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Kentucky-Sam Houston State Postgame Quotes




Nov. 19, 2009

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Kentucky Head Coach John Calipari

On Kentucky's three-point defense ...

"I just called the rules committee and asked them to move the line back. This may be, at this point, the worst defensive team that I have had since 1988. At the end of the day, if we are going to be what everyone thinks that we can be, we have to be one of the best defensive teams in the country. Now think about what I just said? This may be one of the worst defensive teams since 1988, and I will tell you why. They have no urgency defensively, none. I hate to tell you, what I worked on this week. You could see what we were trying to do, better pace and better flow. So yeah, we look good offensively and it is what I told you. There is not enough time in the day for me to teach all the habits that these guys need. I am going to try like heck. I was so mad a couple of times folks that my head almost popped off. We were saying things in timeouts and guys were going right out and leaving men and leaving corners, getting hung up on screens and not communicating. We had one guy that I thought did a really good job out there and that was Ramon Harris. I thought that he talked, defended and rebounded well. We got some guys that can't even come up with the ball. This may be the worst rebounding guard job that I have too. Now let me say this, I still like my team. I'm just telling you the way it is. We had 12 turnovers between our two point guards and most of them were just sloppy. We are up 17 and we decide to throw an underhand lob pass off the shot clock. We are up 15 and one of my big guys decided to go up for a rebound with one hand instead of grabbing it with two and dunk it and they steal it and go hit a three and we are up 12. We are just not playing winning basketball right now. It will catch us, and it might catch us Saturday. They got beat at Virginia and they didn't shoot the ball. Do you think that they will shoot the ball well here Saturday? Is there any indication that we are going to go guard three-point shooters? They are a better three-point shooting team then this team we played tonight. If you look historically, I think that our teams were holding people to 29-30 percent. We are holding them down to about 60 percent right now. I am watching tape and trying to make guys dribble and match down on defense.

"Let me tell you what they did. They leaked out a guy. Do you understand what leaked out a guy means? As soon as we shot, a kid ran (down the floor). So we got a guy back from with him but it is not his man and we don't talk. So instead of saying, `I got yours now you got mine.' No one speaks, so now no one knows who is who. We step up and take the guy dribbling and leave the best three-point shooter maybe in America tonight with no one on him. That is what happened. You have to communicate and talk on defense. We had one player do it, Ramon.

"I played guys too many minutes and now we have to go into a game exhausted on Saturday afternoon, 36 hours later. You understand that my thought was: Let's get you 20-25 points and do what? Sub everybody, which is what I wanted to do. But you know what, when you throw a ball inbounds away up 15 and rebound a ball and don't need another basket to win but throw it two hands over your head to them and have it on the sideline and we are just trying to waste clock but you put it over your head and throw it to their guard, (it is not good.) We did stuff that I haven't seen in a long time tonight, folks. But you know what? That is what freshman do. But there were some exciting stuff offensively as well. How about DeMarcus Cousins? My goodness, you understand that you asked: `Why did you take him out? ` It is because I said, `If anybody is not ready to play at the start of this half, I am taking you out.' I told him what play to run and he didn't listen and didn't know the play. So I took him out. I said, `Listen, I got to hold you accountable kid. You just got 18 in the first half and are going to come out and do that out of the gate? My job is to hold you accountable kid.' You know what, he knew that if he didn't go out and perform that I was taking him out and he preformed. I thought that Eric Bledsoe and John Wall did some good things. We are just a bad defensive team. Folks, we cannot be a bad defensive team."

On not having any points from his bench players ...

"Well, we didn't play those guys a whole lot. I really wanted too but the other side is that I wanted to win the game. You saw that we never got it in control or were able to separate. Again, I thought that Daniel Orton played well and Ramon played well. For the first time out, Jon Hood made some freshman errors. But you have to just keep throwing him in there. I told him, `You can't played scared, just play.' The biggest thing (for the players) is this: What do I have to do to help the team win? How do I have to play, because it is not how I want to play. It is a lot of points for five guys, wouldn't you say? Or you can look at it the other way and say the bench scored nothing. I like to say, `Boy it is a lot of points for five guys.' And they shared it well, we had 21 assists. The problem is that we had 23 turnovers."

