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Wenyen Gabriel Talks Before UK Game at Texas A&M

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Associated Press Associated Press

UK MEDIA RELATIONS 
MEN’S BASKETBALL

UK-TEXAS A&M PREGAME MEDIA

FEB. 9, 2018

JOE CRAFT CENTER – LEXINGTON, KY.

Kentucky Players

#32, Wenyen Gabriel, So., F

On the last couple days of practice …

“Practice has been really intense lately. We did a lot of competitive things. We’ve been going at it during late-game situations and going at it during five-on-five during practice. We’ve been doing a lot of conditioning and we’re getting on a lot of shots up, too.” 

On using negativity from social media as motivation …

“Of course you hear it, but you try to block it out. When you come to the team, you try to stay positive and focus on moving forward. The future is not going to be in the past.”

On never losing three games in a row under John Calipari …   

“We should always have a lot going into every game. Obviously, the last game hurt and even the game before. So yes, the losses hurt, but we just use that as motivation. We don’t look it at as the streak, never lost 3 in a row. That’s not how we look at it. But every game should be a different challenge.”

On Texas A&M beating Auburn …

“I saw that they just beat Auburn. That’s a good win for them. Maybe that will just make this win even better for us when we beat them.” 

On what they’re expecting for this second match up down low …

“They’re a big, physical team. That’s how they play basketball. We have to be ready to combat that, and I feel like we need to keep playing defense how we’ve been playing and hopefully we make some shots this game. We’ve been working on that and putting a lot of emphasis on it during our practices.”

On what shooting in practice entails …

“You can’t miss every shot. That’s the way we’ve been looking at it. We’re just getting up more reps. We’ve been focusing on conditioning and getting shots up when were tired.”

On labeled the energy guy and if his can help guys sustain energy …

“As you said, they have labeled me the energy guy and I think that’s what I do. When I’m playing my best is when I think I’m bringing the most energy to the team, so I would say yes, I can help guys sustain energy.

On if they look back at what went well the last time they played Texas A&M …

“We’re about to watch film on the last game right now, go over our game plan and talk about what we’re gonna do for this game coming up.”

On bouncing back in practice …

“It’s been very competitive. We’ve been going at each other – five-on-five, putting ourselves in late-game situations with the clock and trying to simulate those situations in practice.” 

On Kevin Knox saying that they have been working on passing, everyone touching the ball and getting guys more shots where they like them …

“We’re trying to help each other score. I think we’ve been struggling offensively over the last few games, especially on shooting. I think our offense has been low motor recently and it shows on the scoreboard, so we’ve been trying to boost that up.”

On how to fix the motor …

“We have to get the ball moving. The ball moves faster than the dribble.” 

On in Coach Calipari has them partaking in Adolph Rupp’s non-dribbling drills …

“We’ve done a few of those drills, but that hasn’t been the main emphasis on how we want to get the ball moving.”

On if they are pressure to winning for a good spot in the tournament …

“My mind is always on March. Every day, every game is on March. The losses aren’t gonna kill you, but we just have to focus on where we’re going to be at during March. So, we just have to get better every day. We have to stay positive there’s no time to dig yourself into a deeper hole than you need to be.”

On how to the offensive can getting better and get more shots up …

“Getting the ball moving more and obviously trying to run up the floor more when we have the opportunity. We have to play to our strengths and help each other score.”

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