Video courtesy of Kentucky Wildcats TV
“It was pretty good. The first time we went zone, I just said, ‘Should we do it?’ And the guys normally would tell me no and they said, ‘Yeah, let’s do it one time.’ And I thought we did fabulous and then we kind of fouled. And then one of the coaches on the bench said, ‘Let’s go back to the zone.’ I don’t know which one it was. I won’t throw him under the bus even though I do know which one it was. And they made a 3 and I apologized to the team. We’re not a team that tries to trick anybody. That’s not what we do. I mean, we play and I don’t need to be, ‘Oh, he’s—look how—‘ That’s not what we do here. And so other than that play I thought we defended and we made it hard. They came in with a game plan pretty obvious: We’re driving this thing and we’re coming at them. Anytime we got on their side, they went right to the rim. But we played pretty good. The other thing is we knew the game would be physical and it was and a couple guys struggled in that and it’s a great lesson. You gotta play people before they catch it. You gotta play before you catch the ball. You have to stay down. Either you meet them or they meet you. For these young kids, it’s a great lesson. Vandy game was different. Vandy game was all discipline to the end of the shot clock. This was more of an ‘OK, they’re going to play physical and they’re going to rebound.’ When you look at it, they got 16 offensive rebounds. Eighteen, I’m sorry. And we got three. We got three offensive rebounds. Think about that. We’re one of the best rebounding teams in the country. So obviously they were driving, they were going to rebound the ball and not let us rebound. And they did it, except we guarded pretty good and kept that gap in the score.”
“There was a surge. I mean, again, I can’t remember every play but I think we made a shot—basically we locked them down for about six straight possessions and we scored and that’s how we got it. They got us on their side on the last one and we were just big enough to kind of deflect the ball so they couldn’t get a layup to end the half.”
“I don’t know, but they played good today. I thought Andrew and Aaron (Harrison) played good. I thought Willie (Cauley-Stein) played good. I thought Dakari (Johnson) played pretty good. Marcus (Lee) didn’t play bad. But, again, you know, we end up shooting 46 percent and the greatest thing for me is we had eight turnovers. That’s probably a couple less than I’d like, but it just shows you that we’re a team that can play. You can play us physical and we can still do the stuff we’re trying to do.”
“They were going to fight harder than we were going to fight. I kind of conceded that. The thing that young kids do is they accept being blocked out. And against a team that really is on a mission to keep you away from the goal, if you accept blocking out – being blocked out – you’re going to get three offensive rebounds. The only other way I’d like to get three offensive rebounds is if we miss like eight shots in the game and there was only eight to get. We got three of them. But this, you know, 21 shots missed and we get three offensive rebounds.”
“He lasted 40 years in this seat. How he did that, I have no idea. And you’re saying that to me that I didn’t know, but I’ll say this: I gotta go back, we’ve had 19 draft picks in five years. This year’s team, who knows, depending on how we do. When you have that many good players – you won’t believe this – you’re going to win a lot of games. And so, how about this? I’m proud that 20 percent of the NBA’s starting lineup in the All-Star Game played for us. May have two or three more guys in the game. May have five out of the 12 may have played for us. Maybe six. I’m really hoping Rondo gets his opportunity because he deserves it. But, you know, when you have good players – craziness – but you win a lot of games.”
“Because the reason it was eight is because we backed up the game and I said, ‘OK, because of how they’re playing we’re going to grind it out.’ And that’s what we did. Look, there’s going to be games where we play this way. We don’t have to play fast. We don’t have to play wide open. We can made you guard us in the half-court and do things and we’re getting better at it. We work at it every day and these guys, they did it. Part of the thing today is they’re getting three days off. I told them, ‘You get three days off.’ They get the rest of today off, they’re getting Sunday off, Monday’s an individual work day. Like, they’re going to get individual work but it’s not going to be a practice day. And they gave a great effort. We didn’t shoot around this morning. I gave them the option: Do you want to come in and shoot around in the morning? We’d have had to get up at 7 o’clock in the morning (or) a little earlier and come in and shoot. And I said, ‘Take four or five minutes, decide.’ They decided in 15 seconds. They didn’t want to come and shoot around. Let’s shoot our half-court shot. So we shot that last night. I trust them. I trust them that they understand it’s not about being lazy or doing what’s easiest. What is right for them? I’m trying to give them days off because the effort they’re playing with is crazy. So they need to make sure they’re getting healthy, that they’re regenerating. I got a good team with good players and we’re still not where we need to be but we’re moving in the right direction.”
