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Wildcats Return to the Road Tuesday at Ole Miss




Jan. 28, 2013

Following a dramatic 75-70 victory at home over LSU on Saturday, the Wildcats will return to the road for two consecutive games beginning at the streaking Ole Miss Rebels on Tuesday. UK captured the win over the Tigers behind freshman Alex Poythress' first career double-double effort. The first-year player posted a team-high 20 points and snatched a career-best 12 rebounds in the winning effort.

Gameday
Gameday Information
Kentucky at Ole Miss
Tues., Jan. 29 - 9:00 p.m. ET
Oxford, Miss.
Game Notes: UK Get Acrobat Reader | OM Get Acrobat Reader
Coverage
TV: ESPN
Radio: UK IMG
Live Video via WatchESPN
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Fellow freshman Nerlens Noel continued his dominating defensive performances with six more blocks against LSU. He has now swatted 34 opponent attempts over UK's last five games.

Ole Miss enters the contest with UK having won nine-straight including opening to a 6-0 start in Southeastern Conference action. The Rebels have surged into the top-25 rankings and a tie first place in the SEC.

Scouting Ole Miss

The Rebels enter the meeting with UK owning a 17-2 overall record and a perfect 6-0 clip in Southeastern Conference action, their best start in program history. Ole Miss is riding a nine-game winning streak en route to taking over first place in league standings. Ole Miss is paced by 19.2 points per game by SEC scoring-leader Marshall Henderson, while Murphy Holloway averages a double-double with 14.8 points and 10.4 boards per game.

Media Opportunity - Jan. 28, 2013

Head Coach John Calipari

On Willie Cauley-Stein's condition …
"Willie is good, making the trip. Don't know if he'll practice today. He's running up and down and I don't know if I want him to do that, but he may. I would guess doubtful for Tuesday. The word questionable? I don't know. He'll probably try to convince me he's ready so we'll see."

On how he'll deal with Marshall Henderson and the environment at Ole Miss …
"This is all good. Let me just tell you. They're very physical. You watch the game last year; it was a tie game except for four minutes in the second half where we blew the game open. The rest of the game was a tie game and they battled and they did not step back, and we were a good team last year. They're all back and they've got a guy that, he must remind Andy [Kennedy] of Andy. Just get in there and the ultimate green light. Shoot every ball if you want and the kid feels. He gets it going that way."

On whether he would have Archie Goodwin guard Marshall Henderson …
"I don't know yet. We're trying to figure out how we'll play it. We did some stuff yesterday at practice but (Henderson)'s going to take 14 three's. Whether you're on him, you're not on him, he's taking 13 three's. I love his energy and his excitement about playing. He loves the game. It was a great thing Ray Lewis did, and I showed the guys, one of the things he said, 'The reason I could last this long, I love it. I love everything about it. I love the game.' I stopped the tape, 'Do you love playing? Or are you more happy when practice is over than when it starts?' Everything I'm trying to do is get these guys to grow up fast and the biggest thing is to get them to recognize what they're doing, what it looks like. You have to recognize it before you can change it."

On whether he feels like there is more of a sense of urgency surrounding this game …
"Everyone is. You know, if you told me you're going to lose this and win the next nine, 'Alright, wake me up when it's over. I'll sit and watch the game.' So, it doesn't matter, no. It's another learning experience for us. They've got to learn about themselves, and that's the biggest thing. Someone said, 'How do you build confidence?' You do it on the court by demonstrated performance. You quit hanging your head. When another team makes a run, quit hanging your head. Quit slouching over. Just keep balling, keep playing. It's just something hard to break, but they're trying. The crazy thing I keep coming back to, we have a bunch of good guys. There are no evil dudes in there. They've got bad habits and they've got a mindset that is not conducive to team play, and all of those things we're trying to change, but they're good guys. They've played a certain way their whole lives and you can't win at this level playing that way. But they're learning, they're getting better. I look at certain guys on our team and say, 'wow, they really improved.' Now we just have to have two things, each individual, what would it look like if each individual played the best version of themselves and then what would it look like if our team knew exactly what we were going to do and we're going to be the best version of ourselves. We're not close to that, some other teams are, well they've been together. I'll be honest with you, Mississippi is, they're the best version of themselves right now. They're playing physical, they get down, it doesn't faze them, they get up, they bury you. They'll make shots, they're strong inside, whatever they're running they run well. You're not going to be able to go down there and compete with them either being soft, mentally or physically, or not being a good version of yourself, preparing to play great, it doesn't mean you play great but you at least prepare to play great."

On what it would take for Willie Cauley-Stein to convince him he was ready to play …
"It's a ways away. We'll have to see."

On Ole Miss' confidence …
"That's what my teams historically have been, those are my teams. We always like to play front-running teams, which when they have it going good, they're chest-bumping and doing it and when it goes in, they wilt. That's who we've always wanted to play. That's what Mississippi is, they are the kind of the team that I've coached historically, which is, doesn't matter what the score is, we're balling, we're doing this together and if I'm not playing well I'll do something else to help this team win because that's the whole mindset, it's not about me, it's about us and that's how they play. They're good; they are a really good team. They're top-15, they may even be better than that."

