Saturday, February 25, 2017

Notes From Kentucky's 76-66 Win Over Florida

Final Score: #11/10 Kentucky 76, #13/12 Florida 66
Team Records and Series Notes:
  • Kentucky has won six in a row and is 24-5 overall. UK is 14-2 in the Southeastern Conference and takes a one-game lead in the standings with two games to play. 
  • Florida ended a nine-game winning streak and is 23-6 overall, 13-3 in league play.
  • Kentucky leads the series 100-38, including 51-9 in Lexington.  
  • Next for the Wildcats: UK plays host to Vanderbilt on Tuesday at 9 p.m. and will be televised by ESPN. It will be Senior Night as UK honors Dominique Hawkins, Mychal Mulder and Derek Willis. 

In the First Half:
  • With De’Aaron Fox out with injury (left knee contusion), senior Mychal Mulder got his first collegiate start, joining Isaiah Briscoe, Malik Monk, Wenyen Gabriel and Bam Adebayo in the starting lineup.
  • Florida zipped to an 8-0 lead, prompting a UK timeout at 18:09. 
  • UK eventually got on the board with a pair of Adebayo foul shots with 16:23 on the clock but Florida stretched its lead to 12 points at 18-6.  
    • From that mark, UF would score only 10 points the last 13 minutes of the half.
  • UK responded with a 17-3 spurt, giving the Wildcats their only lead of the half at 23-21. At that point, however, UK did not make a field goal the last seven minutes of the half.
    • Early in the 17-3 run, Derek Willis extended UK’s streak of 1,004 consecutive games with a 3-point shot.
  • Florida came back with a 7-0 run to make it 28-23 Gators. The Wildcats hit five foul shots to send the game into intermission tied at 28 despite shooting just 28.6 percent in the first half.

In the Second Half:
  • Florida came out hot, scoring 17 points in the first 4:17 of the half to make it 45-37.
  • Monk carried the Cats by scoring 19 of UK’s first 23 points in the opening 8:30 of the half.
  • UK returned to the lead, 53-52, on an Adebayo bucket with 10:45 to go.  
  • Tied at 55, Adebayo got a pair of foul shots and a dunk, sparking a 15-5 run that gave the Wildcats the lead for good.
  • Monk scored 30 of his game-high 33 points in the second half, going 8 of 13 from the floor with four 3-pointers.

Team Notes:
  • Kentucky held Florida to 66 points.
    • UK is 15-0 this season when limiting the opponent to 72 or fewer points.
  • Florida shot 36.6 percent from the field. UK is 14-0 this season when limiting the opponent to less than 43 percent.
  • Kentucky shot 45.3 percent from the field. UK is 23-1 this season when shooting at least 42 percent.
  • Kentucky won the rebounding for the sixth straight game – coinciding with the six-game win streak – 48-30.  
    • UK has outrebounded opponents by 11.8 boards per game during the current six-game win streak.
    • After being outrebounded by 25 in the loss at Florida, Kentucky was plus-18 Saturday, producing a 43-rebound swing over the two games.
    • UK is 20-2 this season when outrebounding the opponent. 
  • UK is now 209-4 (.981) under Calipari in games leading by at least 10 points. 
  • Calipari has a 686-192 (.781) on-court record, including a 241-52 (.826) mark at UK.
  • Kentucky has an all-time mark of 560-66 (.895) in Rupp Arena.  
    • UK is 133-6 (.957) at Rupp Arena under John Calipari.

Player Notes:  

  • Freshman Malik Monk tallied 33 points, including 30 of UK’s 48 points in the second half. 
    • 30 points is the most in one half by a UK player under Coach Calipari. The previous best was 27 by Monk vs. in the first half North Carolina on Dec. 17 and by Jamal Murray in the second half vs. Ohio State on Dec. 19, 2015.
    • Monk is the first freshman in UK history to have 30 points in four games in one season.
    • This was Monk’s 16th 20-point game of the season.
    • He continued his streak of double-figure scoring in every game this season. 
    • He also led the Wildcats in assists with five.
  • Freshman Bam Adebayo had 18 points and 15 rebounds, his second consecutive double-double and fourth of the season.
    • He is the first Wildcat with consecutive double-doubles since Tyler Ulis last March.
    • The 15 rebounds ties his career high set last Tuesday at Missouri.
    • He is averaging 12.5 rebounds over the last four games.
  • Sophomore Isaiah Briscoe had nine points and eight rebounds. Briscoe has pounded the backboards lately, averaging 7.6 caroms over the last 10 games.
  • Senior Derek Willis had five points and nine rebounds, all on the defensive end.
  • Freshman De’Aaron Fox missed the game because of a left knee contusion. After the game, Coach Calipari said that Fox would have been about “70 percent” had he played.
  • Senior Mychal Mulder made his first collegiate start in place of the injured Fox.  He played 22 minutes, tying his career high, and contributed four points and an assist.
  • Senior Dominique Hawkins played a career-high 37 minutes. He scored three points, gathered a career-high six rebounds and added four assists.
  • Sophomore Isaac Humphries made his only shot of the game. UK is now 22-0 this season when Humphries scores.

