Tuesday, January 17, 2017
Sunday, January 15, 2017
Men’s Basketball Postgame Notes
Auburn at Kentucky, Rupp Arena, Lexington, Ky.
January 14, 2017
Attendance: 24,372 (season high)
Attendance: 24,372 (season high)
Final Score: No. 6/6 Kentucky 92, Auburn 72
Team Records and Series Notes
- Kentucky is 15-2 overall, 5-0 in the Southeastern Conference. Auburn is 11-6, 1-4 in the SEC.
- This is the third time in Coach John Calipari’s eight seasons at UK that the Wildcats have been spotless through their first five league games.
- Kentucky leads the series 92-18, including 47-2 in Lexington.
- Next for Kentucky: the Wildcats play at Mississippi State on Tuesday at 7 p.m. EST. The game will be televised on ESPN.
In the First Half
- Kentucky started the lineup of Isaiah Briscoe, De’Aaron Fox, Malik Monk, Wenyen Gabriel and Bam Adebayo for the 11th time this season. UK is 9-2 with this lineup.
- After making only one 3-point shot Tuesday at Vanderbilt, Kentucky came out hot from long distance today. The Wildcats made 8-of-12 on 3-pointers in the first half – including their first two baskets by Gabriel and Monk -- extending Kentucky’s streak of 3-pointers to 992 consecutive games.
- Trailing 13-10, Kentucky went on a 10-0 run and never trailed again.
- Kentucky added a 9-0 spurt to go ahead 36-25.
- The Wildcats led by 13 points on two occasions in the first half and went to intermission with a 51-39 advantage.
- It was the eighth time this season that UK tallied at least 50 points in the first half.
In the Second Half
- Kentucky increased the lead to 14 points at 58-44 before Auburn went on a 12-2 run, pulling within 60-56.
- Briscoe responded with a 3-pointer and a layup.
- Auburn refused to go away, getting back within 70-64.
- At that point, Kentucky put the game away with a 14-4 spurt, giving the Wildcats an 84-68 advantage.
- Kentucky went on to a 92-72 victory, its largest lead of the game.
- Kentucky shot a season-best 57.1 percent from the field. It is the 12th time this season and fifth game in a row that the Wildcats have hit at least half their shots.
- Kentucky also shot a season-high 57.9 percent on 3-pointers, making 11 of 19.
- Five Wildcats scored in double figures; it’s the eighth straight game that at least one Wildcat tallied 20 or more points.
- Led by Wenyen Gabriel’s career-high 16 rebounds, UK won the board battle 40-28.
- Calipari has a 677-189 (.782) on-court record, including a 232-49 (.826) mark at UK.
- Kentucky has an all-time mark of 555-65 (.895) in Rupp Arena.
- UK is 128-5 (.962) at Rupp Arena under John Calipari.
- UK has a 43-game home winning streak against unranked opponents.
- Freshman Malik Monk had 24 points and six assists, game highs in both categories.
- This was his 10th 20-point game of the season.
- He continued his streak of double-figure scoring in every game this season.
- Freshman Bam Adebayo had 15 points and has reached double-figure scoring in 14-straight games.
- Freshman De’Aaron Fox had 13 points, five assists and four rebounds. It is his fourth straight game scoring in double figures.
- Senior Mychal Mulder had 12 points, one shy of his career high, and the most since tallying 12 against UT Martin on Nov. 25.
- Sophomore Isaiah Briscoe had 10 points, featuring two crucial baskets when Auburn got within four points in the second half.
- Freshman Wenyen Gabriel pulled down a career-high 16 rebounds. His six points came on a pair of 3-point shots, the first time he had made multiple 3-pointers in a game.
Friday, January 13, 2017
#0, De’Aaron Fox, Freshman, Guard
On his jumper showing continued improvement … “It’s just something that’ll help my game. If I’m making the midrange and they start stepping up, I can just hesitate and blow by anybody. It’s just going to help my game completely.”
On if he’s talked to Diallo Hamidou … “Yeah, I’ve talked to him, but I knew him before he came here. I mean, he was already a friend. Now he’s just getting his feet wet.”
On Diallo as a basketball player … “Back in high school he was so strong, big and physical. More physical than everybody. He could just bully his way to the basket. He’s always been able to shoot the ball. If you’re in the way when he’s on his way to the basket you’re most likely going to get dunked on.”