On the best version of this team …
"We're not, I don't want to say we're the least version of ourselves but we're certainly not the best version. But look, we're getting better. It seems like one kid will play better and then another just steps back. All the sudden Ryan (Harrow) was playing well and now it's almost like we have to play Jarrod (Polson). And then all of the sudden, Archie (Goodwin) does fine and then all of the sudden he's taking bad shots and then Alex (Poythress) is not competing then he's playing well. Now you have Kyle and Nerlens playing well and you have the injury. We've had a lot of stuff thrown at us, no excuses but we just have to get to that point in the season where everyone totally surrenders to each other. Surrender to each other, do it, talk more. 'I don't like to talk.' You're hurting your teammate by not talking. 'I know, do I have to move my lips when I talk or can I do it without moving my lips?' You just have to surrender and do what the team needs you to do and we're just not quite there."

On if Henderson is an X-Factor …
"I would say he's that type of guy. There may be special attention paid to him. What you end up doing if you pay too much attention to him, all of a sudden two big guys get 20 and 20 and then you've got no chance of beating them. A lot of times you want one guy to get 30 and not let the other guys get any. And there are many times I've coached a game where I've said we're letting him get his 30-35, let him try. And if he's on fire, then OK, we've got problems. And if he's shooting it anyway, and he doesn't… And sometimes we do it with big guys. Why trap them? Let him try to get 40. It will take out this guy, that guy, that guy. Now, that's not how we played the kid (Texas A&M's Elston) Turner, but there are times we do it."

On lessons learned from Turner applying towards Henderson …
"No, but he's probably watching that tape, I would say. Their team probably watched that tape, us falling into screens, hands down, beat on the dribble, beat on curl cuts, stopping, acting exhausted, just whaling with no bones in your body. I imagine they watched it, though."

On why he defended Archie Goodwin on his website …
"Because DeWayne (Peevy) said, 'Yeah, some people after Alabama took some shots at Archie.' I go, 'For what?' 'For some of the shot selection.' I said, 'We had two other guys play so bad, did they say anything about anybody else? Why would they say anything about him? This kid works his butt off.' So after I slept on it, I said I wanted to make a statement so that everybody knows that he's the first one in the gym. He's the last one to leave. He comes in the evening. He does what he's supposed to do. He's a good teammate. He just doesn't have the right mindset, doesn't know shot selection, plays out of control, because that's how he's always played. So, now, it's DeAndre Liggins. Can we get him to play the right way? And when you get a kid like that to play the right way, he becomes a killer. Right now, he's a killer, but sometimes he's killing us. I can deal with that versus a kid that's scared or doesn't show up for the game. There's nothing you can tell me about that. That's why I said that we had other guys at Alabama that did not show up for the game. No one said anything? Then why would you say something about this kid then? So that's the only reason I said it."

On why Nerlens Noel isn't getting the praise that Anthony Davis did last season …
"Because we're not winning like we were. If we were winning, he'd be getting all the praise. If we were winning like we were last year, he'd be getting all the praise. He is getting better and better. Everyone that sees him says he's a way better player, and I agree. He's working in practice. I just told him like I told John Wall, take other people with you. I don't care that you're doing all this and stuff's good, take some other guys with you. Grab them. If they don't want to go, push them aside. Take guys with you so that it's not just you. Take them with you. Let's all play well."

On his team's composure on Tuesday night …
"I'd like us to lose our composure. Like lose your composure. Get mad. Get angry. Be mad to be great. (Calipari mumbles inaudibly) 'Sorry, you can't…' What? Be mad. And if he talks, talk back to him. Be mad. I mean compete, battle, fight, toughness, swagger. It's hard to have a swagger when you're ducking and you're running. You've got to dig your heels in. And this is why I'm saying, all of this stuff is good for our team. If we're going to get it, it's going to be competing in games like this and growing."  

#12, Ryan Harrow, G, Soph.

On how big the game tomorrow is for the team …
"It is big for us, but I think it is bigger for them because they are the ones who are supposed to win. If we come out there and beat them, it will be a big thing for us. We just have to be ready to play and be physical. They are a big team."

On how much this team needs a quality win …
"It would be really good to get a quality win over a big team like Ole Miss. We are just trying to focus on getting our best game."

On if he agrees with Coach Calipari that the team plays to not lose instead of playing to win and how the team can change that …
"I think so. I think we get afraid of losing sometimes and we already have the lead. That is what he has mentioned to me and that it's how the other teams are able to come back. It's just a learning thing. We just need to continue to play like we played to get that lead."

On if it is the team is afraid of losing or slacking off because they have a comfortable lead …
"That may be it also. We feel like we are comfortable and we have the lead so we feel like the other team may not try as much, but they always seem to come back."

On what he thinks of this game's opportunity to improve the team's standings …
"If we just do the things Coach prepares us to do, and not let the one kid (Henderson) get off, I think we will be good. If we just go out there and have fun and play hard for 40 minutes, I think we will do good."

#22, Alex Poythress, F, Fr.

On Ole Miss' Marshall Henderson …
"He's a good player that gets up a lot of shots. He's got a nice little stroke so we will have to contain him and put a hand up on his shots."

On the antics of Marshall Henderson …
"I'm aware of it. We have seen and heard some stuff, but I guess that's just part of his game."

On the keys to winning tomorrow's game …
"Just playing within our system and playing a complete game. Giving people open shots, hitting shots, running the floor, getting easy buckets and getting it into the post. All of the little things really."

On getting used to the atmosphere of a road game …
"There is always going to be sold out games and everybody will be yelling and screaming because we're Kentucky. We just have to get ready to play ball."

On the challenges Ole Miss' frontcourt brings with its size …
"It is going to be a big challenge. Henderson is not their only player on the team. They have other pieces that help them go. We are just going to have to play a good game and play some defense."

On facing a ranked opponent …
"It is an opportunity for us. We are taking this one game at a time, so we are just looking ahead to tomorrow's game."


 

 

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