“It’s that kind of game. I didn’t want to get away from what were because everybody said, ‘It’s a good team to zone and dah, dah, dah.’ Well that’s not who we are and I don’t need to trick anybody. This is who we are. And what we did is we just made sure we told our guys, ‘They’re a driving team. You gotta stay in between your man and the basket. Do not get on his hip, which we did 15 times.’ And when a guy argued with him I subbed him because I told him—again, you’re not coaching game to game. You’re coaching over the long haul and you don’t want to be in a game late in the year where it’s a one-and-done game and a guy jumped on a guy’s hip three straight times. We lost the game. Why’d you do that? Well, we’ve been in these games and we understand. I don’t know how I got to that right there, but any other questions?”
“I had Derrick Rose. Derrick Rose, of all the players I’ve coached, he cared more about how he was playing than even Andrew played. But he dealt with it differently. I’ve never seen a player internalize like Derrick Rose, to the point where he couldn’t get by mistakes. But he wouldn’t back up, he’d go play harder. He’d go block a shot. He’d go do something, but he was so frustrated with himself. I said, ‘You’re going to be playing in the NBA. You can’t do this game-to-game. You’ll never last.’ With Andrew, it’s the same thing. He sometimes, when he gets in that mode, backs up instead of stepping on the gas. I’m just trying to say, ‘Hey, be upset with yourself, but be upset, clap and go crazy, dive on the floor, block a shot and scream. But don’t back up.’ But he’s learning. These kids are so young. He’s a sophomore. He’s a sophomore. We all forget. Second year. He’s learning. So much better than he was last year – not even close. And he’s getting better. By the end of the year, I’m looking for each of these kids to be the best versions of themselves. But I’m telling you honestly, none of them are near that yet. But they’re moving in the right direction.”
Saturday, January 24, 2015
Video courtesy of Kentucky Wildcats TV
Video courtesy of Kentucky Wildcats TV
On South Carolina only having a few baskets in the second half …
“It just goes with our team concept– shutting teams out, and that’s what we try to do. You know it’s easier with bigs back there like Willie Cauley(-Stein), so if we get beat he’s always there to help us and, you know, us guards we try to get up and pressure guards, so they go by us and have to go into Willie.”
On expanding his offensive game besides 3-point shooting …
“I think me going on this little streak opened it up, ’cause now teams know they have to play closer to me, so I use a head-fake and one or two dribbles and get other people involved.”
On if he’s aware of Klay Thompson’s big game last night …
“I figured out in the morning and it doesn’t surprise me. I feel like he’s the best shooting guard in the NBA, and he kind of proved that last night.”
On going to Missouri this week and what that game will mean to him and his dad …
“Oh yeah, I think (my dad) will be there, most definitely. It’s just, it’s kinda like the one at Rupp. I’m kinda close to the coaching staff and they recruited me since seventh-eighth grade and I still have love for Missouri because my dad went there and I’ve been up there plenty of times, so really it’s just another game, but obviously it’s kind of a rivalry for me.”
On have three perimeter defenders on the floor …
“I consider Trey (Lyles) a perimeter player also now. He’s expanded his game a lot since the beginning of the year, you know, making the in-between game all the time—the 15-foot jumpers, he’s always making it. But, with the smaller lineup, I feel like we had to go to it because they were playing us rough and they were picking us up full court, so we needed some more ball handlers out there.”
On staying true to Aaron Harrison’s statement after last year’s South Carolina game that the team would make a great run …
“I guess so. I mean we weren’t here last year. I guess they finished it out (well), but now we’re starting it (well), so we’re still working and I feel like this is just the beginning for us.”
On if Aaron Harrison said anything before the game about avenging last year’s loss …
“Not necessarily just him. I feel like all the returners came back for a reason, and that was to win a national championship, and I feel like we’re all trying to work towards that goal.”
On his reloading the 3 and if the coaches are OK with it …
“I think I did it twice—two 3s. But they haven’t said anything to me about it. They joke around with me about it a little bit, but I guess it’s something I do now.”
On Cal trying to keep him humble and working during this hot shooting streak …
“Definitely. I think that’s—I feel like that’s Coach (Cal’s) job. You can’t let someone just feel like they’re going to take over, but it wasn’t an airball. I have to clear that up (laughter). It was tipped. It was tipped. Most people don’t know that, but it’s all good. He’s behind me, so it’s good.