Kentucky Player QUOTES After Big Win Over Florida



#25, Dominique Hawkins, Senior, G:

On how the game plan changed without De’Aaron Fox …
“Everybody knows once you get on the court you have to give it your all.”

On the difference between the first and second half …
“I felt like everybody picked it up a notch. Everybody was communicating on defense. Malik and Bam wanted the ball to score. They went all for it. So it gave us, made us relax, the guys that didn’t need to score as much.” 

On the difference between the game at Gainesville vs. Rupp …
“I feel like that we knew we needed to fight. I feel like we didn’t fight as much in Gainesville as in Lexington. So we definitely talked to each other in the huddles and said we need to get stops and communicate on defense and just continue to fight.” 

On the difference in rebounding … 
“Pretty much boxing out because they run at least three guys to the rim and if we would have just kept them boxed out we were able to get rebounds.” 

On the motivation early in the game when Kentucky was down …
“We were just saying don’t let this happen again because it looked like it was about to be a rerun of what they did to us at their place. We just said that we’ll be able to get stuff going. Just be patient and everything will fall together.” 







#3, Bam Adebayo, Freshman, F:

On another impressive double-double …
“My confidence just keeps building. My teammates believe in me and I believe in them. We keep winning, so you know, I’m having fun.”

On being in better shape …
“I think I lost like 10 pounds. I think that has a big factor to it. Just keeping my body right and I’ve starting eating healthier. And, I’m watching my diet.”

On making a comeback after the second half …
“Just having fight and just having that heart. You know, keep playing and keep fighting. We fought back into it, and we came out with a W.”

On his boost in confidence …
“When you lead the whole way, some people start getting relaxed, but just fighting back, and we get up, it keeps building our confidence, it keeps pushing the lead.”

On a win like today …
“It builds our confidence; it builds Coach Cal’s confidence. We are going to the tournament, you know, looking forward.”

On missing Fox …
“We were missing a player, but it helps us build our confidence. When he gets back, he needs to have his confidence built, and we are going to the next game with a lot of confidence.”







#5, Malik Monk, G:

On if he felt “hotter” today or during the UNC/ first Georgia game…
“I think I was hotter North Carolina than I was today. I had a great first half but I think I was pretty hot today though.”   

On having 30 in the first half…
“I didn’t know that until after the game. I was just playing, but it was crazy. ”

On what was different in the second half…
“I was way more patient in the second half than I was in the first half. I was, like I said, getting to the lane.”

On if he has ever had a game where Coach Calipari was as mad at him in the first half as he was happy with him at the end of the game…
“It ain’t no telling with him. He’s all over the place.”

On what Coach Calipari thought of his defense early in the game…
“No, he didn’t say anything. I think I was contesting all of his shots; he was just making tough shots.”

On playing without Fox tonight…
“I think we did that Georgia game, too -- we didn’t play with Fox. So it was the same thing, kind of. ”


John Calipari Quotes After Big Win Over Florida


John Calipari:


Q. How much do you think Malik develops muscles to where he gets it going to where --
JOHN CALIPARI: What happened to Malik, we were on him to drive, to get fouled. Don't drive to release and throw some crazy thing, just try to get fouled. That's why I grabbed him. We have been doing it all year and harder to play that way and Florida's an obviously a highly ranked team. They're tough physically, they had won nine in a row, they were confident. You're not going to beat them shooting threes or fadeaways, you got to attack. If you attack, you're going to get beat up a little bit, you're going to get grabbed a little bit, you're going to get hip checked some. I was really -- we didn't want to try to beat them shooting threes and I said it before the game. I said, if you think you're going to beat these guys by shooting threes, you will not. You got to get to the glass, you got to get to the foul line, it's how you got to play.