On having another high-level player to practice against … “Definitely, definitely. He’s going to make us better and we’re going to make him better. Like I said, he’s a combination of speed and power. Just something that not too many people have. At a wing spot, it’s going to help us (with) him guarding me, Malik (Monk) and Isaiah (Briscoe), just switching off of all of us, and then us guarding him as well. It’s going to make us all better.”
On if he talked to Diallo on his recruiting visit … “Yeah, even if you’re not going to play, I think that half a year here, that extra summer here, is just going to make him better.”
On if Coach Cal has talked to him about calling plays at the end of games … “Yeah, he has a little bit. I’m still young, a freshman. It just comes from me trying to be an extension of him on the court. But at this point right now, it’s Isaiah and him. They’ve been doing it toward the end of games. But it’s something I need to learn how to do.”
On what the difficult part is of learning how to do it … “Just know which ones to call, how much time on the shot clock to run it. Different variations of the situation.”
On if he likes Briscoe handling the ball in those situations, freeing him up offensively … “It works for us, vice versa. Sometimes we’ll put him in the middle of the zone or on the baseline, or me and him switch. But last game I was effective at it so I stayed there. Sometimes he may be more effective in that game and he’ll stay down there.”
On what Coach Cal has told him about being empowered … “Most of the time he says ‘will to win,’ but just the empowerment of being able to take control of your team. I think the second half I kind of controlled the pace of the game. That’s just something I have to be able to withstand the whole game, be able to control the game without getting in foul trouble, do it defensively without reaching in, using hands or bodying someone. I think Zay did it last game for the most part.”
On where he can be more disciplined … “Defensively, and just being ready. Sometimes I’m not ready for the play. Sometimes it’ll catch me by surprise and you’ll see me jump and start using my speed to catch up. But just being ready at this point.”
On if there’s relief that media is now asking him positive questions about his shooting … “I mean, I don’t think it’s a sigh of relief. It’s just something I’ve been working on. Just trying to get back.”
On adapting to the reality that his shooting percentage will have highs and lows … “I knew it was going to happen. Even in high school I had stretches where I’d make every shot and stretches where I missed a lot of shots. It’s just part of the game. Everyone is going to go through those shooting woes.”
On if his shooting woes are due to form or not being ready … “For me it’s just being ready. Just be ready to shoot. Most of the time right now when I’m ready to shoot, it’s been going in. It’s just being ready at this point.”
On if part of the shooting woes are attributable to confidence … “Yeah, it can definitely be confidence. If you’re not confident about your shot then nine times out of 10 it’s not going to go in. But if you’re confident, even if you’re missing, just believe the next shot is going to go in.”
On how hard he thinks it would be to join a college team midseason out of high school … “It would have been extremely difficult for me. I didn’t really struggle at the beginning, but I think in the middle of the season when everybody is starting to try to hit their peaks and you’re just coming in – you’re at the bottom of the barrel, you don’t really know what’s going on – I think it’s extremely difficult coming in midseason like that.”
On if there’s any pressure on Diallo … “I don’t think you have any pressure. You’re literally just coming in to get better. You’re playing against some of the top players in the country and they have kind of a year, year and a half, and he’s got a couple people that are a lot older than him. At this point he doesn’t have anything to lose. He’s just coming in with a clear mind, and just ready to get better.”
On how Diallo could help them in practice … “Even though he just came out of high school, he’s so strong and athletic. He’s just another guy to help us defensively get better. Him being able to guard us in practice will make him better. He’ll be ready for next year. Him guarding us in practice right now I think at first might be a little difficult for him just adjusting to this level, but once he gets used to it he’s going to be a heck of a player.”
On Diallo in the open court … “It’s ridiculous. If he played now he could be one of the best players in the country in the open court. He’s so fast and athletic. I mean he’s like 6-(foot)-6 with like a 7-foot wingspan. It’s extremely difficult to stop him.”
#3, Bam Adebayo, Freshman, Forward
On what Coach CAl is focused on following the win at Vanderbilt …
“Just more discipline. We were relaxed when we got up and they came back, so it’s about focusing on discipline.”
On executing down the stretch in a tough road environment …
“We’re getting better as a team, as individuals, and we’re all buying in.”
On Hamidou Diallo joining the team …
“He’s just getting used to it so far. We’re just showing him the ropes around here like where the classes are, food places and basketball in general. We all help him out the best that we can, but mostly its Dom (Hawkins), Isaac (Humphries) and Isaiah (Briscoe). I haven’t seen him practice yet. This is his first practice so we’ll see how he plays.”
