Men's Basketball
Men's Basketball Press Conference Quotes

Jan. 28, 2000

Tubby Smith
Pre-Miami Game

"Playing against the Miami Hurricanes will be a real challenge for us. When you step outside the conference this time of year, it can be difficult. Sometimes it helps you get a feel for teams in other conferences that might make postseason play. Miami is a team that has been to postseason play the last couple of years, and they are talented enough to go this year. They are as athletic a team as we have played so far, so we'll have to be at the top of our game.

"We are similar in a lot of ways. They are a good rebounding and excellent defensive team. Leonard Hamilton has done a remarkable job there in a building a solid basketball program. They have two outstanding backcourt players in Vernon Jennings and Johnny Hemsley. Mario Bland gave us all we could handle last year."

On UK facing Miami coach and former UK assistant Leonard Hamilton:
"There are a lot of people that have a lot of respect for Leonard who will be coming to the game from Kentucky. Once you've been a part of the Wildcat program, the fans and media are still interested in what you are doing. Obviously, Leonard and his team coming to Rupp last year was bigger than us going there, but this is a big game on Miami's schedule and for Leonard Hamilton's team."

On Miami having success against ranked teams at home:
"We are more concerned about what is going to happen tomorrow, rather than what has happened in the past."

On J.P. Blevins sprained ankle:
"He's doing fine. It was just a slight turn. He played well in the Georgia game, so he is fully healthy."

On UK's scoring drought in the second half against Georgia:
"It was a concern but we had some open looks. Saul took a three from the top of the key and it went in and out. It is just a matter of making shots. Jamaal was playing so well, and he had not touched the ball a few times down the court, so we needed to go to our strength."

On UK's play in the last 11 games:
"We can always play better. Certainly, a lot of that was exposed in the Georgia game and the Vanderbilt game where we had leads and then they were able to get back in the ball game. We are a team that is not going to overwhelm people. We haven't been able to put together runs that would enable us to put people away. I like the way we are are rebounding. We are doing the things fundamentally we have to, in order to win. We are eliminating the mistakes we are making offensively and defensively. Jamaal is making shots inside, and he's being very patient."

On Jamaal Magloire's play this season:
"I think Jamaal has always been the most important defensive player since I've been here. Now that his offensive skills have been honed, he can score and has the confidence he can score. However, we use balance with four other players which makes a team more dangerous."

On Magloire's improved shooting percentage:
"I think things are starting to fall for him. His balance has been better. He is catching the ball with his knees bent and is not bringing the ball down where people can slap the ball out of his hands. Knowing that the ball is going to come to him and that he is going to be counted upon to score, gives him the mentality to be ready to shoot."

UK Players

#42 Jamaal Magloire
"We are excited about this game. We are taking it as a challenge. Hopefully, it will be a winning game. They are tough. They are a good team. Their record doesn't really show that. They have good potential and Coach Hamilton is good. I think we have our work cut out."

On his role?
"I know that I have to make the easy shots. I have to get lots of offensive rebounds and put them back. I need to be a physical presence on the court and also get into my new offensive role."

On his passing and scoring abilities?
"I think Saul and J.P. are doing a good job getting the ball to me at the right time so I can go for the good shots. I am getting double-teamed a lot more, which makes it harder. I am finding the open man now instead of the closest man."

#21 Tayshaun Prince
"It doesn't matter as long as we are playing basketball against great opponents. I think it is going to help us in the long run. To play a game like Miami at their place with their crowd is really going to help us."

On Jamaal Magloire?
"I think I was pretty much doing the offensive work. (Jamaal) stepped up in SEC play. He is taking a load off me. He is definitely helping us, getting the double-doubles all the time."

On Jamaal's passing?
"He used to let the double team come up and get it or hold it at his waist. He also gets bad passes, so it wasn't just his fault. I knew he wasn't playing well at the beginning. He wasn't letting the offensive game come to him. Now it is and he really dominates the game."

#3 J.P. Blevins
"I think we are taking this as another game. There is no difference in the preparation. We need to focus and play it like it is another conference game."

"I thought (Jamaal) was going to have a good year. I didn't expect the numbers he has. He is a great addition to our inside presence. I think we have an up on teams now. We have a 'go-to' guy in Jamaal and Tayshaun. We give them the ball and they score."



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