Q. A lot of your big men late in the season kind of turned the corner, has Bam done that do you think?
JOHN CALIPARI: I hope so. I hope so. Had a smile on his face, we did some things different to go at him where we're saying, look, we're either going to go at Malik or we're going to go at Bam, and then we're going to play off that. We're not going to try to make this fancy, let's just do it. I like how we played when you're one man down. I thought Isaiah Briscoe, nine points and eight rebounds playing the point. I thought Dom was outstanding again. We just got to get a team full of guys really locked into what we're doing. At the end, okay, okay, there's just two plays, Malik went baseline and tried to -- why would you do that? There was a man in the corner. The shot was taken on the perimeter. We don't have to score another basket to win, and Isaiah went flying in there and gave them a breakout. Why did you do that? Now, those are the things that were costing us up 18, those kind of plays and we got to get away from them. But the biggest thing this team did is they fought in the second half. Think about it, we shot 28 percent at halftime. 28 percent. We must have missed nine layups. And we're in a tie game. That means you're fighting, that means you're giving yourself a chance to win.

Q. Did we see today maybe kind of again but more than ever why even when it's really bad for Malik maybe early you got to ride him and give him a chance to do what he did.
JOHN CALIPARI: Yeah, but I'm still learning about him. I'm still learning. I'm still learning about Bam. I keep coming back to the same thing. This is different here. I have a brand new team every year. So when you're trying to put that team together, sometimes it takes you the entire season to figure out how should we be playing. It takes the other teams half a season to figure out how to guard us and then they lock into, here's what we're taking away, these four or five things, and we're going to make them play to these things. And then we got to regroup and say, okay, now what do we do? And that's, a lot of times, by the end of the year. I mean, to be honest, next year will be the same way. Beginning of the year, oh, high flying, shooting dunks, oh my gosh. And then you get to the middle of the year and, wow, they're not getting as many easy baskets. Ooh, they're having to work, they're having to be patient, they're having to set screens. Yeah, you got to play basketball now. But I like the fact that we fought and I said, and for De'Aaron Fox, hey, man, when you come back, you better be to the level of these guys fighting. That's where you need to be.

Q. You mentioned the last game, the difference in rebounding, it was almost a 40 rebound swing between last game and this game?
JOHN CALIPARI: Their big kid got hurt and he's out. So that played a part of it. But were you at the game down in Florida?

Q. No, I was not.
JOHN CALIPARI: Okay, well we got beat to every 50/50 ball, we got shoved and pushed and we accepted every block out and they just man handled us. That's what they did. And we just, one of the things is you talk about you can't be that team. And my thing in this game and the games coming up, it's not -- look, I want to win every game I coach. It is about getting us right for this late season run. And you all know, the second half we showed, wow, if they play that way, they're going to be fine. Now can we play, can that be us? Or are we not locked into each other. Or are we not this team. If we're this team, I like what I'm seeing.

Q. So six straight wins since the reboot, are we right?
JOHN CALIPARI: No, we still are tweaking a little bit. There's some tweaking going on right now.

Q. To win a game like this without De'Aaron, what did you learn anything new about your team?
JOHN CALIPARI: I'm saying this, because if he had played he would have been 70 percent. So what I'm saying is, I knew that. I really wanted us to play the game without him. For us and for him. And now it's like, okay, but we made runs in the middle of the game with Isaiah on the bench. He wasn't in. That's good for this team to know, you could have foul trouble, you could have an injury, something could happen. You can still win if you're playing the right way. If you're creating good shots for each other. If you're defending and rebounding like crazy, flying to get easy baskets, if it's not there, I will be patient. If it takes me the whole shot clock to get a shot, I will. We're getting closer. But when you're playing all freshmen and sophomores, it's -- thank goodness for Dom and Derek and thank goodness for Mychal. Mychal's playing better.

Q. When it's rocking, Rupp is a big advantage for the team and today felt like one of the bigger atmospheres for the event. Did the crowd really bring it to this team today, did that help carry them a lot more than the past teams?
JOHN CALIPARI: No, it's every team. I can remember games that were so electric that I was just happy that I had a chance to coach in the game. This was one of those kind of games and I thought our fans were great. You know what's great about these fans? When we had that bad start, they don't boo. They're like come on, you can do this. That's a Kentucky fan. That's a classy fan. If you notice, when they introduced Florida, they didn't boo Florida. They didn't boo. They didn't boo the other coach. Now if they did that to me and didn't boo, I would probably retire. I want them to do that to me. But these fans are about our team and our players. And that's why I love walking in. It was jammed in there. Jammed. That has to be -- when I looked to the upper deck and people are sitting like this (Indicating) I know we got a lot of people in the house tonight.

Q. How do you hope it benefits De'Aaron to not be part of it and you guys win?
JOHN CALIPARI: Well just, he watches and you better step on the gas. We defended. We defended. You know what we guarded pretty good? Pick and roll. We guarded, because we fought over every pick and roll and then we switched a couple times and we went back to fighting over. No one died in any screen. I mean, okay now, this is what it is when we're doing it the right way.

