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Gillispie Press Conference Quotes

On Georgia’s defense …

“We have not performed very well against their defense (last year). Last year they physically
dominated us in every single game. We got worse every time we played them. We know it will be a
very physical game and they will try to muddy it up with their physical play. That is what they should
do because they are really good at it. I think they are a really good team that is waiting for
something really good to happen for them. They were ahead of Georgia Tech by 13 in the second
half and ahead on Tennessee by double figures and they have had a lot of close games. They have
good people who are very sound with a very good coach. They have four of the most physical
inside defenders I have seen in the league. We have not done very well against really physical
defenders. They also have some very good perimeter players as well. They have some extremely
talented youth and some great experienced players. I think they are a very good team.”

On teams defending Jodie Meeks …

“The coaches in this league already knew about Jodie (Meeks) and it is a perfect set-up if you are
not mentally strong. It is a perfect set-up for Georgia because of the way they play defense, and I
applaud the way they play defense. We have to execute better than we have at any point this
season to go on the road and win. Meeks has to be careful and not fall into the trap of just being a
three-point shooter, or fall into the trap of thinking that other teams will really play a lot tougher
defense on him and taking himself out of the game in those ways. There are a lot of psychological
things as well as physical things that are possible traps, and he will have to be mentally and
physically tough to overcome those. We have to understand that we are not just a three-point
shooting team, which will not work for us. We were able to make 12 threes the other night and that
will probably not happen again this year. We have to understand where our bread is buttered and
play to those strengths as the game unfolds. When you get a guy that is extremely hot the way he
was, then you utilize that. There are a lot of things that are potential trap things for an
inexperienced team and hopefully we don’t fall into any of those traps.”

On how future opponents would defend …

“I would doubt that anyone would change their philosophy about Patrick (Patterson). Everyone
knows that we are trying to be a power basketball team and we are supposed to throw the ball to
the post and play an inside-out game. Sometimes we do that better than other times. I would think
we would start seeing some junk defenses that we haven’t seen yet. I think we will see some guys
who are really game planning and choosing to not guard some of our guys out on the perimeter.
Some of that stuff has been done before this season, but I would think that teams will continue to
make Patterson and Meeks a centerpiece of their defense.”

On the team’s reaction to Jodie Meeks …

“Our team is comprised of great, team-oriented people. Every single player on our team thinks
Kentucky first and individual second. I think everyone has been truly happy when something has
happened for another teammate; whether it was the last guy on the bench coming in and making a
three at the end of a blowout game, or Patrick scoring a lot of points. I think our team has made it
very clear that what they really want to do is win. We have a long way to go get better in every
aspect. I think it is a close group and I think it always has been. They will continue to get closer as
we go along and they are happy for each other every time they are out there.”

On Jodie Meeks …

“I know that he worked extremely hard and I never saw him in great condition last year. Part of that
was because of injury and not being able to get in the level of great conditioning that I expected. I
would think that as freshmen, there are not too many guys in great condition or are very consistent.
Patrick was a freshman who was very consistent and probably the most consistent freshman I have
ever seen. I think conditioning has a lot to do with it and Meeks has taken his game to another level
in every aspect.”

On the Georgia game …

“I am not saying this is a trap game, but there are some traps out there. I want people to
understand that there are some traps out there that Jodie could get caught up in or our team could
get caught in. I’m not talking about the end result of winning or losing, but how we go about playing
the game and there is a big difference there. We could be at our emotional peak and played the
best we can play and still get beat because Georgia is still a very good team. They can expose
some weaknesses that have been exposed to us before. I’m not talking about a trap game, but
some psychological traps we could get caught in. For any team, I think you have to be concerned
about who you are play after playing one of your biggest rivals. I don’t want to think that we don’t
have the greatest respect for Georgia. They knocked us out of the SEC tournament last year, when
we wanted to play in that tournament for a lot longer time. They did it with hard-nosed defense,
great coaching and timely play. We are going to their home court and playing a desperate team, so
we will need to play our best. They went on the road and played Vanderbilt and held them to 50
points. They beat Vanderbilt when they had A.J. Ogilvy while whipping them on the boards. Believe
me, we have great respect for Georgia and if they beat us then it was not because we didn’t
approach it in the right way.”

Article written by Matt Jones