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Some Notes From Cats Meeting the Media

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Today was a great day at the Carrier Dome. The media was brought together for what is usually a pointless exercise, the pre-game press conference but today was actually interesting. Because of the format, 30 minute breakout sessions with each player individually, a lot of the guys opened up and were very interesting to talk to. Some highlights:

JOHN WALL:

For my money, John Wall stole the show. The kid was swarmed with media and at one point had Andy Katz, Jeff Goodman, Dick Weiss, Rick Reilly and Dan Wetzel all surrounding him. Yet he handled each question well and gave all the right answers. A couple of quotes:

— When asked about trying to suppress his ego when coming to Kentucky. “This whole thing isnt about me. Coach Calipari is a big time Coach. Patrick Patterson was here and is a big time player. Kentucky is a big time program, like an NBA program. I was just trying to fit in, not run the show.”

— When asked about his teammates, he said about Cousins “he doesnt ever stop talking, no matter what we are doing. He is a big goof ball but I love him like a brother.”

— He also told a story about when he committed to Kentucky. After committing to Kentucky, he texted Cousins and told him he was going to Duke. Cousins immediately called back and said, “you have got to be kidding. You are going to Duke?” Wall said he sounded upset and he made him wait before telling him, “nah you know I wouldnt do that.”

DEMARCUS COUSINS:

Cousins was his usual scene stealing self. A few notes:

— Cousins points to the UCONN game as the defining point of the season. “That was when we got rolling. We knew then we could win a national championship if we did what we were supposed to.”

— He said that the reason he likes Calipari is that “he is real.” And his love of Kentucky comes from the way the fans have treated him. “They have accepted me for who I am, no matter what.” He said he loves seeing the kids and adults in his “Peter Parker swag”, saying “it just shows that they accept me for who I am and that is great. It is why I like this place so much.”

— He said if people want to hack and foul him, “bring it on. That just shows that it is the only way they can stop you.”

PATRICK PATTERSON:

— Patrick said that the reasons he came back to school were simple. He had three goals in mind: (1) Get my degree in three years, (2) Play for Coach Calipari and learn the dribble drive and (3) Win a national championship. He admitted that the third seemed far-fetched but “I knew when he got here we would make the tournament. Then we played a few games and I knew we could make a run and then after a few more I though, “man we can win this thing.”

ERIC BLEDSOE:

This was the best I have ever seen Eric Bledsoe with the media as well. A few notes:

— He talked about the NBA and the change from Media Day when he said he had no thoughts of going in the NBA until after playing a few years: “It changed a lot because people said I was an NBA prospect. But that just shows you the things Coach Cal can do. I can see myself coming back though. Right now I am just worrying about the Tournament and what a great year it has been.”

— He said that coming to Kentucky has been a great change for the kid from Alabama. “If I had gone to a school like Alabama, they would have just been worried about Nick Saban and what he is doing. Here they care about basketball.”

— I asked him about his comments on the CBS special about Cousins always getting the guys in trouble at practice. HE said, “Coach always tells us to listen and pay attention and he will be over there giggling and making jokes. Then they will get on all of us. But that is just how Demarcus is.”

It was a good day and once again the guys seem loose. They all believe the game will be physical and are ready for a battle. It will be the best Regional final and everyone is here waiting. I will have more on some of the behind the scenes media stuff later, but for now….beat WVU!

Article written by Matt Jones