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Kentucky-Indiana Postgame Quotes




Dec. 11, 2010

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Kentucky Head Coach John Calipari

FastScripts by ASAP Sports

COACH CALIPARI: Well, let me -- you know I knew it would be a hard game and I knew Tom (Crean) would have his team ready and I knew he would exploit every weakness we have, which is what he does. He's a great coach. And then we had that one stretch that we got it to 13-15 (point lead), it was then 10, 9, 11 and we got it to one stretch and that's basically all it was.

We won the game on a four-minute stretch. They exploited our weaknesses, they made plays and as I look at it I sat there and I was just shaking my head. But what I told the guys after, any time you win, you're happy. Just, we are happy. Got a week off. Giving the guys three days off. They have got the rest of today off. They have got tomorrow off. And they have got Monday off.

So, they are going to have some time off. I'm going to be taking off. And so all of you out there, I will not be at the radio show Monday night. I'll have my phone and I'll have my staff there. Hopefully no one is upset with me but I have some recruiting to do.

Q. When you talk about that one stretch, how much did DeAndre (Liggins) have to do with getting that going defensively?

COACH CALIPARI: He was good. But again, in the first half, we had it to eight, and here is what we are. We are a young, inexperienced team. Even our veterans are inexperienced. And so we come off, we are running a play and he kind of jogs off and they steal it and dunk it.

You know, plays like that, we were up eight with the ball ready to go to 10, 12, 14, go in at the half, we have got a good lead and all of a sudden it's a one-point game at the half. We get in foul trouble. We have to have some guys perform. You've got to perform.

You can't go into the game and just miss and throw balls up, and then at least defend and rebound and make an easy shot or pass it to a teammate who can make a shot. We had a lot of that today.

You know, I was happy with Josh (Harrellson). I mean, Josh -- like I told Josh, there's not that many dominating big guys out there. Josh can be whatever he wants to be. He can paint his own canvas. He can paint his own masterpiece. He can do whatever he wants. He's in better shape. We play an offense that's perfect for him.

Now, make free throws and make one footers. You know the two he missed where he missed one and he got one blocked? Well, I said to him, "You dunk every ball, I don't care if you miss the dunk." So then he dunks to it and all of the sudden the whole thing is every different and he makes every basket from there on.

You know, it's the same with Darius (Miller). We have to figure Darius out. You know the last play? Jogged after the ball like the other team is not playing. Again an 8-point game, we grab that ball the game is finished. Jogged after it, one-handed it and then fouls, oh, my gosh. It's all that mentality, that Terrence Jones is starting to have, he's in the huddle like this.

I said, "Are you okay? You ready to go? Are you ready?"

"Yeah." He walks out and fouls 12 seconds later.

That's what happens with inexperienced guys; that's what we are fighting the whole game.

Q. Now, did you think those things were better in the second half than in the first half --

COACH CALIPARI: Not at the beginning of the first half, no.

Q. Second half?

COACH CALIPARI: Not the beginning of the second half, no. There was a five-minute stretch where we stepped on it and we played. And again, let me say this. We were picking up, trying to press, make them turnover to do stuff, but again, you are playing with short numbers, so it's hard to do that.

The second thing is Tommy (Crean) dictated the pace of the game. He did a heck of a job. They did a lot of screening with the five man and they attacked all five. And when he figured out that our five could not guard their driving guards, he stayed with it and they did it a hundred times and that's why he's the coach that he is.

Q. They have one field goal, the last 9:42, was that anything? What were you doing defensively so well that was getting them out what have they do.

COACH CALIPARI: We stepped it up a little bit, yet, they had shots that they missed. It will always be a combination of that. You step it up a little bit, play a little harder, the game gets a little tense, we make some baskets and start separating. They have to make those baskets. Makes the rim a little bit smaller.

