Saturday, November 30, 2013

Gill-Caesar Goes Off for 56 against Miami Valley (OH)

After missing out on Andrew Wiggins from Huntington Prep (WV), John Calipari has set his sights on 2014 (if he reclassifies from 2015) Huntington Prep small forward,(# 24 ranked player in the class of 2015)  Montaque Gill-Caesar. Caesar has been loosely compared to former teammate and current Jayhawk, Andrew Wiggins and after tonight's performance one can see why.

During Huntington Prep's match-up with Miami Valley (Ohio), Gill Caesar showed why he has division 1 coaches across the country salivating. He finished the night with 56 points and 9 rebounds while going 11-20 from three point range.

The bad news for Cat fans is, on the heels of making an offer to Gill-Caesar, Michigan State's Tom Izzo was in attendance to see the impressive performance.

Will Gill-Caesar end up a CAT? One can only hope. I've seen this kid play in person many, many times and he can flat out score (obviously), but more than that, he is an excellent teammate to boot. Two things any coach in America would like to see on their team.

Gill-Caesar has visited Kentucky on an unofficial visit earlier this month. He holds offers from Kentucky, Michigan State, Kansas, West Virginia and a host of other schools.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Providence Head Coach "I don't give a damn about Kentucky"

(Providence Head Coach, Ed Cooley)

Don't ask Providence head coach, Ed Cooley about their match-up with Kentucky this Sunday night, apparently he has been asked too many times.

After his team improved to 7-1 on the season by defeating Fairfield Friday afternoon, he was asked for his thoughts on his teams upcoming match-up with Kentucky, his response sounded like he was a little upset about the question…

"Everybody is asking me about Kentucky. It's a game. Congratulations, they're good. They have all these great players. You know what? We have some great players, too. I do not want anybody to look at my team as if we are some stepchild hoping to get lucky. We're going to go down there and we're going to be confident, passionate and we're going to play with a lot of pride. I don't give a damn about Kentucky."

I'm all for being confident in your team and making sure they don't get caught up in the fact of WHO they are playing instead of looking at it, as just another game. But, there is a better way to handle a question asked by a journalist about an obvious subject. 

If Calipari was looking for something to motivate his guys and make them understand how opposing teams look at them, then just plaster Cooley's comments on each one of their lockers… That should do the trick

Pre Providence Press Conference (FULL TRANSCRIPT)

Head Coach John Calipari

On what kind of test Providence will be ...
“Well, they beat LaSalle who is a pretty good basketball team. They beat Vandy who is a good basketball team from what I saw and Vandy had them down 16 and they came back and won. They beat Boston College, they lost to Maryland, the only game they’ve lost is Maryland and it was like a four-point game so they had a chance to win that. They run good stuff, they play hard. It’s the next step up for us. It appears as though every game has been like a stepping stone if you take out Michigan State.”

On what he’s looking for to take the next step ...
“We’re just continuing to do, I’m adding different things to practice to get them to stay in a stance longer, to move their feet more, to make us more aggressive. We showed signs last game, I liked that our guards got up and moved their feet. You don’t have to body them, just move up there and move your feet and hands a little bit, get closer to them and bother the ball, we did that. We stop less, we still stop 30-percent of the time, just stop playing. Like, why did you do that? ‘I don’t know.’ We’re not a great execution team but we’re good enough to win. We should be a better team shooting wise than we are even though we’re a good free throw shooting team which usually implies that you’re a pretty good shooting team but right now it’s not carrying over. I think part of the reason is we’re probably, for me, shooting too many 3s. I mean, the most a guy should shoot is four or five 3s, that’s the most. And that’s like, you were on fire. The rest of the time we’ve drive the ball, that’s how we play. Everybody will say, how do you get to the line so much? Are you watching the games? The last game was the most fouls we’ve had. We’ve always played the same way, try to get in the half with six fouls. For all you ‘Basketball Bennies,’ why only six? They’re not in the bonus. So you only want six, you don’t want seven or eight, you want six. And then at the end of the game you only want six fouls so that they’re not in the bonus, so that they can’t beat you shooting free throws. I’ve always coached that way. The other day, just keep fouling, we’ll get enough people, get up there and body check, hand check. It’s OK, you can win however you’ve done this but the problem is the rules have changed now so you can’t really play that way unless the officials don’t call it. But we’re driving the ball and posting the ball and we’re big. We should be shooting 40 to 50 fouls a game, we really should. And there will be games coming up we may shoot 60 if they keep calling them all. Well, then shoot 60.”