On having any interaction with Diallo on the AAU circuit …
“I knew Hamidou last summer because we played his team, and after you play somebody like that you speak to them a lot. I spoke to Hamidou at tournaments from then up to now.”
On what Diallo brings to this team in practice …
“It makes us compete more. It gets us all better offensively and defensively because he’s a new pickup and he’s one of those guys that’s new to the team, so it’s going to be fun figuring him out.”
On your individual game is right now …
“Everything as usual: free throws, defense, offense – just the whole nine yards. The main thing is to just try to get better.”
On Camp Cal’s impact on this team going forward …
“It’s helped me become a better player and a better teammate. We all came closer as a family. We’re just working to win.”
On winning a close game on the road …
“We needed one of those, because we don’t want to have one too late in the season and it cost us, so I would rather have one early than late in the season.”
Head Coach John Calipari:
On his relationship with Bruce Pearl …
“We coached against each other a few times when I was at Memphis and then coaching here. (He) does a great job, mixes up the game. (Auburn) plays hard. They battle and fight. He’s good at what he does.”
On how he expects Hamadou Diallo to fit in with the team …
“I split up the group a little bit. We have a little six rotation on both sides, which is going to be good. It’s his first time. He’s probably anxious and nervous. I gave him a couple of things that we’re doing so that when we go up and down he can play those things and we can go against him. What I would imagine is that he’ll look a little lost.”
On athletes graduating early …
“They’ve done it in football for awhile. I don’t think, in most cases, that if a kid is 17 or 18 that he’d do it. But if you’re a little older and you’re in a prep school, then I don’t know why you wouldn’t. If a young man is 18 and he has a chance to go to college as an 18-year-old, then he should do it. That’s just my opinion. Unless you’re in a high school situation that’s really (good) where you’re going to benefit because of everyday practice. It’s like Karl Towns. There was no reason for Karl Towns to go back another year as an 18 year old. I don’t recommend it. I’m not saying to do it, but if you’re of age and you can do it, then I just don’t know why you wouldn’t.”
On the practice situation for Diallo …
“This is great for him. He’s going to get to workout all the stuff that he needs personally – we can be about. You can focus on what he needs. Then kind of shove him into this stuff, let him get a feel for it and go for it.”
On if he would play Diallo this season, even in the NCAA Tournament if needed …
“No. I wouldn’t do it for the program or me. The only way that would happen would be if it were in his best interest. The situation wouldn’t matter – up, down, sideways – it wouldn’t matter. It would be about him. What I know, what’s in his mind, and what I see – he needs to get squared away, get his base set, and come back and do his thing. That would be my recommendation if you ask me.”
On what Diallo brings to practice …
“He can guard them and make them have to come every day and bring it. He’s a long athletic player.”
On Diallo in the open court …
“I don’t know. Let me coach him one day and I’ll let you know. It’s so different when you’re driving against a 6-2 guy and now you’re driving against 7-footer or a guy that can put his head on the rim. It’s a little different. Your decision-making is different. He’s going to be fine. He’s a good player.”
On guys in practice that come during the season and how they can help in practice …
“Helped us. Really helped us. Tai (Wynyard) last year did not choose to play and didn’t want to play. I was going to stick him in a game and he said, ‘No. I’m not ready.’ I’ve had all kinds of different stuff like that happen. Again, you roll with the young person.”
On Auburn’s Danjel Purifoy …
“He’s really good. They’ve won a game without him already. What it ends up doing is taking shots and giving to other guys. It could help them. They’ve got some other guys that can score the ball in bunches or they could go into the big kid more. Sometimes it’s addition by subtraction.”
On if Hamidou Diallo will travel and dress…
“He will travel but he won’t dress.”