Q. There was a point in the game when Humphries had a wide open shot --
JOHN CALIPARI: Who?

Q. Humphries. And he didn't take it. And he gave it up and they gave it back to him and he took a shot and drilled it. What was your reaction to it and what was his?
JOHN CALIPARI: Well, my reaction to the shot at Missouri that he missed, he's making in a five minute drill, 70 to 75 shots in five minutes. He misses five to six shots. Those kind of shots that you saw him take. And then gets in the game and misses and it drives me absolutely crazy. So, I expect him, because I watch him every day, to make that shot. And to take that shot. He's built his own confidence. Again, he's doing way better, but Bam's, you got to keep him on the court. He's a dominating presence.

Q. In your 50 years of coaching how many times have you had a kid get 30 points in a half?
JOHN CALIPARI: Oh, he got 30 in a half? No wonder when I got on him about a couple bad shots he looked at me like I was crazy. I didn't know he had 30 in a half. So, good for him.

Q. Have you had a kid do that before?
JOHN CALIPARI: Jerry will look it up. He'll tell you.

Q. (No microphone.)
JOHN CALIPARI: He had 50 in a half.

Q. They beat you by 10 at their place, y'all beat them by 10 up here.
JOHN CALIPARI: They beat us by 20 down there.

Q. What would round three looked like in the SEC tournament?
JOHN CALIPARI: A war. Believe me, we got Vandy coming up and we got to go to Texas A&M. They got two tough games. I don't think either one of us are looking to, oh, we want to get them again. Honestly, I hope we don't have to face them again. Because they're that good. They got guys that can go crazy and make shots and they're athletic and long, they can block shots. They had two blocks today, but we only had two. That's unusual for them and us.

Q. What did you say to Briscoe when you took the ball from him after the technical?
JOHN CALIPARI: I didn't want him to go back after -- I saw the push. I didn't see the first push. I saw the push and I thought he called the technical on the kid. And I did not want him -- you got to be a man in those situations and walk away. That's what a man does. A child immediately has to go push back. When you just won. Why would you push back? Now you just lost. So I grabbed him, and he has a way at times, you say something to him, I'm a man, I'm not going to -- what? No, you walk and we win the game and you laugh after the game. So that's what I grabbed the ball for. I didn't know there was a push and he was coming over to me telling me, look, I didn't try to push him. So then I said you did push him then. Yeah, but I didn't try. Okay. Try harder not to try. How about that one?

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Some Notes From Kentucky's Win Over Missouri

Men’s Basketball Postgame Notes
Kentucky at Missouri, Mizzou Arena, Columbia, Mo.
Feb. 21, 2017
Attendance: 
11,574

Final Score: No. 11/10 Kentucky 72, Missouri 62
                                                         
Team Records and Series Notes:
·         Kentucky won its fifth game in a row and is 23-5 overall, 13-2 in the Southeastern Conference. Missouri is 7-20, 2-13 in the SEC.
·         Kentucky leads the series 10-0
o    UK leads 3-0 in Columbia.
·         Next for Kentucky: the Wildcats return to Rupp Arena Saturday against Florida. Tipoff is scheduled for 2 p.m. ET on CBS.
o    Kentucky and Florida sit atop the SEC standings with identical 13-2 league records.
o    Florida won the two teams’ first meeting this season 88-66 in Gainesville on Feb. 4.

In the First Half:
·         Kentucky started the lineup of Isaiah Briscoe, De’Aaron Fox, Malik Monk, Wenyen Gabriel and Bam Adebayo for the 20th time this season. UK is 16-4 with this lineup.
·         Malik Monk’s 3-pointer with 18:51 on the clock extended UK’s streak of 1,003 consecutive games with a triple.
·         Missouri scored the first two baskets of the game, but never led by more than four.
·         Kentucky led by as many as five.

In the Second Half:
·         Kentucky scored the first three buckets of the second half to pull out to a 37-31 lead at the 17:28 mark.
·         Mizzou used a 6-0 run over 0:45 to tie the game at 52-52 at the 7:45 mark.
·         Adebayo finished a traditional three-point play on the ensuing UK possession.
o    UK led the rest of the game.
·         Kentucky opened its lead to double-digits for the first time at the 1:40 mark when Derek Willis finished a Fox alley-oop on the fast break.
o    UK used a 16-6 run to take that 68-58 lead.
·         From tied at 52-52 with 7:45 to play, Kentucky finished the game by outscoring Mizzou 20-10.

