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UK Hosts Missouri, Welcomes College GameDay




Feb. 22, 2013

Following a 74-70 victory over visiting Vanderbilt on Wednesday, the Wildcats will remain at home for a meeting with Missouri in conjunction with College GameDay Covered by State Farm on Saturday.

Gameday
Gameday Information
Kentucky vs. Missouri
Weds., Feb. 20 - 8:00 p.m. ET
Rupp Arena
Lexington, Ky.
Game Notes: UK Get Acrobat Reader | MU Get Acrobat Reader
Coverage
Gameday Live: Online audio, blog and stats
TV: ESPN
Radio: UK IMG
Text Updates

Freshman Willie Cauley-Stein poured in a career-high 20 points to couple with seven rebounds and three blocked shots in the win. Classmate Archie Goodwin added 16 points and six rebounds. Sophomore Ryan Harrow was the third UK player to score in double-figures with 12 points to go along with four assists. Senior Julius Mays added nine points, six rebounds and a team-high six assists.

Missouri is 19-7 overall and 8-5 in league play. The matchup on Saturday will mark the first-ever SEC meeting between the Tigers and Cats. UK is 4-0 all-time against Missouri and 2-0 in Lexington.

Scouting Missouri

Missouri enters the game with UK owning a 19-7 overall record and an 8-5 mark in league play. The Tigers, however, are 1-6 away from home this season. Frank Haith's squad is a unit with balanced scoring and is the lone BCS team in the nation with six players averaging double-figure scoring led by 14.5 by Jabari Brown. Phil Pressey was the SEC's Preseason Player of the Year pick and he averages 11.8 points and has dished out a league-leading 179 assists.

Media Opportunity - Feb. 22, 2013

Head Coach John Calipari

On whether having GameDay changes the schedule a lot…
"The game's really late; I hate it at 9 o'clock. You've got to go all day but shoot around will be later. We'll probably have the team go down there at some point for 15, 20 minutes during the morning so they're not lying around all day. So, they'll do that and then we'll get ready to play a really good basketball team."

On how important the guard matchup will be and having done well against Vanderbilt…
"It is. Everybody is trying, again. The biggest game we have is the next one. That's all we have to worry about. I'm still in the same mode. I've got a new team, how do we get better? How do we figure out how this team needs to play to be at our best? The funny thing that everybody is talking about, the NCAA Tournament, did you all know it was a bell curve? It's a bell curve. It is not, 'Well, you're not good so you're not in. He's not, he's not in.' It may be 20 teams from this year's tournament that wouldn't have gotten in last year. Wouldn't have gotten in the tournament. It's a bell curve. We've just got to take care of business, play our best, get better, play game to game, not worry about what's going on around us and do our thing. I'm not worried about all that stuff. I just laugh when I'm hearing all this, 'The biggest game, you've got to win every game.' Is anybody else out there like this, or just Kentucky?' I try to keep it away from the guys. 'Let's just play basketball. Get better.'"

On whether he could tell Ryan Harrow was nervous to ask to start again…
"A little bit. But, they only thing they know, you can't come in BS'ing me because I've heard it all. And, that scares them, like they can't come in with excuse or copouts and that scary because you're coming in, you've got to tell the truth and if you try to BS, your hand starts sweating. It's just how it is. And, they know, I've heard it all. I've coached every level, every kind, I've heard everything. You're not BS'ing me. 'You want to come in here and talk the truth? Talk. Let's hear it.' And, then I'm honest with them. Again, I'll tell you, everybody wants you to keep it real with them, because that's how they want to be treated. Be honest and keep it real, until you keep it real with them. And then, it's like, 'Man, just keep it real with him. Don't keep it real with me. I need you to pump me up and make me feel better because I really don't feel any confidence.' And I think, 'That's not how this works.' This isn't a Kumbaya staff. That's not what this is."

On how much the team needed some positive feedback…
"We needed something good to happen. We need to continue to have good things to happen. I loved Willie [Cauley-Stein]'s statement, and I was just told by DeWayne [Peevy] - and DeWayne gets things wrong so he may have gotten this wrong - but he said that Willy said that, 'As long as everybody does their thing, I can do my thing. But, you can't just throw me the ball after you don't want to make a play and say, "Go ahead, do something." I can't play that way. I'm not ready for that yet. But, if you all do your thing, I'll do my thing.' Well, guess what? That's what we've been begging from guys. I need my point guard to play that way. But, I need Archie [Goodwin] and Alex [Poythress], Kyle [Wiltjer] and Jarrod [Polson]. We need them all. Julius [Mays]. We need them all to play that way so that, 'everybody, just do what you do, we'll be fine.' What's happened is, you've got a couple of guys that don't want to show for a game and expect this guy, that guy, and then throw him the ball and put it on him. Or, 'I don't want to take the shot so I'll give it to the worst guy on the court shooting the ball because I don't want to.' We can't play that way. And, that's why I said, when somebody came in and watched us and said, 'Your team looks tentative.' The guy that came in and said, 'Man, I love the energy in the building.' The same guy came then two or three weeks later, 'Yeah, they look tentative.' Yeah, after getting smoked twice and you're this young and you start questioning yourself, you're going to be tentative and that's why we did the stuff we did. Again, I'm not changing the path, trying to get better. This is not life or death or you'd die all the time. This is not the end-all game. It's a big game because it's the next one on our schedule but, guess what? After this one, the next one's a big game because it's the next one on the schedule. But, like I said, there are a lot of teams out there right now trying to find themselves."

