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March 12, 2010

John Calipari

Patrick Patterson

John Wall


Kentucky – 73
Alabama - 67

THE MODERATOR: We're ready to continue on with Kentucky. We'll ask Coach Calipari for his general thoughts on the game. Then we'll take your questions just for the two student-athletes.
COACH CALIPARI: Well, you're in tournament play. You're in a league that's a strong league. You're going to be in a tough game. Alabama played us and did a great job and had their chances to win, had us down big early. Out rebounded us by ten rebounds in the first half. You all know rebounding just is effort, and they had more effort than we did to go after the balls.
They put us in some pick and rolls, and we just wouldn't execute defensively, and they got to the basket. But offensively, I thought the second half we really did enough to get us by, and we didn't make a jump shot. I think we made one.
So it's a good win. You survive and advance hopefully this time of the year, and hopefully we'll continue to play better. It's the first time for this team in this kind of environment. But I loved our will to win. We refused to lose. They just figured out a way to get it done.
THE MODERATOR: We'll take your questions for either of the student-athletes.

Q. John, can you talk about the way you guys took over in the paint way into the second half. What was the key to that?
JOHN WALL: Basically, the coaches gave us an opportunity to run pick and roll with the five man in. If you can take them off the dribble, go and get to the basket and find your teammates, and we did a great job of that.
Like Coach said, we had a tough time rebounding today. They out rebounded us by 12 at the end of the game. That's the key to winning games. But they out rebounded us today, and we came in with a tough win.

Q. Patrick, what were you guys seeing in the first half that was kind of giving you a little bit of problems? And what adjustments did you and John and the rest of your teammates make in the second?
PATRICK PATTERSON: First half, it was just all about effort. There was rebounding, hitting the glass, pick and roll. We knew what we needed to do to execute on the defensive end, but we weren't able to do.
They were taking advantage of every opportunity they had, hitting shots, crashing the basket. We needed more crashing the boards and finishing on offensive end and just rebounding. We weren't doing that.
Second half we made the adjustment of doing stuff different with the pick and roll, me coming up at times, just moving our feet, getting in the right position, and just playing better defense, better effort, and just concentrating more on defense and rebounding and just trying to score more on offense.

Q. John, about halfway through the second half, you just take it to the hole a couple of times and made some extraordinary plays. In that moment, you mentioned you had the green light from the coach to take it to the hole. But are you just -- you were exhorting the crowd at the same time. Did you effectively just will yourself at that point to try to get some buckets? What's going through your head at that point?
JOHN WALL: Basically Coach told me make a couple of plays. They told me the whole game to push it in transition, but I wasn't getting there. I was trying to find my teammates. Second half, I found the gaps and got into the lane. Second half, he let me run the pick and roll to the five man and let me make the play, and I was getting to the basket.

Q. Obviously, you guys had a tough time shooting the three, especially in the first half there. You had the one right before the half. Was there a point at which you just said, all right, we've to cut out the threes. Let's try to get better shots.
PATRICK PATTERSON: You know, we know we're not a three-point shooting team. That's not what we're the best at. Defense, rebounding, transition, offense.
You know, if we hit threes, we hit threes. Unfortunately tonight, we weren't able to do that. I think Darnell was the only one that hit a three tonight. I missed a three, but I just kept shooting. If I'm open, I'm going to shoot it. Same goes for my teammates. We're going to shoot it even if we have a bad miss.
We don't put our heads down and say don't shoot the ball. If it's not falling, we try to drive the ball to the basket and look inside more. But no matter what, we still shoot the ball.

Q. Patrick, dare you look ahead to a possible matchup with the very popular team in this state. If so, if that does come to pass, how emotional of a setting do you anticipate that to be?
PATRICK PATTERSON: Extremely emotional, but a lot of fun. We understand that we beat them the first time, and they got us at their place. They played a lot harder than we did, and they just got the win.
So we know it's going to be an extremely emotional and tough game as well. They've played in this arena many times. They're used to it. They have a lot of fans as well as we do. So we know it's going to be an extremely tough matchup, but I look forward to it if it does happen, and I'm sure my teammates will rise to the occasion. And we'll all have fun out there.
THE MODERATOR: We'll excuse Patrick and John. We'll continue on with Coach Calipari.

Q. Cal, I'm just curious what you took away from the first half. You know, some of the stats and exactly how did you address it in the locker room?
COACH CALIPARI: Well, there were two things: they had out rebounded us by ten, and you can make whatever excuse you want, or you just say they're beating us to balls. They want it more than we do.
The second thing was they were picking -- going pick and roll and sending Torrance, and he was going left. We had worked and said, he's not going to go left, and he went left.
Then we told the big, you've got to come up and guard. When your man takes off the screen, you can't wait four steps because he's going to get a head of steam, Torrance is, and get by you.
So that's all we really talked about. If you're want to win the game, you're going to rebound, and you're going to slow the pick and roll down. I thought Daniel Orton did a good job in it. In the second half, we did a little better, but he still got to his left hand a bunch.
Terrific player and had a terrific season.

Q. I know you've been a pretty good rebounding team all year, but coming off Florida and this game, how concerned are you?
COACH CALIPARI: Last five games we've gotten out rebounded, last five games. And, again, what I think has happened in all five of those games, you think about it, the other teams outworked us.
I'm trying to convince this young team of 19-year-olds that either you want it more than they do or they want it more than you do. And whoever's in that mode in this tournament, or the next one, is going to win.
And it's just hard. I mean, you think you cracked it, and they've understood, and then they come out the next game and, you know, well, he pushed me, and I tried. He tried harder. You've got to try harder.
All those kind of things is what we're dealing with right now. I'll say this, I love my team. Still think I have a team that can do whatever they want in this tournament and in the next tournament. You've got to grow up, and you've got to get more mature. The leadership of the team has got to grab a couple of guys and get them to do the right things.
The shooting stuff again today, you go 1 for 13, and you win the game from the three. You go 1 for 13. If we make threes, we'll win pretty easily. If we don't make threes, we want to win anyway. So there's no pressure on us to make threes. And that's what we're trying to do.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you very much.

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