On if there is something consistently not happening leading to the slow starts ...
“I just think they’re so young, we’re out there with five freshmen. I told the staff today, I can’t get caught up with winning and losing right now and I am, I want to win every game. But what it’s causing me to do is try to make these guys better than they are at this stage. Just coach the games, watch the tape and let’s get better. Of all the teams in the country, we have the most upside so deal with that. If you didn’t want to deal with it, either convince kids to stay or recruit bad players, they’ll all stay, you won’t’ have to deal with this. But the reality of it is, we are what we are, a bunch of freshmen trying, I’m trying to figure them out, they’re trying to figure each other out. We’re still not locked into how we’re going to play. The problem is I go watch tape and then I get 17 more thoughts in my mind that I want to give to them and they don’t have the seven thoughts that I taught them right now. I almost, that brings anxiety. Like I got more I want to give you but you don’t have this yet and we can’t. The biggest thing for us, forget basketball, effort, staying in the stance, talking more, being more aggressive, fighting through screens, don’t stop. How about this one? Sprint the floor on offense. We rebound it, sprint. We’re a great rebounding team right? So run, sprint. I mean everybody that doesn’t get it, sprint. If you’re the point guard, don’t jog it up, sprint it up and if you don’t want to sprint it just throw it immediately to a wing and then you jog. The rest of us will score; you’ll end up with two points. That’s OK, nothing wrong with that. But we’ve got to go because of how we play. Those are the basic things. Give up the ball earlier than you think you should. Right now we’re holding it ‘til the last minute and I told them, when I played I knew all the tricks. I’d throw a slow bouncer to the guy that was open. Why would I throw a slow bouncer? Slow bounce pass to the guy that is wide open. Why would I throw that? He’d be guarded; he had to throw it back to me so that I could shoot it. I’d always give it up early. Why would I give it up early? ‘I’m here, I’m here.’ And I’d shoot that one. I got all those tricks, so I know them when you’re using them. I played that way. Late in the game they’re fouling. Do you pass it or ball-fake it? You’re up eight, there are 28 seconds to go, they’re fouling, do you pass it or ball-fake? I ball fake. ‘You’re not, foul me. Foul.’ OK, and then I’d go shoot free throws. I knew all those tricks because it’s how I played. Couldn’t guard anybody so I had to score, knew my guy was going to get 18, I better get 22. I was a selfish player. So I know what selfish looks like. They never saw me play, that’s the greatest thing about being old.”

On if the team will be doing anything special in New York ...
“Yeah, well we want to but I’m not exactly sure what we’re going to do. One of the things we’re doing because they’re changing the rules so that we’re able to do things. We’ve done a lot of stuff that people don’t know. I mean we bring in NBA security to talk to them about all of the pitfalls that they’ll get early but most kids if you end up having a professional career what you have to watch including getting stopped in a car because you are either speeding or nothing, or they’re just checking on you, how to deal with it. We also we brought in sports psychologists to meet with each one of them. We’re doing stuff talking to them and training them in different ways, giving them books. We’re bringing in financial people to talk to them. And on this trip and other trips, I want to take trips for the sole reason of teaching whether we go to the stock exchange and do stuff. If we’d have left today we would have done that. If we had left earlier today or last night and we didn’t, so, but we may go to a theater or we may go down to the district. We’re not sure
what we’re going to do yet, but we’ll do something. We’ll be there early.”

