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Kentucky-Georgia Postgame Quotes




March 2, 2012

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Kentucky Head Coach John Calipari

Q. Fifteen 3-pointers, how difficult is it going to be to deal with you guys when you're doing that?

COACH CALIPARI: We'll beat you by a bunch when we shoot it like that, and that's what happened today. I told Mark after, I said, ‘We are a team that makes six 3’s a game. Not even six, we make five and a half, 3’s a game. We make 15; that's 30 points, and what did we beat them by, 30 points.

I mean, we shoot a high percentage of 3’s, so probably we should shoot more, but you know, I just like layups and dunks better than 3’s, and so we want to get to the rim. Well, I'll tell you who I thought, Michael [Kidd-Gilchrist] in the first half was ridiculous.

But I thought Doron Lamb was unbelievable in his floor game, how he defended pick-and-roll. Darius [Miller], you know, was just tremendous obviously. And I like the fact that other guys were willing to step back to let Darius and Eloy [Vargas] have their day. You know, Anthony Davis, he could have gone nuts. We've got a good team. Kyle Wiltjer was really good today.

Q. Can you talk about the pregame, your decision to have your wife and Orlando's wife go out with Eloy and what went into the thinking?

COACH CALIPARI: Ellen [Calipari] has done that a few different times if we've had players that families could not get there or whatever. Ellen has done it. And Orlando [Antigua] and Dana [Antigua] are really close to Eloy, so we just said, why don't we both do it. And so I just wanted him to have a couple people out there with him.

You know, his mother couldn't get here. She's in the Dominican Republic, so it was hard for her. Again, I felt bad for him, because I haven't played him a whole lot. Probably not being fair that I'm trying to work in Kyle and there's only so many minutes.

But what happened was, he got tired. I mean, he did. He missed shots that he wouldn't miss. He would have dunked them. I said, "I'm not even mad at you." Because guys, he has not played enough, and he tried -- it was funny, 11:20 the other night, he was in there conditioning, because he knew. It's hard to stay in great shape when you're not playing that much. But he did fine. He did fine. Great teammate.

Q. Have you ever had in all your years of coaching a team that made six consecutive 3’s on six consecutive possessions and it was seven of eight in that stretch in the second half?

COACH CALIPARI: I don't know, but I've had some pretty good basketball teams, so maybe. I've had some pretty good shooting teams, so it might have been there. But you know, what this team is doing, they are playing together.

Again, 16 assists, only eight turnovers. We are back to where we were a year ago at this time with a totally new team, freshmen and sophomores and Darius and we are not turning it over. And think of the turnovers we had, Terrence [Jones] threw one into the first row and Marquis [Teague] threw a lazy pass to the wing where they have to layup deep. That's two of them and that's in the last part of the game. Short of that, we had six turnovers. Are you kidding me? As fast as we are playing and as much as we are attacking, they are making easy plays.

Q. Michael has struggled a little bit from the perimeter but not tonight, he seemed to find that. Is there something you're working on?

COACH CALIPARI: He works every day. I told him at some point, if you miss a shot, you'd better quit looking over at me. Just play.

My question to him, again, this was yesterday: What do you do to help us win when you're not scoring? Well, you all know what Michael does. He doesn't have to score a basket.

But I'm asking them all, what do you do when you're not making baskets and you're not scoring to help us win? Because there's going to be games that you're not making shots, so you've got to make sure you're doing other things.

And tonight, I thought we defended well. They didn't shoot it particularly well. I think that coming off that good shooting performance they had against Florida, I was a little bit thinking they would come in here and do it again but they didn't make shots, which is why we had the margin we had.

Q. One regular-season game left. After tonight's performance, do you feel like this team is ready for postseason and this may be the best game they have played all season?

COACH CALIPARI: We have had South Carolina. We had a couple really good games this year. The biggest thing is, we had not had any duds, and normally, you go through a season, you're going to have two or three duds, and you hope they are against teams you can win, anyway.

So we go to Florida, it's going to be a really hard game. It will be a sold-out arena. They are going to be going crazy down there. You know, my thing is, look, let's just make it hard for them and see what happens.

Then we go down to New Orleans. And again, you know I'm not a big tournament guy, don't like tournaments before the NCAA Tournament, I don't like three games in a row. But, guess what, we'll be there with bells on and ready to go.

But you know, tomorrow we are going to do film and individual work and then we'll practice Saturday before we get on a plane and go to Florida.

Q. Was it satisfying for you to see Darius play so well in his last game here?

COACH CALIPARI: Well, I'm trying to get DeWayne [Peevy] to find out: Where does he rank in wins as a player here; where does he rank in home wins; does any other player here that played have, in the modern era, 50 straight home wins like he has? Think of what he's done, along with scoring, along with rebounding, how many NBA players has he played within his time here. Incredible stuff. Incredible career.

And he did it by sacrificing some of his game so the team could step forward, doing things that he needed to do, and he grew each year.

Now, you know, we do what we are supposed to and he continues to go and he's going to have the opportunities he wanted. He's going to be able to chase his own dreams. But he's a great teammate, and the guys here stepped back so he could have a big day, which is neat, too.