On how frustrating it is to not be able to stop them from the three when they couldn't score any other way and stopping the three would have shut them down ...

"How many baskets outside of three-pointers did they have at halftime? Two, so what do you think that I told them at halftime? I said, `Make everybody drive.' Make them shoot layups. Then you say to me, `Why did they let them shoot threes?' I don't know. Ask them. I was saying it the whole game. But I will keep coming back to this, they are young freshmen. They don't understand how to grind a game out and play winning basketball yet. They don't know how to defend at this level. Darius doesn't know how to stay in a stance and complete a play. He stopped playing and then fouled a three-point shooter. We had those kinds of plays and that is who we are right now. I am not embarrassed about it. The starting point to what I have to do is love my team because we have a chance of being good. But we have a chance of being bad if we don't start changing. If they don't take a pride in their defense and say that, `We are going to come together and start talking. Everyone of us.' And the leadership doesn't grab this team and say, `We are going to be a great defense team and when we do defensive drills let's listen. Whatever we are doing let's do this together and we will all get better.' If they do that then we will be fine. If we don't do better defensively folks (we are in trouble.) I don't know, do you think that we can score 100 against everybody because we are going to have to. They are going to score 100 against us."

Kentucky Player Quotes

#11, John Wall, G

On the team's defense ...

"They did a great job setting screens. We were trying to chase them but we didn't do as coach said and get through the screens. We're just worried about ourselves; we have to help each other out. Coach is very upset about our defense tonight. We're not talking like we're suppose to and as a leader I wasn't talking like I was supposed to. Ramon was probably the only one talking on defense tonight and until you get everybody on defense talking your going to struggle."

On the play of DeMarcus Cousins ...

"He played good. If he isn't in foul trouble or upset he is hard to stop. He had a big double-double and that's something we need from him every night."

On making defensive adjustments ...

"We just have to keep working on it in practice. We have to talk. The next couple teams we play can shoot three's. Rider can shoot three's better than them so we have to work on it. I'm not really concerned but we're nowhere where need to be as an offensive team or a defensive team. They main thing we need to work on right now is our defense. We still have a lot of work to do."

On the play of Corey Allmond ...

"He just came out and played his game. They ran great plays for him and set perfect screens for him and we wanted to get out and put our hands up on him. We knew he was making shots and coach said in transition if we didn't get back they were going to find him, and they did."

#24, Eric Bledsoe, G

On what impacted his shooting performance ...

"Shoot around. Coach told us that we have to learn how to prepare for a game and I just went into shoot around focused. My three-point shooting is something I worked on over the summer and during shoot around. It has improved a lot."

On practice the next few days ...

"We have to come into practice focused and then come out and play. We weren't used to playing defense and we have to pick up in our next game. This game gives us something to think about. We have a tough season and we have to come into practice and focus more on defense. Practice is going to be hard and intense these next couple days."

On the team's defense ...

"Communication is a big problem. Ramon did it and we have to start feeding off of him. Teams are going to come in a lot this season trying to go at John and that's when everybody else has to step up and start making plays. You can't just let teams come in and break records like they did tonight. It definitely gets everybody's attention."

#15, DeMarcus Cousins, PF 

On how much responsibility the big guys have to defend the perimeter ...

"There are a lot of the screens and players coming up extremely hard. We are the quarterback of the defense, and we need to talk a lot more. We have to communicate better being the big guys on the team."

On coming out strong ...

"I think I was focused coming into the game. I tried to be the first person on the floor to start shooting around. I came out with a different mindset. In high school I would come out running and walking up and down the court and when I felt like playing I did, but that was early. Coach Calipari changed my mentality and I started to play a lot better. I just turned it up a notch"

On the biggest improvement needed on defense....

"Talking and communicating with each other. We have a lot of work to do. I have never seen a team make that many threes, but it just showed we have a lot of work to do."