Team Notes:
·         Kentucky shot 46.2 percent from the field. UK is 23-1 this season when shooting at least 42 percent.
·         Kentucky won the rebounding battle for the fifth straight game, 44-31. UK is 19-3 this season when outrebounding the opponent.
o    Since losing the battle of the boards in the loss at Florida, UK has had an average rebounding margin better than +10 per game during the current five-game win streak.
·         Calipari has a 685-192 (.781) on-court record, including a 240-52 (.822) mark at UK.
·         Kentucky’s 17 turnovers tied its season-high. The other occurrences were the loss to Kansas, and the win against South Carolina.
·         UK’s two steals tied its season low (at Vanderbilt).
·         UK improved to 142-5 when holding an opponent to 63 points or less under Calipari.

Player Notes:

·         Freshman Bam Adebayo had 22 points and grabbed a career-high 15 rebounds.
·         He tallied the first 20-point, 10-rebound game of his career.
·         It was his fourth double-double of the year which ties him with Briscoe and Fox for the team lead.
·         He's pulled down seven or more rebounds in his last six games.
·         He tied his career highs with 10 made free throws on 13 attempts.
·         He scored more than 20 for the first time since going for 21 at Tennessee on Jan. 24.
·         He blocked three shots, one shy of his career high.
·         Freshman De’Aaron Fox had 13 points, and added five rebounds and four assists.
·         Freshman Malik Monk tallied 11 points, continuing his streak of double-figure scoring in every game this season.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Some Notes From Kentucky's Close Win Over Georgia

Men’s Basketball Postgame Notes
Kentucky at Georgia, Stegeman Coliseum, Athens, Ga.
Feb. 18, 2017
Attendance: 
10,523

Final Score: No. 13/11 Kentucky 82, Georgia 77
                                                             
Team Records and Series Notes:
·         Kentucky won its fourth game in a row and is 22-5 overall, 12-2 in the Southeastern Conference. Georgia is 15-12, 6-8 in the SEC.
o    Kentucky swept the season series.
·         Kentucky leads the series 123-26.
o    UK leads 42-17 in Athens.
o    UK has won eight in a row in the series.
·         Next for Kentucky: the Wildcats continue their two-game road swing at Missouri on Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET. SEC Network will air the game.

In the First Half:
·         Kentucky started the lineup of Isaiah Briscoe, De’Aaron Fox, Malik Monk, Wenyen Gabriel and Bam Adebayo for the 19th time this season. UK is 15-4 with this lineup.
·         Malik Monk’s 3-pointer with 16:15 on the clock extended UK’s streak of 1,002 consecutive games with a triple.
·         Kentucky went on an 8-0 run over 2:15 to take a 13-8 lead at the 13:07 mark.
·         Kentucky led by as many as five in the first half, Georgia’s largest first-half lead was by four with 19:03.
·         Georgia guard J.J. Frazier hit a 3-pointer as time expired to cut Kentucky’s halftime lead to two, 33-31.

In the Second Half:
·         Neither team was able to pull away throughout the second half.
·         From 73-73 with 1:12 to play, Kentucky closed the game on a 9-4 run.
·         Kentucky made 17 free throws in a row during the final 6:17 of the game, including nine straight in the final minute, before Adebayo’s inconsequential miss with five seconds left.

Team Notes:
·         Kentucky shot a season-high 82.1 percent (23 of 28) at the line. 
o    UK made 17 of its last 18 free throws.
·         Kentucky shot 46.6 percent from the field. UK is 22-1 this season when shooting at least 42 percent.
·         Kentucky won the rebounding for the fourth straight game, 41-26. UK is 18-3 this season when outrebounding the opponent.
o    Since losing the battle of the boards in the loss at Florida, UK has had an average rebounding margin of +10 during the current four-game win streak.
o    Georgia’s 26 rebounds tied UT-Martin and LSU for the fewest by a UK opponent this season.
·         Calipari has a 684-192 (.781) on-court record, including a 239-52 (.821) mark at UK.
·         Georgia guard J.J. Frazier scored a game-high 36 points, the most an opposing player has scored against UK this year.UK has allowed four players to score more than 30 this year. The Wildcats had allowed an opposing player to score more than 30 in a game five times in the four years prior to this.
o    Frazier scored the most points against UK since Elston Turner scored 40 to lead Texas A&M to a 83-71 win in Rupp Arena Jan. 12, 2013.
·         Kentucky held Georgia to three made 3-pointers, trying the season-low by a UK opponent this year. UK has held its opponent to just three made 3s in three straight games.

