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Post-game quotes from De’Aaron Fox, Isaiah Briscoe, and Derek Willis


Well, that was fun. College basketball is officially back, and Kentucky got the job done in a big way by destroying NCAA Tournament Cinderella squad Stephen F. Austin 87-64.

Check out what De’Aaron Fox, Isaiah Briscoe, and Derek Willis had to say following the season opener:

De’Aaron Fox

On Derek Willis’ impact early in the game:

“Derek came out and showed us what a senior is supposed to do. He put up points, he put up points in bunches. He got comfortable, and it allowed us to get comfortable.”

On Wenyen Gabriel’s energy:

“Honestly, our bigs have been making a big impact, playing with a lot of energy. Bam fouled a lot, I mean A LOT. (laughs) But we’ve been getting a lot of help from our bigs. Wenyen has been diving on the floor, fighting for loose balls, jumping in the passing lanes, all that. It’s just nice to have guys as talented as they are to carry a good bit of the load.”

On Cal being frustrating with the guards:

“Off the ball, I do get pretty lazy. I haven’t gotten backdoor’d yet, but if I do, I know I’m going to have to make up for it. Cal tells me I’m going to get backdoor’d, that I’m standing up off the ball, the little things. But it’s going to make me a much better player. We’re going to be looking at film and I’ll get pointed out, but it’ll help me become a complete defender. It looks really bad on film. It’ll force me to play the entire 30 seconds on the shot clock.”

On Cal putting in the zone:

“It didn’t surprise me, he told us he was going to run it, and he did it. It worked well, I think it caught them off guard a little bit. We want to play man, though. Zone isn’t who we are.

On Mychal Mulder’s impressive shooting night:

“It was great for him to get comfortable shooting the ball. I don’t think he missed one jumper all night. Offensively, we know that’s not his downside. They’re just trying to get the effort up on defense, fix the little things. He’ll play more, and I think that’ll be an extreme boost for us.”

On the difference between this game and others he’s played so far at UK:

“Honestly, it was a D-1 opponent. The other games, they weren’t competitive at all. The crowd was there, you got referees, cameras, it was on television, the competition was just better. I live about 2-hours from this team, I’m from Houston, so I’ve been around SFA. I knew what they could do. They’ve been to back-to-back tournaments, knocked off West Virginia I think, so I knew they’d be tough. They didn’t surprise me at all.”

Isaiah Briscoe

On some of the team’s defensive struggles:

“There’s always room for improvement. Coach said we need to get a lot better at defense, that’s a key thing. We need to talk more, make stops.”

On how it felt in his sophomore debut:

“It felt good, I think I played well. I had a lot of turnovers, unforced turnovers, and I really have to get smarter with the ball.”

On what Calipari told him about preparing the freshmen:

“Before the game, coach told me “They’re young, it’s their first game, make sure everything is in order.”‘

On Derek Willis’ impact on the game:

“It’s good. Derek was playing big last year, but he came out here, it was his first game, he was a senior, we’re going to need him. It’s good for Derek, it’s great for his confidence.”

On Bam’s rough debut:

“Bam’s fine. He’s a great player, plays with a lot of confidence. Had an off night tonight, but he’s fine, he’s good.”

Derek Willis

On Kentucky’s rebounding struggles:

“I just don’t like how we get out-rebounded. Part of that is my fault. We’re bigger, stronger, and more athletic than the majority of teams we’ll play, so it’s just a fight thing, really. With me, I let my guy go around me once, he just jumped right over me. I was really disappointed in myself with that.”

On his drive this season compared to past years:

“My first two years, I was more of just a practice player, just learning what I could. I’m still learning now, but I’m taking more of a leadership role. I try to be the first one into practice, get done what I need to get done, and stay after practice if I don’t feel good enough about what I’ve done for that day. I’m just trying to get into a routine, keep my confidence up.”

On what got him going early on offense:

“I was just trying to make something happen. I feel like we needed a spark, so I just wanted to be aggressive and attack them. I feel like on the scouting report, they just thought “This kid’s just a spot-up shooter, not very physical,” and I just wanted to show them another side of my offensive game. I just wanted to expand on my game, add different things, prepare for everything.”

On higher level of competition tonight:

“With exhibition games, it’s just two different levels of basketball. They’re division one, I think they went further than us in the tournament last year, so we just wanted to be prepared for a tough game. They were a solid team, I was impressed with what they brought to the table, but I feel that we executed really well and did what we had to do.”


The Cats take on Canisius on Sunday night at 6:00 PM. Be there.

But first, #BeatTennessee.




Article written by Jack Pilgrim

Follow me on Twitter: @JackPilgrimKSR