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Saturday night notes and presser quotes

Reinke/AP

A couple of quick things before we put a lid on the 1,999th win in school history…

It was a big day in college basketball, and there were several games that might be of interest to Cat fans.

–Kansas beat Michigan and Texas looked very impressive in knocking off North Carolina in the house that Jerry Jones built. We’ll be stuck at third in the polls come Monday, although I can’t say I can argue with either of the teams that we’re looking up at being ranked ahead of us.

–Tennessee, on the other hand, will be dropping in the rankings this week, as they took a 22-point thumping from USC, whose program is in shambles. Tennessee is horribly overrated and I will enjoy crushing them.

–Same goes for Florida, who lost to Richmond by three. That’s right…Richmond. And South Carolina, who fell 68-61 to Wofford. The SEC continues to impress.

–Unfortunately Western wasn’t able to make it a total win, as they dropped one to the filthy Cards. Still, I firmly believe that we will make Louisville look like a D-III team when they come to Rupp in two weeks. Book it.

Also, if you haven’t seen Seth Davis’ comments in response to Bob Knight’s jab at Coach Cal, they can be read here. It’s no secret that as far as Kentucky fans are concerned, Davis has been and will continue to be a goober. So maybe it’s the yuletide spirit or a little too much egg nog that’s got him defending Cal and the Cats, but whatever it is he took a step towards warming our Big Blue hearts today. Only 3,667,192 to go.

Now, to some quotes from the postgame interviews:

Coach Calipari opens the press conference (via John Clay’s blog)

[Postgame quotes from UK Athletics]

Calipari’s other comments:

On Eric Bledsoe going from a great game against Indiana to a poor performance in the first half today…

“Because he is young and that is what he has always done. If he didn’t feel good then he just didn’t play well. You can’t do that anymore. You have to understand that six months ago his warm-up was three minutes. He did a three-minute warm-up and then went and played. You had a game at one, another at four and another at eight. These kids are just learning and they are learning about shoot-around and how every game matters. There were good things, today. I liked the way that we shoot the ball from the free throw line. Our turnovers were low the first half, but in the second half we had 10. We got up 16 or 18 and just the sloppiness that we had we were just out of our minds. It looked like we were the Globetrotters at times.”

On if it is harder for the players and the team to get up for today’s game after playing UNC, UCONN and Indiana the past week …

“It is a function of teams. It is for all of us. There’re going to be games even in the SEC when you are supposed to win and you think that you are going to win and if we play the way that we played here we are not going to make as many baskets because they are going to defend us better.”

Patrick Patterson

On the first half…

“We had a very poor defensive effort, poor rebounding and poor communication. They had a bunch of open shots in the first half. Our total play was terrible in the first half.”

On his performance…

“(Coach Calipari) said that was the softest 21 (points) and nine (rebounds) I’ve seen. I agree with him. My first half was pretty much just horrible on my part. The ways I was scoring were passes from my teammates and a couple of post moves some free throws. My performance on the offensive end just wasn’t up to par. I got some transition baskets in the second half. I did a lot better running up and down the court and hitting open shots.”

On Kentucky’s 11-0 record…

“I don’t believe the team is letting its record get to its head. We all know we got a long way to go. We still want to be one of the best teams in the nation. We still want to win a national championship. We still want to go undefeated. We know we have to improve a lot on the defensive end, rebounding and communication. Day in day out, we just need to improve.”

On Austin Peay’s performance…

“They are a team that never gives up. They were down against Akron. They continued to fight and battle and hung in that game and I think they pulled it out at the very end. Coach told us they were never going to give up. They kept hitting shots. They got some offensive rebounds and a couple loose balls, transition baskets off our turnovers. They just never gave up.”

John Wall

On the sluggish start …

“It started off with us having a bad practice this week, and the last hour he just let us condition. That’s when it started. That last hour (of practice) we could have been working on our game and getting better as a team and working on our offense and defense, but we came out like we didn’t want to practice and he (Coach Calipari) got mad and made us run. Some people might come in one day and just don’t feel like practicing, but with a coach like Coach Cal you have to bring it everyday. He is going to tell you to just go to the sideline, and you’re not just going to sit there, you’re going to be running. I think a lot of us weren’t ready to practice and it hurt us.”

On Coach’s comments about being 6-5 …

“We’re undefeated, but when you look back at it and see some of the games we played, we should have lost. But we had a will to win and came out and made key stops. What coach says about us being 6-5 is basically true because some of those games we probably should have lost.”

On Austin Peay’s play …

“They we’re just being aggressive. Every game played is everybody else’s Super Bowl so they are going to come out and play as hard as they can and give us that kind of aggressiveness. We just have to be prepared and where that is going to start is in practice.”

DeMarcus Cousins (whose ‘Peter Parker swag’ can be seen in video form here)

On his play …

“I actually think I played really bad today. I came out really lazy and didn’t do good defense energy wise. Our numbers showed differently, but I think I did bad on defense today. It was a pretty tough practice week from the conditioning and I’m still kind of worn out from it, but that’s just an excuse. We just have to come out and play.”

On the play of the team…

“We all came out very lazy and sluggish today. If the same thing happens and we’re playing a better team that win might be a loss. They came out and hit us in the mouth real early. They we’re making baskets pretty early and we just fought through it and eventually got back to our normal selves.”

On getting going in the second half …

“I don’t know what got us going, we didn’t get yelled at. We went in and had 24 hustle points and we had never seen that before. We just came out and played.”

Darius Miller

On Kentucky’s performance…

“I think we realize that we had a bad week of practice. We know we didn’t play really good today, as well as we thought we could have played. I don’t think we are arrogant. I just feel we have to learn to play on the days we don’t feel like being there. Everybody has days when you are feeling sluggish or just lazy. We just have to come out and learn how to play on those days.

“When we pulled away, we just picked up our intensity. We were playing real sluggish. We didn’t have any intensity on the offensive or defensive end. We weren’t really pressuring them or forcing turnovers. We were just laid back and going through the motions. Once we picked up the intensity that’s when we were able to pull away. I still don’t think the intensity was where it should have been.”

On the rest of the season…

“We just have to be ready to play every night. If we would have lost the game, nobody would want to hear those excuses, we had finals or something like that. We got to just play when we are feeling sluggish or lazy on days like that. We got to come out and be prepared (to play) every single game, because when we are playing a Florida, Tennessee or Vanderbilt it is going to tough to win a game like that.”

Dustin will be the daddy for your Sunday enjoyment. Be nice to him, and he might tell you something useful. Get out of line…and the consequences could be dire. The choice is yours.

Article written by Hunter Campbell

I used to write here.