Men's Basketball
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UK Men's Basketball Press Conference Quotes




Feb. 26, 2002

Head Coach Tubby Smith
On the suspensions of Erik Daniels and Gerald Fitch...
"Both will be reinstated for the game tomorrow. Whether they play or not will be the coach's decision as the game goes on. I hope they can put it behind them and that they learned their lesson."

On Vanderbilt...
"We're getting ready for a very good Vanderbilt team that is coming off of a big win against their in-state rival, Tennessee. They are one of the best three-point shooting teams in the league, if not the best. They are the leading free-throw shooting team in the league. They have some talent but they have been up and down not unlike we have. They've had some good wins and some tough losses."

On playing at Vanderbilt...
"Anytime you play at Vanderbilt it is going to be a war and a tough battle. Hopefully we can build on the momentum we have and go into Nashville and play well."

On what this game means to UK...
"We need to have a good game. This is a big game for us as we try to position ourselves to get a bye in the SEC Tournament. I expect our guys to come ready to play."

On the change in Cliff Hawkins' play over the past four games...
"I think keeping him fresh (has helped him). JP's (Blevins) re-emergence gives him time to get rest and to get another ball handler in there."

On UK's lineup...
"I think the lineup we started the last couple of games worked well together and we played well together. There has been a lot of changes all year long. We would like to settle on a certain lineup, but certain needs and certain situations dictate that we make a change - different teams, second half."

On UK's inside play...
"Our post people are doing a good job of scoring. They're shooting for high percentages and taking good shots. We are getting a good inside game so we need to exploit what we are doing well."

On Chuck Hayes' mentality as a freshman...
"He brings toughness. We have been looking for it all year long. He's had it all year long, but now it is starting to permeate to the team. He's leading by example and plus he's a very intelligent player. He listens and listens well. He takes coaching very well. When he gets in the game, he doesn't make many mistakes, offensively or defensively."

On Tayshaun Prince's year...
"He's had a good year. I think if we would have other people step up and be more productive, he would have had an outstanding year. He's had to carry so much of a scoring burden that he has had to do a lot of things, but I think he's had a good year."

J.P. Blevins
Senior Guard

On Vanderbilt's gymnasium...
"It's the only place we play in where the benches are underneath the goals. It gives you an excuse to not listen to Coach because you are so far away. It's a tough place to play. UK has lost some down there and won some close ones: Nazr (Mohammad) hit a last second shot one year and Tayshaun (Prince) hit a big three to give us a win."

On knowing that Coach Smith made Gerald Fitch and Erik Daniels eligible again...
"I didn't know until you just told me. It's good to have them back. You just go with the flow, and play the best you can with who you have."

On playing his last road SEC game as a Wildcat...
"I'll cherish the camaraderie and friendships that I have developed in my time here. I will take that with me wherever I go. I'll be happy to move on, but I'll miss it as well. For the most part I've left my heart on the court a number of times, and that's all I can do."

Rashaad Carruth
Freshman Guard

On playing defense...
"It's fun. Trying to stop the other team is fun. It gets the team fired up and the fans fired up."

On the placement of the benches at Vanderbilt and that J.P. Blevins said it can keep you from hearing Coach Smith...
"I don't really know much about that. But I think we will hear Coach no matter where he is. And if we can't, then we will be able to see his stare at the other end of the court."

Chuck Hayes
Freshman Forward

On Coach Smith's decision regarding Fitch and Daniels...
"Coach Smith has a great heart and wants what is best for Erik and Gerald. Sometimes we as players disappoint him and he has to act. Erik and Gerald practiced yesterday and we are looking forward to them getting back in the lineup."

On his new starting role...
"I try and bring the same intensity to the team when I start and when I come off the bench. My role is the same either way and that is to produce when I am given the minutes."

On his future...
"I didn't quite know what to expect when I got here, but I think I am learning the ropes. I am just a freshman and I still have a lot to learn. My time will come if I continue to be patient."

Cliff Hawkins
Sophomore Guard

On his game...
"I have my ups and downs just like any player. The key is to know what is expected of you and to accomplish it. I know what my role on this team is and that will help me play a more consistent game."

On the recent play of the team...
"I think we are building some momentum as a team and we are playing especially well on defense. We have players stepping up and playing well and that is something we will need as we head into the next couple of weeks. We need to continue to play aggressive and with a lot of energy."

Jules Camara
Junior Forward

On Coach Smith's decision regarding Fitch and Daniels...
"I am glad to have them back in the lineup. This is the time of the year we all need to be playing together and looking out for one another. It will be great to see them back in the game."

On the Vanderbilt game...
"It is going to be a tough game and it is a tough place to play. This is a very important game for us and we have to be prepared."


 

 

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