Thursday, February 28, 2013

Kentucky vs. Arkansas pre-view

After a three game homestand, Kentucky heads back out on the road to Fayetteville to take on the Razorbacks of Arkansas.

The Hogs have had a sub par season thus far going 17-11 (8-7), but still pose a tough challenge for anyone when they are playing in Bud Walton Arena. So far this season, Arkansas has only suffered one loss at home and that was against then #6 ranked Syracuse. So it's safe to say that it will be no easy task to go into Fayetteville and come out with a win.

For Kentucky to have a chance at a victory, they will have to have maximum effort from everyone that steps on the floor. Everyone will have to get involved on offense and defense not to mention rebounding. If they come with the effort they had in any of the last three games, they should come away with a win. But, if they take this team lightly, they very well could find themselves back in the "first four out" column.

To get a better feel for what the Cats will have to do to avoid a loss, here's a look at how these two stack up against each other...

              HOGS    CATS

PPG:        74            75
RPG:       35            38
APG:        15             14
SPG:          9               6
BPG:          5               7
TPG:        12             13
FG%:       44            48
FT%:        67            64
3P%:        30            36

Arkansas has lost it's last two games, one at LSU 65-60 and one at Florida 67-49. The Hogs have taken some pretty bad losses on the road this season, just glancing at their schedule there was one that stuck out to me, a loss at Vandy 67-49. Now I know what you're thinking, we have beaten Vandy twice, LSU once and had Nerlens Noel not gotten injured against Florida, that score would have been more respectful than 69-52 and you're right on all accounts. But there's one thing to remember,  all of those losses for the Hogs came on the road. 

I really believe if Kentucky plays their game, executes their offense the way they have been the last couple of weeks and plays hard-nosed defense they can win this one. But, if they come out flat, turning the ball over at a high rate and not fighting for rebounds, this very well could be a loss. The one stat that concerns me is Arkansas averaging 9 steals per contest and the Cats averaging 13 turnovers. You don't have to be a coach to see what has the potential of happening if the Cats don't take care of the ball.

Historically, Bud Walton Arena has always been a tough place to play for everyone in the SEC, including Kentucky who has an all-time record of 5-4 in the building. It can be one of the loudest arena's in the league on a good night, at times it can sound like all 19,200 is about to come through your TV screen. It's always the game on the schedule that when it's played in Bud Walton, Cat fans cringe at the thought of it.

Even-though Kentucky has a 5-4 record in Bud Walton, they still lead the all-time series (as they do with all SEC opponents) with a record of 25-8.

Saturday could be an interesting game if Kentucky allows it to be, but if they play to their potential and as a team they can get the much needed W. I guess we will find out Saturday what this team has learned in their victories at Rupp...

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Kentucky players post MSU game quotes

#15, Willie Cauley-Stein, F

On not having Nerlens Noel…
“It’s still empty. We’re always going to have that empty feeling but we’re just coming together as a team now. Guys are starting to listen to what coach has to say and it’s just falling into place.”

On his conditioning…
“Coach just kept on saying that you have to fight through it, when we hit the stretch you have to play more. I’m trying to train my lungs so when we’re up by so many points. I’m just trying to train my lungs into going more and then sub myself out.”

On playing offense without Nerlens Noel
“It’s just playing ball, not a lot of X’s and O’s. Just setting screens and move the ball then someone is going to be open.”

On playing games like this…
“It’s just a fun game. We just went through a lot of tough games, the last three or four games. They’re a good squad though, don’t get them wrong. They have a lot of guys missing. They play tough and they play hard. It’s all fun for our team just to try and get ourselves back into a good rhythm.”

#12 Ryan Harrow, Guard

On his rebounding this game …
“That feels good.  Coach told us since Nerlens (Noel) is out we just had to start rebounding more.  All the guards just need to start rebounding more. Especially with teams that shoot a lot of 3’s.  The ball is going to fly out farther to where the point guards are at.”

On the adjustment after Nerlens Noel is out for the season …
“Coach just says to play more discipline on defense because we don’t have the shot-blocking presence.  If we just play solid on defense and wait for them to shoot the ball, and they miss, we try to get the rebound off the first shot.”

