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Pre-game Quotes: Auburn

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Jan. 21, 2003

Auburn Game Notes

UK Head Coach Tubby Smith

On what Auburn is doing better this year than last...
"They're bigger and stronger. Their guys have gotten some more maturity after a year of play. (Marquis) Daniels has been moved to his natural position of shooting guard and he's playing extremely well. Cliff Ellis has always done a great job with his teams. He got his team some confidence with some quality wins early and that always helps. There isn't one particular thing they're doing differently, they're doing a lot of things better than they did last year, especially defending extremely well. They have a lot of weapons, they shoot the outside shot well with range and they have excellent post players. They look like they're having a lot of fun playing together."

On how to attack a shot blocker like Kyle Davis...
"We had some success last year going at him and getting him in foul trouble, so we'll probably do that again. If you try to go away from a shot blocker you have to change your offense and our offense is to attack the basket and get the ball to our post players and try to score inside."

On Marquis Daniels...
"He's their leading scorer and everything goes through him. He distributes the ball well and he's a good passer. He has a good assist-to-turnover ratio, he gets to the offensive glass, and he's got the whole game. He's a really difficult matchup, as is everyone at this level of college basketball."

On if he's surprised to be playing Auburn for first-place in the SEC at this point in the season...
"Anybody in this league can get hot and play well. They've been playing well for a long time. Cliff Ellis' teams don't beat themselves very often and they're always going to be in the game. They've got some veteran players. They'll be the best and most athletic team that we've faced to this point. They're a team that has beaten teams on the road and they're doing everything better. They're leading in so many categories in the SEC. They've really bought into shutting people down. They're athletic enough that they can guard one-on-one."

On if he senses his team is having more fun playing together...
"They're certainly playing well and playing the right way. When you do that you know you played your best whether you win or lose. They like each other and they like playing together and that's indicative of the way they're giving the ball up and playing good team defense."

On if he hopes the difficult schedule will pay off at this point in the season...
"I think it will be beneficial to us, but I think Auburn's will be beneficial to them. Every coach hopes and believes that his team will learn from every game they play. I think our guys have learned something from each game."


UK Player Quotes

Sophomore forward Chuck Hayes

On Auburn senior forward Marquis Daniels...
"He can do it all. He's a good player who can play four positions. A guy like that you always have to be aware of where he's at on the court."

On Auburn junior center Kyle Davis shot blocking ability...
"He's athletic and has great anticipation. He can get up there quickly off the ground and you just hope he gets a goal tending every now and then. We have to go at him and get him in foul trouble. He can't do too much when he's on the bench."

On Auburn's defense...
"They've come into their own. They did well in the pre-conference schedule and they've started off really well in the SEC. They've made defense the theme of their team so we'll have to go after them as well and hope we can contain them."

On Auburn being the most athletic team Kentucky has faced...
"Definitely. They put a lot of pride in their defense and playing man-to-man. You want to always respect your opponent but we know what we can do. If we execute and play the pressure defense we know how to play, we'll be fine."

On being back in the Top 10...
"It was great. It's been a while, but we've earned it and we're going to go out and try to move up even higher."

Senior center Marquis Estill

On playing against Auburn's Kyle Davis...
"I'll just try to take it up strong, take it to him and try to get him in some foul trouble. I'll try to put him under the basket. I think I did some good things last year and hopefully I can do the same this year. Good shot blockers have great timing, they like to back off a little bit and wait for you to shoot your shot so they can block it. You just have to play aggressively and just be strong with the ball. I'm going to have to put my shot up a little higher, get it up in the air so he'll have a little trouble getting to it. During the Indiana game, I was shooting low and they were able to block my shots, so I'll have to get it up on the glass a little bit higher."

On his adjustment to defenders...
"I have gone to my left hand a little bit more. Guy are trying to play me going to the middle, shooting the right-hand jump hook, so I try to use my left a little bit more now. I've always used my left hand. I usually go to my right more, but I can use both hands. I feel comfortable going to my left."

Senior guard Keith Bogans

On Auburn being undefeated in the SEC West...
"It's not surprising. This is the SEC and each year it's can be a different team that surprises people. A lot of people didn't expect them to do this well but they're playing great right now."

On defending forward Marquis Daniels...
"He's a great player. We have to take him out of his game, that'll be key for us. If we can contain him it will benefit us a lot."

On why Kentucky has been so good offensively...
"The key has been our inside play. Teams are having to trap down on Marquis (Estill) and Jules (Camara). Chuck (Hayes) and Erik (Daniels) are playing tough and it's giving us good looks on the outside."

"As long as we have a good post presence, if teams don't try to trap, they're going to get beat. If they do trap, that just opens up shots on the perimeter."

 

 

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