Part of what you want to do offensively, when you go down and really execute and score a couple and create a gap, it puts more pressure on their offense. So now, you can defend, put more pressure on them, they are putting pressure on themselves, and then you go on a run -- another run, three or four baskets.

But what we do, like Terrence (Jones) took that top of the key three. What are you doing? We don't get it yet. But I liked, again -- I thought that Brandon (Knight) made strides today. Still not the kind of game I want him to play but he made strides. He broke down a couple of things offensively again.

Let me explain to you. When a two guard or a three man or four man breaks down an offense, like they break it off and go do their thing, it's kind of like the running back, instead of taking this hole, he bumps outside and tries to go outside. Can you get that?

But if the quarterback decides that he's not going to hand it off where he's supposed to and he runs the other way and he gets knocked out and fumbled, you go, why would you do that? Do you understand, a quarterback, you cannot break down what we are trying to do. You can't. You are going to score on the way we play, anyway.

But when we are running something, you have got to run it, because it breaks us all down if you don't. And he's learning. He made every free throw. Made that open three that busted open the game. You know, we did some good things.

Q. One other thing about Josh. He didn't pick up a foul until deep into the game, which is a departure from the past. Did you see something there that gives you hope going forward?

COACH CALIPARI: No. Josh had three opportunities for charges that he didn't take. One guy drove baseline and threw to the corner for a three, and he was standing there. We are doing drills right now where he's taking five charges in one set: Charge top, charge baseline, charge baseline, come up, charge, charge down the middle. Still won't take a charge.

Again, you have got to give your body up. But if he will rebound and do what he's doing, we can't ask much more of him. All we are saying now is give us five percent better, where can you improve, how can you draw a foul because you're such a good shooter. Where can we put you to get a couple baskets. He's doing everything.

We have to get Eloy (Vargas) playing better. Eloy is going to have a factor in what we do this year.

Q. On this team winning three of their last four since losing to UCONN …

COACH CALIPARI: Since Boston, we are 3-1. That's the best thing. I thought we were going to be 2-2. That's what I thought. It's 3-1. That's one better.

The other thing I'll tell you, we shot 36 percent today and won by 10, 12, whatever we won by. Shot 36 percent and won. That's a good sign. That means we can play poorly offensively and still win.

But we have got a long way to go, folks. Let's not kid ourselves. We have got a long way to go. We have got a week off. We are going to have two days off for those guys. We'll come back and we have got to get better. We have got to get to our camp time. We have got to get to them coming back and us having two-a-days. We have got to work on zone defense. We are going to have to throw zone in. We are going to get in foul trouble.

I can't leave guys in the game like I did today. I just said I'm going to do it and we'll have to figure it out. You have to go zone when you get in foul trouble. We have to do some things. We don't have the time -- we have a little bit of time this week but there's going to be finals so they are not going to be concentrating the way you want.

Q. Can you talk about DeAndre Liggins within the five-minute stretch, did he show flashes of last year defensively?

COACH CALIPARI: Yeah, he rebounded the ball. You have to understand, the last game, he had one rebound. You remember the ball in the corner where he fell on the floor and couldn't bring it in? Last year, we know he got every one of those balls and that's one of the reasons I didn't start him in the second half.

So now, he goes and gets all those balls. He's the one guy I've not talked to him about free throw shooting because he was shooting a high percentage but he's winding up like the other guys, the ball starts at the knee and he shoots it. You can't shoot a free throw, you have to raise up the ball and shoot it.

And I told him, I wasn't saying anything to you. I've got Brandon to do it. We have Terrence to do it and now we'll get him to do it. He's just stopping. You're not shooting it your way. You're not going 8-for-16 in a good game; we'll lose. Can't have you on the floor.

So you know, but he was good. There's still -- he needs to jump stop in the lane more. I thought he got fouled on a jumpshot on the elbow in front of our bench and just whacked his arm. He did some things in the three-point play, we posted him against the little kid, we just said, throw it to him in the post, things that we are doing, adjustments that we made because of their personnel. But it was a good win. Let me just tell you, we beat Indiana. It's Indiana. You win the game, you're marching on and figuring out who we play next.