On the emotional changes over the past 10 days…
“We just all got together and talked and said we needed to turn this around.  We are starting to have fun and playing together better.”

#22, Alex Poythress, F 

On how he played tonight … 
“I think I played good. I was just trying to help my team out there, have fun and get a home win.”

On keeping the effort with a lead … 
“You just have to keep it going. You can’t get complacent or anything like that. Once you get up big, you still have to play hard. You can’t play slow, you can’t play lazy-like. You just have to keep on pushing it.”

On how dangerous the team can be when everyone is playing well …
“Everybody is playing well. We all play as a team and we can be very hard to beat. We are having fun out there and we’re just making great plays.” 

On the importance of rebounding without Nerlens (Noel) … 
“I think they realize how important it is for them to rebound and they are stepping up to the plate.”

MSU coach Rick Ray post game post game quotes

Mississippi State Head Coach Rick Ray

On how his team continued to compete … 
“I thought we did a fairly good job of continuing to compete. The situation we are in right now where you have lost so many ballgames in a row and you have attrition on your team --. The only thing we can go for right now is just to battle and compete. That’s what I want to see from our guys. I think a lot of our woes come from our struggles on the offensive end. I think we are getting some good looks out there at times, we just simply don’t knock them down. The one thing we have to figure out as a team is just self-evaluation. We continually take more 3s than any other team, but yet we are the worst-shooting team in the SEC. That’s just not logical. We’ve got to figure out a way to temper our 3-point shooting or knock down those shots because we have got to get the ball into the paint and score more. Gavin Ware has to find a way to finish versus size. Guys like (Willie) Cauley-Stein really give him a problem because of him length and the only way he can combat that is to be more physical and create seals with his body.”

On Kentucky’s problems … 
“I don’t see a lot of problems. I understand that Kentucky has had some problems with injuries and they probably lost the No. 1 draft pick in the nation in Nerlens Noel, but when you want to start comparing trials and tribulations, we win all day long. Even the situation they are in, (John Calipari) still has like five-star guys and McDonald’s All-American’s that is playing for him, so excuse me if I don’t start crying for what is going on at Kentucky compared to what is going on here.”

On UK’s difference with Wilie Cauley-Stein instead of Nerlens Noel … 
“I think the huge difference is the shot-blocking ability. We were preparing for Ole Miss, and Kentucky just got done playing Ole Miss. What Kentucky did was just switch all the ball screens and all the screens coming off of Marshall Henderson. Someone said we should just do that. I said that I would do that when I have a guy back there who blocks 12 shots in a game. He just changes things that you do. I will give Coach Cal credit. He has figured out a way for his team to be successful without Nerlens Noel because you base what you do defensively based on him and so you have to give him credit for trying to figure out  a way to make his team still be successful without the best player in probably college basketball. Credit goes to him on that.”

On Ryan Harrow’s point guard play … 
“I actually had a chance to play against Ryan Harrow when he played at North Carolina State when he was a freshman and I was still at Clemson. He has really evolved as a basketball player. I know that when we were at Clemson, he struggled against our pressure at times, like most kids do as a freshman. You can tell he is maturing and trying to figure things out. I think he is a good basketball player and I think he just kind of had to find his way with all the scoring and all the different opportunities you have here at Kentucky to get the ball to different people. 

Coach Cal post MSU press conference video

MSU/Kentucky official box-score


Miss State vs. Kentucky recap

Kentucky came into the game tonight looking to make it three straight wins at home while Mississippi State was looking to halt their 12 game losing skid. Kentucky played it's best basketball of the season Saturday night against Missouri and Cat fans hoped they would pick up where they left off. Any slip ups, especially against a team with a resume like the Bulldogs' would spell the end to any hopes the Cats had of making the NCAA Tournament.

