Men's Basketball Press Conference
Head Coach Tubby Smith
"One of our players, Marvin Stone, has not practiced over the last couple of days. He has some academic concerns that he needs to address. He missed practice Tuesday and Wednesday but should practice today. He should be okay today and for the game."
"Mike Davis has done a good job at Indiana. He did a good job as an assistant coach and he is doing a great job as a head coach. He really has a young team, sort of like us in that we only have one senior and they have no seniors. They play with a lot of heart and they are a tough team. Their inside people are doing an excellent job. Jared Jeffries is having a good year as a freshman, and Jeff Newton is getting a lot of quality time at 6-9, so they can go with a big lineup. They can bring in [Kirk] Haston who is their leading scorer and is 6-10. They can do a lot of different things to you. They have a lot of balance in their scoring and their lineup."
"They are one of the top three-point shooting teams in the country which will be another challenge for us. We will have to try to contain Tom Coverdale because he is an excellent three-point shooter. Their post people are also excellent scorers. We will have to defend the three-point shot, although I felt we did better at that against Michigan State."
"The key to the game is going to be great playing, great post defense, limiting their touches inside, making them play defense and playing our normal game of trying to pressure them. It should be a high scoring game though."
On Marvin Stone: "I hope he will give what he has been giving, and even give more. Because that is what we need him to do, give more; score more, be more aggressive in attacking the basket. He really has improved a lot in defense, he is probably leading us in taking charges and he probably won't take a lot more shots because he is one of those guys that are unselfish with the ball. He is one of the most unselfish players that I coach and really gives the ball up well."
"Indiana is really going to put a lot of pressure on our perimeter and our post players. They can do a lot of different things and they look to score. They are very aggressive."
"Although we are capable of having big three-point shooting nights, we are not a team that is looking for the three-point shots. We do end up taking a few, ones that are open, and we have taken some that we shouldn't take."
"Indiana is very mobile. I don't know if they are smaller, but even their post players are pretty mobile. They can handle the ball and you take Jeffries and Newton, thin, wiry guys-they are very athletic and move around a lot. They go out on the perimeter a lot. So now you talk about Jason [Parker] and Marvin [Stone] or Marquis [Estill] having to go out on the perimeter, which gives the advantage to them."
On Gerald Fitch: "He has practiced extremely well and I see him as a possible starter."
On Cliff Hawkins: "He is back and is practicing well too."
On post-Knight Indiana: "They really get after you and are very aggressive. They are basically a man-to-man team that really denies plays and nothing has changed in that area. They are capable of scoring a lot of points, but it may be like the Michigan State game where both teams were playing great defense and you don't get a lot of chances to score."
On Indiana without Knight: "It's different. Coach Knight is a legend, but changes are going to come. I think it is unfortunate the way the change came about in Indiana but they have done an excellent job replacing Coach Knight with Mike Davis. We know that Coach Knight will be back in the business somewhere because he is a good coach."
"We have had opportunities in the last two games where we did not execute properly and people are taking certain things away so we have to be more creative. You set up a play but the defense may switch so we need to evaluate that immediately and be able to change. The other thing is being able to make that extra pass and create opportunities off the penetration. In both the Georgia Tech game and Michigan State game we needed defensive stops and that is where you create good offense. That is where we have had some breakdown."
On preparing for the different IU team: "We approach each game the same way. Of course, they do things a little bit differently. Their inside play has been pretty impressive, they are shooting more threes, otherwise, we prepare the same way."
On the Indiana game...
"This is a huge game for us. It is always an important game, but this year since we are 3-5 going in it has a double impact. This game is bigger than ever. We can't come out of this game 3-6, that is not acceptable. We need a win. It is very necessary. We know that a loss here will have future implications."
"This game always produces a unique basketball setting. The arena is half blue and half red. I like it, it is a great atmosphere for a basketball game."
On his confidence level...
On all their games being close...
#21 Tayshaun Prince
"We feel a little pressure to win. We are coming off a loss, but we really do feel good about the way we played. The enthusiasm is there. We are hungry to come out and get a win."
On UK's strength of schedule...
On the Indiana game plan...
"People have been saying that we play to the level of our competition. We need to learn to come out the same way every game. We need to play our style of game and not worry about who we are playing. Every team is out to beat us. If we are up, we need to stay up and put points on the board. We can't have a let down."
On the team's spirit...
"It's going very well. We're working hard in practice getting geared up for this big game tomorrow night and it's going to be a pretty big test."
On the magnitude of the Indiana game:
On Marvin Stone's future:
On what to expect from Indiana:
#10 Keith Bogans
"This is a real big game because we are 3-5. We need a big win and this would be a great time to get another win. We don't want to think about beginning conference play at 3-6. We want to go out and get this win. If we get this win, I think we will start rolling along. We have no other choice right now. We have to start winning some games. We know what we need to do in order to win, we just need to be executing those things better."
On the team dealing with pressure:
On not seeing Coach Knight on the Indiana sidelines:
On attacking the basket more:
On the team sticking together through tough times:
"When things aren't going good, it is kind of hard to get up. Everyone on the team needs to do a better job of helping pick people up."
On not getting much playing time against MSU: