Skip to content

Kentucky Sports Radio

University of Kentucky Basketball, Football, and Recruiting news brought to you in the most ridiculous manner possible.

SEC Teleconference Quotes….


Its a slow night, so here is a sampling of the quotes from the SEC Summer Basketball Teleconference:


(On returning starters) “We have three returning starters, Shan Foster, Alex Gordon our point guard and Ross Neltner and we thought all three of those guys were very instrumental in our success in making it to the sweet sixteen last year and our success next year probably depends on the play that we get from those three guys. We have a fourth senior Alan Metcalfe who has a chance to be a very good player and it would certainly benefit us greatly if he played up to what we consider his potential. Our success will depend a lot more on those three guys that started and played so many minutes last year.”

(On what will be missed most with loss of Derrick Byars) “You know Derrick had the ability to create his own shot and really make big plays. So I don’t know if just his ability to score baskets on his own will be missed more than his big play making ability or maybe if those things are just kind of one in the same, but he really had the ability especially as we got on into the season and into big games to make crucial plays and so I think those two things are the things that we will miss the most, but Derrick was certainly a very fine player and we will miss him a lot.”


(Reflecting on the Orlando Magic situation) “I didn’t in my opinion although it happened quickly feel like I was forced into anything or anybody pushed me into anything, or that I was mislead in anyway. I think it was one of those things where you look at an opportunity and a situation and a challenge, that you know was somewhat appealing, but I also know that in my heart I did what was best for Orlando. I did what was best for myself, and I think that you get the opportunity to learn from that and grow and get better, and really at the end of the day what I did was I changed my mind and that’s really what I did. Just the way I am it was never about the money, it was never about the whole I have to coach in the NBA, it was never that. To me it was a lot more, where am I supposed to be in my life.”

(On John Pelphrey) “I think that John’s going to do great! I think he is in a great situation. I think Arkansas with their tradition, with their support, with their facilities; it’s a great opportunity for John. I also think John playing for the league, at Kentucky and also being here at Florida understands the league and the environment and in the SEC and at Arkansas I think he is going to do a terrific job.”


(On how the SEC East will shape up) “I think the SEC across the board, East and West is going to have another excellent year nationally. When you look at the two divisions I think the Eastern division right now again is going to be very strong. Right there is Knoxville, Tennessee returns not only the most players and the best team in our league but they’re certainly going to be in the top 10 nationally maybe top five nationally. I don’t know, you could make a case for them being top five nationally and certainly being the favorite in the SEC to begin with. I think Kentucky will be very strong again. They have an excellent perimeter and if they can get their inside game down I think they are going to be very good. Georgia, I think is going to be much improved. They lost two players but they have the bulk of their team back and a lot of experience and confidence and I know they are going to make a run at things. Florida, you know you look and it and say it will be hard for them to be as good and it probably will be, but by the same token, they do return some really good players. Walter Hodge, you know a lot of teams would like to have him coming back as a guard, so they will be good. Vanderbilt and ourselves I think will both be improved.”

(On Cliff Ellis back in college basketball) “Well you know somebody was kidding the other day that we ought to have a tournament here in the state (South Carolina) and invite maybe one outside team a year and have the tournament between Bobby Cremins, Cliff Ellis and myself. All of us used to coach against each other in another life and another league. To have Cliff back in our state I think is a wonderful thing for our state. He is a great basketball coach and certainly a great friend of mine, and to answer your question no the Costal team is not on our schedule but its something that if Cliff wants to talk about we certainly would be amenable to at least exploring. You know him and Bobby being back in the state certainly helps the image of college basketball in the state both of them have South Carolina ties, Cliff as a former coach at Clemson obviously and then Bobby as a former player here at the University (South Carolina) and having already put in a year at the college (Charleston). I think it’s a good thing, its something that will get basketball spurred and talked about.”


(On the younger recruiting trend) “Your first reaction is just like the same as whenever somebody in your league especially, gets a player, you are thinking how good is he. You are just interested in knowing how good a player is and so regardless age or what class they are in that’s your first thought, you are just kind of interested in knowing how good they are. I think its getting a little bizarre as to how guys, some of the guys that are so young are committing and how many guys that are really young some folks are taking at that age because truly you know a good bit of things change in three years and more so I don’t know that I get orally concerned about it. One of the bad by-products of all these early commitments is now de-commitments are becoming much more common which really makes me uncomfortable.”

(On direction of the program) “I am both proud of the way we have been able to climb out of the situation that we inherited and I am very excited about were we are headed. Our situation it was really in my view it was tougher than any situation that I have seen and with all that we had to deal with I am proud of the way we have been able to manage through it and come out of it and regain our ability to compete and our respect, dignity, and be in position to continue improving and become really good. I am really excited about that and I am really grateful for the support from Damon Evans and Dr. Adams our president and the rest of the folks here at Georgia have giving me and our staff and our players as we have re-built this program.”


(On Tasmin Mitchell) “Tasmin has had two outstanding years for us in my opinion. His freshman year he played on an outstanding team that went to the Final Four and won the league and then last year he increased his scoring, he increased his rebounding; he increased his perimeter shooting particularly from the three point line. He just got back from those Pan Am game tryouts and you know I got a call from Jay Wright and Mark Gottfried they really where down to the last two spots of him making that team and they were really impressed with his game and how it has expanded, and I appreciate them calling and telling me that. He is in the best shape he has ever been in and he knows this is an opportunity for him to step it up another level and with out Tyrus here and Glenn Davis he is going to merge here as our best player and the leader on our team and he is looking forward to the upcoming season.”

