Cats Host Hoosiers in Border Rivalry

Dec. 10, 2010

 

Cat Scratches: Calipari trying to channel Miller's inner 'tiger' in time for IU | Video: Cal, players look ahead to Indiana

Gameday
Gameday Information
Game Notes Kentucky Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader | Indiana Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader
Date & Time Sat., Dec. 11, 5:15 p.m. ET
Coverage TV: ESPN
Radio: BBSN
Online Audio
Live Video via ESPN3
GameTracker
Live Blog
Text Updates
Location Rupp Arena
Lexington, Ky.

The Wildcats return to Rupp Arena for only the third time in nearly a month, hosting border rival Indiana.

Kentucky enters the game off a 72-58 victory over 23rd-ranked Notre Dame, handing the Irish their first loss of the season. Terrence Jones led the Wildcats with his fifth double-double of the season, producing monster numbers with 27 points, 17 rebounds, three assists and two blocks.

Brandon Knight was the only other Wildcat in double-figures with 20 points, his fourth 20-point effort this season.

The win put Kentucky at 2-0 in the SEC/Big East Invitational over the last two years.

The Wildcats now set their sites on the Hoosiers, a team they've defeated in two-straight games. The Cats have won eight of the last 10 and 13 of the last 16 games in the series.

Pregame Press Conference

Head Coach John Calipari

On the way freshman guard Brandon Knight led the team against Notre Dame...
"I loved his pace of the game; he understood when to pull it out. Any time he's playing too fast I'm stopping him in practice and I'm getting on him. You have to understand, he's probably had no one coach him this way. I'm on him, because he's vital for us. He has to understand that there are things that are acceptable and there are things that are not acceptable. He wants to do it. When he got off the bus after the game he gave me five. Like, I'm just happy, I'm trying to get it and I want to get it, without saying anything. But it's day-to-day. I'm telling you, there will be slippage and he'll revert back to `I'm trying to score.' Now you notice, he still scored and he missed two layups there or he'd have four more (points). Two layups. And he didn't really force any. The other shots that he missed, a couple 3s, were wide open which you would expect him to make. So without trying to score he could have had 30."

On the comparison of the way he wants Knight to play to the way he used to play in high school...
"He shot every ball in high school. And he had to or their team wasn't going to win. His bad shot, his God awful shot, the one that `Why would he shoot that?' was better than him passing it to a guy open. That's just the way it was, so he did what he had to. Tyreke (Evans) was exactly the same. Tyreke was shooting 30 balls a game - fadeaways, turnarounds, stepbacks, he'd even shoot it going baseline shooting it over the corner of the backboard like `I'm in trouble but I can still get this at that rim.' And so they have to adjust and they have to play. I need him to shoot more pull-up jumpers than other point guards I've had where I'd want John (Wall) and Tyreke to just keep going. Tyreke is 6-6. I want him to go and pull-up at that foul line area. Just pull-up and shoot it, you're a terrific shooter. Instead of going in like again you're playing against a team that when you drive in and throw your body in and just throw the ball and there's going to be a foul called. You may make it, you may not, it doesn't matter because I'm getting 10-straight shots down the court. That's what we're changing, and he's doing it. One of the things I talked to the team about is he's got to get better in front of the team, but I said who's the most conscientious guy we've got, who's the hardest worker we've got? They all pointed to him (Knight). And I said, so it tells you within a month you're going to see a different player. But right now we've got to respect each other, we've got to trust each other and know people are trying to get better."

On how vital it is for junior guard Darius Miller to be a consistent factor in the game...
"It's the same thing I've said all along: there's something that's holding him back from `Wow.' There's something there. I wish I had the answer; I would have already done it. But there's something that holds him back when it's a four-point game and he can bust open the game. There's something that makes him evaporate when we have guys out and you must step up to go do something. You take over. There's something that's holding him back. My point to him is, the first thing is to recognize it, that there is something. And the second point is, let's figure it out. I'll help you, let's do it together. Let's talk about it, let's spend meeting time. I've had two or three meetings with him. Let's just figure it out. Because we should all be seeing him saying, `Wow.' But we're not. There are times in this practice I'll watch and I stop the practice and I say, `What do you want to say to him guys?' `Do that in the game!' But it's not just him now. We've got a lot of guys that things are holding them back. I got a great call from an NBA buddy of mine saying, `I really like your big white kid.' And it made me feel good that here's this guy who none of us expected and he's doing alright. Now he still does things you want to punch him in the mouth. Like, `Why would you do that?' But the reality of it is, he has gotten better and that's all we should be about. It's kind of like DeAndre (Liggins). DeAndre's not playing exactly how I think he's capable of playing. He's a guy that should be able to guard three positions, and guard them well, come up with every loose rebound; he's coming up with none right now. He's not rebounding at all. Every loose rebound and every ball you dive on the floor is you. And then, now you make shots. I talked to him about it this morning. He's the only player I've coached in college who has taken his shot from one place to another. It happens in the NBA all the time. Guy goes to the league, can't shoot, but within two or three years all of a sudden the guy's making knock down shots. It happens all the time. In the NBA when you're looking at kids, you're trying to draft players and the shooting doesn't play that big of a factor because you know eventually the guy will shoot the ball better. But in college I've not seen guys do what he's done. Right now, if there's a key shot in the game, I'm going to be honest with you, the guy that you guys all told me get rid of, can't shoot, didn't want to go in games, is the guy I'd say give him the ball and let him take that shot. Let's drive something so he's wide open. He's still driving to the goal every time and running four people over and just throwing balls. But again, we just have to tell him, that's what we're trying to point out. You can't do that - pull up, go in the lane. There are three guys, how about this one, if there are three on you two guys are open. You're driving, there's three guys on you, two guys are open, just find them. But that's all stuff we're all learning."