On if the team is finally getting the sense that they’re every other team’s Super Bowl ...
“I don’t know. That’s why I keep coming back to that we need to probably lose a few games and see where they come. Because these guys have the will to win and they don’t want to lose. So, then start better. How about that simple thing? Then start better. And part of it may be how we start and then how we are playing to start the game which is on me, which is let’s do something a little different. But, these guys it’s more it’s not just the start. It’s an effort and a stopping or breaking off doing what you’re choosing to do. My thing, the last game was do your job. We’ve been very clear with each player what their job is. Do your job. If you can’t do your job you shouldn’t be in there let somebody else go then. And it’s been clear so that each player knows exactly what to do to help our team.”

On if Willie Cauley-Stein starting would help fix the slow starts ...
“No, it has nothing to do with that. Marcus (Lee) the kid goes in there and if you look at his per minute rebounds, per minute points it may lead the nation. So, it had nothing to do with him. It’s just that Willie is playing so well, now if Alex (Poythress) or one of the other guys, or if Dominique (Hawkins) stepped up then one of them would be starting. But, they’re not playing as well as the guys in front of them right now and at the end of the day it’s still a rotation. I wanted to get Derek (Willis) in last game. That was my plan to try and put him in as a four because he can really shoot it, and I haven’t played him as much but we need
to figure some of that stuff out too.”

Kentucky Players

#22, Alex Poythress, F, So.

On what the team did for Thanksgiving ...
“We got to go to (Coach) Cal’s (house) and then went to the Salvation Army to help some of the homeless people, so that was a pretty good experience.”

On the reaction they got from the people at the Salvation Army ...
“They were just so happy, a bunch of smiles. You’re just so happy to put a smile on their face really.”

On what he knows about Providence ...
“I just know that they’re a great team. I think they’ve got a couple good guards, so it should be a good test for us.”

On how he’s playing right now ...
“I like what I’m doing. I think I’m playing good defense out there. I think I’m rebounding good. I could probably make some more jumpers, but it just comes with me getting in the gym, just keep on shooting.”

On letting an air ball in a previous game affect the rest of his game ...
“I was kind of out of it, but you’ve just got to learn to keep on playing so I’ve just got to put that behind me.”

On the adjustment of coming off the bench ...
“I think it’s just something you’ve got to adjust to. It really doesn’t really matter. It doesn’t matter. You still get your minutes. Just coming off the bench you can analyze stuff better. It doesn’t really matter.”

On seeing stuff from the bench ...
“You see that. It just gives you a different outlook.”

On going on the road ...
“We feel pretty good. Ready to travel. Ready to see some different cities and stuff. We’re happy about that.”

On what he remembers about Brooklyn last year ...
“Not much. I remember that it was cold, but other than that I really haven’t been to New York. That was my first time going to New York. It should be a pretty fun experience with going a couple days early this year. We might get to see a few things.”

On what they might see while they’re up there ...
“I have no idea. I don’t know the schedule. I just know we’re leaving today after the practice.”

On this game being a test of how much they’ve grown since Michigan State ...
“We just want to show how much we’ve gotten better, how we’ve made strides so far. We want to come out and play a great game, have each other start from jump. We’ve got to pick up the energy early and keep on fighting for 40 minutes.”

On how he’s playing this year compared to last year ...
“I think I’m playing good. I think my energy is better this year. I think I’m hustling, rebounding and playing better defense this year, so I think I’m playing really good this year.”

On what he attributes the better energy to ...
“I’m not sure. I guess just going out there and playing harder.”

On the wall sits Coach Cal has them doing in practice ...
“It’s been crazy. The wall sits, the bean bags, all that stuff is crazy. It kind of takes a toll on your legs, but it shows you the importance of getting down, playing defense, moving your feet so it’s teaching us something. It’s teaching us to stay disciplined, so it’s a good thing so far.”

