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Watch Kenny Payne, Andrew Harrison, and Karl Towns talk about today’s win

Transcripts of their comments after the jump.

KENNY PAYNE

On if he’ll give Cal grief over this win …
“Nah, not at all. At the end of the day these kids did it and it had nothing to do with coaching. We have a whole bunch of very talented young men who play great together and love each other and they’re learning about each other. It makes our job a lot easier.”

On how they are doing against older professional players …
“I think it was a telling sign to start this game off that France hit them in the mouth. I thought that was good. I think we needed that. The telling thing was that after they hit us, we made adjustments. We played more physical. We dictated the pace of the game. And we’re not just dictating the pace with grown men; you’re dictating the pace with grown men that play this game for money. That’s a great sign. That should build confidence in them and in each other and individually because that’s what it’s going to take to win.”

On Derek Willis and Dominique Hawkins building confidence …
“No question. That’s a big part of what everybody’s role is on this team, one through 12, 13, whatever, is that when you step on that floor, there is no garbage time. So when you’re on that floor, you have to play with confidence and you are to play well. If you make mistakes, you’re making them with confidence. That’s the key. I thought Derek did a great job, I thought Dominique has done an unbelievable job of pressuring the ball, of taking shots with confidence. Whether they go in or not, time will reveal that.”

On Aaron’s steal and dunk leading the early comeback …
“I thought it was pivotal. I thought the biggest part of that was the transition into what are we. Are we going to be a soft defensive team or are we going to be a in-your-face, aggressive, dictate-the-pace, get-in-the-passing-lanes (type team)? We don’t care who you are; we’re getting after it. And he made that play, which ignited everything for us.”

On Karl Towns …
“Unbelievable on the boards. Still, we’re not satisfied because he has so much more. He’s a very talented, a very energetic player with a whole bunch of skill. He has to learn that we play this game from inside-out, not outside-in. But what he brings to this team is super because we need big, long, energetic, skilled guys that can dictate what we’re trying to do.”

On why he has to learn from the inside-out instead of the outside-in …
“He has a tendency to want to be a perimeter big, but in order for him to be the best player in the country – if that’s his goals,if that’s his dreams – in order for him to be a professional, in order for him to dominate college basketball, it has to start from the inside-out.”

On Alex Poythress stringing together two good games and if he believes Poythress has turned that corner …
“I’ve never questioned Alex Poythress as a player. When we talk about confidence, Alex Poythress, he should be this year — he came back to school to prove to the world I’m one of the best forwards in the country. You see his athleticism. It is one of the most athletic forwards in the country. Now mentally he has to put together the fight, the determination to go out and prove to people how good he is because some people still question because they see the inconsistencies. Me personally, I think he’s going to have a phenomenal year. That’s why he’s here. That’s why he came back.”

On Cal saying this team is further along than the one he’s had recently …
“I think a big part of being farther along is having 10 days of practice to put in and implement the things offensively that we want to do. And that’s why you see, at times, the ball movement, the one more pass, the extra pass and the unselfishness. When you get a group of young players, freshmen or sophomores, to buy into that, you’re talking about a special group when you add talent to it.”

On if they can play this two-platoon system during the season …
“I think as long we dictate the pace defensively. If we’re initiating everything that happens on the floor, we can play 10, 11 guys. If the other team dictates, we won’t be able to play that many guys. We have to control the tempo of the game. Our numbers are unbelievable. The number of quality players we have are unbelievable. We just have to make sure that, in order to play those guys, that we don’t let the other team control what we’re trying to do. We control them.”

On what happens when you add Willie Cauley-Stein and Trey Lyles into the mix …
“That’s why you pay John Calipari a whole bunch of money. (Laughs). He’ll figure it out.”

ANDREW HARRISON

On how he and the team played today …
“Myself, I think I struggled a little bit in the beginning, just getting adjusted to the floors. We try to have fun so just trying not to take it too serious, but at the same time you’re going to win. It’s fun out here competing against somebody else besides our teammates.”

On this game supposedly being a tougher challenge and UK rolling after a rough start … 
“We picked it up. We were kind of sluggish and I think Aaron got a dunk or something. That really picked up the tempo of the game. It started to get fun. I guess they kind of ran out of gas. We go 10-deep and we are talented and it’ll be a fun year.”

On the two five-man units coming in waves …
“It’s great. The temperature of the gym is pretty hot, so that definitely helps us. Being able to have five in, five out, 10 people and the talent not drop off at all, it’s great.”