Kentucky opened the scoring for the game with a put-back slam by Alex Poythress off a Ryan Harrow missed three. Poythress has shown tremendous improvement over the last couple of games and he will need to show more for this team to have a successful post season run. To start the game, Alex Poythress was everywhere, getting rebounds and drawing offensive fouls, it seems he has turned the corner and coming into his own as a player. At the first timeout, Kentucky led 11-6 with Poythress and Willie Cauley-Stein combining for all 11.

Archie Goodwin still has a bad habit of driving the lane when nothing is there just to turn it over. I can't remember a more frustrating player to watch since the arrival of John Calipari, the most aggravating part is you know he's a better player than what he has shown this season. We have seen flashes of what Archie is capable of (second half of the Missouri game), I'm just not sure what it would take for him to become a consistent player and that's what could cost him a first round NBA draft pick.

Everything went Kentucky's way early in the first half as the Cats put together a 22-2 run, a run where even John Hood got in on the action by draining a three from the wing. With 9:39 left until halftime, Kentucky led 24-8 and showed no signs of slowing down. Even their defense was much improved tonight as they at one point caused State to miss eight straight field goal attempts by playing some of the best in your face defense they have played in a while. But it didn't take long for turnovers and boneheaded plays to show their ugly faces again as Miss State cut Kentucky's lead to 14-26 with 7:25 left in the first half. It's little things like that that cost them some games early in the season that they really shouldn't have lost.

The best sight of the first half, besides the emergence of Alex Poythress (finally) was seeing Julius Mays do some coaching on the floor. After Archie Goodwin drove the lane and committing his 100th turnover, Julius took him aside and was explaining the importance of passing the ball. I'm not sure if Archie was listening, but Julius was sure explaining it to him. As the "old man" of the team, it's good to see Julius play the role of a leader. He made a comment recently that when he slides the Kentucky jersey over his head it makes him play with pride. That comment, ladies and gentlemen came from a transfer that hasn't even played a full year. Now if we can just get the other guys to feel the same way.

Kentucky went to the break up 42-19 while playing some pretty good basketball. Alex Poythress was your halftime leading scorer with 13.


(courtesy of "96 team during the celebration at halftime

(Courtesy of Wayne Turner Shows off his new ring

 Wayne Turner was quoted as saying "I sometimes wish he were my coach"that ladies and gentlemen was in reference to John Calipari. What's up Ricky?




The one thing that needed improving from the first half is the play of Kyle Wiltjer. Kentucky cannot afford to have him going scoreless at any point of any game. He  MUST score on a consistent basis, other than that, it was a pretty good half by the CATS.

Kentucky started the second half with a two and a three point make by Archie Goodwin. I guess the little talk Julius had with him in the first half worked. Ryan Harrow even got in on the fun in the second half by draining his first three point attempt of the half bringing the score to 50-19 with 16:52 to go in the game.

I lost a little concentration due to receiving text messages from people about the '96 team celebration, so I missed a little bit about the game, but it was well worth it.

With 12:20 to go in the game, Kentucky had a 62-32 lead and sloppy play as expected, followed. Kentucky has got to learn that a game lasts 40 minutes regardless of the score. I don't care if you lead a team by 40, you've got to keep your foot on the throttle, there's no since in giving them even the slightest glimmer of hope... sweep the leg so to speak. 

The only thing bad about Kentucky getting this kind of lead is the fact that the crowd was practically comatose for the remainder of the game and this wasn't the game you wanted the crowd to seem bored if you know what I mean.

Since the injury Nerlens Noel suffered a couple of weeks ago, Cauley-Stein has really turned into one helluva player. The down side to that, there's a possibility that he could play his way into the NBA draft. As of today, Chad Ford had him going in the late lottery. Don't get me wrong, I love to see these kids reach their dreams, but it would be nice to have him back next season with what Kentucky has coming in.

With 3:35 left in the game, Calipari decided to empty the bench because of the 79-48 lead the starters had built. With this win, Kentucky collected its 20th win of the season, something Cat fans didn't think would ever happen.

You got to see another CLASSY move by John Calipari inserting Twany Beckhem and taking him out seconds later just so he can get his name in the books against the team in which he transferred from. The reason he was taken out so quickly is due to an injury, but Cal made sure he got in against his former team, gotta love Cal for how he thinks about the little things most people wouldn't think of.