On Cal making them guard with their hands behind their back ...
“I think we’re doing that today, so we’ll see once we start doing that.”

On the new rules and how they have affected the game ...
“It does seem different because the game can’t be as physical as it has been the past couple of years. I guess they just want you to move your feet more and play better defense and quit hand checking really.”

On driving more so than last year because of the new rules ...
“Yeah, because if they’re going to call it, might as well put them in a position to make a call.”

#44, Dakari Johnson, C, Fr.

On whether he had a good Thanksgiving ...
“Yeah, I had a real good Thanksgiving.”

On what he ate ...
“Mac and cheese, stuffing, cranberry sauce. All the good stuff.”

On going back to New York ...
“Yeah, I’m ready for it. My whole family’s up there. They’re real excited to come watch me play because they haven’t really had a chance to see me play, so just happy to get to play in front of them.”

On what he knows about the team they’ll play Sunday ...
“Providence? We don’t know much about them. We’re just now watching film on them, but we know they’re a good team. Coach Cal told us they’re going to be one of the better teams we’ve played thus far, so I’m just real excited to go back home and get to play a good team.”

On the way Calipari prepares his teams for opponents ...
“You know, I think he prepares us well for the games. We watch a couple clips of their players, we go through walkthroughs pretty often of their plays and stuff, so we’re real well-prepared for the games.”

On Cal’s message after the game on Wednesday ...
“We played well. We still stopped on defense a couple times. We’re still learning that aspect of it, but just to keep on playing hard. We’re progressing each and every day.”

On the wall-sit routine before practice ...
“Oh, I don’t like it at all, but it helps us stay down and that’s how low we have to stay throughout the whole game.”

On how long it will last ...
“Probably forever, actually.”

On what the team will do in New York ...
“I’m not sure what we’re allowed to do in New York. I think we’re going to go sight-seeing in the city, so I’ll probably show them around a little bit.”

On how he feels about his game ...
“I think it’s progressing each and every day. I think I’m getting at the things Coach Cal wants me to do. That’s the main thing I’m focused on right now.”

On Julius Randle saying the light bulb hasn’t gone on for him yet ...
“Yeah, it hasn’t gone on. We still have a long way to go, but it’s a learning process.”

On whether he’s looking forward to going to New York ...
“Yeah, I’m looking forward to it a lot. My whole family’s coming, so it’s very rare for them to come see me play. They don’t come to see me play a lot, so I’m real excited just to go up there and play in front of them.”

On whether his adrenaline will be pumping ...
“Yeah, of course. I just want to play good in front of my family. They’re really excited and I’m excited too. I’m going to be ready.” 

Kentucky vs. Providence Pre-view

(Billy Donovan and Rick Pitino 1987)

The Cats are back in action this Sunday night when they take on the Friars of Providence College. Kentucky, coming off a less than impressive win over Eastern Michigan is still looking to find their identity as a team. We have yet to see this young Kentucky team overwhelm an opponent, something Cat fans thought would be a common thing this season. With a little break for Thanksgiving, maybe Cal and company was able to get some things worked out and we will see an improvement come Sunday night at the Barclay's Center in Brooklyn, New York.

Here's some information about Providence to get you read for the game…


EST: 1917

LOCATION: Providence, Rhode Island


COLORS: Black/White/Silver




Billy Donovan- You should know who he is so I'm not going to tell you 

Richard Pitino- Son of Rick Pitino

Rick Pitino- Although not an alumni, he did coach the Friars and Billy Donovan to the 1987 Final Four.

The Friars are 6-1 on the season with their only loss coming at the hands of Maryland by a score of 56-52. On the season, Providence has defeated the likes of Vanderbilt (68-67) and Boston College (82-78). The Friars have a match-up with Fairfield looming on 11-29-13.


