UK Returns Home for Five Straight at Rupp
Dec. 16, 2011
Kentucky looks to return to its winning ways Saturday, when it hosts the Chattanooga Mocs in the first of five consecutive games at Rupp Arena.
|Kentucky vs. Chattanooga
Sat., Dec. 17 - 8:00 p.m. ET
Game Notes: UK | UTC
|TV: CSS (Additional Coverage)
Radio: UK IMG
Live video via ESPN3
Live Postgame Press Conference
UK had its season-opening eight-game winning streak snapped on Saturday in Bloomington, Ind., dropping a 73-72 heartbreaker to the Indiana Hoosiers.
Offensively, Kentucky was led by sophomore Doron Lamb's team-high 19 points and freshman Michael Kidd-Gilchrist's career-best 18. Freshman Marquis Teague also scored in double-figures with 15 points, all in the second half.
Kidd-Gilchrist and Anthony Davis both pulled down a game-high nine rebounds.
Located in Chattanooga, Tenn. (280 miles south of Lexington), Chattanooga is a member of the Southern Conference.
The Mocs enter Saturday's game after posting a 50-point win over Spalding in their last outing.
Chattanooga isn't afraid to fire from long range, as they rank 27th nationally in 3-point attempts (245), hitting 37.1 pct. from the behind the line.
The Mocs are coached by John Shulman who is in his eighth season. In four of his seven seasons (2005, 2008, 2009 & 2011), Chattanooga has won the Southern Conference North Division title. Two of those years (2005, 2009) saw the Mocs capture the SoCon Tournament Championship and advance to the NCAA Tournament immersed in all that is "March Madness".
Only one other SoCon program (Davidson) boasts as many division titles during Shulman's tenure with four as well. The Mocs' three in the last four years are the most in the league in that span.
His teams have won 15 or more games every season as head coach. He is the only coach in school history to do that in a career spanning more than two seasons.
This is the 12th meeting between Kentucky and Chattanooga, with the Wildcats posting an 11-0 mark.
The two teams last met in the 2007 season in Louisville where UK picked up a 79-63 win.
Pre-Chattanooga Media Opportunity - Dec. 16, 2011
Head Coach John Calipari
On practice being different this week …
“I think the one thing I learned after the game at Indiana is that we need to have more rough-house practices, a little tougher and we need to do more conditioning. So we did that this week so they might have thought it was tougher. It was from what I saw from my team. Also we needed to go over situational stuff; you can’t blame them if you haven’t covered a lot stuff. One thing I’ll say though about doing situations, at the end of the day you can’t predict what is going to happen. You have to have a player make a play like Anthony (Davis) made (vs. North Carolina). Somebody has to just go make a play and that’s part of what we have on this team but they just haven’t been in many of those deals.”
On Terrence Jones …
“I think he’ll be fine. He knows he can’t do that again. He’s a good kid, he had a bad game for whatever reason and the crazy thing is we still had an opportunity to win the game. We got no breaks and we still could have won the game. We had a will to win, Marquis Teague, Michael (Kidd-Gilchrist), Doron (Lamb)’s will to win. We had a lot of good things come out of that game and I’ll be honest with you if we had won I probably would have stuck my head in the sand and not said, ‘we’re not in good enough condition and we’re not tough enough.’ I would have said, ‘hey man, let’s just keep this ball rolling; we got three games left before Christmas.’ So this was a wake up for me so hopefully I’ll do a better job of helping these guys.”
On contributions Twany Beckham can make …
“He can help defensively. He’s not going to play any point guard so he’ll probably play one of those other positions. He’s got to go out there and defend and make easy plays so that he can stay on the floor.”
On leaving Terrence Jones on the bench at the end of the Indiana game …
“It wasn’t a message, if we left him in we weren’t winning, that was the message. I told Kyle (Wiltjer) we need to get him more minutes, but he gave up a three at a critical time and we’re doing things in practice now that he has to come up with the ball or we lose. If he doesn’t I stop it and tell him that’s why I can’t play him at the end of the game. I told him, ‘even if your minutes are short you have to do what you do offensively, just play.’ I think he’s holding back and we just have to get him going.”
On being concerned with Terrence Jones …
“I’m not; I’m going on my second year coaching him. You asked me that question many times about DeMarcus Cousins, ‘are you concerned about him growing up or anything?’ No, I’m not.”
On Twany Beckham not playing point guard …
“He doesn’t understand that position the way we need it played. He’s a good athlete, he has some good size, he can defend and be tough. I’ll be honest, with Jarrod (Polson) understanding how we play and what we do, he is probably ahead of Twany.”
On the team being ready for Chattanooga tomorrow …
“We’ll see (if they’re ready), there are always the drags after a game like last week so we’ll see.”
On guarding 3-pointers against Indiana …
“There were three or four of the 3s that weren’t guarded and they made all of those. Then all of the sudden they only make 25 percent of the guarded ones, but they make those other four and now all of a sudden they make seven or eight threes because you gave them four. A bunch were off an offensive rebound where we should have grabbed the ball and they’d just throw it out and the guy makes the 3. If you rebound the ball that doesn’t lead to a kick out and 3. We have a lot of work to do. If you listen to us practice you know all I talk about is making (the opponent) drivers and let them drive into our defense. Do not let them play horse, I know they can beat us playing horse and shooting free throws. Make them play basketball.”
On (UK president) Dr. (Eli) Capilouto’s statement about funding …
“We have 60-year old dorms on our campus; I didn’t know buildings could stay standing that long. We have 500 new beds; we need 5,000 beds that are new housing. We need classrooms that are up-to-date. We’re the flagship campus, when we go out we represent the entire commonwealth. Everybody in the legislature is represented by us when we go out or when we are on this campus, 80 percent of this campus is from our state. You can’t do private funding; the legislator has to get behind us. Once all that is covered then I said, let’s think about Rupp Arena. Its 35-years old, it hasn’t hurt us in recruiting, it obviously hasn’t hurt us on the basketball court. Our fans like it as long as you aren’t in the upper deck. Have you ever been in the upper deck with 12 inches to sit when your butt is 18 inches? It’s a tough seat. If you tell me it’s between our campus or a new arena, I’m saying it’s for our students, new classrooms and new dorms.”
#10, Twany Beckham, G, Jr.
On his level of excitement for returning to basketball …
“I’m ready to go. This has been a long time coming. I have been with this team for a whole year and I’m ready to get out there on the floor with my teammates.”
On the waiting process …
“It’s been tough. I have just been watching my teammates grow from day one. I finally get to be out there on the court with them. I am ready to go.”
On what he can bring to the game …
“When I come into the game, I just want to bring energy and ambition to this team. I want to play as hard as I can and whatever Coach Calipari wants me to do, I’m going to do it.”
#23, Anthony Davis, F, Fr.
On the excitement to get back on the court after a week off of games …
“We are really eager to go out there and play, especially after a loss like that. That kind of loss can crush a lot of spirits so we are just ready to go out there and play.”
On why they did not foul at the end of the Indiana game …
“We were all in a scramble. Some of the freshmen haven’t been in a situation like that before. Everyone was scrambling and nobody had a man.”
On playing Chattanooga after the tough loss against Indiana …
“We just have to come out there and play. We need to play every game like it’s our last and have fun.”
On if the pressure is off now that a loss is out of the way …
“Not at all. Everybody wants to beat us and we have to be prepared for it.”
On the play of Terrence Jones during practice this week …
“He was great this week. In practice, he really went after it and went after people. He just wanted to prove people wrong.”