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February 7, 2012

John Calipari

Kentucky – 78
Florida – 58

COACH CALIPARI:  We only had one day obviously to prepare for it.  That's the problem with playing Saturday/Tuesday, you only have one day to prepare.  It's awful.  I mean, it's just ridiculous.  But we'll deal with it.  But we went and just said, Okay, we're going to start off those guys, made it hard.
Again, Boynton came down and made those shots at the end.  He's capable of doing it.

Q.  What is it about Michael that in your biggest games he plays his best basketball?
COACH CALIPARI:  He has a fierceness to him.  I told him this game, this was a rebound game.  The reason was, Bradley Beal rebounds.  He's like their leading rebound, like a percentage behind Young.  That's why we put Michael on him and we didn't put him on Walker.
Let me say this.  We're talking about Michael.  We're talking about Anthony Davis.  What about Marquis Teague?  12 points, 10 assists.  He is playing, getting everybody shots.  He ended the half Doron three, Doron three.  He got him those shots.  That gave us some breathing room, up 12.
He played well.  Doron made shots.  Darius made shots.  We played pretty good.

Q.  So many people talk about Davis and his shot blocking.  Can you talk about the way your guys played defense, that your defense is not just him blocking shots?
COACH CALIPARI:  Well, we got a long team.  Michael Gilchrist, Terrence Jones, Doron Lamb, Darius Miller.  I thought Kyle Wiltjer followed the game plan today.  They made a basket on him, but he did what we told him to do.
The other thing with Kyle, you got to guard him.  At the end he tried to get the ball in the basket.  He should have kicked it out.  The reality of it is you have to guard him.  I'm in my office, look out the window, he's in that gym shooting.  He's spending that extra time.
I don't know how I got on to Kyle from that.  But we're playing good defense from a lot of different positions.

Q.  Talk about how much fun it is for you to watch the guys.
COACH CALIPARI:  My thing to Michael was I want to make sure he's smiling.  A couple games ago he wasn't smiling.  I'm like, You should be smiling every game.  I told him and Anthony, I said to both of them, You guys understand, these guys love playing with you because you don't command the ball.  You defend.  You rebound.  You block shots.  They get to shoot all the balls.  What's better than that?
I said, But, let me say this to you.  They get all the accolades, and they got to deal with that stuff, too.  And our team is.  They know those two are playing well, but we got a bunch of other guys playing well right now too.

Q.  Why do you think Michael is not smiling more?
COACH CALIPARI:  He read something you wrote.  I don't know what it was (laughter).
I would tell you he's a good kid and he takes everything.  He reminds me of Derrick Rose in that he's tougher on himself than I am on him.  Like he came running over during the game and says to me, Coach, I'm sorry.  I said, Stop, just have fun and go play.  He's a great kid.

Q.  Can you talk about Marquis' defense.
COACH CALIPARI:  He had one play where he broke down, kind of stopped on a play, they had a three in the corner right in front of our bench.  Short of that, he's terrific.  You can't dribble around him.
I'll tell you where he's great:  in pick‑and‑roll defense.  It's hard to screen him because he is a pit bull.

Q.  Florida was hanging in there with you guys.  For the last 10, 11 minutes of the first half, they really struggled to put the ball in the basket, then on into the second half.  What changed?
COACH CALIPARI:  I don't know.  I'll watch the tape and figure it out.  I was happy with how we played.  We scored the ball pretty well, a good percentage.  We made threes, we made free throws.  We had 13 turnovers.  A couple of them sloppy, a couple of them created by Florida.
Look, Florida is a top 15, 10 team.  Someone had them ranked as high as 5.  I believe they are.  They just didn't shoot the ball well today.
We'll go down there, they'll probably make 20 out of 30, and we'll go home with our tail between our leg.  They got size.  Murphy is better than he was, Young is better.  They have those seven, eight guys.  Beal is legit.
They are a good team.

Q.  Cal, Michael Gilchrist, is he the longest striving transition offense guy you've had?
COACH CALIPARI:  I tell you what, when he gets that ball in the open court, he takes two strides, he's about NBA line in two strides.  He's laying it in through traffic, tucking the ball.  He's pretty good.
We always tell our guys, If he's ahead of you, you must give him the ball.  If you don't, you'll come out of the game, because he's always going to make something good happen.

Q.  Can you talk about how your team has executed out of timeouts.
COACH CALIPARI:  I don't remember every timeout.  But we did some good things.  You know, when you shoot a pretty good percentage from three and from the two, you're executing, you're creating good shots.
But the other side of it is when they spread the court out on us and teams choose to depress us, you start dunking balls.  That's one for one.  That's pretty good offense.
You know, Terrence had a couple.  But it was good.  Like I said, it was a good effort.  We out‑rebound them.  They get 18 offensive rebounds.  They had 10 at half.  That was like a sore spot.  I thought a couple of our guards should have come up with balls that we didn't.

Q.  Your team just beat a top‑10 team by 20 points.  You have Vandy on Saturday.  Is this a team that will respond well to that kind of success?
COACH CALIPARI:  We start three freshmen and two sophomores, and Kyle Wiltjer is a freshman off the bench, and a senior.  Everything is new to us.  I have no idea.  That's why you want to go see.  Let's find out.  Let's see.
They'll have tomorrow off.  We'll practice Thursday.  We'll practice Friday.  Then we go to Vandy.  We play a 9:00 game.  Is it Game Day up there?  It's nuts, doesn't need to be Game Day.  I heard they changed the benches to the sides.  Did they?  They didn't.  See, that's a problem.

Q.  Along the same lines, was this in any way a measuring stick game for you, just to see where your team was, considering the opponent?
COACH CALIPARI:  No, because they didn't shoot it well.  What we need to do is have a team come out and go nutty on us and have us have to respond to that and then hold on to win a tight game.
Again, it will a different game to Florida, I promise you.  I know what it will be down there.  But it was a good win.  I'm glad we won.  I'm glad we stretched it out a little bit.  But the reality of it is, you know, they're a terrific team and they're going to be fine.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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