Traditional Powers Tangle in Border Rivalry
Dec. 9, 2011
The Wildcats look to carry the momentum of an eight-game winning streak including a big 73-72 win over fifth-ranked North Carolina on Saturday.
|Kentucky vs. Indiana
Sat., Dec. 10 - 5:15 p.m. ET
Game Notes: UK | IU
Radio: UK IMG
Live video via ESPN3
Freshman Michael Kidd-Gilchrist picked a terrific time to post his first career double-double, scoring a game-high 17 points, while also pulling down a game-high 11 rebounds.
Anthony Davis finished with nine rebounds, two steals and two blocks, including the game-winning block on John Henson's field goal attempt with seven seconds left.
Located in Bloomington, Ind. (180 miles northwest of Lexington), Indiana is a member of the Big Ten Conference.
One of the Wildcats' most-storied rivals, the Hoosiers possess a basketball tradition matched by few. Indiana, which owns the third-most national championships in the country (5) and the fifth-most Final Four wins (12), entered the season ranked as the 12th winningest program in NCAA history with 1,663 wins.
The Hoosiers are off to a hot 8-0 start this season, their best start since the 2002-03 season. Coincidentally their first loss that year was to Kentucky. The Hoosiers are led by freshman Cody Zeller (brother of UNC standout Tyler Zeller) who leads the team in scoring (15.5), rebounding (7.5), steals (21) and blocks (13).
Indiana is under the leadership of fourth-year head coach Tom Crean. Crean came to Indiana by way of Marquette, where he left with a 190-96 (.664) record, five NCAA Tournament appearances and an appearance in the 2005 Final Four. He has posted a 226-162 (.582) all-time record and he is in his 13th season as a head coach.
This is the 55th meeting between Kentucky and Indiana, with the Wildcats leading, 31-23, including last season's 81-62 win in Lexington.
Kentucky has won three straight against the Hoosiers, nine of the last 11 and 14 of the last 17 games in the series.
Prior to the 2006 game in Lexington, the UK-IU series was played on a neutral site between Louisville and Indianapolis for 15 consecutive years. However, a scheduling conflict with Louisville's Freedom Hall in 2006 forced the series to Rupp Arena for the first time since 1989.
This year's match-up marks the 15th meeting in Bloomington where IU owns a 10-4 mark.
Pre-Indiana Media Opportunity - Dec. 2, 2011
Head Coach John Calipari
On the type of atmosphere for the game …
“It will be like the one we played in when North Carolina came here. It will be the same kind of environment. They have great fans and they will be all over it. They have a team that is doing well, undefeated, and it should be a festive crowd I should say.”
On the characteristics of a Tom Crean-coached team …
“They are going to take good shots. They will be tough as nails. You are not going to get a second shot, they will block you out. They are going to dive on the floor. They will take charges. They are going to play with emotion. They are a grind-it-out team that will play, but they are not going to hurry themselves. He’s got his team now playing that way, the tapes I’ve seen I’ve been very, very impressed.”
On the messages he has been receiving from Indiana fans …
“I don’t notice that. Tom (Crean) and I have been texting back and forth. He had one of the funniest texts to me I have ever seen in my life and I wanted to tweet it for everyone to see. It was as funny as I’ve ever seen. And after he texted me, it was a little hysterical, I texted him back, ‘I’m a little worried now, you are in a great frame of mind, I don’t like this. I’m getting a little anxious.’ I’m not going to say (what the message was); I will let him tell you. This thing is not personal with me, and I know it’s not for him. He wants to win this thing for his campus, his team, his state, and I want to do the same. I have no issues with any of their fans, I brag about their program more than anybody else’s. This is going to be a hot, contested game and we know it and hopefully we are ready. We’ve had some good practices. I asked my staff last night ‘Do you think I pushed our guys enough?’ and they said, ‘Yeah, yeah.’ I said if I haven’t we will see.”
On continuing to play them in future seasons…
“Let me again state this. We want to play a great schedule, but because our roster turns over more than any other team in the country, maybe ever. We can’t be locked into six games, you just can’t do it. I know people may get mad, you can get mad. That doesn’t affect me in any way. But you can’t be locked in. Playing Kansas or UCLA versus this team or that team, does it really matter? It doesn’t matter. I can schedule in August, when I know what my roster is and get seven unbelievable programs to play us. I can do that. If I’m locked into seven, and the roster turnover isn’t what we thought and bang, bang, bang all of a sudden we are stuck with seven. I have to protect the University of Kentucky basketball program and I cannot set up our players for failure. Look, I’m one of the originals that said bring it, let’s play. I-95, 91, 88, 66, I know it’s old so we will fill in some cracks. I don’t care, let’s play. What time? Midnight, I’ve done it. Noon, 11, 10, I’ve done it. The whole point is you cannot, in the situation we are in, lock in to seven games. No one in the country does it. Duke doesn’t do it, North Carolina doesn’t do it, no one does it. UCLA doesn’t do it, Kansas doesn’t do it, no one does it.”
#1, Darius Miller, G, Sr.
On the environment …
“We know it’s going to be a pretty tough environment. They’re going to be ready to go and hyped up. It’s going to be a tough place to play, but it should be a lot of fun and real exciting. I think all the guys are ready for it.”
On preparing the younger guys for the atmosphere …
“The older guys have definitely talked to the younger guys about how it is going to be on the road. Pretty much every game is going to be sold out and be packed. It’s going to be a fun environment for us to play in; the environment will be tough. Their fans will be going crazy.”
On the things that make road games …
“It’s tough because a lot of teams feed off their fans. They can really get an energy boost and play out of their minds when their fans are cheering like they do, especially in Indiana. We saw that a couple years ago when we had a tough game against them.”
#25, Marquis Teague, G, Fr.
On this game meaning more than others because it’s his home state …
“No, I’m going to come out like it’s any other game and just play hard like I would against any other team.”
On his expectations of the environment at Indiana …
“Yeah, I’ve been there a few times for some games so I know what their fans are like and I know what to expect. Darius (Miller) and Coach (John) Calipari will talk to us about how it will be.”
On the importance of the first hostile environment for the freshmen …
“It’s real important. We’ve never played on the road in college before, so it’s going to be a learning experience.”
On Indiana’s team in comparison to previous teams …
“This year they are doing real well. I haven’t gotten to see them as much but I know they are doing pretty good. The past few teams worked real hard and listened to their coach real well and I know this year they have a lot of talented players. They have a McDonald’s All-American (Cody Zeller) and I know the point guard (Jordan Hulls) is doing real well so they have a pretty good team this year.”
#33, Kyle Wiltjer, F, Fr.
On other teams receiving first place votes …
“We just keep on improving. We don’t look at those at all; we try to stay away from that. Coach keeps us focused every day in practice just worrying about ourselves because we know we want to be the best basketball team we can be.”
On the importance of this game for Marquis Teague …
“He’s been the same in practice every day, just working hard trying to learn. It’s always a big game when you are playing close to home so hopefully he plays well.”
On the Indiana crowd …
“I heard they’re pretty crazy. We’re expecting a packed house. Any time Kentucky plays somebody it is going to be a big game and there will be a lot of people there.”