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Billy Clyde Press Conference Quotes….

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From UK athletics….

Head Coach Billy Gillispie

Opening Comments…
“We are really excited about the two guys that we added today. They are guys we were interested since we got here. I worked very diligently to get those guys on board so I am really excited about getting these two guys to come play Kentucky basketball. They are good players. It is always good to get guys that are close to home, but not for that reason. I think every single school would like to get guys that are close to home, but we don’t recruit guys just because they are from a particular state, but because they are good and Darius (Miller) (from Maysville, Ky.) is really good.”

On Darius Miller…
“I think Darius is a tremendous athlete. He can do anything. He has been very well coached and very well taught. His dad was a really good player. I don’t want to brag on him to much. He still plays all the time with him. He has great knowledge and he is tough. The tougher the game, the better he is. He can score from the perimeter and he can really shoot the three. He can drive it to 15 feet and jump over a defender because of his size. He has great athletic ability and he is tough enough to get inside to get some of those baskets. You could not draw up two better players for me than he and DeAndre (Liggins).”

On DeAndre Liggins…
“Both of them have great versatility. DeAndre is a guy who can initiate offense. He is going to be a tremendous ball-pressure defender, as Darius can be as well. These guys are basketball players. They have things that they need to continue to work just like everyone else does but are great basketball players. They have great feel for the game and they have great understanding of the game. They work hard and I think that gives you great versatility when you have guys like that on your roster.”

On the signings…
“This is a great day for us. I am really excited about today. These guys are really good players but they are better people and I am really excited about that. Their families are excited about being a part of Kentucky basketball. There is not a sigh of relief about what it means to the team right now, but as far as the future holds it is very, very exciting.”

On losing exposure because of not in NYC…
“We need to be playing because it would mean we won our last game. You always want to try and win every single game you play. We like the exposure. That is one of the many things that is special about Kentucky and will continue.”

On why Gillispie wanted these players…
“The reason you are attracted to players is because they are good. I think that in both of their cases they are very unselfish players. Maybe sometimes they defer a little too much for me, but I think I can get these guys to continue to be unselfish and be a little more aggressive. They are really good team guys who like to win, and want to win, and they do win. They will give us great versatility once they get on campus.”

On the feeling early on whether Darius wanted to come to Kentucky…
“It is extremely difficult to recruit really good players; both of these guys are great players. There is great competition to get guys that have the kind of things that they have. I was happy to get their signatures today and I look forward to coaching them once they get here.”

On DeAndre’s game…
“He is versatile, very unselfish and he can handle the basketball. He will continue to work on his shooting. Although he is not a great shooter, we will work on his shot. He knows how to win and is very competitive. He is long and athletic. We are off to a very good start.”

On Jodie Meeks’ injury…
“It is tough, very tough. We have had more than our share of injuries. Things happen and hopefully we will get all of them done. We look forward to getting healthy and hope we don’t have any more. They told me this morning that (Meeks’ recovery time) normally takes 4-6 weeks, but it doesn’t mean that (Meeks) will. They told me yesterday that it was a stress fracture and I’m sure that has been well publicized. He got hit during the Seattle game and he was ok on Sunday but sore. He came back on Monday and felt better then. On Tuesday he was better and played, then he played in the game and you could tell he was not right and he hasn’t practiced since that time. At first they thought it was an abdominal pull, so they checked for him for a hernia and a lot of different things. They finally gave him a MRI and realized it was a stress fracture. To fill his position you have to get tough and find a way to make it right. It is not the easiest thing to do but we don’t have a bunch of alternatives. Any injuries to the core area are tough. Sometimes you can’t even move your body a certain way, he has a strong pain tolerance and a strong desire to play and is very team oriented. He wants to be out there; if they didn’t diagnosis him with a stress fracture then he would have probably been out there because he wants to be out there with his teammates. We will do the things the doctors tell us to and have to be patient until he comes back. He is anxious and knows that his teammates need him but when you are injured you can’t do anything about it and your hands are tied.”

On Derrick Jasper…
“He has not practiced for a long time. They say he will be able to do some running on the court in a couple of weeks. They say it is normal for his type of injury. The doctors will have to test him to see if he is totally healed and if everything is healing properly and done properly. After that you just go from there and hope everything is ok. I haven’t thought about him not playing at all this year.”

On recruiting certain positions…
“We are going after players and those two certainly fill that need and that is what I want, players. We are a long way down the road before we start saying, ‘We have to have this, or that. We have to fill spots on our rosters to say this is our only need.’ We are trying to recruit players.”

On improvement in practice…
“They have been trying all year long. Every coach wants every practice to be perfect but they have tried to do what I ask them to do since day one. They are trying to play together and it is not that easy to do that even though it sounds easy. I think we have major improvement since that time and we have a long way to go, but I think we will get there

Article written by Matt Jones