There isn't much of history between the Cats and Friars with Sunday being the second ever meeting between the two schools. The last meeting came in the 1976 NIT where Kentucky escaped with a 79-78 win. The leading scorer for the Cats (and the games leading scorer) was none other the Jack "Goose" Givens with 28 points.

This match-up will be somewhat of tuneup for the Cats with their next game being against Baylor on Friday, December 6. So here's how Kentucky stacks up against the Friars…


                    FRIARS          CATS

PPG:               73                   85

RPG:               39                   48

APG:               14                   13

SPG:                  7                     5

BPG:                  4                     7

TPG:                13                   13

FG%:               41                   46

FT:                    82                   67

3P%:                30                   28

As you can see, these two teams actually match-up fairly even overall. Once again, Kentucky is going to have to come out of the gate with a lot of energy instead of their opponent. It's fine to start a game slow against someone you know you can easily overpower in the second half, but you can't do it against quality team (see Michigan State).

I originally thought the team was heading home for Thanksgiving after the game Wednesday, turns out I was wrong. Instead, the team stayed in Lexington and gave back to the local community by volunteering at the local Salvation Army…

It's good to see kids nowadays learn what it means to give back and be thankful for the opportunities that they have in front of them, something, some aren't fortunate enough to have.

We at Big Blue Corner hope everyone had a happy and safe Thanksgiving...

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Kentucky vs. Eastern Michigan Pre-View

After one helluva scare against Cleveland State on Monday night, the Cats are back in action Wednesday afternoon (4pm) before Thanksgiving break. Once again we witnessed Kentucky's inability to play even a hint of defense as CSU built a double digit lead on more than one occasion. Unfortunately for the Cats and Cat fans, Eastern Michigan will be another game where Kentucky could struggle once again if their lack of defense persists.

Just five games into their schedule, EMU has already shown that they can knock down the outside shot, something Kentucky has struggled to stop in just about every game so far this season. If your not really familiar with Eastern Michigan, here's a little information to get you ready for the game tomorrow…


EST: 1849


LOCATION: Ypsilanti, Michigan

COLORS: Green/White



CONFERENCE: Mid American Conference

Eastern Michigan is undefeated this season coming into Wednesday's match-up with the Cats with a record of 5-0. The Cats and Eagles have played a couple of the same opponents this year, here's a look at how each team performed against similar foes

Robert Morris-  EMU defeated the Colonials by a score of 69-64 while the Cats won their match-up with RMU by a score of 87-49

Cleveland State- EMU won this game rather easily by a score of 81-69 while Kentucky struggled to pull out a 68-61 victory after Cleveland State had led much of the game.

Texas-Arlington- Cats won going away 105-76, the Eagles' game with with UTA was a close one with EMU coming out on top 74-69

Earlier I said that EMU would be a defensive struggle for the Cats from three point range alone, here's a look at how Kentucky stacks up to EMU


                           EMU       UK

PPG:                    79          86
RPG:                    37          48
APG:                    15          13
SPG:                       8            5
BPG:                     10            7
TPG:                     11          12
FG%:                    48          47
FT%:                     65          67
3PT%:                  45          30

The three point shooting of this team will be something to keep an eye during the course of tomorrows game. Kentucky has struggled with perimeter defense (defense all together to be honest) all season long. EMU has SEVERAL guys who can flat shoot it from deep…


Wednesday will make the second ever meeting between these two teams. The last match-up was in January of 2013 with the Cats winning 90-38.

This should be an interesting game to watch as Kentucky will be coming in on only one days rest. With Thanksgiving break looming for the players (they will be leaving right after the gamewill they be able to get their minds off going home for the Holiday and take care of business? I guess we will find out 4 o'clock tomorrow afternoon….