The final score ended up being 85-55 in a less than exciting game, but one that will no doubt boost the confidence of some of the guys who needed it the most.

Cal said after the game that:

"We played pretty well, they didn't shoot particularly well, but I'm just concerned about my team. Willie was pretty good again, Julius was the glue that kept everything together. We could be better but we're improving."

Ryan Harrow: 'Everyone had to pick their intensity since the loss of Nerlens Noel. Everybody is just playing together. Arkansas is tough to play at home, we just need to come out with a lot of energy and try to match them down there."

Coach Cal overnight Camps

Media release from the University of Kentucky....,.

Men’s Basketball Announces Details for John Calipari Overnight Camps
Camp to take place in mid-June

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The University of Kentucky Men’s Basketball program is pleased to announce the dates and information for the 2013 John Calipari Overnight Camp.

The John Calipari Overnight Basketball Camp is scheduled for June 16-19 (Sunday to Wednesday) and is open to boys ages 7-17.

To register as an overnight camper and stay in a dorm room for this year’s Overnight Camp, participants MUST be 12 years of age prior to the first day of camp (6/16/13). Campers below the age of 12 MUST register and participate as a Day Camper/Commuter, per University of Kentucky Athletics Department policy.

There are a limited number of spots available and all camps are based on a first-come, first-serve basis, with online registration ( recommended as the fastest and most efficient form of registering campers. All previously listed camps were SOLD OUT the last two summers, so early registration is encouraged to secure a spot.

The overnight camp offers four days of skills training, team games, individual competitions and a division tournament. Campers will be pre-assigned to appropriate age/grade level divisions in which all skills work, competitions and games will take place. Skills work will be taught by UK coaches and staff, along with current and former Wildcat players. Each camper will be assigned a team within their respective age groups. Complete camp itineraries, gym schedules, and Day Camper drop-off and pick-up information will be included in the confirmation email sent to parents prior to the start of camp.

Parents are encouraged to visit any of the gym sites to watch their children participate in camp activities.

The cost of the camp is $430 for overnight campers and $350 for day campers.

Overnight Camp Registration will take place Sunday, June 16 on the third floor of the Common’s Market, located within the Kirwan-Blanding Dorm Complex on UK’s campus. Overnight Camper registration will be from 1-4 p.m. Day camper registration will be held at a separate location within the Common’s Market from 3-4 p.m.

Once camp registration is complete participants will receive a confirmation email, with details of necessary paper work needed (physical, insurance, and consent), along with a list of items campers will need to bring for camp. Any camp related questions can be called into the men’s basketball camp line at 859-257-9457 or 859-257-1916.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Indiana falls to the unranked Minnesota Golden Tubby's

Indiana left the comfort of Assembly Hall and found themselves on the losing end of a hard fought game by Minnesota. Despite the best efforts of Tom Crean and a poor attempt by Will Sheehey to draw a flagrant foul late in the game, the Golden Gophers defeat a #1 ranked team for the first time since they defeated #1 Illinois in 1989.

It's always nice to see Tom Crean and the Hoosiers lose, but it's bitter sweet to see Tubby Smith be the one to hand them a loss and show that Indiana isn't a shoe in to make the Final Four like some would have you believe. Indiana is good, don't get me wrong, but every time I've seen them play this season National Champions isn't what came to mind.

Pre Miss State interview videos

Huntington Prep to play at Boyd County Middle School

Be there, if you're not you only have your self to blame.....

Local fans get one last chance to watch Andrew Wiggins

Fans in the Tri-State area will have one last chance to see the 2013 Naismith National Player of The Year Andrew Wiggins this Saturday at Boyd County Middle School when Huntington Prep takes on United Leadership Academy, (Canada) at 2pm.

Andrew Wiggins, the nations #1 ranked high school player will be making his college decision soon and depending on his decision, this could very well be his last game played in Kentucky.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, if you haven't seen this team play, you need to. Do yourself a favor, get out Saturday, swing by Boyd County Middle School and check out a kid who most people say is "the best high school player since LeBron James", you won't regret it.

