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Kentucky-Arkansas-Little Rock Postgame Quotes




Jan. 3, 2012

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Kentucky Head Coach John Calipari

On the difference between the first half and the second half …
“Well, they played well. They made shots. They beat us to every ball and I think they had 10 offensive rebounds at the half. They played really tough and aggressive and it’s the same issue (we have had all season). We turned the ball over 13 times and I couldn’t believe we were only down three.”

On the turnover ratio and why Arkansas-Little Rock had so few turnovers at halftime …
“Because we were giving them space and when we did get up we weren’t quite ready to play so they crossed us over and went by us and we didn’t want to go play the guy. But it is a great lesson. It doesn’t matter who we play, they are going to come out and I will say that Steve (Shields) would say that is the best they have played all year. That is every game we play, a team says that. Lamar walked off the court and said, ‘We were really happy how we played.’ I mean, it’s every game and until you really get knocked I don’t know if they will understand. I have young guys that say, ‘OK, I will act like I am tired.’ That is why they got beat. That is what we are right now.”

On wanting the team to pick up the pace in the game …
“Don’t act like you are tired. If you are acting like you are tired come out. ‘I have to run like this,’ well then come out, you are tired. Don’t act tired and want to stay in the game. But we are breaking habits and playing pretty well in the second half and doing some good stuff. But if we get into our league, which is a hard league to play in, we lost six road games last year in this league. Six. We go into this league and play this weekend like we just played then we won’t win. Every team is going to be physical and get into our bodies. I would imagine every team would make 3s like this team did. Just all of a sudden jack up 3s and they go in. No. 44 (Michael Javes) was bank missing free throws but making 3s. I don’t know if that is the first 3 he has made of his career but I thought it probably was. We have done a bunch of that too.”

On the play of Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
“I don’t know if it is a pulled muscle or what in his chest area. It was last game that it happened but we are going to get him checked up and he didn’t feel right at halftime. I told them to give him some medicine to see if they could loosen it up. We will check on him tomorrow, but I think he will be fine.”

On Marquis Teague’s game tonight …
“I don’t know. We will have to watch the tape. Obviously, without him on the court we played better, there is no argument there. But he also has to play better for us to win, I know that.”

On the team starting league play this weekend …
“It is another level. I mean, every game is a dogfight, I don’t care who we are playing, and every road game is a sellout. There are no empty seats when we go on the road. It is the biggest game of the century. We are going into a town where the whole town shuts down because here comes Kentucky. If we think we are going to act tired or going to be like, ‘I don’t know why these guys are playing so hard,’ we are going to get beat and take some L’s.”

On the team rebounding better the last few games …
”I think that Anthony (Davis) is way tougher than he was earlier and he comes up with balls and Terrence (Jones) is going to crack it out and I thought that he did better today. He is going after some tough rebounds and they are pulling balls in. There have been a lot of missed shots on these teams we have been playing so there were a lot of opportunities for rebounds. Like I said, they had 10 offensive rebounds in the first half. I don’t know what they had in the second half, but they had 10. I will watch the tape on the drive home just to get rid of it because I don’t want to see it. I want to just get it done as quickly as I can. The first 40 minutes will be that tape and then I will throw it out the window. Look, I am coaching all freshmen that is what happened and it is just hard. It wears on you and it wears you out. They are trying and they are listening and they like each other but they are not taking that next leap.”

Kentucky Players

#23 Anthony Davis, Fr., F

On why they came out slow …
“In the first half we kind of struggled coming out of the gate. They were making 3’s and they were playing excellent. Every team is going to come out and play like that against us. In the second half we were doing a lot more of what coach Calipari was telling us to do. We will be fine. We will have to come out more ingressive, tough, and we will be fine.”

On Coach Cal’s halftime demeanor …
“I think that’s clear. He was very angry with us. When he gets angry, we get angry because he is angry. We just tried to pick it up in the second half.”

On what caused them problems …
“(Arkansas Little Rock) are a great team. They shoot the ball well. Their guards are very fast and they can shoot. They are good in open space, and they can shoot the ball. They fight over ball screens and they can make shots. We have to come out and have a new gameplan.”

On how the team played tonight…
“In the first half we struggled out of the gate. They were making three’s and playing excellent. Every team is going to come out and play like that against us. At halftime, Coach Calipari told us that we needed to step it up and we’ll be fine. He said we needed to be more tough and aggressive. In the second half, everybody was going after loose balls and rebounds. We just became more aggressive and that’s how we got the lead in the second half.”

On the second half of the game…
“In the second half we stepped up our intensity. They had more energy, intensity and toughness than we did in the first half. Darius (Miller) brought us together and told us to step it up. We all came together as a group and played better.”

On moving forward to Southeastern Conference play…
“I’m not very familiar with SEC play yet. I hear it’s very physical, especially for my position. The way we came out in the first half will not be acceptable in SEC play.”

#1 Darius Miller, Sr., G

On joining the 1,000-point club …
“It’s an honor to be a part of something like this, especially in the type of program that we are in. It feels good and I’m excited about it. I am just blessed be a part of something like this.”