Monday, November 25, 2013

Post Cleveland State Press Conference Quotes (FULL TRANSCRIPT)


Q.  Can you talk about the way Andrew (Harrison) played down the stretch. 
COACH CALIPARI:  I think we showed a will to win, which is good.  We made the plays we had to make down the stretch.  We made the free throws down the stretch. James Young just fought like crazy and came up with balls when we were dead.  If they got those balls, we would lose.  That's why I looked at the other guys and I say, ‘Fight like he's fighting.’ But I thought Andrew made the plays.  It's nice to know we got two or three guys now we can go to if the game is in the balance. This is a game we needed.  The question we all have is, ‘If you can play this way, down against Michigan State, down against Cleveland State, then play the way you just played.  Why don't you start that way?  Why won't you say, ‘That's going to be who we are, not just being down?’’ I was calm.  If we lost, we lost.  That's where it is. One of the things I want to say is we got to have the greatest fans, the classiest fans anywhere, where they give a standing ovation to Cleveland State as they walk off the court.  I want to know what other arena that would happen in.  They enjoy basketball.  They enjoy the challenge. We were down 10.  I kept saying, ‘These guys are pretty good now.’  What happens is they're well‑coached, their scorers shoot the ball.  They run stuff to put those kids in position, and their rebounders run at the rim.  If those shooters miss, they go get it.  If one guy breaks down, they're getting baskets. 
I thought they played well and played well enough to win the game.  We were lucky to get out.  But it's a game we needed.  We needed, ‘Okay, are you ready to start changing?  Are you ready?  Because if you're not, we're going to play other people.  You're going to get down, you're not coming back to win.  You can either start games and play...’We will see. 

Q.  The way you saw Andrew play down the stretch, is that what you wanted from him?  If you were calm, you did a pretty good job of disguising it during the game.  Didn't look too calm during the game. 
COACH CALIPARI:  I was.  I mean, I know when I wasn't.  The main thing is, this is a process of getting this team to change how they approach the games, how they think about the games, their mentality of the games. The only way that can change sometimes is a crisis.  So you got to get beat and you got to lose.  Not to a Michigan State where you come back and you almost win and you think you're okay.  All right.  You know, Cleveland State now.  They deserved to win this game.  But you guys fought the last seven minutes, down seven, and played.  So these are good experiences for a young team. Also we got to learn, ‘Who can we go to late?  Who is going to panic?  Who is going to be scared to death?’  The 3 that Aaron (Harrison) made in the corner kind of ended the game.  Had to do it.  Making free throws.  Who can make 'em down the stretch?  Who can make the plays?  Who's not afraid to make plays? I told them after the game, ‘Don't worry about losing; you play to win.’  That's how I coach.  I'm never thinking that we're losing.  My whole mentality is we're going to win, how are we going to win.  Losing doesn't enter my mind until the horn goes off, I look up and say, ‘Dang, they got us.’

Q.  How much of tonight was a maturation process for a team that young?
COACH CALIPARI:  Well, it was.  We had to do some things against the zone.  Again, they played a funky zone, a 1‑1‑3 zone.  They kind of guarded different people.  It looked at one point they went to a box‑and‑one.  Whatever they did, they took James Young away. Again, I may call a man‑to‑man play against a zone.  Run it, it will work.  They're looking at me, ‘That's a man play.’  Doesn't matter. But it's all stuff that, again, tells me we're still growing. 

Q.  Andrew tonight not only played well down the stretch, he showed a lot of emotion, body language.  Did he kind of grow up tonight in a way?
COACH CALIPARI:  Yeah, but these guys, when they don't have the ball, are not in a position to play.  He and Aaron both.  So he's catching it.  I'm screaming, ‘Drive it, drive.’  Then he drives and he makes that play.  Well, that can't be how this is.  It's, he catches it, he knows he's a playmaker for us.  Get in there. Julius (Randle) missed some shots.  Again, we got a little confused in the zone.  But five turnovers...  A lot of rough stuff going on.  Again, the point is, if the offense created it, if a guard drives in and creates it, it's the same.  It's not a foul.  You don't call it.  Hands go up, you created it, they're saying it's not a foul.  Okay, don't call it then. But if you're telling me that's what Julius is, then anytime a guy leans and there's contact, there should be no call. They're coming at him with three.  He needs to pass the ball.  He's still learning that.  If they're bringing three at him, these other guys are so wide open, it should be easy for us. 
Right now we're still trying to figure it out.

