LEX 18 True Blue Coverage

Feb 15, 2011 11:18 PM

Player Quotes From UK's 85-79 Win

Cats remain perfect at Rupp under Cal. UK beats Mississippi State 85-79. Player quotes.

Kentucky Players

#3, Terrence Jones, F

On the first five minutes of the second half and how the team was able to turn things around...
"I think it started the last two minutes in the first half, really. The energy changed and people that were playing a little shaky started playing better. Darius (Miller) came off and started making wide open threes, so just moving the ball around really helped. I think we did a better job on the pick and rolls."

On if the technical foul against Mississippi State drove the crowd as well as the team...
"Yes, that was a big play, three free throws and then the technical leads to a big play."

On if tonight was as much fun to play in as any other game...
"Yes, it was a fun game. Going through adversity and losing at first and not starting as well, but then coming back as a team and fighting together to get the win was really fun."

On if the team meeting was worth it...
"Yeah, like I said we started off slow with a couple of bad shots and they started off hot shooting well from the field, so we just had to lock down in the second half and show that we wanted to win more."

#1, Darius Miller, G

On how the press in the second half changed the tempo of the game...
"I think it changed it quite a bit. It put us in more of an aggressive mood and made us come out more aggressive on the defensive and offensive end. So we kind of picked up our tempo and made them play faster too."

On how troubling it is to once again not be able to completely close out the game down the stretch...
"It can get frustrating at times for all of us. We continue to talk about it and work at it, but we just have to stay focused. It is something we have to get better at."

On the difference between starting and coming off the bench to play...
"It was not that much of a difference really. Either way it doesn't matter, I just have to come out and play regardless. Whether it is off the bench or starting, I still have to play the same way."

#55 Josh Harrellson, F

On his overall thoughts of the game...
"I came out really slow in the first half, but I thought in the second half I picked it up. We had a couple of blocks in a row and that really just sparked us, and we just took off from there."

On what he changed defensively in the second half...
"I just changed my mindset. I just came out and tried to run the floor just like I have been the past couple of games, and just doing that makes me better all around."

On this being a really tough game to win...
"Yeah, it was definitely a hard game. They (Mississippi State) came out and shot great from the 3-point line. They (Mississippi State) shot it great from the floor too, shooting 50-something percent. They came out on fire. We knew after a while we could ware them out by playing our game. The time came and we got up by 12, and we just held it from there. It got a little close there at the end, but we finally held off and played a good game."

#12 Brandon Knight, G

On what coach said to him before the half...
"The first time Coach Calipari told me to shoot the ball because he knew they were going to foul, and I failed to do so, and it kind of caught me off guard."

On his thoughts of the shot...
"I wasn't really focusing, and the next time he said ‘do you understand? This time they are going to foul you.' And I was like ‘okay, I got you coach.' He tried to foul me, and as I saw him coming I just tried to throw it up towards the rim. The ref saw that and gave us the foul shots."

On if he was surprised he got the call...
"Not really. I knew Coach Calipari had a reason for me doing it (shooting the ball from halfcourt). I have seen it happen before where they know guys are about to foul them and guys just act like they are about to shoot. I thought the coach (Rick Stansbury) wouldn't agree with it, obviously."


Mississippi State Head Coach Rick Stansbury

Opening Statement
"I guess that extends their streak to 31 in a row here at Rupp and that's the reason they have 31 in a row because they are a great basketball team and Cal does a great job with them. I said this before, going into this game, last year you could take away a few things away and this year it is difficult to take anything away from them because they are so skilled one through four, those guys can pass, dribble and shoot it. Basically that is what got us in the second half and Lamb and Knight really jumped up and hit a few shots. They hurt us in transition and they really got going in transition. One of the things we didn't want to have was for them to get in transition, I think they had one basket in the first half. Second half they got out and got three or four and made a three, Lamb did it in that corner and that got them loose and extended it. I am really proud of our guy's effort. I didn't help our team any with that last three seconds before halftime and don't ask me about things because I'm not. I learned my lesson, Jerry. So don't you guys go there with me. I'll tell you that before you get up to the podium. But that didn't help and I am very proud of the way our guys played. We play like that and it's very obvious if we play like that we can play anywhere. We'll take some positives away from it and go to the next game.

