UK Plays Final Game Before Holiday Break

Dec. 21, 2011

The Wildcats welcome the Loyola Greyhounds in their final game before the Holiday break. Kentucky looks to extend its home-court winning streak to 41 after posting an 82-50 win over Samford on Tuesday.

Gameday Information
Kentucky vs. Loyola (Md)
Thurs., Dec. 22 - 1:00 p.m. ET
Lexington, Ky.
Rupp Arena
Game Notes: UK Get Acrobat Reader | LU Get Acrobat Reader
TV: FS South
Radio: UK IMG
Live video via ESPN3
Live Audio
Live Blog
Text Updates
Live Postgame Press Conference

UK had four players score in double-figures led by Doron Lamb's season and game-high 26 points. Darius Miller chipped in 17, while Marquis Teague added 14 and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist 10.

Anthony Davis pulled down a game-high nine rebounds and Kentucky outrebounded Samford, 38-22.

Davis also finished with five blocks, the fifth time this season he's posted five or more blocked shots.

Scouting Report

Located in Baltimore, Md., (576 miles east of Lexington), Loyola is a member of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.

The Greyhounds enter off a 76-66 loss at St. Bonaventure on Sunday, but have won four of their last five.

Loyola has four players averaging double-digits led by Dylor Cormier's 16.8 ppg average. Erik Etherly, who ranks second in scoring (12.4 ppg) leads the Greyhounds in rebounding (7.6) and field goal percentage (52.1).

The Greyhounds are coached by Jimmy Patsos who is in his eighth year as a head coach, all at Loyola. Last season, the Greyhounds recorded a two-game improvement over the year before, finishing 2010-2011 with a 15-15 overall record and 10-8 mark in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. The team played its best basketball of the season after the New Year dawned, going 7-2 in the month of January.

Loyola advanced to the MAAC Quarterfinals in 2010-2011, and three of the team's players earned postseason conference awards. Shane Walker was named to the All-MAAC Third Team, while Justin Drummond earned MAAC All-Rookie honors. J'hared Hall also became Loyola's first-ever winner of the MAAC Sixth-Player of the Year Award.

Series History

This is the first meeting between Kentucky and Loyola.

The Wildcats face the fourth and final first-time opponent in the regular season posting a 3-0 record in the first three games.

Kentucky is 32-4 against first-time opponents over the last nine seasons.

Pre-Loyola (Md) Media Opportunity - Dec. 21, 2011

Head Coach John Calipari

On what a Calipari Christmas is like …
“The good news is my two daughters will be in town with my son and wife. I’m trying to get my dad to pop in. We’ll spend a couple days together, we may even go somewhere for a day and come back. I’ll be with the family so it will be nice.”

On the importance of giving the players a break for Christmas …
“I hope when they look back they look at their time at Christmas with their own family, being able to see friends and stop in and see relatives, not that they were tortured over Christmas while everyone else was enjoying stuff and they were tortured to play basketball. Basketball is important and I know it’s important at this school and this program but it shouldn’t come before their families. I’ve always felt that way. Every team I have coached has had a Christmas break. We played in the Rainbow Classic one year and got out there when the coach in Hawaii thought was late, but we were there before our game. We made the game and we won the tournament, no one else took a Christmas break except my team. We got there about 15 minutes before the game started but we were there in time and then we won the tournament.”

On Terrence Jones
I don’t think he’ll practice today, he wants to play tomorrow but I may not let him.”

On players stepping up to be vocal leaders …
“They’re better. Doron (Lamb), because he is spending that extra time, is starting to play different. He is playing more assertive, he’s not in to himself, he’s talking more, and they all try to talk more. There were still times when Kyle (Wiltjer) didn’t talk on some back screens and neither did Anthony Davis but the reality of it is that they are trying to do what we need them to do.

On Michael Kidd-Gilchrist feeling like he has performed enough to step up and be a leader …
“It all develops within your team. It develops with performance and effort. You can’t be sitting in the ice tub yelling at guys to work harder. He’s out there spending the extra time and it’s neat to see. One of the reasons I talked to him about what he will do for this team is he will drag the intensity of this club because it is embarrassing if you don’t play with intensity with this guy out there because it really shows. You start saying, ‘well this guy doesn’t play hard, look at Michael.’ It raises the intensity in practice and there will be guys mad, ‘Michael you’re trying to kiss butt,’ no I’m just trying to be the best player I can be. They all have an opportunity to come in. What I always say to guys like him, John (Wall) and Brandon (Knight), you don’t do this all yourself, you drag other people with you. I told John Wall, ‘don’t be leaving here by yourself, drag three or four guys with you.’ He took four with him.”