Monday, February 25, 2013

The '96 NCAA Champions to receive Championship rings... 17 years later

(courtesy of

Wednesday night, there will be a ceremony during half-time of the Miss State/Kentucky game to honor Kentucky's 1996 National Championship team. They will be presented with NCAA Championship rings, which they never received (besides the ones the NCAA presents them) until now.

I'm not real sure why this team never received championship rings, but the important thing is, they are now thanks in large part to John Calipari.

The first 10,000 fans to arrive at Rupp Wednesday night will receive a commemorative poster honoring the team. All of the members that are attending will be signing the posters and other items at the Kentucky Proud Market in the Lexington Center before the game.

The members expected to attended are:

Derek Anderson
Jeff Sheppard
Tony Delk
Antoine Walker
Walter McCarty
Ron Mercer
Anthony Epps
Wayne Turn
Jared Prickett
Oliver Simmons
and Jason Latherm 

The ones not able to attend will receive their rings individually

It's great to see these guys finally get the recognition they deserve, they were one of the greatest teams ever assembled and deserved to be treated as such.

Derek Anderson told that "It's showing what the program's giving back to us," Anderson said. "Usually you give so much to a program and they forget about you. When your program remembers you and gives you a blessing like this, it's just like winning. It's like actually coming home from winning a championship. It'll be like coming back to Rupp Arena when we won and seeing 24,000 people celebrating with us again."  

He went on to say, "It's the greatest thing ever," Anderson said. "You've given so much of your time and your life, everything to your program, and to have them give some of it back, you can't say enough about that. There's no price tag, there's no winning percentage, there's nothing you can cherish more than that."

Anderson, who has stayed connected with the program especially since the arrival of John Calipari,  made a 6 hour drive from Atlanta to Lexington to talk to Nerlens Noel about his injury he suffered during at game at Florida. He has a little experience with such an injury considering that was what cut his college career short.

As I said before, I'm not entirely sure why these guys never received a Championship ring from the university, but the fact of the matter is, they are now... And it's about damn time.

Mississippi State vs. Kentucky preview

After Kentucky's hard fought and much needed win over Missouri Saturday night, Cat fans breathed a sigh of relief as that very well could have saved Kentucky from a NIT bid in the post season. However there isn't much time to rest as the Cats are back in action Wednesday night against SEC bottom dweller, Mississippi State.

State comes into this game ridding a 12 game losing streak with their last win coming back in January against Georgia. But we all know how teams like Mississippi State play in Rupp, so the Cats had better come to play and not overlook the Bulldogs because a loss here could put Kentucky right back on, or outside the bubble. 

Here's a brief look at the history of Mississippi State University for those of you who aren't familiar with them.....

EST: 1878

LOCATION: Starkville, Mississippi

COLORS: Maroon/White

NICKNAME: Bulldogs


Musical acts that has performed on Mississippi State's campus:


                             MISSISSIPPI STATE vs. KENTUCKY SERIES HISTORY

Kentucky owns an 81-18 record over the Bulldogs and has won the last 4 meetings. The last loss to the Bulldogs came in 2009 66-57 in, you guessed it, Rupp Arena.

It's somewhat of a mystery as to why the Bulldogs are struggling so badly this season, until you look at the stats.....

                        DOGS                CATS

PPG:                  59                        75
RPG:                 33                        38
APG:                 10                         14
SPG:                    8                          6
BPG:                    4                           7
TPG:                   17                         13
FG%:                 39                         48
FT%:                 66                         64
3P%:                  27                         36

When you see their numbers it's no wonder why they have struggled they way they have. But again, Kentucky cannot afford to overlook this team as they still have enough talent to beat an unsuspecting team on any night. 

I'd say if the Cats take care of business and if they bring half the effort they had against Mizzou, they win this one going away, but there's always that little thought in the back of your mind reminding you how poorly they played down in Knoxville. So we'll just wait and see how this one turns out...