On the defense in the last few minutes of the first half …
“You know, everybody just did their job staying in front of their guys. Big guys, Willie (Cauley-Stein), Dakari (Johnson), Karl(-Anthony Towns), everybody, you know just did their job helping back-side blocks and when we’re in the zone it’s hard to score on us.”
On the offense in the second half and about nine minutes without a field goal …
“Well, they were playing rough ball, you know fouling a lot, so we were just trying to get into the offense. It was kinda hard to get into a flow with all the fouls called, but I feel like we executed well, we just were at the line more than we usually are.”
On continuing to excel on the road …
“I feel like we’re both confident in our games and we just come here and take it like another game. We love the crowd’s reaction to us, the boos and stuff like that, so it’s really not a lot of pressure on us. We just come out to play.”
On if he has a sixth sense for giving Booker the ball …
“I mean, yeah, we’re really close, so we have great chemistry on and off the court, so I just try to find him. (We) came here to score together and he gets the job done. He can shoot the ball, so if I need an outlet he’s going to be there.”
On if he’d rather see a zone defense or man-to-man …
“It doesn’t really matter. We’re going to come and play our game regardless. We have plays for zone, plays for man, so whatever they come out with we just have to execute.”
Thursday, January 22, 2015
Kentucky vs South Carolina 1/24/2015
(Saturday 12pm) ESPN
UK leads series 47-11
South Carolina Gamecocks (SEC)
Location: Columbia, SC
Head Coach: Frank Martin
Career Record: 145-92 (61.2%) 7 Seasons
At South Carolina: 28-38 (42.4%) 2 Seasons
2013-14 Record: 14-20
2013-14 SEC Record: 5-13
2013-14 Postseason: None
2014-15 Record: 10-7
2014-15 SEC Record: 1-4
South Carolina 81 North Florida 56
Baylor 69 South Carolina 65
South Carolina 69 Cornell 45
Charlotte 65 South Carolina 63
Akron 68 South Carolina 63
South Carolina 89 UNC Ashville 75
South Carolina 77 Marshall 59
South Carolina 75 Oklahoma State 49
South Carolina 68 Clemson 45
South Carolina 78 Coker 52
South Carolina 91 North Carolina A&T 54
South Carolina 64 Iowa St. 60
Florida 72 South Carolina 68
Ole Miss 65 South Carolina 49
South Carolina 68 Alabama 66
Auburn 71 South Carolina 68
Tennessee 66 South Carolina 62
South Carolina Stats:
3 PT%-30.0% (4.8 PG)
Probable Starting Lineup:
Laimonas Chatkevicius-F 6’11” Jr………………………….……9.2 PPG
Duane Notice-G 6’2” Soph………………………………………11.9 PPG
Sindari Thornwell-G 6’5” Soph………………………...………..11.1 PPG
Tyrone Johnson-G 6’3” Sr……………………………………….10.4 PPG
Demetrius Henry-F/C 6’9” Soph…………………………………6.9 PPG
Other Key Players:
Justin McKee-G 6’4” Soph………………………………………4.2 PPG
Michael Carrera-F 6’5” Jr………………………………………..5.5 PPG
Mindaugas Kacinas-F 6’7” Jr……………………………………6.9 PPG
Coach Frank Martin is in his 3rd season at South Carolina and he is trying to finally move the program forward and get a winning record overall and in the SEC. This season the Gamecocks do have an overall winning record with nice wins over Oklahoma St., Clemson and a very impressive win over highly ranked Iowa St., but are off to a disappointing start in the SEC with a 1-4 record. Three of South Carolina’s SEC losses were very close in losses to Florida, Auburn and Tennessee….and their only SEC win is over Alabama.
Coach Martin was optimistic starting this season as the Gamecocks finished last season winning 4 of their last 6 SEC games including a huge upset over Kentucky….and returning 4 starters, but thus far SEC wins are still hard to come by this season.
The Gamecocks generally play an 8 man rotation and have 3 players scoring in double figures. Duane Notice is the teams top scorer and leads in perimeter shooting hitting 25-72 for 34.7% which is far from outstanding. Sindari Thornwell leads in steals while he and L. Chatkevicius are tied in leading in rebounds. …….Chatevicius also leads in blocks with 24. Tyrone Johnson leads the team in assists with 65.
South Carolina is shooting just OK from the field while struggling in perimeter shooting hitting only 30.0%.
However, on the positive side, the Gamecocks have good size and rebound very well and are excellent at the charity line hitting 73.0%. South Carolina has proven they can defeat very good teams like Iowa St. and they are always dangerous at home. Coach Martin will be looking for another huge upset over UK when they play Saturday.
