Wildcats Play Final Game of 2009

Dec. 28, 2009

Wildcats Play Final Game of 2009

The Wildcats gave Kentucky fans one final Christmas present with an 86-73 win over Long Beach State in UK's final game before the Christmas break.

Kentucky Hartford
Gameday Information
Game Notes UK Notes Get Acrobat Reader | Hartford Notes Get Acrobat Reader
Date & Time Tues., Dec. 29, 7:00 p.m
Coverage TV: ESPN2
Radio: BBSN
GameTracker GameTracker
Online Audio listen
Online Video via ESPN360
Live Blog
Location Rupp Arena
Lexington, Ky.
Hartford Hawks at a Glance
Head Coach Dan Leibovitz
Record at School 40-69
2009 Record 2-9, 0-0 America East
Ranking NR
Series Record First meeting
Last Meeting First meeting
2009 Team Stats UK UH
Scoring Offense 82.1 65.0
Scoring Defense 64.7 69.2
FG Percentage 49.6% 42.8%
3-point FG Percentage 41.1% 38.2%
FT Percentage 70.0% 64.2%
Rebound Margin +12.0 -7.5
Assists 16.2 11.2
Turnovers 15.9 12.3
2009 Stat Leaders
Scoring UK: John Wall (17.9)
UH: Joe Zeglinski (15.6)
Rebounding UK: Patrick Patterson (9.0)
UH: Joel Barkers (5.3)
Assists UK: John Wall (6.8)
UH: Andres Torres (5.4)
3-point FG Percentage UK: Eric Bledsoe (50.0%)
UH: Morgan Sabia (44.8%)
Blocks UK: DeMarcus Cousins (1.8)
UH: Morgan Sabia (1.0)
Steals UK: John Wall (2.5)
UH: Andres Torres (1.6)

DeMarcus Cousins and Patrick Patterson paced the Wildcats with a pair of double-doubles, Cousins with 15 points and 10 rebounds, and Patterson with 15 points and 11 rebounds.

John Wall led all scorers with 19 points, while also handing out five assists and recording four steals.

Eric Bledsoe also posted double-digits for the Wildcats with 11 points and joined Wall for team-high honors with five assists.

The Cats remained hot from the free throw line, shooting 73.3 percent (22 of 30).

Pregame Quotes

Head Coach John Calipari

On Christmas break practices...

"More focus. You get a lot more work in and you can do more teaching. You aren't pressed for time. I get in what I get in, and then we come back and we do whatever we need to get in. We spend a lot of time on areas that we need to improve and I didn't have time to work on. We have played 13 games. We have played more games than any other team in the country. And we went to Cancun, New York and Indiana, we've been on CBS three times, and we played for 2000 games. There were no teams on the schedule that couldn't beat us so we had to play every night out. Now I have time so I don't have to worry about anything else. I don't have time limitations, I don't have day limitations.

"They have done well. I was planning on two hours (for every practice), and they were 1:50, 1:30 and 1:40. They were all shortened, because what I have on that sheet, they are getting done and they are doing it with great enthusiasm. The greatest thing for me is I'm getting a lot of teaching. I'm breaking down the press, blitzing pick-and-rolls, the box-and-one, triangle-and-twos, and showing them how we'll play it when we need to shut a guy down. All of the stuff we didn't have time for because we were going on to the next game and the next game."

On DeMarcus Cousins...

"He has been fabulous. The way he has run the last two days I told him, `If you make that you and run like that, you will be the best player in the country. But, you may choose not to run that way because it's hard to run that way. But, if you will, then every time you are on the court you will play that way.' He is a beast. You work on his free throw shooting and look what's happened. You work on his conditioning and look what's happened. You hold him to a standard and look what happens. You just tell him, this is what is acceptable and this is not acceptable. Again, he's inexperienced. This is all new to him, but it is for most of the guys."

On Louisville...

"We aren't talking at all about that game. I will not watch any tape on the next game until this game is over, and until I watch that game. Until I watch Hartford, I will not watch (Louisville tape). I have seen no tape. I have seen clips or highlights, and I have not watched them play one game. Wednesday morning, we'll get started on that game. Right now it's 'let's get better and let's worry about our team.' I have a methodical way of going about it. You methodically go through the season. No one game is bigger than the next. That's how you do it. You don't move on from one game until you are done with the last game. Will that game this weekend be a big game? If we win it will be huge."

On Hartford...

"Right now, our next game is Hartford, a team that has struggled some, but shot the ball in games. I've probably watched four tapes of them and I think they'll play us with a lot of zone. If they are making three's and we are missing three's, we're in for a ballgame, and they can make three's."

#4, Jon Hood, Fr., G

On whether he's noticed a change in DeMarcus Cousins during games ...

"I have. He's trying to play without fouling and he knows he has to do that if he wants to play. We all have to do that."

On if it takes awhile to get used to not being the best player on the floor like in high school ...

"It does but that's what summer ball is for. We got most of that down in the summer and pregame workouts. Everyone plays and everyone knows who's better and who's not and that's all.

#12, Mark Krebs, Sr., G

On if he's ever been around a coach that uses outside references that compare to basketball ...

"Yes, ever since I was little. Just like little Bible verses or movie quotes things like that. Just little messages that may not mean something on a regular day, but might for one certain game and it makes a difference during that time. Like watching the movie Hoosiers, or watching David verse Goliath, it gives you confidence and a feeling that, `I can do this' and it's pretty big and can be effective."

On getting closer to Louisville ...

"We just need to keep our focus in here and you can't listen to everything out there. We have a game tomorrow and we have to go out and win that one and then prepare for Louisville. Once Louisville is done win or lose we go on. It's a big game, but we're not looking too much ahead at it."

On what they know about Hartford ...

"They're going to come out and usually play a lot of man, but against us they will probably play a lot of zone. We don't know too much about personnel, but we'll do that today."

#34, DeAndre Liggins, So., G

On what it's been like since the team has been back from break ...

"It's been big and tiring but you just have to keep going. You have to keep that blood pumping and get ready for that game tomorrow."

On overlooking Hartford ...

"We're not. You have to take it one game at a time and the coaches do a good job preparing us with the scouting report."

On how it felt going home and taking a break ...

"It was pretty good to be able to go back home and see the family and things like that, but we know we have to get back here and get ready to start playing."

On what it's like to be back and playing ...

"It feels great. I missed it a lot but when I was on the bench it gave me opportunities to understand the game more and see what other people were doing around me."