UK Closes Out 2010 Against Rival UL

Dec. 30, 2010

Cat Scratches: Commonwealth rivals not expecting - but ready for - another backyard brawl | Video: Cal, players preview Louisville rivalry

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Game Notes Kentucky Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader | Louisville Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader
Date & Time Fri., Dec. 31, Noon ET
Coverage TV: CBS
Radio: BBSN
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Location KFC Yum! Center
Louisville, Ky.

The Wildcats closed out their four-game home stretch, and final tune-up before the end of the year game at rival Louisville, with a 91-61 win over Coppin State.

Kentucky dominated all facets of the game, holding the Eagles to 36.1 pct. (22-61) from the field, while hitting 57.4 pct. (35-61) of their shots. UK outrebounded Coppin State 43-22, outscored them in the paint 46-26 and dished out 21 assists to the Eagles' 10.

The Wildcats had five players score in double-figures led by a trio of freshmen including Terrence Jones (18), Brandon Knight (17) and Doron Lamb (17). Josh Harrellson and DeAndre Liggins chipped in 10 points each.

Liggins had one of his most well-rounded performances as a Wildcat also pulling down a game-high eight rebounds and dishing out six assists.

Cat Scratches: Commonwealth rivals not expecting - but ready for - another backyard brawl

DeAndre Liggins, one of the few veterans on the Kentucky basketball team who endured the wars of last year's game with Louisville, knows all about the mind games and brutality that are a part of rivalry games.

As a Chicago native, Liggins said the physical, borderline out-of-control play of last season's Dream Game was just another basketball game on the streets of the Windy City.

Read full story...

Pregame Press Conference Quotes

Head Coach John Calipari

On if the freshmen are ready for this intense of a rivalry game …
“I don’t know. We had a day yesterday where we didn’t beat them up because we just played a game the day before. We have a practice today where we are going to try to go fairly hard, but they have no idea. We are playing a ranked team. They are well coached, they make 3’s, they create havoc, you know they maybe a top 15 team. The more tape I watch, the more impressed I am of them. Guys are just doing what they do for them. The big guys are banging and blocking, they take charges and flops; they get up in you. They play.”

On what he remembers from last year’s game with Louisville …
“I can’t really remember, but I knew everybody made it out to be the biggest game of the century, which I just try not to do. I say for us it’s the next game. I have to have my guys ready for every game. Every game we play is someone’s super bowl. The next game will be someone’s super bowl. Every game we play in the league is someone’s super bowl. Every game we played is in a sold out arena, and it’s the biggest game on their schedule. We can’t make one game more important than any other, but in this state, we understand and the players will understand when the game starts. The guys that don’t understand it will feel it. You will feel it.”

On his impressions of Louisville head coach Rick Pitino …
“I think he is doing a great job. Again, everybody thought he lost all of those guys, and they weren’t going to be that good, and shoot, they are better. Typically what (Coach Pitino) does is he gets his team, he figures them out, they play to their strengths, and that’s what they are doing. They are playing to their strengths. They do it very well, and they are doing it as well as anybody in the country. They play to win.”

On how he will approach this game with his team …
“This game will be approached like every other game. And I say it’s the next game on our schedule. If we win, it’s a huge game. But, it’s really just the next game on our schedule. The preparation on how we have gone after it in practice, it’s all going to be the same. We never change that depending on our opponent. My biggest thing is that you have to be ready. The intensity of the game is going to be crazy. You better be ready to play with holds, and pushes, and shoves. It’s going to be a physical game. You better be able to finish around the rim, because if you think you are going to be able to go up, and nobody is going to go after it, and nobody is going to hit your body, (you’re mistaken).  If you are going to rebound, you better get on a body because that body is going to be on you.”

On Louisville’s perimeter shooting, and how that affects the way UK will play defense …
“No, we won’t change. What I will tell you is that if they make 17 contested shots, we are going to lose. Now, that’s unless they shoot 70. In all likelihood, they are going to shoot 30 3’s. They are shooting them whether you are on them or not. They are shooting 30 3’s. If they make them, it’s been a great start, who’s next? I mean, when you are playing these types of teams that will shoot that many, some of it’s that you are doing the best you can, but they are hitting tear-drop’s off the lights and going in. They are capable of it.”

#1, Darius Miller, G, Jr.

On if he has looked at Louisville on film …
“Yeah, we have seen a little bit of them. Like I said, they play very physical and with high intensity and play the whole 40 minutes. This is one of those teams that we are going to have to be ready and go out and play the whole game.”

On last year’s game …
“Last year’s game was kind of different than any other game that we have been involved in really. It was really physical from the beginning and really intense from the beginning … I am sure that the intensity and physicality will be the same.”

On if guys that are not Kentucky natives still get the rivalry between the two schools …
“They might not get how other people talk about it, but I think they get how intense the game will be. Coach has done a lot of drills and stuff like that to get us prepared for how physical and intense the game is going to be so I think that we will be ready going into it.”

On if Coach John Calipari is any different in preparing for this game …
“He is the same. I don’t think that I have ever seen him change up how he prepares for a game really. No matter what the game is he is the same, whether it is North Carolina, Louisville, all the teams. He carries himself the same way.”

#34, DeAndre Liggins, G, Jr.

On what he remembers about the game last season …
“It was a very physical game. A couple of guys got into it, but overall we came out with the win. I don’t know if this game will be similar or not. We are going to be in their building and we know that they are going to be physical. We just have to get prepared.”

On the physicality of last year’s game …
“Last year’s game was one of the most physical games of the year. So we expect that again this year and we are going to be physical with the ball and breakdown our opponents on defense and on offense and we will be fine.”

On Louisville’s new arena …
“I heard that it was cool. One of my friends told me that. I am ready to play no matter what arena we are in. We have to come in ready to play.”

On surviving a hostile crowd …
“We have to take the crowd out of the game early at the beginning. We just have to set the tone early and make sure their crowd doesn’t get into it. We have to come out and execute on defense and run our sets and push the ball.”

#55, Josh Harrellson, F, Sr.

On what happened during last year's Louisville game ...
"It was a rough and tough game, people were trash talking and people were about to fight. It’s definitely going to be a war out there."

On if Louisville will try the same thing again this year ...
"I think so because we're a young team again. They'll definitely try to do the same things like trash talk, and see if they can get us out of our game but we're prepared and we're ready for them."

On if Louisville will try to get him into foul trouble ...
"I think they will try to get all of us in foul trouble if they can, because we're not deep and if they do that it will be a tough game."