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Kentucky-Ole Miss Postgame Quotes




Feb. 2, 2010

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Kentucky Head Coach John Calipari

On taking charges…

“The way Ole Miss was playing, by spacing the court and trying to beat us off the dribble, it makes it hard to guard. There isn't really a play, you just have to stay in front of the athletes that are good with the ball. At times we were leaving people open because they weren't their better shooters and we tried to get in front of them. A lot of our guys took charges. I got upset because guys did not step in to help. The effort that we had was remarkable. Daniel (Orton), DeAndre (Liggins), and Darius (Miller) came off the bench and played great. I thought we got a lift when we went to the bench. John (Wall) and Eric (Bledsoe) played a few more minutes than I would have liked them to play but the other guys were getting into the routine of what we need. We played well. We shot the ball well. We defended pretty well. We rebounded well. ”

On correcting mistakes that have been allowing other teams to get back in the game …

“They are trying. John (Wall) ran our team as well as he has all year tonight. He got us into our offense and pulled the ball out when we needed to, and he talked to his teammates for 40 minutes. DeMarcus (Cousins) went crazy again tonight too. We did not get DeMarcus the ball enough tonight. I liked Patrick's (Patterson) game tonight. He went after the ball and rebounded the ball. He is still not where he needs to be but in another week or so you will see how good he is. I am going to continue to work with him at practice and before games. He is making great strides. The greatest thing with this team is that everybody contributes and makes plays. There was no fear of losing which was good. These guys are young and they are still learning. They may not always react the way I want them to.”

On the importance of Darnell Dodson

“He is a big player. He creates the gap we need. As a team we did well going 9-for-19 from three-pointers. The percentages we shot from field goals, three-pointers, and free throws tonight, were great. We also had 21 assists. We did have 17 turnovers, with 11 of them in the first half. Ole Miss scored 37 points in the first half and 27 of those points were from our turnovers and second chance shots. Otherwise they scored 10 points in the first 20 minutes. At half time I told our team that we could not turn the ball over like that, especially since most of them were unnecessary. They responded well by only having six turnovers in the second half.”

On playing well in the first few minutes…

“I think we did well. I was worried about this game because I do not think our team understood that Ole Miss is a good team. They had Tennessee, Arkansas and Mississippi State beat and they lost all three games in the last minutes or over time. If you look at games like that Ole Miss is easily 6-1 or 7-0 in the SEC. I was really worried but I am happy how we played. I am proud of my team.”

On what he expects from Patrick Patterson…

“I want him to go after balls. I want him to rebound with two hands. I want him to dive for loose balls and don't shy away. I want him to get into the post and attack the basket. I want him to get fouled and make free throws. I want him to shoot threes when he is wide open. I want him to run the floor and block shots. I want him to be the athlete that he is. I want him to demand the ball, even from the huddle. Part of the reason I am working with him is because I want him to know how much confidence I have in him. Joe Dumars said “of all the players that returned to college he has helped himself the most.” I am proud of that. I am telling him to take that to another level. There is nothing here holding him back. He helped himself today by the way he played. He is still 30 percent better than the way he played today in my opinion. Maybe I am asking a lot but I ask a lot from all my guys.”

On DeMarcus Cousins…

“I have never had a big man like him. I hate to put that pressure on him. He is a skilled 6' 11” player that can make free throws, pass, has a great mind for the game and is emotionally growing every day. I have never had a player come this far this fast. There are still things he has to improve. He is still maturing. All their mistakes are great lessons for them. I explain that these are good life lessons to learn from for the future. I keep telling him he is a special player and he is a special man.”

Kentucky Players

#11, DeMarcus Cousins, F

On all the charges you all took tonight …

“We've been working on that drill a lot in practice. Lots of charge and loose ball drills and tonight it came into play.”

On would you say you were more physical tonight …

“Yes, as a team we were a lot more physical, we crashed the boards a lot.”

On did you think John Wall's quotes were out of character …

“When I heard it me and John were in the room and started laughing because he didn't mean it like that at all. Yes the words came out but that's not what he meant. I know John.”

On when the team and especially Darnell Dodson is making threes does it make it easier for you …

“It just makes the game so much easier and it loosens up the post area. There aren't as many double teams and it just makes it easier.”

#11, John Wall, G

On playing against talented veteran guards …

“Sometimes on defense I zone out and stop playing and when you're playing veterans like that as soon as you do that they're gone. Terrico White got hot tonight then we put Eric on him and he stopped him and it's great to have a shut down defender like him. When you play great guards like that in the SEC they make you get better every game.”

On how does it feel to have a good game tonight …

“It feels good and hopefully all the other stuff will go away but I am back to having fun and winning games.”

On what you have gone through the past week and how you can grow from it …

“I was trying to live up to all the pressure and all the hype. Coach doesn't want me to try to live up to all that he just wants me to go out and play like John Wall.”

#54, Patrick Patterson, F

On if he feels that he has to put up All-American numbers game in and game out …

“I am not concerned about that. Coach always says that I am an All-American and that he wants me to score 18 points a game and average a double-double. He wants me to do all these things, but I am more concerned about winning, not about being the high scorer or try to impress other people. I am more concerned that my teammates are playing well and us getting a win then I am bout scoring points.”

On the team taking six charges tonight …

“It was great. We knew that they were going to do a bunch of isolation plays with the dribble weave on the perimeter, and spaced out the four and five and have a random ball-screen set. We knew what they were going to do and luckily DeMarcus (Cousins) and DeAndre (Liggins) came over a couple of times and people were helping out each other out there defensively.”