On why he had Willie Cauley-Stein moving out of the lane on offense…
"Because, Willie is not going to go get the offensive rebounds that Nerlens [Noel] is going to get, where you wanted to keep him near the rim and would just make them stay home, and that opened up the lane for us. They don't play that way. So, getting Willie up and spaced and out where he can be more effective is what we needed to do so that our rim would be open again. Without him being that wide, you're not getting to the rim at all. So, we just wanted to space the court and see. Again, when you do that, your players have to make plays."

On the importance of Phil Pressey to Missouri …
"He's great, he's great, he's a great player. He's really effective and efficient, doesn't turn it over that much, goes in that lane and finds people. He can score when he needs to but his whole thing is, I'm going to get in here, I'll drive baseline and hit that corner, I'll drive right and throw it over my left shoulder and I'll hit a guy on the weak side for a 3. Defensively, if you're lazy or loose or cute with the ball, he's taking the ball from you. He's just taking it from you. He plays like that 6'0, 6'1 guard plays, that's what he does."

On if Kentucky's guard can stay in front of Pressey …
"Yeah, I think our guards will be fine. It's a challenge and then it's a challenge for him to stay in front of our guards if the court is open and they want to attack and play. There is no excuse now; the court is open, get by him. He's getting by you, get by him. He's putting you in pick-and-rolls; put him in pick-and-rolls. The basic thing is you have to take everything off the table, play. We have no excuses, no copouts; no one wants to hear them. Play. We have an opportunity, we have enough, we're a good enough team, we're just going to have to play."

On Archie Goodwin saying he would prefer his point guard over Pressey …
"Probably trying to build up our guy, just to tell him, look I'm with you and I would expect him to say that. Happy he said it but Pressey is really good."

On Ryan Harrow saying he grew up when he met with him …
"I just want him to continue to grow on the basketball court. You learn through these tough experiences, you start growing as a person. I said after the game, I've been spoiled for eight years. You know, you're winning 30 something games a year for, not a year, like eight. Then you're going through what we were going through, no point guard early, all the stuff and then you're waking up with some anxiety. That should be a good feeling, it's a good feeling. There are thousands of coaches out of the business who would love to feel that feeling in the morning you're feeling. Be grateful. There is a lot of learning for all of us through this stuff. Bottom line is, are we improving, are we getting better? This is the next challenge, if you want something good to happen; you're going to have to make it happen. This team attacks the glass, if we ball watch, you get beat, you have no chance of beating them. If you don't physically check out, if you're ball watching, they're sending three. If you're not down in the stance ready to play, they've got two or three guys that can break you down on the dribble, not just their point. If you're not physical in the post you're going to get chucked. You better be down and ready. They're a good team. They've been top 20 most of the year; they lost a couple road games and kind of did what we did a couple years ago where we couldn't win a road game. They're coming into this game with the idea, we've got to change our fortunes and we're trying to do the same. The two teams should be fighting each other, that's what is should be."

On the team playing whiffle ball …
"I don't know what we're going to do. We may do something, we may not. I'm going to watch practice and figure it out. That was something that we did and whether we'll do it again, I don't know. You get a feel for stuff and just say, 'hey, let's try something different.' We won't go bowling, I'll promise you that."

On Alex Oriakhi …
"I met with him and his family. He's a great kid, great. Terrific basketball player, really physical and tough. Without him, they're not the same team. Without him, they're not where they are right now so it was a great pickup for Frank [Haith]. I just watched their Florida game, they're a good team, they're good. They ball, they're not afraid, they'll fight, they'll battle, they'll make tough plays. They have more than one player that can make a play so they don't have to run plays to make baskets, they have players that make plays. They're good."

#10, Archie Goodwin, G, Fr.

On this Saturday's game against Missouri …
"It is a big game. It is definitely a game we can make a statement in. We came back with a strong win the other day after the loss at Tennessee. We are just looking to keep building on the work we have been doing."

On what kind of statement that the team wants to make …
"We are a team that can do a lot of things that people have doubted us about and just to show the world that we are working on our game and that we are going to be pretty good and have the chance to win."

On what he did different on Wednesday night …
"I just slowed down a lot more and worked with what the defense was giving me. I just took advantage of the spots that I could get to. When they were shooting I got a couple of offensive rebounds that helped as well. Just running up and down the court and playing in the offense that we had, helped us out a lot as well."

On people calling Saturday's game a "must win" …

"It's a game that we need to win, you can say that. At this point of the season that is how it is for the majority of the teams. We are just one of those teams that are up against it right now. We've got to go out there and prove that we belong."

#22, Alex Poythress, F, Fr.

On the atmosphere leading up to the game …
"It's pretty exciting because it's a game against a great team. The atmosphere should be amazing tomorrow."

On this being a chance to pick up a quality win …
"I think every win is important. You don't want to lose games. We just have to take it one game at a time."

On the importance of getting the win over Vanderbilt …
"It was really important because we just wanted to think positive. We were thinking a little negatively, and now we are just thinking positive. We are going to try our best to do it."

On if there is a new attitude with the team after the win Wednesday night …
"When you win games you always have a good taste in your mouth. That's what you strive for."


 

 

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