On the Cal Cast with Rick Pitino …
“I have numbers of coaches and they have my numbers. Rick has my number and I have his. If he needs to talk to me he picks up the phone, and if I need to talk to him then I pick up the phone. I’ve said it before, we don’t send Christmas cards to each other. We’re 90 miles from each other or whatever it is, and it’s a competitive environment. I just said, ‘Hey why don’t you do this Cal Cast with me, the podcast I’m doing, and we’ll have some fun with it.’ He said, ‘Sure I’ll do it. When do you want to do it?’ I said, ‘This afternoon.’ It’s in the can. There are some things around it that you’re going to want to hear. I don’t know yet when it’s coming out because if people keep asking I’ll wait another week. The stuff we did with Geno (Auriemma) just broke the record. If you listen to it, it’s really some good stuff. There are some things you wouldn’t know about him and you can say now I know why he wins like he wins. The stuff with Rick, other than the scuffle, was fine. [Sarcasm]”
On if Auburn is a dangerous team to play…
“It’s just like Vanderbilt. Vanderbilt had some shots that they could’ve made, but they missed, and the game could have been different. I don’t think Auburn will hold the ball and then try to shoot it. He might – he’s done it in the past – but I don’t think he will. You knew Vandy was going to come down and take 20 seconds, move the ball and try to get a shot that way. They’ll probably press us some. One game I watched today they played all zone. They got in the zone and they stayed in the zone. They’re good. They’ve beaten teams, like Oklahoma. They lost to Georgia; had them down 16. They lost to Mississippi; had them down 15 or 16 and lost. They’ve been up big. They play active and they’re aggressive. It’s going to be a hard game. We lost to them last year, had to watch that game again and wanted to throw up.”
On how he decides the plans for the game…
“My whole thing is just how we play and if they’re better than us. The thing that bothered me when I was at UMass was we had like a 6-7 center when we were try to play the best teams in the country. Then I got a guy that they had, (Marcus) Camby. Then we beat the crap out of Kentucky. I wasn’t going to change and I don’t think he’ll change. I think they’ll do what they do on the baseline out of bounds; they switch everything. I think they’ll do the press after free throws and they’ll probably do a 1-2-2. They’re going to play how they play. Anytime I keep switching from game to game it’s not good on my team It never has been.”
On Isaiah Briscoe stepping up …
“Well, I had to stop him. A good friend of mine saw that there was two minutes to go in that game and I had to stop him. He looked at me mad like why would I tell him to stop because he was one on five and he was going to go shoot that thing. Then we pulled out and we worked the ball. I think De’Aaron Fox got a shot on the base line that put the shot where we needed it. He’s getting closer. We practiced yesterday morning and he had them so ready to practice. My worry was that we cannot waste a day. If we can’t practice in the morning then I won’t travel. I’d like to get a travel day done because then I can see three kids and it saves me two or three days. When I walked in that morning at 7:25 a.m., the guys were clapping for me like I was late. He had them ready and we had a great practice, which shows me a lot about the team and his leadership.”
On Bam Adebayo switching on guards…
“He is really good. He bounces. He stays in the stance. He can guard every position. He is getting fouled like crazy when he catches the ball. Like fouled. The last game was worst than this game, this past game. But, you know – and he is keeping his cool. He never changes anything. By the end of the year, he will be that guy. That is my prediction. I asked the guys yesterday, in a group, because I brought him up a couple of times, I said, ‘Look. I am not trying to throw him in your face, but who is the hardest worker we have in the gym?’ And the group, they all pointed to Bam. And I said ‘There you go. My point is made.’ That is why he is making strides that are just crazy. ”
On De’Aaron Fox being ready to take better shots…
“He is ready to shoot balls before he catches them, which he never was. He was not ready to explode. He was tip-toe shooting. These guys, it is funny, I told Isaiah Briscoe, ‘You are going to shoot high in practice every day, but you will get in a game and you will shoot your normal shot. Unless you think it is going to get blocked, then you have a another weapon and now you can shoot it higher. De’Aaron Fox, you can say it is not the workouts that did it, but what was it?’ ‘Well, the stars and the moon kind of crossed a certain way and the light hit me and it just changed me.’ Oh, OK. It is not the work. So, you know, what we do is hard. What they have to do is hard because of what they are up against in every game we play. But, he has been great. He is shooting 62 percent the last three games. Couldn’t make a shot. He was 1 for 16. Now, it has got to be something. It isn’t because he ate his Cheerios. There is something that has happened between where he was and what he is doing now, and I believe it is getting here early, spending more time, coming back at night. I am telling him to get Malik (Monk) with you. Now, he and Malik do the same thing, because Malik has to get more consistent.”
On NBA All-Star voting closing and him doing the “Dab” and saying “YOLO” to help promote DeMarcus Cousins …
“Because I just learned what it meant. I didn’t know what it meant. Then, they just told me to do this. I don’t know what that means. So, that is what I say to that.”
