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SOUTHEASTERN CONFERENCE MEN'S TOURNAMENT


March 10, 2012


John Calipari

Doron Lamb

Marquis Teague


NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA

Kentucky 74
Florida 71


CLAUDE FELTON: We're joined by Kentucky head John Calipari and student‑athletes Doron Lamb and Marquis Teague. We'll start with a with opening statement from coach and then take questions for student‑athletes.
COACH CALIPARI: Well, again, Florida, they shoot 48 percent against us, which I don't know if it's happened all year. They shoot 50 percent, they make 11 threes. You look at Murphy, he has a career night with 24. Bradley Beal played as well as he's played in the last three weeks, played really good basketball. They defended, they were physical, they got us inside, and we were fortunate to walk out.
We made some free throws, blocked some balls down the stretch, but we didn't‑‑ when we had a nine‑point lead, normally we put people away. They're a really good team, and I think that Billy's just done a fabulous job to keep those guys marching forward.
CLAUDE FELTON: Take questions for the student‑athletes.

Q. Is there just a general comment from each of you on the game .
DORON LAMB: The game was tough. It's hard to beat a team three times straight. They knew everything we were going to do on defense and offense. We executed at the end of the game and made clutch foul shots and we pulled out the win.
MARQUIS TEAGUE: It's hard to beat a team three times. They know our game plan. We know their game plan. They matched up well with us. And they were knocking down shots and it made it a little tougher for us today. But we still pulled it out in the end.

Q. Talk about how you played today after what happened yesterday.
MARQUIS TEAGUE: I just tried to come out and just run my team, do what we needed to do to win. Get people the ball where they needed to score and take my shots when I was open. Just do what Coach Calipari asked me to do, and that's lead the team.

Q. Interested in how you feel about your survival instincts coming into the tournament here and not leading by double digits yet, by nine points both times, taking a good effort from both teams, but being able to keep advancing.
DORON LAMB: We ain't trying to blow every team out. We just want to win games no matter how much we win by. We're playing tough teams and all the teams we played against, we played them at least twice or three times. So it's hard to beat a team that many times.
But we came out in the tournament, played hard, and we ended up winning.
MARQUIS TEAGUE: We know it's going to be people going to give us their best shot every game, especially coming down to tournament time. So it really doesn't matter how much you win by. We just want to make sure we get a win. That's the only thing that matters.

Q. Coach talked about the fact you had Florida down, but they wouldn't go away. Everybody else this year pretty much has. Can you talk about what it was like mentally to work through that, to see that they came back and you had to go through it all over again.
DORON LAMB: They had a big run. I think we were down four points with like eight minutes to go, and we all huddled up and told ourselves that we got to get stops to win this game. And we did that.
We made a big run and we just kept that run. We kept that lead. And we ended up making clutch foul shots at the end of the game and we ended up winning the game.
MARQUIS TEAGUE: We just told each other that we were going to buckle down on defense. That's the main thing. We got to stop them. Our offensive come and we just made tough free throws at the end. Everybody knocked their free throws down.

Q. John has talked about the conference tournaments, how he's felt about them. But now that you guys are in this, what would it mean to win this conference championship now that you're actually in it?
DORON LAMB: It would mean a lot for us and our fans. We have been winning a lot of games so far in a row, at least like 25 games straight. We just want to keep on winning. We ain't going to try to lose no more games since Indiana and we're just trying to compete for 40 minutes.
MARQUIS TEAGUE: We want to win any game we play in. So we're going to come out tomorrow and compete at a high level and do what we have to do to win. We're just ready to play.

Q. As a point guard, obviously you'll have the ball in your hands a lot, especially down the stretch. Talk about what it meant to you and your maturation process to knock down those free throws when your team needed it the most.
MARQUIS TEAGUE: It meant a lot. I wanted to step up to the line. I was confident. I wanted to step up to the line and knock them in. I wanted to seal the win. I was confident when I went there. I just stepped up and knocked them down.
CLAUDE FELTON: We'll excuse the student‑athletes and take questions for coach.

Q. Would you talk about Marquis's development this year and how he came off the game yesterday that he had and played today.
COACH CALIPARI: Well, he and I met last night in my room. I just called him in, and, you know, they weren't playing him yesterday, and he got a little bit flustered by it. And I just told him again, You can't play to score because that hurts our team. But you have to pick your spots and score in transition lay‑ups. To keep them honest, if they don't play you, shoot foul line shots. Drive it right there, pull up and shoot it. I got no problem.
But you got a team that you need to get involved in this. And it's hard. It's hard playing point guard for us. It's hard in that position. And like I told the team after, he was outstanding, and it's a hard position to play. The other guys when they get the ball, they're trying to put it in the basket. He's to got run us, he's got call the offense, and again, he's a young freshman. He's a young youngster, and he's doing fine. He's got a toughness to him. He's got an edge to him. I felt very comfortable with him going to that foul line late.

Q. You said all year that you would be okay if your team lost a game if the other team played well, and yet there's been multiple situations like today where the other team has played well and your team has still come out with a win. What do you think that says about the resilience of this team?
COACH CALIPARI: I told them coming into this tournament, I just want us to play well and make sure when this tournament's over, we're ready for that next tournament. I don't like tournament play. We play all season. Three games in three days, I don't like it. But what I just told them is that Kentucky's different, and 15,000 people come here. They can't get in Rupp Arena, so they come here. Or wherever we play. They save all year so they can come to this.
And so you have an obligation to come in here and play to win, and you got 15,000 people that drove, flew, walked, however they got down here, they're here. And then I told them after this game, you know I'm not a big tournament guy, if we had lost and played well, I would have been fine. We walk on. But now that you're in the championship game, you might as well play it to win it. I mean you're here, you got play the game, let's go for it.

Q. Talk about when you made your run, the 14‑0 run, and Florida came back. Was there any level of surprise at all that they were able to fight back like the way they did?
COACH CALIPARI: No, because, one, they got a seasoned coach who he's not going to let them back up. He called great timeouts, he gave them their chance to win. We made free throws. They made every basket they had to. I'm going to be honest with you, we went to that grind‑it‑out offense and most teams when we get to that, just go, Pfff, and we'll make a basket, make a three, make something happen, and we didn't today. We missed them.
And I looked at my staff and I said, You know, we usually make a couple baskets here. We haven't made any. And they took advantage of them.
They made shots. And the slip where they were down four and they slipped a guy, we think they're shooting three, Billy had him slipping a guy to the rim and Murphy makes that layup. That was a big play and that really gave them their chance.
But I got this team that has that will to win, they want to win, they have great pride, we're just really a young team that everyone of these experiences is good for my team. It's good. We're the fifth youngest team in the country. So every time this kind of experience comes up is good for them.
CLAUDE FELTON: Thank you very much.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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