Andrew Wiggins named 2013 Naismith National Player of The Year

Huntington Prep star Andrew Wiggins has been named the 2013 Naismith National Player of The Year. If you have ever seen him play, you would understand why he won the award.

I've seen this kid play several times and each time you leave shaking your head at what you just witnessed.

There's a term to describe people like Andrew Wiggins, "God given talent". Then you add in the fact that he's an excellent student, it's then that you begin to realize why schools like Kentucky, UNC and Kansas are going to great lengths to get his signature on a National Letter of Intent.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Missouri vs. Kentucky post game press conference quotes


COACH CALIPARI:  Let me answer some questions so I can go do my radio show and go home and go to sleep. 

Q.  We don't often here opposing coaches praise your toughness.  He called that the difference in the second half. 
COACH CALIPARI:  I love how Archie (Goodwin) got us going in the second half.  (Alex) Oriakhi is really good and really physical.  We did a good job.  He didn't score on Willie (Cauley-Stein); he scored if Willie had to help and got 16 and 15. 
(Phil) Pressey is one of the best point guards you'll see and plus he made shots today so it made it even tougher.  We tried everything, showing hard, walling up, switching, big guy on him, small guy on him.  He still had his way. 
I was proud of, one, the way Alex (Poythress) played.  That's the best he played all year and I can go to him.  Run something and we're going to throw it to you because they can't guard you. 
Ryan (Harrow) played well again.  Eight rebounds, six assists.  We will win games if he plays like that. 
Julius (Mays) was terrific.  The shots he made and the leadership.  Look, there was a play where Ryan let a guy turn down a pick-and-roll and I said, Ryan.  Julius looks at me, I got it.  What's better that way?  Coming from a teammate.  C'mon, man, you can't do that. 
We left a corner.  They're starting to be empowered, and if they're empowered they're going to be better.  That's what you're starting to see.

Q.  Talk about the rebounding. 
COACH CALIPARI:  Well, we had to go with Alex and Willie.  I thought, again, our guards went in and rebounded.  When you talk about Ryan Harrow coming up with eight rebounds, Alex had seven, and Julius Mays, two of our guards had 14 rebounds.  Well, we have to do that.  That's what we're going to have to do. 
It was one of those gut‑it‑out games.  Did you all go nuts that Julius didn't throw that ball in regulation?  I didn't see it, the guy was in between.  Just play. 
What I told them after, what I've been trying to tell them all year, guys, if you miss a shot or turn it over or break down defensively, forget about it and just keep battling.  They did a lot of that today. 
We broke down.  Like Archie let the kid go and shoot a layup.  We're going to shadow.  But I just said, that's okay, just keep playing.  We had some bad turnovers late in regulation, bad turnovers, but we just kept playing. 
Two weeks ago those turnovers would have led us to let go of the rope, and we didn't today. 
Again, when our guard play is good, we'll be fine. 

Q.  Along those lines, you talk about you tried everything on Pressey.  Make a mistake, keep going.  What does it say about your guys where they're coming fortitude‑wise?
COACH CALIPARI:  The biggest thing is they had a collective will to win today.  Again, I said we have to have two 'oh my gosh' plays by Archie.  As long as it's only two.  If it's four our five, we got problems.  He had a couple of those today. 
But they all had a will to win.  They all went after balls, tried to defend and do what they could do. 

Q.  Frank Haith said he thought the crowd was really good for you guys. 
COACH CALIPARI:  It was.  I should have started by saying that.  This was as good a crowd and as impactful a crowd as I've ever coached in a building.  This team needs that.  Like the next game, they need to come back and do that again.  Then that last game, they need to do exactly the same thing. 
We need that extra that pushes us through, a missed shot, a turnover, where we get by it quicker.  But that was a great crowd, as good as we've had. 

Q.  What do you think ignited Alex there in the second half?
COACH CALIPARI:  I don't know.  I don't know.  You have to ask him when he comes out.  What were you doing today?  What happened? 
The last game, his monitor showed that he was in the max range for like 15 minutes, which is 13 minutes longer than any other time, 13 minutes longer in the max zone.  I guess this game it's even higher.  We're trying to figure out if he's switching monitors with somebody, but we don't think he is (laughter). 