Q.  When you were down 11, you called time in the second half, then it ended with James shooting a three.  Was that what you were looking for? 
COACH CALIPARI:  Again, there was a couple times we went to Randle, three straight times, then we did another play.  The reason I did the other play is because they got to be talking about that one thing, Let's go to something different. No, we came out.  Maybe he didn't have a three.  Maybe it would have been a post‑up.  Maybe it would have been something different.  But James Young, yeah, we came out and that was the set. 

Q.  How concerned are you at this point, with all the good things he does, the turnovers for Julius?  He's got like 24 turnovers, twice as many as anybody else on the team.  How do you approach that with him?
COACH CALIPARI:  Pass a little bit, stop turning it over, but keep getting those double‑doubles, they're really nice (laughter). 

Q.  Coach Gary Waters debunked the age‑old philosophy or theory that you have to lose to learn.  He said he don't believe in that.  What's your theory on that?
COACH CALIPARI:  I'd rather it be a close win.  But sometimes it comes to a point, you got no choice, you got to take an L. I think, again, close wins are better learning experiences.  I just hope they understand that you can't start games like we're starting 'em.  You can't.  You got to come out of the gate ready to go, get somebody down 15‑0, not because they missed shots, but because you played the right way.  Making easy plays, giving it up early. We're still not a good team.  We're just not.  I keep telling them.  Rod came in at halftime.  We're talking.  He said, They don't talk to each other out on the court.  They're all into their own thing.  When you're into your own thing, it's really hard to play basketball. But they're young.  It's what we're fighting.  It's what we're battling. We just had three days, I'm telling you, I went back to old school UMass stuff that I did.  Alex (Poythress) had his heart rate up to 90% for the first time since I've coached him.  So we're doing things to just make 'em work harder so they understand what it feels like, that their legs are burning.  Really, it's supposed to do that?  Nothing's wrong with that. It's just a process.  Probably should have done that from day one.  But until you figure out your team, you just don't know. 

Q.  You have Eastern Michigan on Wednesday, who actually beat Cleveland State. 
COACH CALIPARI:  And Robert Morris and Arlington.  They're like 5‑0.  They're going to play 40 minutes of zone. 

Q.  Schedule gets tough.  Have you made it clear they're not playing Popcorn State anymore?
COACH CALIPARI:  The good news is other than Michigan State, we kind of built them up.  Now Eastern Michigan is the next step.  When we go farther, every other team takes us to another level. If you have letdowns like we've had, again, let's be real, Cleveland State took advantage of everything we did wrong.  They did.  Then they missed some shots.  We rebounded.  We made it a little tougher. How about the straight‑line drives?  Julius goes up and guards the guy, the guy goes directly from him to the basket.  I'm in the timeout, That's your man, guard him. Again, we are what we are.  We're very young.  As the game wound down, I was good one way or another.  I don't want to lose any games.  But if we didn't fight, then we were going to learn. We fought, which was a good thing.  We learned about our team.  But, again, you can't let a team come out and have way more emotion than you, you just can't.  This is not about who looks the coolest.  It's not. All right, who wants this the most when the ball is thrown up?  That's what we got to have. 

Q.  Is it absurd to think Julius could get a double‑double every game this year?
COACH CALIPARI:  Yeah, it is.  But I'd like him to try to.  I'd like him to go out there and do it, if he can.  They're trapping him.  They're being really physical.  They're whacking down, doing stuff.  He's got to play through.  If three guys come, he has to pass.  You got to pass.  You're not getting to the rim.  It has to be a quick read.  Can't be a hold.  Just get rid of it.  We'll get it to the other side of the court and let them guys make plays.  We can get it back to you and post you again. It's all stuff we're learning.  These guys are trying to feel their way.  I'm trying to make it as hard as I can in practice now to make the games a little bit easier.  But obviously it didn't work. 