On voluntary early morning workouts…
“It’s torture for some guys, to get up in the morning and spend more time than they are supposed to spend. It’s just, ‘I’m going to do what I have to do and leave.’ But again, if you want to really feel success, it’s ‘I’m doing my best and I know this is absolutely the best I can do.’ That is success and that’s for everyone, if you’re cutting corners and say the most important part of your life is getting 14 hours of sleep, OK that’s fine but success isn’t the most important part of your life, getting two days worth of sleep in one day is.”

On the game against Loyola …
“This game will be a good game for us. They play a funky zone, they press, and they press on the side-out. They are going to come after us and press, they will not back down. (Loyola head coach) Jimmy (Patsos) does a great job with his team, they’ve got good players, they are physical, they are older and they shoot the three. He coached under (former Maryland head coach) Gary Williams so they run a lot flex, they run a lot of hand offs and pick and rolls in to flex stuff. He does a great job with his team, they are (8-2). The two games they lost they had a chance to win both of them, they could have come in here (10-0).”

On the next two games for Kyle Wiltjer
“We need a confident player out there making baskets because that’s what he does for us. We also have to figure out how we are going to play defensively with him in. I have to come up with some plans and schemes with him on that court because he will do what we ask him to do. I don’t want him to shoot all 3s so yesterday he did some step-throughs, but didn’t cover enough ground. You need to cover space and then shoot the ball. The best play he made was, we were in the huddle and he hadn’t made a shot so I said we were going back at him, let’s see if he makes it now. That’s the one where Darius (Miller) went off the screen and threw it back to him and he made the 3. It’s a good sign, the kid has courage, he can miss five shots and I can put him back in and expect him to make a shot.”

On Jon Hood
“He’s doing good, he’s involved in every practice. He watches tape with coach (John) Robic. He’s around us and he’s doing pretty good.

#4, Jon Hood, G, Jr.

On his thoughts of redshirting …
“We (Coach John Calipari and I) haven’t talked about it yet. Who knows?
“When that time comes I’ll go up and I’ll talk to Coach and we’ll talk about it, but up to this point we haven’t talked about it, so I don’t know if he’d say if I am or not.”

On if the thought of coming back in late February has come into his mind …
“There (were thoughts) early, but now all my focus is on just trying to get back and give these guys insight on how to win and how to run this offense. That’s all I’m doing now. Coming down to the SEC Tournament, I don’t know. Late February is a difficult time period to get my conditioning back up. I’ll get to start shooting sometime next week.”

On how much he’s seen the team, especially the young guys, progress this season …
“Oh yeah, they’re night and day as far as Anthony Davis is so much tougher, Marquis (Teague) is running the point guard spot so much better. Everybody’s putting in the extra work. They’re not young guys, they’re like everybody else.”

#12, Ryan Harrow, G, So.

On what he asked for Christmas …
“I didn’t really ask for anything this year. I’m just glad to be going home. I just want to go home and see my family.”

On what a family Christmas is like …
“We all just sit in our pajama’s all day, eat food, watch the games, and we may play some board games or something, and we might go watch a movie.”

On his work ethic …
“It’s been rough because I want to be out there and playing with them, but I am learning a lot from Coach Calipari and from all the rest of the coaches. I have just been working hard and doing some extra work since I am not playing this year.”

#13 Sam Malone, G, Fr.

On his initial reaction after tearing his ACL …
“I knew something was up. I knew something was wrong. It didn’t hurt that bad, but I felt it before and I knew the feeling.”

On the support from the fans …
“It was tough, but the Big Blue Nation showed a lot of class and they really picked me up. I was really impressed by that. I got a lot of positive feedback from them to keep praying and keep working. The coaching staff and the players have all been really helpful.”

On the recovery process …
“I am used to it. I know what I have to do. I could probably be a physical trainer all by myself since I have been in there all the time. We have the best training staff in the world and the best doctor in the world, and he is really going to help me out a lot. I am positive I am going to be able to come back strong.”