(On the importance playing over Labor Day) “One thing that’s going to help us as a coaching staff is we are going to Toronto, Canada during the Labor Day weekend to play three games there and we get an opportunity to practice eight or ten times before we go, which will give us an opportunity to look at all of these players, Garret Green one in particular kind of to see how much he can play this year and what we are going to be able to do with him. He is another body at 6-10, 220 (pounds) so he will give us some flexibility there also and you know we will just see how he fits in the mix. That Labor Day trip will benefit us significantly as a coaching staff and allow us to come back then and really see what our team is capable of in terms of the players we have and what their strengths are and what we really need to work on. You know we are excited about being able to do that during the Labor Day weekend.”


(Looking at the roster and styles of play) “I don’t know enough about it yet, because you can’t watch them play in the summer. I didn’t have much time with them in the April period. I would think that this will probably be one of the smaller teams that we’ll have, as far as physical size and those kinds of things. I’m excited at how thick they are. I think they are very, very athletic. I think that they are strong, and that they’ve been well versed. There are a whole lot of other things that we want to do as far as playing style. I really feel that players always determine how you play. I don’t know that it will be a conventional type team for me. I’m always used to having two big, strong post players out there with three guards on the perimeter. We may play more four-guard lineups; I just have no idea right now. They’ll determine that after we start practicing. I’m sorry I’m not giving you a great answer on that, I just don’t know right now.”

(On preparation outside recruitment) “Anytime that you are in transition and anytime you take on a new situation, no matter how good the situation is you’ve come into there are just so many things that you have to put together. You have to put a staff together. You have to recruit. You have to get to know your players. You have to find a place to live. There are just a million things. It’s an enormous task that you have when you change jobs because there are so many tasks to perform and before you know it school will be starting again. We have a six day break here in the recruiting and a million things to do before we get back out on the road for the last 10 days. It seems like there is some down time, but there really isn’t any down time. There’s not any down time when you don’t change jobs, and when you do change jobs it’s just an enormous task. I don’t know how other people feel, but it really takes about a year and a half before you ever feel any kind of comfort at all.”


(On pressure to recruit younger) “It does put more pressure, um, but it’s just the way, it’s the nature, I guess, of our business. You’ve got to be able to adapt and change and I just, I really, would prefer my focus as a college coach is to encourage that sophomore to have a really good sophomore year and really work hard in that 10th grade geometry class and do what he could to help the seniors win a state championship. And if he got a chance to play varsity as a 10th grader, and the thing I always want young people to be is hungry and humble and I think, certainly, the recruiting can stunt a player’s growth.”

(On Tennessee being a favorite of SEC East) “Well you’re gonna look at different rosters and you’re see rosters with depth or experience, talent. For example, Florida last year was clearly a team that had all those things. I think if you look at our roster its as deep and its as talented and its as experienced as its been in the last several years. So certainly, I think that we’re going to be picked by a number of people to be competitive.”


(On upcoming season) “We’re in a situation where I’m excited to find out, really quickly, what choices we’re gonna make regarding the kind of season we’re gonna have. We do have six seniors. We’ve got some experience there, and with experience comes good decision making and I believe if we make a commitment to working hard and being unselfish as a basketball team these guys can put themselves in a situation to compete at the highest level.”


(On increasing coaches salaries) “Well I don’t think there is any question that coaches get paid well, but I do think that does raise the expectation level and probably there’s a natural tendency to shorten, I guess, the time people get to build a team. It just kind of comes naturally. The more you get paid, the quicker we want it to reach a certain level.”

(On Shane Foster) “He did a terrific job and has continued with our team here. He shot the ball extremely well. He can get his shot off against bigger defenders because he almost puts that ball a little bit behind his head. He’s got great rotation and great follow through, but he really pulls it back and its an advantage for him.”


(On building the program) “We’ve had a massive re-building situation. We came in at very difficult times-probation, recruiting limitations, and sanctions- whatever could go wrong I think that it did and in about two years. So we’ve fought hard here to get it better, to get it stable. We’ve played a lot of young kids early, starting four freshmen in year two. These guys are starting to get better, starting to get stronger, starting to understand, starting to get more mature. We got everyone back from a team, that I think we beat five teams last year that were top 25 when we played them or top 25 at one point in the season. So I think we got over the hump, there, but we had a hard time beating the top teams in the league.”

(On 8th grade recruits) “It’s interesting. It’s hard to tell, Jerry, to me. I mean some guys get better, some guys don’t, some guys grow, some guys don’t, some guys are more developed now and people catch them. It’s hard to tell, to me, that early.”


(On dynamic of the league) “I think that the league is going to be very, very strong, top to bottom, as it was last year. I think there are no easy outs and that everybody, from top to bottom, is going to continue to be very, very competitive not only within the SEC but nationally.”

(On returning starters) “Yea, we’ve got three guys, really three seniors that played major roles for us last year. All of them part-time starters throughout the course of the year- DeWayne Curtis, Kenny Williams, and Jeremy Parnell- all front-line guys that played roles for us last year in winning 21 games.”


(On SEC West) “Well I think it’s going to be pretty similar to last year. I think anyone, from top to bottom, has a chance to win the league again. Naturally, Arkansas brings back six or seven seniors, I think seven seniors, so no substitutes for that. LSU has a lot of folks back and Alabama and Auburn and we returned some people and Ole Miss returns that back line so I think there’s a lot of experience coming back and, you know, just like last year, I think anyone has the chance and opportunity to win it.”

Article written by Matt Jones