Kentucky Players

#1, Darius Miller, G

On the Indiana-Kentucky rivalry ...
“Oh, its defiantly a big rivalry. The rivalry that is within the game is so big. This is a big game for our program, so we really take it seriously. The intensity is always high when we play them.”

On Indiana continuing to improve ...
“Yeah, I think they have gotten better every year we have played them. They really played us tough last year, and they played us tough today. You can obviously tell they are going to get back to where they were. They did a great job of playing us today, so they just keep getting better and better.”

On the best thing that has come out of this stretch of games ...
“The experience is key. We have played some really good teams, and all of the teams will probably be in the NCAA Tournament. That, and the great atmospheres that we have played in. So, overall, it’s been a good learning experience.”

#55,  Josh Harrellson  F

On the feeling of getting a double-double ...
“I mean it feels great. When you help your team out, Terrence (Jones) and Brandon (Knight) were in foul trouble.You just go out there and play your game and help your team get better anyway you can.”

On the toughness of this game ...
“Last year we went to Indiana and they gave us all they had until the last five minutes and then we finally took a lead. The same thing here, we knew they had a better team coming in and they were going to give us all they had the whole time. We finally just broke away, it was a tough game the whole time.”

On your confidence changing ...
“At the beginning of the year I would not try to put it back up I would try to kick it out. Now when I get the ball I look to score now and try to be more aggressive. I am always an option when I relocate. (My teammates) started to throw it and I was finishing it. If I start finishing it I am going to be more confident and they will be more confident throwing it to me.”

#34, DeAndre Liggins, G

On improving and getting back to last season’s level...
“I’m getting too comfortable. I think I was too timid when the game first started. I need to exaggerate everything and come out with fire and just defend. I need to score, but I need to know what I do and that’s try to defend, dive on loose balls, come up with balls and rebound.

“This is my first game that I actually played like I did last year, bringing it and diving on the floor. I felt like I played today like I did last year. Diving on the floor and defending is bringing that spark to my team. I think that’s how we got the lead. [Coach Calipari] told me I’m not coming up with loose balls like I did last year. It’s funny because I was thinking the same thing. I thought, ‘I’m not playing like I was last year.’ I’ve just got to get back to what I was doing last year and add to my list scoring ability, and I’ll be fine.”

On Indiana fouling Kentucky...
“They tried [to foul hard], but you have to fight through it, be humble and be tough. I had no problems with them fouling me hard. I’m used to it. I like to take on the challenge. If they foul me, I’ll go to the line and knock the free throws down, which I didn’t [do today].”

Indiana Head Coach Tom Crean

Opening statement…
“There’s a lot of things that go right for you when you play on the road, especially when you play a team like Kentucky, and for the most part, and for most of this game, we were doing that. We were answering the bell, we were answering the runs, but as this game got in its later stages, I’m not exactly sure what the time was they made it in the second half, I know we didn’t make a field goal in the last nine minutes but we were getting good looks. But if you’re not making a field goal you still have to have the confidence to shoot them or you have to go get to the foul line. Our opportunities to get to the foul line weren’t there as much late in the game either. If you’re going to win you’ve got to be able to make shots, and for most of this game we did, and then at the end we didn’t and they did. That was so much of the difference of the game. The statistical difference in the game, certainly that stands out to me, and I pointed out directly to our team, was the second-chance points. It wasn’t the points off turnovers that we had – 14 turnovers to their six, the five points off turnovers aren’t a huge, huge difference in the game – but certainly the second-chance points were. We prepared all week for how good (Josh) Harrellson was on the backboards, and as much really as we prepared for anybody else on their team. He had a great game. He’s fully capable and they’re an excellent team there’s absolutely no doubt about that. This is a win for them that will really help them down the road because it was a hard fought game and they continued to make plays and they trusted what John (Calipari) wanted and they did it. They were rewarded with the win. We’ve got to learn how to just keep doing what we do. We’ve got to be better rebounding the ball, we’ve got to be better guarding the dribble drive, and I really wouldn’t change a lot, certainly would have liked to have seen us get to the foul line a little more at the end, especially when the foul differential is that much, but that’s part of the game.”