3 PT%-35.8% (6.2 PG)
After playing an outstanding game offensively and defensively in defeating Alabama, the Cats struggled at Rupp arena in finally winning against a very tough minded Vandy team. The Cats played hard overall but they had defensive breakdowns allowing too many open perimeter shots and UK’s offense was poor overall.
UK made a huge point of going inside to the big men, but way too many inside the paint shots were missed and or blocked. Also, it was obvious that Vandy’s strategy was to take away Booker’s perimeter shooting as they allowed Devin only one long shot. In fact, the Dores did an outstanding job defending UK in the paint and on the perimeter.
Frankly, UK’s greatly talented and big frontline gets a lot of positive publicity, but too often the Cats big men are missing close in buckets. WCS, Towns, Johnson, Lyles and Lee have got to improve their offense around the basket…..they need to tougher around the basket. In the Vandy game, UK barely out rebounded Vandy by only 33-30. I don’t see the number of offensive put backs that these talented UK frontline players should be getting. The frontline players need a lot of improvement in scoring and rebounding!
Also, in the Vandy game, UK took only 6 perimeter shots and made 4 which is much too low especially with the frontline struggling scoring on the inside. The Cats must have a strategy to get Booker, Ulis and Aaron Harrison open on the perimeter….instead UK allowed the Vandy defense to take most of the Cats perimeter shooting out of the game. When you have arguably the best perimeter shooter in college basketball, in Booker, get only one shot from long range….and Ulis another very good perimeter shooter gets only a shot….then you are missing too much potential offense from the perimeter. To be clear, I applaud UK’s strategy to go inside frequently, but they still must look for opportunities for our best perimeter shooters to get shots.
I don’t want to be remiss in giving coach Stallings and the Vandy team great credit in playing a very good offensive and defensive game. However, despite that….the Cats played one of their overall poorer games of the season.
The game against South Carolina will be a very tough game as the Gamecocks seem to always play a great game against UK in Columbia. South Carolina has proven this season that they can defeat good teams and a ranked team like Iowa St. This will be a huge game for the Gamecocks and expect a packed arena. One thing is for certain, UK better bring it’s A game to Columbia and not it’s C game which they had against Vandy. I see a UK team focused on improving both their offense and defense against the Gamecocks and winning by 5-10 points. GO CATS!
Wednesday, January 21, 2015
Video courtesy of Kentucky Wildcats TV
COACH CALIPARI: Yeah, I think he played so well in the second half. That’s who he is. And I thought his brother played that well, too. They both played with unbelievable energy. They were aggressive and attacked. They played smart. They didn’t try to make crazy plays. They made easy plays that they could make. But Aaron basically threw dagger after dagger. I thought Marcus Lee played really well. Willie (Cauley-Stein) did what Willie does. Then he took that jumper and I know we all looked at each other like what in the world. But he’s been practicing that. That’s something that’s been working on. He made his free throws.
Dakari (Johnson) in the first half was – you just can’t play way. In the second half he played. We had some guys not play well. But that’s what happens when you have a lot of guys. You just kind of scramble until you figure out ‘OK, who’s got it going.’ That’s what I did in the second half and I just ran with the guys that had it going.
COACH CALIPARI: Well, any time you make a mistake against them, they make shots. Let me say this and I told Kevin (Stallings), I watched a bunch of their tape, the job he’s done with that young team is phenomenal. Each time down the floor against a normal defense, we’re like not normal, like we’re like ridiculously fighting, scratching, and every play, every pass. A normal team, they get a good shot off every time. It they may not make them all, but they get them off. Against a team like us, any time we had a breakdown, any time we ran into a screen, any time we didn’t find a shooter in transition, they made them. Or at least let’s say 70 percent of them. They didn’t miss many of those.
But I told him after the game, what a job he’s doing with that team. They’re playing exactly how they have to too win, and it’s a good game for us.
COACH CALIPARI: His was good because it went in. I tell guys on plays like that, you want to shoot a ball like that, you better make it. Dakari shot a fade away and Dakari, they had three blocks and they were all Dakari’s shots. He’s still turning into the defense and shooting the ball in front of the guy. Like you can’t shoot, you got to — if you’re going to your left you got to shoot it here. If you’re going to your right you got to shoot it here. You can’t turn and that’s what he keeps doing.
But he made free throws, he did some good stuff. Like I said, we’ll learn from this. We didn’t offensive rebound. This team, they rebounded with us. But it was a good win. I’m happy.
