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Kentucky vs. Utah Postgame Quotes




Nov. 19, 1999

UK Coach Tubby Smith Quotes

"Tonight's game had March-like intensity. Our players showed a lot of poise and character against a good, well-coached team. Utah's three-pointer just before the half was big and seemed to give them some momentum at the half. But we made some plays down the stretch. I thought Jamaal (Magloire) controlled the middle and I can't say enough about the maturity Marvin Stone is displaying as a freshman. We just played great team basketball. Everyone stepped up tonight."

On the tough, early season match-up
"Experience is the best teacher. We learned a lot from an experienced Utah team tonight. They screen well and make good cuts. We'll grow up a lot >from this game."

On UK's halftime adjustments on defense
"We tried to make them switch to other options. Alex Jensen was doing a good job of driving to the basket and we wanted to make him play more laterally and not just moving toward the basket. We pressed more and were able to force 18 turnovers, even if we didn't always capitalize on all of them. We just didn't want to give up any easy baskets. We still need to be more aggressive on defense. We switched more in the second half which helped us limit their looks."

On UK's poise "I thought Jamaal and Saul's leadership was key. We were able to be patient on defense and contest shots without fouling."

On UK's execution near the end "I've never believed in a go-to guy. At this level, it's a team game. You have to have guys that can make plays and tonight we really showed that."

On Utah defensive effort "They're a very physical team. You can't make clean cuts off screens and that really disrupts your rhythm. They trapped well and limited our pick-and-roll opportunities."

UK Player Quotes

#24 Marvin Stone
On the pressure of this game
"I knew I just had to play hard and keep my mind in the game. It was a normal game."

"Utah is a tough, physical team. I think we came out strong, though."

"Coach Smith warned us about Utah's defense. We worked on it in practice and got ready for it."

"I am looking forward to traveling. It will be my first time in New York. I am excited about the semifinals. It's really a dream come true."

"It was tough game, but I think we came together as a team. We have to get used to this kind of game."

#42 Jamaal Magloire
"I was impressed with the defense and the team as a whole. I was shocked the way we picked it up in order to get the win."

On the New York trip
"It is going to be hard work on the whole team. We need to get ready for New York even though right now we're not sure whom we play."

"Coach never told me to stop (the outside) shooting. I think I just need to have better shot selection. I work hard on shooting along with everyone else."

"It was a tough game. I compliment Utah. They did a great job boxing out and rebounding. We'll work on that in practice tomorrow. It just shows that we need work."

#21 Tayshaun Prince
On his shot selection

"I didn't take a lot of jump shots tonight. They really played good perimeter defense, but I think I showed that I can take it to the hole though, too."

"They had a strong backcourt. Our key was not to let them have wide-open shots and to make them drive. We knew they could shoot."

On the play of Saul Smith
"Saul really takes it upon himself to run this team. He is a leader. He keeps us in the game and keeps our heads up. Saul plays hard all the time, on the offensive and defensive ends."

"This was a good test for us. It was tough to play them in the second game of the season. Our defensive composure was great though."

#40 Jules Camara
"They did a great job of setting screens tonight. We really fought through them and played good defense."

#11 Saul Smith
On Utah's play

"They are a great team and are very well coached. They are fundamentally sound and will be a tough team this year. Playing Utah tells us where we are. There is definitely room for improvement."

"We knocked down free throws and made big defensive stops down the stretch. I think it shows the character of this team."

On his own play
"I'm really working on the turnover situation. I let down the whole team when I turn the ball over. Tonight, I corrected those mistakes. Coach (Smith) made me watch film and go over every turnover from the Penn game. It was rough, but it really helped me."

Utah Coach Rick Majerus

"Kentucky is a heck of a team. They played really hard and deserved to win the game. I thought we competed well but, we were beaten by a good team. We had some good looks but we were a little unnerved by Kentucky's pressure and athleticism."

On Utah's turnovers:
"We had some turnovers where we tried to make some plays, and those were inexperienced turnovers. We met the enemy and the enemy was us on five of the turnovers. We had spacing difficulties, alignment difficulties, and we had Kentucky difficulties."

On losing to Kentucky for the fifth straight time:
"I don't keep track of losses. A loss is a loss. We could lose to Transylvania and I'd feel terrible. I don't ever feel good losing."

"I thought our defense, for the most part, was excellent. We win with defense. Championships are won with defense. Our offense is way behind right now for a myriad of reasons early in the season. The smartest thing Kentucky did in 1998 was call off their press because it was a non-entity."

On the 1999-00 Wildcats:
"If they can consistently hit the outside shot, they'll be tough, especially if Magloire and Camara can hit the outside shot. The whole world wanted Prince. He's really talented and athletic. Desmond Allison, I think, is a tremendous talent and an unbelievable athlete. Kentucky is athletic and deep. They're tall and long."

Utah Players

#32 Jeremy Killion
On the difference of his three-point shot in the first and second halves "I don't think anything happened. I think my shots came to me in the first half and they just weren't falling in the second half. I don't believe I had as many open looks in the second half as I did in the first half. I was not going to take bad shots."

Did you find the game to be more physical than you anticipated?
"No, I expected Kentucky to be physical. They are a tough team and they have strong guys. We had to be strong with them and we didn't do that at times."

#50 Alex Jensen
On going to the basket more in the second half

"In the first half we were tentative. There were times when (Jamaal) Magloire or (Jules) Camara were on me and I settled for the jump shot. In the second half, we tried to take it strong, but obviously it wasn't enough. We just weren't aggressive in the first half. In the second half, we got more free throws from the increased aggressiveness."

On not getting shots off a few times at the end of the game
"Obviously it was a lack of execution. The seniors were not taking the lead. In those situations, you have to get the shot off, and we just didn't."

 

 

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