On how Ravern Johnson stepped up ...
"Yeah he jumped up and made some shots for us. It helps us when he makes some shots and he jumped up and made some plays. We were really efficient in the first half. I think we shot 57 percent in the first half, out rebounded them and controlled the ball. We controlled the whole flow in the first half. I don't think Kentucky ever got that flow going where they were in control, but in the second half they did. I was proud to see Ravern bounce back."

On how big a difference was Jalen Steele in the first half ...
"Like you said he gave us some toughness and jumped up there and made some shots. He shot the basketball like we've been waiting for him to shoot the basketball. We know he's tough and he is a guy that can handle the ball. We have always felt that he can shoot the ball, but he hasn't done it consistently. But he jumped up and made shots tonight."

On the play of Josh Harrellson and his defensive plays against Renardo Sidney...
"He's a good player for them. I mean he is a very versatile player and you all don't write about him enough but he is a big piece. He makes a lot of that stuff function well because of his skill level out there on the floor like dribbling and handing the ball off and things like that. He has a knack to be in the right spot to get offensive rebounds. You all need to write about him more."

On the play of Darius Miller considering he wasn't suppose to play tonight ...
"Larry, you knew he was going to play. Miller is one of those guys and (DeAndre) Liggins (are good pieces.) I know those freshmen are really good players: (Terrence) Jones, (Doron) Lamb and (Brandon) Knight. Whatever publicity they get they deserve it, but when Miller and Liggins play well for them that is when their team is the best. They have experience. Liggins has some toughness and is one of their best defenders. Miller was a guy that jumped up and made some threes tonight. In that first half, he went 3-of-7 and for the game in that zone you can't cover them all and you just have to pick your poison. We were going to let Liggins and Miller shoot a little. For a guy that wasn't supposed to play he had 13 big points tonight and it was huge for them."


Mississippi State Players

#0, Jalen Steele, G

On the huddle towards the end of the game after Kentucky made a big run...
"We were just trying to fight back as much as possible. We needed to try and stop Knight and Lamb. We were just trying to contain them. We were doing that at some time, but we really just couldn't pull it out in the end."

On the difference between playing regular season teams and playing SEC teams ...
"Regular season play isn't really that intense. Every game counts but it doesn't count. In, SEC play we have to play much harder to solidify a spot in the big tournament in March. SEC play is totally different."

On what it is like playing in Rupp Arena ...
"Rupp Arena is totally different. [As a player] everything has to be focused on the court. It's hard because it's like we have to play against the fans and everything that's happening on the court. It was my first time playing here and I really enjoyed it and enjoyed that the crowd was into the game."

#24, Kodi Augustus, F

On the last four seconds of the first half ...
"After the steal, I just heard him say to shoot it. I don't know what happened, but I didn't think it was a shooting foul. Everybody was just belligerent over the technical foul. It didn't really give us any momentum that we needed going into halftime. It was a tough call."

On the game as a whole ...
"Every game you have to take the positives. As I team. I definitely think we shared the ball better. He played harder. We played better as a team as a whole."

On Coach Calipari and his freshman class ...
"He's alright. He is a good coach. But really you just have to think about it as another group of guys. I can't say that it is any different because you have to take it as just another game."

On the difference between laying regular season teams and playing SEC teams ...
"SEC games obviously mean more because you're playing within your division. Really I think any game gets magnified as the season goes on."

On playing in Rupp Arena ...
"It's different. It's loud. It's a great college atmosphere. As a player, you like playing at places like this. It is a good enriching experience."

#3, Dee Bost, G

On how Mississippi State began the game after its loss to Auburn...
"We knew we had to come out and fight. If we came in here thinking about the Auburn game we knew they were going to blow us out."

On the 15-2 run in the beginning of the second half...
"We just turned the ball over when we should have taken care of the ball. They just knocked down shots in transition."

On Jalen Steele's play tonight ...
"He stepped up big tonight for us. He played great. I give him credit he knocked down some shots. We need him to play like that every game."

On Darius Miller's play tonight ...
"We knew he was a good player, but we didn't know he was going knock down shots like he did."

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