Player Notes:  
·         Freshman De’Aaron Fox had 16 points, and added five rebounds and five assists.
·         He scored 14 of them in the final 4:36 of the game – eight of them on free throws.
·         His 10 free-throw attempts tied his career-high.
·         Freshman Malik Monk tallied 16 points, continuing his streak of double-figure scoring in every game this season.
·         His five first-half assists were his most in any half this season. He finished with five dimes.
·         After being held scoreless through the first 13:26 of the second half, he scored eight points in the final 6:44 of the game.
·         Senior Derek Willis grabbed a career-high-tying 12 rebounds.
·         He scored seven points on a perfect 3 of 3 shooting, including one made 3.
·         Freshman Bam Adebayo had 13 points and grabbed eight rebounds.
·         Senior Dominique Hawkins followed up his season-high 10-point performance last Tuesday with nine tonight.
·         Senior Mychal Mulder scored nine points – his most since scoring 12 vs. Auburn on Jan. 14.
·         All his made baskets were 3-pointers (three).

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Some Notes From Kentucky's Win Over Tennessee

Men’s Basketball Postgame Notes
Tennessee at Kentucky, Rupp Arena, Lexington, Ky.
February 14, 2017
Attendance: 24,391

Final Score: #13/11 Kentucky 83, Tennessee 58
Team Records and Series Notes:
  • Kentucky won its third game in a row and is 21-5 overall, 11-2 in the Southeastern Conference. Tennessee is 14-12, 6-7 in the SEC.
  • Kentucky leads the series 153-69, including 92-16 in Lexington.  
  • Next for Kentucky: the Wildcats begin a two-game road swing Saturday at Georgia. Game time is 6 p.m. and it 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 18th time this season. UK is 14-4 with this lineup.
  • Kentucky took its first lead, 7-6, when Derek Willis’ 3-pointer with 16:03 on the clock extended UK’s streak of 1,001 consecutive games with a triple. The Wildcats never trailed again.
  • Willis added two more 3-pointers to make it 20-12, prompting a Tennessee timeout at 10:50.
  • UK stretched the run to 18-3, making the score 31-15, prompting another UT timeout at 8:09.
  • The teams played evenly the rest of the way and Kentucky went to halftime ahead 47-32. It was the most points for UK in a first half since the South Carolina game on Jan. 21.
  • UK made 10 3-pointers in the first half, most in a half this season. The previous best was eight long balls in a half on two occasions.

In the Second Half:
  • Tennessee pulled within 53-40 – the closest the Volunteers got in the second half – when Fox made two magnificent plays
    • A steal that led to a fast-break alley-oop pass for a Willis dunk
    • Another steal that he took the length of the court for a layup
  • Kentucky led by as many as 28 points en route to the final score of 83-58.

Team Notes:
  • Kentucky held Tennessee to 58 points, the Volunteers’ fewest of the season.
    • UK is 13-0 this season when limiting the opponent to 72 or fewer points.
    • Kentucky is 141-5 (.966) under Calipari when limiting the opponent to 63 points or fewer.
  • Tennessee shot 34.6 percent from the field. UK is 12-0 this season when limiting the opponent to less than 43 percent.
  • Kentucky shot 46.4 percent from the field. UK is 20-1 this season when shooting at least 42 percent.
  • Kentucky had 17 assists against only seven turnovers. UK is 20-2 this season when having more assists than turnovers.
  • Kentucky won the rebounding for the third straight game, 43-35. UK is 17-3 this season when outrebounding the opponent. 
  • UK is now 207-4 (.981) under Calipari in games leading by at least 10 points. 
  • Calipari has a 683-192 (.781) on-court record, including a 238-52 (.821) mark at UK.
  • Kentucky has an all-time mark of 559-66 (.894) in Rupp Arena.  
    • UK has won 46 consecutive games in Rupp Arena vs. unranked opponents.
    • UK is 132-6 (.957) at Rupp Arena under John Calipari.

Player Notes : 
  • Freshman Malik Monk tallied a game-high 20 points, continuing his streak of double-figure scoring in every game this season. It’s also his 15th 20-point game of the season.
    • Monk grabbed a career-high eight rebounds.
  • Senior Derek Willis made 16 points, with 12 coming in the first half on four 3-pointers.
    • Willis also had a big game last season vs. Tennessee in Rupp Arena, setting career bests with seven 3-pointers and 25 total points.
  • Freshman De’Aaron Fox had 13 points and tied Isaiah Briscoe with a game-high six assists.
  • Sophomore Isaiah Briscoe had 12 points and tied Fox with a game-high six assists.
  • Freshman Bam Adebayo had seven points and led all rebounders with 12 boards. It is his fourth double-figure rebounding game of the season and first since the UCLA game on Dec. 3.
  • Senior Dominique Hawkins canned a pair of 3-pointers, leading to a season-high 10 points. It is the second double-figure game of his career, tallying 13 in the win over Louisville last season.