On if his daughters ever tell him it’s embarrassing … “Yeah, yeah. My daughter (Erin) was in an article in the New York Post today for some of her research. I am pretty proud of her. Megan is getting married this June and told her fiancé you are going to be going into the family now and he is going to be embarrassing you like he embarrasses us. Look, you know, life is too short. I like to have fun with what I am doing. Whether it is the podcast or you know – I do not take myself that serious. I know who I am. I know where I came from. I don’t try to, ‘I am the best ever.’ No, that’s not what I think of myself. I do what I do and try to do it for the kids. You all will judge how I am. Twenty years from now they will try to tell me what kind of job I did. Great. Right now I see myself getting older and I really just want to have fun with what I am doing. Guy grabbed me last night and said, ‘I am getting old. I really want to shake your hand.’ I said, ‘I am getting old, too. We are both getting old.’ ”
Tuesday, January 10, 2017
Men’s Basketball Postgame Notes
Kentucky at Vanderbilt, Memorial Gym, Nashville, Tenn.
Jan. 10, 2017
Final Score: No. 6/6 Kentucky 87, Vanderbilt 81
Team Records and Series Notes
· Kentucky is 14-2 overall, 4-0 in the Southeastern Conference. Vanderbilt is 8-8, 2-2 in the SEC.
· This is the fourth time in Coach John Calipari’s eight seasons at UK that the Wildcats have been spotless through their first four league games.
· Kentucky leads the series 142-47. Vanderbilt won the last meeting
o Kentucky is 56-29 in Nashville.
o Calipari is 12-4 vs. Vanderbilt.
· Next for Kentucky: the Wildcats return to Rupp Arena to face Auburn on Saturday at 4 p.m. The game will be shown on ESPN.
In the First Half
· Kentucky started the lineup of Isaiah Briscoe, De’Aaron Fox, Malik Monk, Wenyen Gabriel and Bam Adebayo for the 10th time this season. UK is 8-2 with this lineup.
· Kentucky began the game on a 9-0 run.
· Malik Monk hit a 3-pointer at the 18:06 mark, extending Kentucky’s streak of 3-pointers to 991 consecutive games, tied for the longest streak in the nation.
· UK led 9-0 at the 17:19 mark. Vanderbilt scored 10 of the next 12 points in the game to inch within one.
o Monk left the game at the 16:54 mark when he picked up his second foul, and Fox headed to the bench with his second foul 11 seconds later.
· Vanderbilt took a 17-15 lead at the under-12 media timeout, and led 19-17 at 12:57, but UK used an 8-0 run over 2:17 to turn that deficit into a 25-19 lead.
· Vandy bounced back again and had a 31-29 lead at the 6:02 mark.
· Kentucky had another 8-0 run from the 5:34 mark until 3:26 to take a 37-31 lead.
· Kentucky led 45-41 at half.
In the Second Half
· Vanderbilt’s last lead was 53:52 with 16:43 to play.
· UK used an 8-0 run over 1:48 to take a 59-53 lead at the 14:28 mark.
· Monk made four free throws over the final 17 seconds to clinch the win.
· Thirty-three of Kentucky’s first 59 points came as part of runs of 8-0 or better.
· Kentucky shot 51 percent from the field, the 11th time this season the Wildcats have hit at least half their shots, and fourth time in a row (all SEC games).
· Four Wildcats scored in double figures.
· Both Isaiah Briscoe (23) and De’Aaron Fox (22) scored more than 20 points, marking the seventh straight game that at least one Wildcat tallied 20 or more points.
· Calipari has a 676-189 (.782) on-court record, including a 231-49 (.825) mark at UK.
· Sophomore Isaiah Briscoe had a game-high 23 points.
· The 23 points is new career high.
· He tied for the team lead in rebounds with seven.
· He led the team in assists with five.
· Freshman De’Aaron Fox followed up his career-high 27 points from Saturday with 22 points.
· Fox added five rebounds and two assists.
· It was the sixth 20-point game of his career.
· Freshman Bam Adebayo scored 14 points, and has reached double-figure scoring in 13-straight games.
· His 13 first-half points were the second best output through the opening 20 minutes this year (14 at Ole Miss).
· Freshman Malik Monk scored 18 points and scored UK’s final six points of the game.
· He made UK’s only 3-pointer, and has made at least one 3-pointer in all-but one game this year.