#1, Darius Miller, G

On the performance on the defensive end ...

"We definitely didn't play like we wanted to. We thought we would have had a better defensive game than that. Coach has been stressing playing a lot better defensively, but we came out struggling on the defensive end."

On coach saying you score so easily that you don't think you need to play defense ...

"I don't think we think that. I think we have just a lot of mental breakdowns. We stopped playing and started to watch the ball, and that allowed guys to get open and have an easy look.

On seeing a different side of Coach Cal...

"He was yelling at us about it, because he knows we're a better defensive team than we showed. We really didn't do a good job defensively. I think in practice he's going to stress playing better on the defensive end, even though he has been for awhile. I think he is going to take it up a notch. ."

On looking more comfortable in the offense...

"We definitely got each other a lot of looks today. I think we did a better job running the offense and getting into our positions. We definitely played better offensively, but we still have a lot of work to do both offensively and defensively. We just hope we can get better each and every game.

Sam Houston State Head Coach Bob Marlin

Opening statement ...

"We got off to a poor start and we fell behind, but we were able to close the gap a little bit because of our shooting in the first half. Kentucky had too many runs. They scored on six possessions in a row. At the end of the half, they scored at the end with a three. In the second half, we let them go out and score on eight of the first nine possessions. (DeMarcus) Cousins was a monster inside and he played well. He and (Patrick) Patterson played well. We couldn't even rebound a missed free throw, and that was the problem. Kentucky has a nice team and they played well. If we played them again tomorrow, we'd go with the same game plan. We didn't have problems with our press early and we were able to get open looks. A couple of guys couldn't get open looks and we were disappointed in that."

On playing on the perimeter...

"(DeMarcus) Cousins played super and (Patrick) Patterson is a great player, obviously. Those two guys made us want to shoot from the perimeter. In a lot of our offense, we go inside out, but tonight we played a lot of stuff on the perimeter. Once (Corey) Allmond got hot, we started going to him."

On Corey Allmond's 37 points and 11 three pointers ...

"He was good and he's done that before. Last year, he was a junior college player, and in the first game he set a school record and made eight (three pointers). For us, he made a season record of 99 (three pointers). We had a goal of 50 percent, and he had 99 at 44 percent."

On Sam Houston's ability to stay in the game...

"I don't know if they relaxed, but maybe they got a little bit tired. Obviously, their depth isn't what coach would like it to be. I felt like they got tired. We hit a couple of shots, and the three is a great equalizer. They were up 18 at one point, and the next time I look up it was 12 and we were right where we needed to be."

Sam Houston State Players

#10, Corey Allmond, G

On what it feels like to play in Rupp Arena for the first time ...

"It's a great feeling I've never felt anything like it. They have a lot of good players straight out of high school and a great coach. Rod Strickland played in Washington D.C for the Wizards and I'm from there and it was just amazing."

On how does it feel to break Tony Delk's three-point record in Rupp Arena...

"He was on the bench. I knew the way they play I knew I was going to get a lot of open looks because of the fast pace they play. I shot a lot in transition and practiced those shots last night. I knew the way they were going to get up and down I was going to get a lot of good looks."

On where they go from here and what was learned in the game ...

"Just do what we did. Take a shot and if you miss it take another one. We play a good team in Cleveland State next, we just have to get ready and prepare for them."

#14, Gilberto Clavell, F

On playing in Rupp Arena ...

"It was a wonderful first-time experience for me. I am from Puerto Rico and we do not have gyms like this. I loved it. I loved the arena, the crowd and the enthusiasm. It was such a good feeling."

On playing against the University of Kentucky ...

"That was also a great experience. They are a great team; we are glad we got to play them. They are big and that makes them so good. I am proud of the way my team played against such a good team tonight."

On taking this game and improving for the rest of the season ...

"Personally, I have to work on blocking out more. I need to be more aggressive under the basket. I try to come out and play hard every game. We just need to work on finishing shots and we will be better. My team played a good game and we want to do that the rest of the season."


 

 

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