FastScripts by ASAP Sports

Kentucky Players

#33, Kyle Wiltjer, F

On shooting the ball well tonight…
“When we’re shooting the ball well it really spreads out the floor, especially for Anthony and Terrence for lobs. It’s hard to defend us when we are shooting the ball like that.”

On multiple guys making shots throughout the night…
“That makes us so hard to guard if they don’t really know who to stop. It just shows our depth, especially when Darius is coming off of the bench. It makes us hard to defend and hopefully we can keep it up.”

On everyone sharing the ball with one another…
“I think it’s because of how close we are. We all want to see each other succeed, so we just want to make the right play and make the unselfish one. That’s what we have been doing and that is why we have been successful.”

On Darius Miller’s last home game…
“It’s great for the seniors to go out like that, especially with how well Darius played. We are proud of him and he’s accomplished a lot these past four years.”

#30, Eloy Vargas, F

On his Senior Night experience…
“It feels great. I am going to miss Kentucky, Rupp Arena and the fans. It felt special coming out of the locker room and hearing all the fans chanting my name.”

On whether he was nervous starting…
“I really wasn’t. I was a little before, in the locker room, but I was fine.”

On what it has meant to be apart of this Kentucky team…
“It’s been really great to be apart of Kentucky. [Especially] not losing a game at home. [It would be] really special for everyone to come to Kentucky and not lose at home. To come from a different country and be apart of this family and feel the support the people give you [makes me] feel very grateful.”

On what it meant to him for Ellen Calipari and Dana Antigua to walk him out…
“Well, it was nice for them [to do that] because my mom could not make it in. I think she is going to make it in for the tournament. I appreciate what they did for me and my mom [since] she could not be here.”

#20, Doron Lamb, G

On whether this is as good as the team has felt all year shooting the ball…
“I think so. We were just on fire today. We made 15 three’s as a team. That’s unbelievable for a team to do that, though. It means we were all hot. Every player was on fire today. It’s started from the shoot around this afternoon.”

On whether he thinks the team has ever collectively shot so well…
“That was my first time playing on a team that did that, really. I was surprised that we all made 3’s. We were on fire at the same time so that was a great stretch for us.”

On how difficult of a team Kentucky is if they shoot well consistently…
“We’re unbeatable really. If we’re all shooting and making shots like that, really. Can’t say anything about that.”

On whether he’s happy for Darius having a successful Senior Night…
“Darius played great in his last home game, really. They things he did for the school and the points, how many home games he won in a row. He did a lot of great things for the school and I’m proud of him.”

#1, Darius Miller, G

On how it felt to play well tonight...
“It felt good. My teammates were finding me when I was open and I was so happy to be knocking down shots. It feels real good to go out on a win, keep the home winning streak alive, and just happy to be apart of it.”

On what he will remember during his time at Rupp Arena...
“A lot. I have experienced a lot in Rupp Arena, a lot of great moments. It is kind of hard to narrow it down to one.”

On the Senior Night ceremonies...
“It was real fun, a lot of fun. I'm glad I got to experience that with my family, I'm glad they got to be here. My grandma was at the game and it's the first game she's been to since I've been here. It was pretty special for me.”

On why this team is so unselfish...
“Because we get along with each other. I think we are all focused on the same thing which is winning a national championship. When you get along with everybody, spend time with everybody, and all have the same goal, I think it kind of happens that way.”

Georgia Head Coach Mark Fox

Opening statement…
“Kentucky obviously has a great team. Congrats to them. They shot the ball extremely well from the 3. They’ll be hard to beat when they shoot the ball like that, no matter who they’re playing.”

On how much of Kentucky’s success was due to poor defense from Georgia…
“You have to give their team credit. They made shots. I don’t think all of them were because our defense was bad. I think you have to give them credit. We obviously tried to protect the basket but they’re a hard team to guard because they can score all over the place. There’s something you have to give up and we gave them looks at the three and they took advantage of it.

On how Georgia used zone defense…
“We zoned them in game one and held them under 60 points and they were prepared for it this time. It felt like the zone the first game was really effective. It certainly wasn’t as effective this game. They were prepared for our zone and then shot the ball on us and made it even less effective.”

On what he thinks of Darius Miller…
“Darius Miller is a great player. I have great respect for him. I think he’s been the most valuable player against our team when we’ve played Kentucky. He made big shots last year in here. I think he’s terrific. I think he’s a real key to their team, I really do.”

On what Coach Fox thinks Kentucky has improved on since he last faced them…
“They shot it better tonight. Will they do that consistently? I don’t know. They’ve got a great team. I think it’s hard to judge tonight. I think our young guys were overwhelmed by the atmosphere a little bit to start the game. They’re just really good.”

On how he thought Donte’ Williams did tonight…
“Donte’ [Williams] competed really hard tonight. He’s a young guy who has had to play major minutes all year long and had to play the ‘5’, he’s really a ‘4’. He just keeps getting better and better. Tonight he had a productive night and I was proud of how he competed.”


 

 

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