UK Hits the Road Again, Traveling to Vandy

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UK Hits the Road Again, Traveling to Vandy

Post  BestdamnUKfanperiod on Sat Feb 12, 2011 12:02 am

UK Hits the Road Again, Traveling to Vandy

The Wildcats got back on the winning track, welcoming Tennessee coach Bruce Pearl back with a 73-61 win over the Volunteers in Lexington on Tuesday.

The UK upperclassmen led the Cats to victory, led by DeAndre Liggins' game-high 19 points. Liggins also added five rebounds, a career-best five steals and three assists while putting his patented defensive stamp on the Vols.

Josh Harrellson (16), Brandon Knight (12) and Terrence Jones (10) all scored in double-figures and Jones pulled down a game-high 11 rebounds for his league-leading eighth double-double this season.

The Wildcats dominated Tennessee on the boards, outrebounding the Vols 38-28. The UK defense also forced Tennessee into 14 turnovers, converting them into a 21-10 advantage in points off turnovers.
Pregame Press Conference Quotes
Kentucky Head Coach John Calipari

On if playing at Vanderbilt with the ‘end zone’ coaches’ box will be a challenge …
“I don’t think they listen to me much on the road, so I don’t think it really matters. But, I do know they will have to listen to each other. Maybe that will help them. Historically, our teams have always played better on the road because they were always supposed to win every game on the road, so when they went on the road, they loosened up a little bit and they played. With this team, part of it is that we haven’t played together. I tried to figure this out myself. Why do guys play so poorly at Florida, and then turn around and play so well against Tennessee? You know guys that stunk the gym up, and some of them gave up 30 points; so how do those guys come back? I think part of it is that they did it together, so that makes the game easier. If you try to play by yourself, the game is really hard. It’s hard on offense, you don’t get any space, guys are up in you, no one gives you an easy shot, and no one frees you. And on defense, it’s just you and that man. If he is a little better than you, or quicker, oh my goodness gracious, you are just looking to come out of the game. One of the things you do is foul to get you out of there. But if you are together, even a young man that is faster and quicker, you can guard him. And offensively, a guy is trying to smother you. That doesn’t matter. My teammate will get me something. That’s something that I come back too. Usually a crisis brings that around. The guys say ‘man we have to do that together’.”

On if this team is rebounding better …
“We will see. That’s an ongoing issue. The biggest thing is the rebound attempts against Tennessee and Florida are so glaring. Just attempting, listen to me… attempt. All we are asking is for you to attempt to get the ball. We had guys rebounding 25-30 percent of the time, and they were our three, our four, and our five. Think about what I just said. Now, this game, Tennessee, they were all in the eighties. That means a shot went up on offense. If I’m on offense, and I’m a three, four, or five I try to tip it in and go play. If it went up on defense, all five guys went to rebound the ball. Well now we have a chance to out-rebound the other team. Before, we didn’t even have a chance. So again, it is on them? No. That’s why I put those (rebounding) rims up. Every shot we take, none of them were going in. ‘Why didn’t you go after that rebound?’ ‘Because I thought it was going to go in.’ Unless you can get it through a pinhole, it’s not going in. There’s a rim in there. So, we are trying to get them to develop some different habits.”

On Vanderbilt’s make-up …
“They are a good team. We all know that if (John) Jenkins gets going he can beat you by himself. You know, inside, (Festus) Ezeli is really good. He is really physical. They put four guys around him. The other guys are veteran guys, and they are good players. They have got a good group, and they have got a good bench. They lost at Florida, but a kid got fouled on a 3-point shot. The kid after the game said, ‘I fouled him’, so I’m not making it up. Against Tennessee, a kid drove middle, and got tripped. They didn’t call it. They lost both of those games. Kind of what I told you about Mississippi. What’s their record now? They were one and whatever; they have won every game since we have played them. They are not a bad team. They are a good team. This is a really good team. This is one of the better teams in our league.”

On if he will watch the Vanderbilt game tonight …
“I will not. I was thinking about having the team over to watch. Maybe they will watch it over in Wildcat (Lodge). I usually just watch the tape. And the reason is I will try to get the remote and try to stop it, when it’s a real game, so I can’t do it.”
#1, Darius Miller, G, Jr.

On the setup at Vanderbilt …
“It is kind of different. As you all know, the setup is different and it is going to be a pretty tough environment and a tough crowd. We are trying to get mentally ready and hopefully we can come out and have a good practice today.”

On transferring all the good things UK did against Tennessee on Tuesday night to the game Saturday …
“We definitely think about that. We played good at home pretty much all through conference play this year, but we have been struggling on the road. We don’t really know why. Maybe lack of intensity coming out letting the crowd in it. We need to come out and not let the crowd get involved. Like I said, it is going to be a tough atmosphere, so we have to come out ready to go from the beginning.”

On if UK would win more road games if they played on the road like they do at Rupp …
“Yeah, like I have said we have been playing pretty good at home. We have to come out focused from the beginning on the road. I don’t know why we have letdowns when we play away but I think that we are going to figure it out. Coach Cal is going to do a great job of getting us prepared today and have a good game plan as always. We have to come out and execute.”

On all the road games being close on the road …
“Yeah, that is true (they have been close), but we haven’t played a whole 40 minutes on the road. We feel like we haven’t played a whole 40 minutes through conference play, really. We have to work on coming out and playing the whole game and get prepared and ready.”
#3, Terrence Jones, F, Fr.

On the need to play well on the road …
“We have to, we have to play with the same energy and see the same confidence from a lot of guys like we do in the home games. We need to expect everybody to still play and keep the commitments they made to the team.”

On talking about every player’s specific commitments to the team …
“It put more pressure and higher expectations on everyone from the team by saying you’re going to do this for everybody on the team. There are a certain amount of things and if everybody’s doing everything then we’ll do well as a group.”

On the importance of (DeAndre) Liggins to the team …
“He’s very important. He always has the toughest job on defense guarding the best player on the other team and he did a good job [in the Tennessee game]. He was just playing with energy on offense and defense and he usually passes up shots, but instead he was being aggressive with the ball.”

On Coach Cal being on the other side of the court for half of the Vanderbilt game …
“I don’t like that, I like hearing him because he tells us what to do and sometimes we need that. He helps us call the plays. We’re going to have to talk out there on the court as a team and be more focused on what Brandon (Knight)’s saying and have everybody repeating it and just getting all the calls right.”
#34, DeAndre Liggins, G, Jr.

On dealing with the different set up of the Vanderbilt gym …
“The coach gets away from us so it’s pretty weird because he has to yell from in the end zone. We just have to make sure we communicate on every call we make.”

On the difficulty of communicating without Coach Cal around …
“It’ll be very difficult but we just have to keep [communicating] and keep our eye on Coach [Cal] to see what he wants and go from there.”

On Coach Cal’s comments that Liggins deserves the ball more on offense …
“Everybody’s been working hard and deserves the ball but my role is to help us win and if I need to be scoring then that’s what I’m going to try to do.”

On Cal saying offense should be like a reward for playing good defense …
“I think the same way. Of course I like to touch the ball sometimes but I love playing defense so it doesn’t matter as much about my offense.”

On worrying about falling off the gym floor at Vanderbilt …
“It’d be weird to see someone fall off, but if I’ve got to do that to win the game then I’ll do it. I’m just trying to come out with a win.”

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