Q.  Marcus Lee was in the starting lineup again.  Played four minutes.  Was he not fitting in with this game?
COACH CALIPARI:  Got scored on and didn't rebound.  Got scored on right away, played behind a guy.  We talked to him.  You're getting three quarters.  Willie (Cauley-Stein) is playing well.  I wanted to give Dakari (Johnson) a chance.  Dakari didn't rebound either.  Willie made things happen.  We were trying to throw lobs to Dakari.  Fell on the floor.  One time he didn't jump. You know that's how we play.  Again, you got to have lively legs.  Willie, of the three of them today, was the best, so he played the most minutes.  He played 30 today.  There may be another time that it's Dakari or it's Marcus Lee.  That's what is great about having three of them. 

Q.  Coach Waters credited the crowd for helping a young team sort of pull through when things got a little shaky.  How much credit do you give them?
COACH CALIPARI:  Yeah, you know, it's funny.  As I watched Cleveland State, they were so jacked up to be playing this game, having an opportunity to beat a ranked team.  I looked around, I told John (Robic), Look, they're excited.  He said, Look around.  Wouldn't you be excited to play in this kind of venue?  It's 25,000 people going nuts.  This is what it is. But here is what our guys don't understand.  Every team that comes in here has that same feeling.  Our guys, you just got to understand that.  If you don't come in emotionally, mentally, you're passionate about how you're playing, you're going to be down against good teams.  They're going to come in and try to kill you, so... But it was a great crowd.  Again, let me say classy, classy move by our fans giving them a standing ovation because they deserved it.  They never cease to amaze me, our fans.  Yeah, they're into basketball.  Yeah, they're watching the tape three times, all that other stuff.  But they're classy about what they do. Thanks. 

Kentucky Student-Athletes

#30, Julius Randle, F

On Cleveland State…
“They were a really good defensive team. For me personally, they just sent all their guys out so it was kind of hard to make plays. They just played really hard and they were a really good team. I give them a lot of credit.”

On James Young’s play…
“He played really good and he was aggressive. He was a big lift for us.”

On the crowd at Rupp Arena…
“Rupp was huge for us. The fans were amazing and they gave us energy down the stretch. They were a big lift for us. We kind of fed off of them.”

#1, James Young, G 

On Andrew Harrison’s play down the stretch…
“He was being more of a leader. He really stood out. He directed us a lot and told us where to go and what to do. He really stepped up.”
On the atmosphere at Rupp… 
“I have never felt something like this. It was amazing. I want this feeling when we are not down. I want it to be like that all of the time. I have never felt something like that before.”

On playing more physical tonight…
“I just have to play more physical. The coaches have been getting on me a lot for not being as physical. During practice I just try to get more physical and it really showed tonight.” 

On his mindset down the stretch…
“I didn’t want to lose. I felt like if we lost then there would be a lot on our shoulders like Michigan State. I just, for whatever reason, did not want to lose and did what I could to help our team win.”

#5, Andrew Harrison, G 

On whether he felt like a different player tonight…
“Definitely, I feel like I was letting my teammates down pretty much, getting those fouls in the first half and not being as aggressive as I should be. This is definitely, hopefully, a turning point. Tomorrow we’re just going to go to practice and start getting better.”

On how the comeback felt at the end…
“It was great. You never want to lose, no matter who you play. We could have played better but, at the same time, they’re a great team. They have good guard play and everything, pretty athletic so it’s still a good win.” 

On whether he felt like the team needed him to step up at the end…
“All of us stepped up. James Young played great. Julius [Randle] in the paint; nobody was getting a rebound at that point, nobody but him. So, it wasn’t me at all. It was (the team) and I was just getting them the ball. They were just making me look good.”