On freshman forward Terrence Jones' performance against Notre Dame following his performance against North Carolina...
"Well, after North Carolina it's obvious that he learned a lesson. That's what we need from him. What he gave us was a post presence. I think any time a team that doesn't have post presence, you're basically a fraud. You have to have someone you can throw the ball to. It can be a point guard, it can be your five-man, it can be your four. Someone has to be able to draw double teams and get some easy baskets. Now, we will never play that way because I can't stand what it looks like. Run down throw it to the post, run down throw low. I can't watch the game; I'd go to the bathroom. I mean, it's not something I want. But, there's got to be times that you have to be able to do that. We're not making shots or something's breaking down or they're really sagging, they're doing something crazy where you can throw it in. He gives that to us. But he's got to get better. Obviously, North Carolina he avoided all contact which meant they blocked every ball. We worked for a couple days on it and now all of a sudden he went body to body with Notre Dame. Now they weren't as long, but they couldn't really get to his shot because he went body to body. Against North Carolina he faded away so they blocked everything, barely got any balls to the rim."

On Indiana...
"(I was) watching the tape. They're well coached, lots of pick-and-rolls. (Christian) Watford, who I had recruited, is a terrific player. (Maurice) Creek is a terrific player. They shoot the ball better. I watched our tape with them from last year and we really struggled with them offensively. In other words, they scored on us. We put in a little 1-3-1 I can remember now, that must have been ages ago, but they scored on that. They shot a good percentage, and we made a little run. Some of it was we beasted them a little bit inside, which that's not what we are now. I can see Patrick (Patterson) and DeMarcus (Cousins) and Daniel Orton got baskets just by beasting them. But that's not the case (now). They're going to be ready. (Indiana head coach) Tommy (Crean) will have his team fighting mad, ready to go and this is a big game. It's interesting, for us, it's the next game. Now if we win it's a huge game, but it's the next game. It's us trying to make sure that we're in the right frame of mind. I told them there has to be a sense of urgency about preparation, there has to be a purpose about preparation. Tomorrow is game day. Everything you do is geared toward winning that game and playing well. I should say playing well, winning the game will take care of itself. But that may be put headphones on and relax. Whatever it is that gets you ready to compete at a high level with great intensity. I thought our start against Notre Dame was terrific and when we gave up a couple baskets it was one player who gave up those baskets. The rest of us were doing pretty well. It was 12-6 because one guy gave up five points. But that was a good start. Then they made their run and we kind of figured it out. We got down 11, we didn't think it's (over) - and again, I don't know this team yet, I don't know how they think. I knew last year's team how they thought. We're down 11, OK let's beat these (guys) - and this team came back and did it. They got this thing tied up where we can work. We start the second half, create a gap. Again though, there were two clicks that they let them back in and it's all stuff that we have to learn."

On how close Indiana is to being "Indiana" again...
"The recruiting has gone up 100 times. It was hard, I'll tell you what. When you're losing it's hard to recruit. When you're winning it's a little easier to recruit. When players are going to the NBA it's a little easier to recruit. When you're taking over like Tommy (Crean) did, it's hard now. It's hard. You're trying to keep your boat afloat. And he did that. He coached his guys. Guys have gotten better. Now he's recruiting guys and you'll see, like I said, this is maybe after this year or one of these years we may want to cancel because of where he's going with the program and the players he's getting."

#1, Darius Miller, G, Jr.

On how he thinks he's played so far...
"I think I've played decent, probably not as well as I could though; probably expecting more on the offensive end."

On Cal's view of his potential...
"I'm glad he has that much confidence in me, that's a big help and builds a lot of confidence. Really, I just have to step up my production."

On what he needs to work on...
"[Coach Cal and I] have had a few meetings the past week or so after the loss and he's really talked to me about what he expects me to do. I'm just going to try to keep working at it."

On what Cal wants him to work on...
"Basically just being more aggressive and more vocal on the court. There were a few times where we were down in North Carolina and he said he felt like I should have stepped up and rounded up the team to talk to them and tell them it was going to be alright. I guess I just have to be more vocal and aggressive on both ends of the court."

#2, Stacey Poole, G, Fr.

On the rivalry with Indiana ...
"I don't know a lot about it, but I have heard a couple things. But I am just ready to play. I'm ready to get after it and get the W."

On the feeling he had when he hit his 3-point shot last game against Notre Dame ...
"It felt good. I was pretty excited to get into the game and show coach that I am capable of playing. I am happy that he saw something in me and trusted me enough to put me in and I'm thankful for the opportunity."

On what Coach Calipari saw in him to put him in the game against Notre Dame ...
"I don't know to be honest. I just try to come in here and give the team energy, and I told Coach that whatever he needs me to do, I will do it. Finishing plays, getting loose balls, just anything he needs me to do. But the most important thing I have to do is listen and pay attention to the guys in front of me."

#12, Brandon Knight, G, Fr.

On the rivalry with Indiana ...
"Indiana is a good team. They are going to come out and give us a fight so we have to be prepared and be ready to play."

On the hardest part of knowing when to push it and when not to push it ...
"It's a learning process. It's trying to get our team a better shot versus trying to make a layup. It's about trying to make the right play; it's a learning process that I think freshmen go through. My goal is to strive for perfection and I am not there yet."

On how different the way he's being asked to play for Kentucky compared to his high school team ...
"It's a matter of control. When I played in high school there were no repercussions for a bad shot.  It was basically go out and play and do whatever you could do to try to get us a win. Now I am being coached and taught how to play the game the right way. The major difference is the mindset that Coach Cal has given me and knowing how to run a team successfully. "