On the difference that it makes having Darnell Dodson out on the floor knocking down shots …

“It makes a huge difference. We know that he is a good shooter and whenever he is able to knock down those shots, it provides more points for us and easy baskets on easy plays. It provides us a chance to run the clock down and set up a play for Darnell to get a shot off. If it goes in, then that can be a dagger for the other team, and can get us more fired up on defense and more anxious to get the ball back.”

#3, Darnell Dodson, G

On DeMarcus Cousins and what it is like to play with him everyday …

“It is fun. He opens up a lot of opportunities for all of us because of his ability to score down low. It is great to have him on our team. He is a really good player.”

On the friendly competition that he, Darius Miller and DeAndre Liggins have …

“We basically all have the same responsibilities out there on the floor. Whoever is doing it the best at that certain point in time is the one that coach is going to leave out on the floor. The ones that are not out there try to make sure that they take breathers, and when they do come in try to provide us with a spark.”

On playing better defense the last couple of games …

“Yeah, Cal told me that he wanted me to play better defense and focus more on it. He told me to think about it on the defensive end like I do when I am playing offense, with that same aggressive mindset. I have been able to do that and I have been playing more.”

Ole Miss Head Coach Andy Kennedy

On Kentucky's fast start…

“The last time we were in this building, I think we got down 25-4, so that was actually a fast start compared to where we were in the past. Kentucky had a lot to do with it. For us, if we could just eliminate the carelessness with the ball that leads to baskets— it had to be five, six, seven, eight times that they just took our ball on the uncontested, open floor. This team is too good. Kentucky is too good to give them those free points. You have to make them work to get them because they are so explosive. I thought if we could eliminate that, we could give ourselves a chance. I was proud of our guys because they battled. Obviously, we were undermanned under the basket, with the loss of Reginald (Buckner) and we were trying to manufacture enough to stay in the game.”

On Kentucky…

“It was very difficult. Coming in, we wanted to mix and match. We knew our only chance was to try to confuse them and slow them down a little bit. I don't know how successful we were with that. DeMarcus Cousins is playing as well as any post player in college basketball. I don't think there is any doubt about that. He has the whole package. He has the size, the strength, speed, a great touch and a good feel. He's a handful. So, we start doubling and they come in and knock in shots. If I had to vote, Darnell Dodson would have been the player of the game. A guy that you spend thirty minutes on your scouting report— and his name doesn't even come up until the second paragraph— and he goes 4-for-5 from three and scores 14 points in 16 minutes, and made some big ones. We cut that thing to three and next thing you know, he raises up and knocks in a big shot. That's what makes him very dangerous.

They have a very good team. I know Cal is going to continue to push them. At times they get too fast for themselves with the ball. They throw it around. In fact, they threw it to us a couple of times tonight. But when you talk about John Wall, he is a special player. DeMarcus Cousins is playing lights out. I love Eric Bledsoe. What a tremendous competitor. I have known him for quite some time and I'm proud to see what he has been able to accomplish. I mention three guys and I don't even mention the preseason Player of the Year in the league, Patrick Patterson. He is tremendous. He is going to be a great player for many years. They get significant contributions from Dodson and they have Darius Miller who was the player of the year in Kentucky a few years ago—a top-50 player. Those guys are role players and they seem to have accepted that. When they get an opportunity, they take advantage of it. They also have DeAndre Liggins and Daniel Orton off the bench. They have all the pieces in place.”

On Ole Miss and DeAngelo Riley…

“Necessity was the reason he played. We had foul trouble. It happened to us against Arkansas. Reginald Buckner obviously wasn't able to play with an ankle sprain. When he doesn't play, we get in foul trouble quickly. (DeAundre) Cranston picks up two (fouls) quick and the game was just too physical for him to be in there and have the opportunity to match up. We had to go to DeAngelo (Riley). He hadn't played in a long time but I thought he competed. He threw his body around and he helped us in spurts.

“Coming in, we needed Terrico White to play like the all-league player he is. He did, especially when we made that run in the second half. We were trying to get him the ball and in put him in position where he could score. Chris (Warren) made some shots at the end to keep it respectable. We need to Chris to be an all-league player and he has shown he's capable. The size bothered him at times and him getting into foul trouble early took us out of rhythm.”

Ole Miss Players

#24, Terrico White, G

On playing a team with a lot of weapons and tonight's performance…

“The first half we came out scared and nervous, then they got up on us and made a big run. We bounced back a little bit and got the lead down to five, then they made another run and we couldn't capitalize.”

On this loss and it being a game that you can gain confidence from…

“Well, they are definitely a top-five team. They are ranked No. 3. We came out and tried to play our game. They just played better. Now we just have to get focused on the game against Alabama Saturday. We need to practice hard and work hard and just try to come out with a win Saturday.”

On playing in Rupp Arena for the first time in front of over 24,000 fans…

“Playing in front of 24,000 is a great experience. We played in front of 20,000 at Tennessee. It is a real big arena to play in and it was a lot of fun.”

#14, Eniel Polynice, G

On fighting back but never being able to take the lead…

“I thought we were going to come back and make a run but we didn't have enough fire power to make the run. They are a good team and they just out-worked us tonight.”

On playing in front of the Rupp Arena crowd…

“It was really good. They kept cheering for their team and they used the crowd noise to get in the flow of the game. It helped them out with a lot of energy. I think it was a tough environment to come play in.”

On Patterson and Cousin's play…

“Both of them take up a lot of space. I think they affected the game on both ends of the court, both offense and defense. We just have to get back to practice and get back to work and hopefully we can take a lesson from this game and learn from it.”


 

 

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