On Calipari watching from the stands …
“It was different. Coach Payne gave me a lot of responsibility, so I just tried to lead the team the best I can.”

On UK being further along than Calipari’s typical teams and whether he’s expressed that to them …
“Yeah. We had a lot of returning players that went to the national championship game, and that definitely helped us a lot. Each individual player got better from last year in every aspect of the game. We have a lot of talented young freshmen coming in, and we just try to lead them.”

On Towns …
“He’s a great player, very emotional and stuff. He has a bright future. It’ll be fun playing with him.”

On cracking up when Towns said his two missed FTs were ‘unacceptable’ …
“Just stuff Karl says (grinning). It’s all good.”

On whether Towns’ maturity impresses him …
“Definitely. Any freshman will struggle a little bit, just trying to understanding what Coach is telling you. I try to help him as much as I can. He’s doing great, doing a great job.”

On Poythress showing up big again …
“Everybody knows Alex is a great athlete but this summer he’s been working on his game a lot and it shows and he improved. He’s having great games down here and he’s having fun.”

On the play Sunday when he froze a guy with a move, had a layup but passed to Poythress for a dunk … 
“It was just the flow of the game. Just happened. I don’t know. Alex was open, I knew he could finish it, and I just gave it to him. That’s just something I’ve been trying to work on, staying low with the ball and stuff like that.”

On whether that comes with the late-season, pass-first mentality he adopted last year … 
“Yeah, that’s what I try to do. I think this year we have a lot more, um, like, experience. And now we know how to win and we know how to play with each other.”

On how much of wearing down these teams is conditioning and how much is the two-platoon system … 
“It’s a lot of conditioning. We’ve all been working hard this summer. I’ve been trying to lead all the workouts and stuff. We’ve been doing a good job.”

On whether guys could be happy in the season with the current set up, two units, each playing almost 20 minutes apiece … 
“Well, Coach explained it to us that us older guys have to lead, but at the same time we have to compete. If one of the younger guys steps up, we’re going to have to step on the gas. So we just try to compete and Coach is going to play who he thinks is going to win. So that’s what we’re going to do.”

KARL ANTHONY-TOWNS

On how the young guys have blended with the vets … 
“It’s worked out great. When you have the older guys, especially the guys to my right (Andrew Harrison), it makes it a lot easier to transition to college. Devin Booker and Tyler Ulis have a person like Andrew and Aaron; just makes their transition easier. Me having Willie Cauley-Stein, Dakari Johnson just makes everyone have more comfortability on the floor. We’re able to play our best when we’re our most comfortable.”

On his game …
“I struggled in the beginning. I think I did some stuff trying to find my shot still here overseas, but I felt that the best thing I could do at the time was switch my game and go more of an inside attack and it worked and I just kept pounding away at it. Just playing active, like KP — coach Kenny Payne — told me to do. I think I did a good job of that, but at the same time, two free throws missed. That’s, in my book, unacceptable, so we gotta go back in the gym and figure out a way to fix that. (Andrew Harrison laughs).”

On how much it helped that he played some international basketball previously … 
“It’s definitely helped a lot, the experience, being able to guess the opponent’s move without even having a scouting report on them. It really helped me a lot, especially with the DR team. I give them a lot of crap, but I’m here with Kentucky. I’m glad that I can maybe shed some experience (with his native Dominican Republic team). But at the same time, (the UK vets) got more experience than me at this level and I’m just glad that I have a chance to play with these great guys.”

On whether, with his size, he’s more skilled on the perimeter than people think … “I think that my size sometimes deceives people. But at the end of the day, I have to do what’s best for the team. And today, for me, the best thing I could do for the team was give them an inside presence. When you have people like Andrew and everyone here, it makes it a lot easier to play both sides of the ball — play perimeter and also play inside, because they can find you inside and they can definitely find you outside. I think people don’t give me as much credit for the perimeter, but that’s just our little advantage that we have.”

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

3 Comments for Watch Kenny Payne, Andrew Harrison, and Karl Towns talk about today’s win



  1. manlySmell
    6:08 pm August 11, 2014 Permalink

    Somewhat teach me how to make that Andrew still shot my desktop background



    • me
      10:39 pm August 11, 2014 Permalink

      I have a floppy disk I can put it on for you, then I’ll drop it in the mail box. Call me on my home phone when you get it and I’ll walk you through the DOS commands.



  2. Wikipedia
    10:43 pm August 11, 2014 Permalink

    hit “print screen” while the pic is shown.

    open Paint

    hold ctrl then hit V

    then crop the pic you want.

    save pic

    open pic with windows viewer

    set as background