Monday, February 13, 2017

Coach Calipari's Pre-Tennessee Press Conference QUOTES



Head Coach John Calipari:


On how the “reboot” is affecting the team …
“They’ve been good. There’s still things that we have to work on, and I’m spending time right now watching tape when we’re up 18, 20, 25, 16 that we get back those points. So I spent yesterday breaking all that down and coming up with ideas because they’re not going to fix stuff on their own. It’s just not what they do. And so we’re going to work on some of that today and continue on the defense and continue on the ball movement, and the, I told you, it took us three weeks to get where we were. It’s not happened overnight. I don’t want them to get away. Let me put it this way: They went from one shot, no shot to probably a little too much grind out against Alabama. We have to be somewhere in the middle, but they proved that they could play that way if they had to, which is good.”

On what he sees big leads getting smaller …
“A bunch of stuff that we’re going to work on. I feel comfortable that, and it’s not just defense, it’s both sides of the ball and we’ll get better.”

On if it’s a mental problem or physical problem with the team …
“No, I think it’s as much technical as it is mental. Like, they’ve got to have a plan. OK, you’re up 18, here’s how we gotta play. They don’t know. Today we met in the morning with some film stuff and I asked the guy, ‘Why didn’t you do this?’ He said, ‘I didn’t know I was supposed to.’ Not his fault. If he doesn’t know then we’ve got to teach him. They’re starting to take more responsibility. At some point someone is going to say, ‘I’m not playing well and this is on me.’ I’m not sure they’re ready for that yet, but they’ll start moving in that direction. The more they take on responsibility, the more it’s what they have to do together to better for all of us.” 

How he feels about playing the team again that started the downward slide … 
“Well, they’re good. I mean, I watched the Georgia game and they should’ve won that game, too. I mean, they’re running they’re stuff. They’re a matchup problem for everybody. Rick (Barnes) is doing an unbelievable job, which he always does, getting his teams ready to battle and play. Whether you play man or zone, he’s got a good answer.”

On Isaiah Briscoe’s decision making …
“He’s been better. We still – the energy and some of the other things that we need are just – you know, and it’s you can’t try to cure everything. You’re going one thing, let’s get this right. Let’s get this right. What I’m encouraged about is down the line where this team should be, here in a couple more weeks. And that’s, you know – they want to do it. They’re trying. Good group of kids that, you know, do some things that I shake my head at.”

On if he’s identified things they’re doing down the stretch to give up big leads …
“Yeah, I did. I came up with some ideas. I don’t like – I don’t walk into a room and have people tell me, ‘This is what I think it is.’ Why don’t we just watch the six games, or the five games? Watch it and go away. They’ll leave and think, what, ‘OK, now tell me what you think it is.’ You don’t throw things out that were working and you don’t make up the reasons, you just – so I watched those on an airplane and came back with a pretty good idea of how I want to attack it. And we’ll do some of it today and then we’ll go Wednesday and Thursday and Friday before we go to Georgia.” 

On if they were pretty consistent …
“Yeah. Yeah.”

On if you’re a Basketball Benny, will you notice the changes …
“If you watched it, you’d probably have a good idea. You’d have to watch it though. You can’t just write about it and give your opinion. Which is sometimes your hope, not your opinion. Did you get that? Some of you just don’t get that.”

On if he gets frustrated again rewatching the game tape of the previous game vs. Tennessee …
“No, because I’m trying to fix things. I’m not – I’m not blaming. I’m not throwing kids under, ‘They should this. What are? You know.’ They are what they are.”

On what he believes is the major issue facing his team right now …
“Just learning how to play in situational basketball. You know, you think about it, the fast team that we had in 2012, we were fast. This team could be faster. But, how did we play in the championship game? What was the final score? (It was) 67-59. And it was only because we were shooting fouls at the end. That game was in the low 60s because we had to be in the low 60s to win the game. I mean, I saw where it was going. I didn’t like it. I slowed it – slow down. Let’s just play and grind these dudes a little bit. You gotta be able to do both. But, our speed is a weapon. And you gotta use your weapons. You gotta use open court, driving to get to the rim. You know, we’re a good 3-point shooting team. Use your weapons, yet you’re going to play somebody that makes you play half court. You gotta be able to do it. So a lot of our issues are situational. There’s no in – anything within that’s an issue. I mean, it’s just that they don’t know. I’m trying to put a lot of this on, ‘Alright, let me spread this thing out a little bit between staff. Let me tell these guys my job is in practice, your job is in the game.’ As they went through it, I don’t know – look, you can sit there and go crazy when they give up a lead or you can figure out, ‘Why are they doing this?’  Because we’ve done it five times. Top 25 and all of the sudden you’re like, ‘Oh my gosh, we could lose this.’ If we haven’t talked about it, we haven’t really worked on it and shown them – you can’t blame them. Dudes are in high school six months ago. Trying to play what we’re doing against veteran teams?”