On if there was a letdown from the Louisville game …
“No. We definitely can’t use that as an excuse, especially with SEC play coming up. We have to come out and we have to be prepared every game. We feel like every team is going to give us their best shot. In the beginning if the game, we came out and we had no intensity and we were very sluggish. The whole team. We have to do a better job of coming out and taking care of business from the beginning.”

On joining the 1,000-point club …
“Yeah, it means a lot to me. I am blessed to be a part of something like this. I am thankful and happy to be a part of something like this. Like I said, it feels good.”

On playing in Louisville …
“It was nice to play here. They have a pretty nice gym here with a lot of tradition. It is nice to play at different places, especially at places that you know about. Being able to travel here and play with these guys is a lot of fun.”

On moving forward to Southeastern Conference play …
“We have to come out and play the whole 40 minutes every game. Every game is going to be a battle. There are a lot of physical teams that play with high intensity. Every team is playing to win. There are a lot of good teams in the SEC so we need to come out and play all 40 minutes, stick together as a team, and play with a lot of intensity.”

Arkansas-Little Rock Head Coach Steve Shields

Opening statement …  
“Obviously Kentucky is an outstanding basketball team. We knew that coming in, and we had the utmost respect for them.  I’ve known Coach Cal (Calipari) for a good-while now, and he does a phenomenal job. They have great players. They’re extremely fast, as you all know from defense-to-offense, and that was a concern of ours competing with their length and athleticism to value the basketball. I thought our guys did a good job of valuing the basketball. Obviously, getting to the glass was a concern as well. Over the last five games they’ve had a positive 11.1 rebounds per game over their opponent and a positive 8.5 margin for the year. With their length that was a big concern of ours. They had 10 offensive rebounds in the first half, and we talked about not giving up 10 in the second half. Unfortunately for us they were able to get us on the glass with a positive 27 margin. I’m really proud of our basketball team. We’ve been through a lot this year. I think they, these guys in particular (Chuck Guy and D’Andre Williams) have shown great resiliency. We’ve led a lot of games in the second half, but struggled at times to learn how to win. It’s an ongoing process for a young basketball team. We have seven new guys on this team this year, and the two conference wins coming into this game were big for our team.”

On the difference of Kentucky’s defense in the second half …  
“I think they upped their intensity level. With that kind of length, we were concerned about getting into our offense. I thought our guys did a good job of being able to do that for most of the game. We tried to tempo the game and get the ball from side to side. I thought in the second half they forced us into some late shot clock situations and we had to settle for shots, which we did not have to do in the first half. They had a stretch in the second half where they were 10-for-13 from the floor and we were 1-for-12 from the floor.”

On his team playing physical with Kentucky …
“That’s the way we want to try and play. We want to play inside-out from a defensive standpoint and force them to take jump shots and not letting them get above the rim. They’re so good at transitioning, getting into the paint and getting it to the rim as well as in a half-court. I thought our guys did a good job of that. We had a goal of five takes for the game, and I know we had three in the first half. I’m not sure what we ended up with, but I thought our guys continued to try and pack it in. Unfortunately, for us they are just so long and athletic. They have a guy like (Anthony) Davis get 16 rebounds for the game, I mean the kid is a phenomenal rebounder. (Michael) Kidd-Gilchrist had 19 rebounds I think against Louisville on Saturday, and they have a number of guys who can really rebound. I think every guy who played had at least one rebound except for (Twany) Beckham is the only guy who didn’t have a rebound. That just talks about their length and athleticism, and that was our focus coming into the game. We have to make sure that they get it into a body and make them create space. That’s a tough challenge to do, possession after possession.”

On his team’s effort without its leading scorer in Will Neighbour…
“I thought our guys played with great effort without Will. You talk about a guy who is coming off winning conference player of the week based off of his games against Illinois State, North Texas and Denver where he averaged 18 points and eight rebounds a game during that stretch. We certainly missed Will not being here, but we had some guys who stepped up. As we tell our guys, every team’s success is determined by how they handle adversity.”

Arkansas-Little Rock Players

#10, D’Andre Williams, C

On playing without teammate Will Neighbour …  
“A lot. I never had a doubt really. (Playing without Will Neighbour) was a deep concern too. He’s the man. The man of our team. You got to believe.”

On what Kentucky did better in the second half …  
“They rebounded. I think they had twenty offensive rebounds throughout the whole game. Our concern was to keep them off the board. I think they ended up with 20 points off of second chance shots. That was a big part of it. … They picked it up a lot on defense in the second half. It was a lot more intense. You can really tell. You could feel the pressure.”

On the  team’s effort in the first half …
“Maybe (Kentucky) didn’t expect us to come out the way that we did. Our record doesn’t show what we do, how we practice. I think our team is just now starting to click better than we have before.”

#13, Chuck Guy, G

On his thoughts going into halftime …  
“I was excited. I expected us to win it. It didn’t turn out like that, but we played as hard as we could though.”

On what gave him a winning expectation…  
“Just everybody focused in the locker room. We were just all focused. Nobody was down. We were just all together. We showed the first half. We showed the second half. (Kentucky) just picked up their intensity. And they hit big shots the second half.”

On Anthony Davis …  
“He’s a great player. He’s a great shot blocker. He’s always on the glass.”

On thoughts about playing a top-ranked team …
“We were just playing our game. We came off two big wins in conference. And we were just rolling with it. And just playing good tonight.”


 

 

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