On what senior forward Josh Harrellson does for Kentucky…
“Well he’s a veteran, there’s no question about that. I think people forget that before John (Calipari) got there he was a pretty heralded recruit. I mean, he really was. A lot of schools really wanted to have him. He’s a big who’s very mobile and you saw the difference when he was out of the game and (Eloy) Vargas was in the game with what we did with screen-and-roll. He guards and covers for his teammates, he is a tremendous offensive rebounder. The one amazing statistic with him going into the game, he had 30 offensive rebounds and didn’t have a free-throw attempt which means that he probably needs the ball a little bit more, and I’m sure after today he’ll get it. But he’s a legitimate five who can step out and shoot the ball and does a lot for them. You see how (Calipari) has him out on the floor so much. (Calipari) knows. (Harrellson’s) a big, big part of their team.”

On if he got the sense his team became frustrated in the final nine minutes…
“I don’t know if frustration’s the word. You want it probably a little bit because they’re playing so hard. It was a battle. For very much of this game it was a great college game. When those shots are going throughout the game then all of a sudden they’re not. I think they got a little more frustrated with not having the chance to get to the foul line. We just kept trying to work through that and kept driving the ball and it’s just the way it worked out. But I thought they continued to play very, very hard. (UK) continued to make their shots so there’s always going to be a little bit of a deflation that goes in when that happens, but I thought our guys really hung in there pretty well.”

On the fight Indiana showed…
“Well they thought they were going to win. I guarantee, as much as we as coaches believed we could win and as much as we tried to get them to believe we could win, when you see what it looks like, I mean, that locker room before the game was a locker room that I want to get used to. That’s what I’m used to as a head coach, it’s what I was used to as an assistant coach when they’re driving the energy and the enthusiasm and you look at them and they really believe they’re going to win the game. That’s the biggest difference. When you have a team that believes and works really hard like they work you can withstand runs. You can withstand 6-0, 8-0 situations, you can answer the bell. We did things today that certainly we haven’t done in our time here, but they’re things we’ve got to do more of as we continue to get better.”

Indiana Players

#2, Christian Watford, F

On the game taking a lot out of him physically ...
“It was a very tough game. They threw a lot of different looks at me defensively with some double teams and other things, but I was very tired throughout the game and especially towards the end.”

On the defensive effort against Terrence Jones ...
“We executed it very well. We just wanted to take away his left hand, and make him give the ball up. I think we did a great job of that tonight.”

On how the loss will benefit them in the long run ...
“It will benefit us greatly. A loss can help you get better and point out what needs to be worked on or made better. But I’m ready to get back to Bloomington and get back to work.”

On the team’s confidence level coming into the game …
“It was very high. We felt like we could win, and if a couple things would have went our way I think we would have been right there at towards the end of the game.”

#5, Jermiah Rivers, G

On how things changed from the first half to the second half…
“This was a game of runs. They would make a run and then we would make a run. We would battle back and forth with runs the entire game. They made a few runs late in the second half that we were not able to sustain or challenge. They also got to the free throw line a lot and that hurt us in the end especially with them being in the bonus early.”

On what went wrong offensively…
“The clock was stopping a lot and that made it tough for us to get into a good rhythm. We weren’t getting our fast break points that we were getting early in the game.”

On how he seemed more aggressive in tonight’s game…
“It wasn’t really a focus for me to have the most points. I don’t think I have to score. Ultimately, I just want to do what is best for the team. At this point I know I can use my athleticism to help the team.”


 

 

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