On difference in De’Aaron Fox in the past few games … 
“Well, you know, he was sick and that zapped him a little bit and I think he will be fine. The biggest issue if you look is the way he played the ball and bothered the ball and defended. He looked like Tyler Ulis. He backed up a little bit off that. That’s the No. 1 weapon he has. And then the second weapon is his speed. Those are effort things. Those aren’t, you know. You gotta do that first.”

On if that’s a case of trying to save energy …
“No. I think it is easier just trying to do something crazy and if you make that day you can go one out of five plays. I have had guys that way. First he is grinding and pushing, do it and go. I am going to make one really fabulous play and that will keep everybody off my neck for three, four minutes vs. the day to day. I am not shock and awe. That is not how I coach. I am not show time. Our thing is every day we are doing the same drills. Every day we are trying to get better. It’s the grind of this. Those plays happen just in the flow of the game that you do something crazy because you’re that good. You don’t have to play to do something crazy. Just play. But again, I am happy with what these guys are trying to do and I am getting a better mental picture of where this team needs to be. and unless we had gone through some of the stuff we went through, I probably would’ve been fooled. So, I think we are moving in the right direction. ”

On NCAA looking to reset fouls after the 10-minute mark on experimental basis … 
“Never heard of it. Don’t, don’t know enough about it to even respond.”

On Fox and Bam Adebayo’s status after yesterday’s car accident …
“I was on an airplane and landed and then before I get back on, ‘Are your guys OK?’ What? They were in a fender bender that some – they were passengers in a car that were in a fender bender. I was meeting with De’Aaron before I left and he came in and I didn’t even ask him because everybody said yeah, they’re fine. Nothing happened. I mean, like, but you’re Kentucky. It’s on the ticker. What is on the ticker? You know what was on the ticker two nights ago? What Ellen and I had for dinner. It’s crazy. I mean, what in the world?”

On if he celebrates Valentine’s Day …
“Do I celebrate Valentine’s Day? You reminded me so I will probably get her flowers. I didn’t know it was Valentine’s Day tomorrow but I usually get her flowers or a card or something – or sometimes I have someone else get it because I forgot. You helped me.”

On how many players he’s comfortable drawing up a play for a shot late in the game like he did with Derek Willis at Alabama …
“I’m pretty comfortable. We’ve done it with different players on here, on the team. Gotta be able to make foul (shots) in case you get fouled. We’re still a work in progress. I know Malik (Monk), we rank something for him. I put De’Aaron Fox in pick-and-rolls against Mississippi State because I was comfortable with him making those plays. He did it. He’s gotta figure out the rebounding at the defensive end: How are we going to do this to survive? And Wenyen (Gabriel) the same: How are you going to do this to survive? We’re still, again – we’re still experimenting. I don’t know if you watched. Most of you don’t. But we played pick-and-roll defense with Isaac (Humphries) a little different. You have no idea what I’m talking about, which I like. But we played it different, and we’re trying different things so the kids, we can see what they’re able to do. You can’t ask a kid to do something he’s not capable of doing. You just can’t do it. You just gotta keep figuring it out – or you don’t play them. That’s your option. Figure it out with them or don’t play them. Don’t put them in there where they’re not capable of doing what you’re asking. I put Derek Willis in that play to get him that shot because I know he’s capable of making that. There are other guys that I would not put them in that play because they’re capable but I’m not sure they’re very confident that they can make that play. I love what Kenny (Payne) is doing right now. Kenny is watching. If a player is not playing with confidence either on defense or offense, he’s out. Kenny’s just taking him out. So you either play with confidence or you’re coming out. So what do that mean? You play with confidence. You can miss a shot confidently. Miss a shot, confidently play defense. But if you’re out there and you don’t breathe – you don’t breathe for four minutes at a time – well, you shouldn’t be out there. Be confident. Get yourself in practice. Work on it. Walk in that game knowing I want to play and I’m going to play confident. So there are some things we’re working on and doing. We’ll see.”

On if Payne just takes them out or he tells Cal … “Either. He’ll say something to me or he’ll say, ‘Get them out.’ So we’re trying a little bit of everything.”