COACH CALIPARI: They didn’t do anything. He just, he wasn’t, you know, did they try to take the three away? I know we only took six, we made four. I don’t know. But I know this, we were posting the ball and we missed a bunch of bunnies in there. What they said was, let’s see if we can play them one to one in the post. I would say if a team does that to us, I’m happy, but we just, we missed a ton of those. Balls ripped from us a little bit and that.
COACH CALIPARI: He wasn’t ready to play. He wasn’t in the frame of mind you have to be to play. The energy wasn’t there. Shots blocked again. Everybody’s going crazy on defense and he’s standing there. Boom, you’re out. Second half, he went in and did it. Aaron was kind of the same way. I just I said I’m not settling for that. Look, I have a vision of each of these kids, the best version of themselves. But they have to play extremely hard, they got to play with unbelievable energy and some emotion. They all know the plays that we’re trying to get them to make. And they’re capable of doing it. But they’re not machines, they’re not computers, but I’m not, you know, I’m not backing up. I know what these guys are capable of and I’m holding them to that standard.
COACH CALIPARI: He was terrific. I thought he did well. My staff kept saying to me, hey — now what I was afraid of at the end of the game is that they were going to foul him. I didn’t want to put him on the foul line. I said, look, your free throw shooting is a hundred times better, but I don’t want to put you in this position. I’m not going to do it that to you and that’s why I didn’t put him in at the end.
COACH CALIPARI: Again, by the end of the season, I want Karl to be the best big man in the country. That he plays pick and roll as good as any big man. See, if you can’t play pick and roll, you understand that next level it’s you got an issue. I want him to be someone that when you watch him, he’s unbelievable in pick and roll. That, if you don’t double team him in the post, he’ll score. That he’ll get, if he doesn’t score, he’s going to get you to foul. He’s not playing that way right now. A guy that there’s times we can put him in pick and slide him to the elbows and let him shoot some jumpers.
Again, he had seven blocks today. Go rebound that ball. Go block shots, go do those things offensively. Fly. Physically, he’s not mature enough in those legs, it’s hard for him to stay down and fight. He wants to do it upper body. Well he’s 18, 19 years old, that’s why. But my vision is, by the end of the year, he is the best big guy in the country.
COACH CALIPARI: No, the game was just, again, I don’t want to put guys in positions where they could cost us a game when I am the one that’s not giving them the experience. So the game got tight and I just went with the rotation to win the game.
COACH CALIPARI: They all played well. He played well. They shot well. They weren’t afraid. They had 16 turnovers, but they were fighting the whole game. They never quit playing. There was no, until the horn went off, they did not quit. I told Kevin, I said I’m impressed with them I’m glad we’re not playing them up there. Ooh, I wouldn’t want to do that.
COACH CALIPARI: No, no, we missed some matchups, but it’s really hard when guys are running to the 3-point line. They were running everybody to the 3-point line. We had some miscommunication. I’ll watch the tape, but, again, you have to understand, we guarded today. We guarded. They made some tough threes, any mistakes we made, they made us pay. But I liked our effort. I liked our energy.
COACH CALIPARI: I just want him to play and compete. I don’t care about missed shots. They do. So they, the whole team, they miss a play, there’s some other guys today, couldn’t make plays, and then they just melted because they’re so into offense just play hard. Just attack the basket. Make the plays. Can you make one dribble pull-ups, can’t be guarded. Make 3s if they’re there. Defend, dive, run. Don’t stop playing and get beat on a back door. The shot goes up, don’t look at the ball, block out your man. All things that they’re capable of doing. He’s as good as any player in the country when he’s playing the way he played today in that second half.
COACH CALIPARI: I told him I love him.
COACH CALIPARI: It means we have had 19 draft picks. It means we have had a team full of draft picks now. That I’ve had the best players in the country here the last five years, now going on six years. And they have accepted being coached, they accepted each other. Selfless kind of kids. Our three pillars industriousness, work, work. When you look at my guys, they understand how to work when they leave us. See, it’s not just saying words like we’re this, we’re that. No, this is what we’re about.
Servant leadership. Which means they’re great teammates. They understand, we get them to second pillar.
The third pillar. Kind heart. So you look at John Wall, Nerlens Noel, you look at DeMarcus Cousins, you look at all these kids, Patrick Paterson. You’re talking about kids that leave us that understand how to work, that understand what leadership is, servant leadership. They also understand what it means to have a kind heart. Care about other people. To make time for somebody that you just made their month. We got a great group of kids that have been here.