Jan. 28, 2000
"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
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."
#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
"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."