Nov. 6, 2001
Final Stats |
Kentucky vs. Nike Elite
November 6, 2001
UK Head Coach Tubby Smith
On the game...
"It was a good showing, another chance to evaluate where we are. We did more good things than poor things. In the second half, we passed better after only having four assists in the first half. I was happy with Jules (Camara). He played well after taking the year off. Cliff (Hawkins) and J.P. (Blevins) were in the positive in assists-to-turnover ratio. Our defense was suspect to start the game. We did hold them to 40 percent, but we want to shoot for 37-38 percent."
On the play of Chuck Hayes...
"Hayes is just physically strong enough to get rebounds like that. With his athleticism, he is able to muscle his way in to get the rebounds. He just has a nose for the ball. He probably led us in deflections as well. He isn't afraid to dive for loose balls. He plays under control and doesn't try to do more than he is able to. He's a serious-minded kid. He has excellent leadership skills."
On J.P. Blevins...
"I want him to be more assertive defensively. Of course, we want him to push the ball on offense, but it is defensively where we really want him to be aggressive. He showed that some by trying to take charges tonight."
On the team's pressure...
"We did a good job forcing turnovers. We mostly played a man-to-man press but played a little zone. We had trapping opportunities but weren't able to force too much there. We like to trap in the corners and look for deflections and steals. I thought we did a much better job in the second half than the first."
On play of Chuck Hayes and Erik Daniels:
"Chuck's play didn't surprise me a bit. That's the way he's been playing in practice- him and Erik (Daniels). The thing about those two is that they are very aggressive when they get on the court. If we can get bench production like that every day it will help our team tremendously."
On their first exhibition game:
"It started a little slowly, maybe because it was our first game in Rupp Arena in a while. We started slow but we got through it and good things started working for us. Once we started running and pushing the ball up the floor we started getting easy baskets and that's what broke it open for us."
On the upcoming season:
"We have a lot of fresh bodies that we can put in the game. That's what's good about this year's team is that we can go all out and know that the guys coming off the bench will be right there to pick us up."
On Chuck Hayes:
"Chuck is amazing on the boards, he reminds me of Charles Barkley. He gets after it, doesn't give up and gives a second and third effort. That is what makes him a great rebounder."
On his knee...
"It really scared me. I just hyper-extended my knee. I went back to the training room to get treatment and get it iced and then it felt better."
On his play tonight...
"I am a lot stronger and more confident in my game. I have put on a few pounds and that has helped me a lot."
"It felt good to be back. I was just trying to get myself into the flow of the game. I was trying to be focused and let the game come to me. I was able to get something going in the second half and it felt good."
"This was our first game and we came out a little sluggish in the first half. Our defense became more intense in the second half and we played better. We made them turn the ball over and we were able to get some steals."
On Chuck Hayes...
"Chuck is a good player. He is a great rebounded and hustles like no one else. He is going to help us a lot this season."
"Everyone was passing the ball well tonight, especially Erik (Daniels). Everyone was finding the open man and making open shots. It's like a chain reaction, one guy makes a good pass and another follows."
NIKE Elite Head Coach Bill Frieder
On UK vs. the rest of their competition thus far...
"The only team we have played so far that played us better was Wake Forest. Wake played consistent for 40 minutes where as UK had a couple short lapses every now and again. But talent-wise, Kentucky is the best team we have played. They are truly a team that can win the national championship."
On Tayshaun Prince...
"I have known Tayshaun since the early 90's as I recruited his brother to play at ASU when I was there. He is a great player and every bit deserving of all the pre-season accolades that he has been given because he can do it all. He can play inside and outside - he can play everywhere on the court."
On the UK team make-up...
"I think Tubby has some great talent here. He has great veterans, great depth, and of course some great young players."
#11 Kelly Newton (G)
On UK compared to other opponents...
" Kentucky is definitely the toughest team we have played. They showed that they are a top team in the country tonight. We have played against Florida State and Virginia Tech, but Wake Forest and Kentucky have been our best competition so far."
On Kentucky's team...
" They definitely have a lot of talent. No one really stood out in my mind during the game because they are all a bunch of talented guys. They have a tremendous team effort, they shoot well, they rebound well, they are just a good group of players together."
On Kentucky pulling away the second half...
" It definitely doesn't help whenever we turn the ball over. You can tell that they started sensing blood in the second half and got hungry for a victory. It is definitely hats off to them on tonight."
#24 Robb Dryden
On UK compared to other opponents...
" Kentucky was top caliber in our tour so far. We have seen action against Florida State, Wake Forest and Virginia Tech -- and nothing against those teams -- but Kentucky has provided our most competition by far."
On Dryden's experience playing Kentucky...
" I played against Kentucky 11 times in my career at Georgia. Before, when they had Jason Parker and Marquis Estill, they dominated the court. Without them tonight, you could tell they were really missed out there. You have to give credit to the two freshmen (Hayes and Carrier), they handled the ball really well. They have a bonus with Jules Camara back in the center this season. He can be a real banger and he likes to run the floor."