to see any change in that on the road. I want them to have fun anytime we travel to a new place, but most importantly I want them to take care of business. You take care of business first and have fun second."