Q.  You said you like this team.  Where you were last Saturday, where you are right now, how much more likable are they?
COACH CALIPARI:  Again, it's funny, because we're Kentucky.  If we get beat, get beat bad, it's a big deal.  Other teams get beat bad, they're a 4 seed, a 6 seed, 5 seed.  This is Kentucky.  We just lost and were devastated by our heart and soul taken away from us, have to go on the road and play an inspired team in a sold‑out building and got smashed. 
I've done this a long time.  I've been through this before.  It didn't have any effect on me.  Let me get my team right.  I'm trying to keep these guys in the moment. 
We got better today.  We showed some things that now we know we can do.  They're having confidence, not because of how I'm coaching, you're really good. I coached them good.  Demonstrated performance brings their confidence out.  Willie is more confident because of how he's playing.  Ryan is, as well. 
It's not that, you're okay, kid.  No, you have to go on the court and battle and fight and bring that out of yourself. 
They're all doing it right now. 

Q.  I remember you saying earlier in the season that your guys play better when they not fear the opponent but sense they have to play against an opponent.  How much do you think that applied to this game?
COACH CALIPARI:  I don't know.  I mean, I don't know.  I just know that I've got a really young team.  I was throwing football with them last night.  I'm doing whatever I can to get their minds off basketball.  We've already prepared, you're ready to go, let's go play the game. 
The next game on our schedule is the biggest game on our schedule, the next one.  Everybody wants to talk the NCAA tournament.  I'm going to tell you what I said.  It's a Bell curve, folks.  They're going to take 68 teams.  They're not going to say, This year we're taking 46.  So that means some teams that have F's are passing.  It's a Bell curve. 
All we have to do is take care of our business.  If we do that, okay.  If everybody loses, they lose, everybody loses, they're taking a couple of us.  You can have an F and get in.  It's a Bell curve. 
You have a couple teams.  I think Indiana is a little bit better than everybody.  Tommy (Crean) is doing a great job.  Miami, who I thought might have been the best team in the country, other than Indiana, what did they get beat by at Wake (Forest)?  By 15.  This team is supposed to be good.  They got beat by 30.  This team, supposed to be in the Final Four, they got beat by 30 the other day. 
How good can we be before this season ends?  Let me say this.  Our point guard was out early.  Willie was out two weeks.  We got our big guy going.  We're trying to get back to how we have to play.  I'm proud of these guys. 

Q.  On throwing football with the team.
COACH CALIPARI:  Of all the people who could really throw it, me.  I was throwing tight spirals.  But I grew up in western PA.  Willie, I threw seven‑foot high balls.  He dropped a couple.  ‘I wasn't watching.’  We had some guys throw it, it wasn't good.  Just to take their minds off basketball. 
We may do some other stuff just to keep these guys in the right frame of mind.  Like I said, they're happy with each other.  They're starting to be empowered where they're holding each other accountable.  Way better than when a teammate says, Listen to me.  Exactly what I say.  It's better coming from a teammate than me.  It is.  They take it better.  Because if it comes from me, He's always so negative.  What about your teammate?  But that's my teammate, he can say that.  What are you talking about?  It's all what we're trying to do to grow up and get better. 
I'm going out to do my radio show. 

Kentucky Student-Athletes 

#10 Archie Goodwin, G

On this being a statement game...
"Oh man, I mean we fought hard. That is what it ultimately came down to. We made a lot of mistakes, but at the end we just wanted it more than they did."

On the toughness showed by Kentucky in this game...
"I think we showed a lot of toughness. This game right here just showed that we can do it. We just have to continue to build from here and just carry it over from game to game."

On his personal play in the second half...
"It is pretty hard to beat that second half I played, I played a pretty good second half. I don't even like speaking high on myself so that just lets you know how I feel about it."

On what Julius Mays has meant to this team...
"There is not another person like Julius. He's a great leader and a great big brother to me, he's like my best friend. He is just always there for encouragement when things aren't going our way. He is always the person that pulls me aside to get my head back right."

#34 Julius Mays, G 

On how fun the game was tonight… 
“It was a lot of fun. Obviously we would have rather won in regulation but to come out with the win and for guys that played as hard as they did and fought, battled and not give up, it was good.”

On Alex’s (Poythress) play tonight… 
“He stepped up big, if he can play like that every game we can be a dangerous team. Willie (Cauley-Stein) too, he didn’t score as much today but his presence was unbelievable.”

On the difference between the half’s in regard to rebounding … 
“Yeah, definitely. With Nerlens (Noel) being gone, there’s a lot of stuff that we have to make up for, obviously we aren’t going to block a lot of shots. Willie did today but, rebounding is big. We have to help out Willie and Alex and the guards got to make up rebounding, where we lose with Nerlens.”

On the last play of regulation … 
“I didn’t even know how much time I had. When the guy jumped in front of me, I did not see the time. I was making sure I did not turn it over. I saw Archie (Goodwin) at the end, but if I threw the pass, by the time the guy jumped in front of me I don’t know if he would’ve got it off. I just launched it.”

#22 Alex Poythress, F

On his performance…
“I tried to make plays. I just wanted to play hard for my team.”

On being in the spotlight…
“I can live without it.”

On Kentucky’s effort tonight…
“We knew they were a physical team.  We knew they were a good team.  We knew we had to crash the boards.  We are going to have to learn to play through mistakes.  Everyone makes mistakes. Nobody’s perfect, everyone will miss shots and turn the ball over sometimes.  It was a good win, we just try to take it one game at a time.”

On the Kentucky fans tonight…
“The crowd was incredible.  The fan support was great, I hope they are like that every game.”

On Julius Mays as a teammate…
“Julius is incredible.  On and off the court he is always there to help us when we are in need.  We look to him for guidance, he always knows the right things to say.”

Missouri Head Coach Frank Haith 

Opening Statement … 
“Obviously this was a great basketball game. Congratulations to Kentucky. I thought they really played with great toughness. They were may more aggressive than us. They got to the line 36 times and we got to the line 17 (times). They were the aggressive team and I think again, in the second half, they got to every loose ball, every 50-50 ball and that was the difference in the game with how they came out with great toughness in the second half.” 

On what changed from the opening couple of minutes to the second half … 
“Well they’ve got great fans and the energy of the building. I thought they played off the crowd. We out-rebounded them in the first half. I think we were plus 12 in the first half and it does buy into my thought and my theory that rebounds is a toughness thing. They definitely dominated that part of the game in the second half.” 

On the play of Alex Oriakhi … 
“I don’t know. I would have to go back and look at it. I don’t know if he made some tentative plays in overtime. Alex is outstanding and played very big tonight. That is important to us as we move forward.”

On the play of Phil Pressey … 
“I think that he was outstanding tonight. It is hard to really say anything about Phil because we are not even in the game if Phil doesn’t play the way he plays. Obviously the double-screen play I think there were two plays where he came off and jumped in the air and shot it. I think if he would have kept attacking, that is what we want him to do. I think there was another play like that, too, but you know, those are two plays. The kid was outstanding tonight.” 

Missouri Student-Athletes 

#1 Phil Pressey, G

On his shot at the end of regulation…
“We drew up the play, and that was the play it came down to. I shot it and I missed it. I don’t think that I could have had a better shot.”

On what happened at the end of the game…
“Yeah, I kind of lost the ball and so I had no other choice. It was a good thing that (Tony) Criswell made a good play to foul the guy, and not give up the easy layup.”

#21 Laurence Bowers, F

On what it was like fouling out and having to watch from the bench…
“As a player, you always want to be out there on the court. Me fouling out, it was hard to watch but I was supporting my teammates from the bench and we still had a chance.”

On whether Kentucky’s toughness in the second half was the difference…
“You know they won the game, so they were very tough in the second half.”

On how they (Missouri) account for Kentucky winning the rebound battle…
“We just got to continue to work and be tough. Like coach said, be tough.”