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March 15, 2012

John Calipari

Anthony Davis

Terrence Jones

Marquis Teague


University of Kentucky – 81
Western Kentucky University – 66

THE MODERATOR:  I'd like to welcome University of Kentucky Coach John Calipari.  We'll start off with an opening statement from the coach.
COACH CALIPARI:  Guys are in the back watching the end of the VCU game, VCU‑Wichita.  Good win, good defense.  Had some breakdowns at the end.  Wanted to play some zone today in case we have to play some zone throughout the tournament.  At the end, kind of got us on our heels a little bit.
Western, you knew, wouldn't go away.  Thank goodness we were up enough that it didn't matter because that's how they played all year.  They make plays down the stretch to try to win.  They make shots they may not make up until that point, but their mindset is we'll make them now.
Fant really killed us inside, physically pushed us around a little bit.  We've got to figure out how we're going to guard a player that just basically kind of plays a little mush mouth with us near the basket.  We had trouble with that last week.  So something we're going to have to decide how we're going to start playing a little bit better.
THE MODERATOR:  We're going to open it up for questions about tonight's game to the student‑athletes.

Q.  Question for Terrence.  Your play tonight and your intensity, fir half especially.
TERRENCE JONES:  As a team, we wanted to come off real aggressive and just try to push the ball and get a lot more fast breaks than we were getting in the last few games.  I think we got that just because Marquis was pushing the ball and really opening up the floor for everything to happen.

Q.  Terrence, you said during the season you told us that your team didn't need you to do the same kinds of things that you did last year, but it looks like you're trying to extend yourself on the court a little bit more.  Is that the case?  If you could talk about that.
Anthony, if you could talk about the kind of help Terrence brings you inside.
ANTHONY DAVIS:  Terrence brings a lot of help inside.  When guys try to back me down and score over the top of me, Terrence is right there to block the shot.  It takes a lot of pressure off me so I won't get in foul trouble.
That's what all my teammates know‑‑ Michael, Darius, whoever it may be.  I try to make them score through my chest, over the top and have the other team come block it.
TERRENCE JONES:  I'm just being more aggressive on offense, just trying to attack the rim and just be more physical on offense and defense to get more rebounds.  That's what is helping us usually win games is getting more rebounds.  So I'm just trying to help get more rebounds.

Q.  Anthony, could you talk about this team's ability to score in transition off the defense and just how much you feel like it breaks down the other team's will when you repeatedly are able to do that.
ANTHONY DAVIS:  Last week in the SEC Tournament, we wasn't scoring in transition.  Last week at practice we've been working on transition offense, getting it out quick, getting the ball to the point guard and pushing ahead with easy buckets.  That's what we did today.  That's why it was so easy to get open looks.
Our shooters knock down shots and spread the game out.

Q.  Terrence, Coach Cal talked about wanting you to try to dunk every ball when you're around the rim.  Obviously, you had some pretty great dunks tonight.  Can you talk about trying to take that mentality and everything? 
TERRENCE JONES:  Yeah, it just goes with being aggressive and just running breaks and Marquis pushing the ball.  I got one off him pushing the ball in for a layup, and I just crashed it and got it.  And then off the other one, he was just pushing it down the middle and gave it back to me on the right side.  So it was really all him that got me those two dunks.

Q.  Marquis, teams that now have a body of work they can study on your team.  How going into this tournament are teams defending against you that maybe they weren't doing earlier in the year as a team?
MARQUIS TEAGUE:  They're just trying to keep us out of the paint.  When we try to make‑‑ when we go to the paint, we try to make plays for Anthony, throwing blocks over the top.  They take away our lobs and force other players to make shots so they just pretty much try to take away our lobs.
THE MODERATOR:  Guys, thank you.  I'll open it up for questions for UK Coach Calipari.

Q.  John, what did you think about Terrence's play tonight?
COACH CALIPARI:  He was a beast.  That's how we need him to play.  I told him before the game, you just worry about rebounding, and your offense will happen.
Last year at this time, we made a run in this tournament because he rebounded the ball like crazy.  As a matter of fact, in the game we lost against Connecticut, he had 15 rebounds, and he was rebounding every ball.  Much better offensive player than he was a year ago, and now he's still rebounding.  I thought he did a good job defending pick and rolls where he had to switch out and do some things.
We played faster.  We worked two days on getting back to playing faster.  And we're still not turning people over.  I don't know.  Again, I'll have to watch the tape.  We're not really getting that done.

Q.  It's been 10 or 11 years since you guys have played WKU.  Are you guys planning on trying to play them again, maybe in a regular season game?  If so, are you excited about that?  What are your feelings on it?
COACH CALIPARI:  Our schedule, John Robic does it, and I think we're probably almost full for next year.  We will play some of the Kentucky teams.  That's good for both programs.  But at this point, I don't know.
But they've done a nice job.  They've got a good program.  I would imagine season tickets will sell out with what you saw because you're playing three freshmen out there, playing young players, and their freshmen gave us as much problems as anybody.  So my hat's off to Western.

Q.  John, you said more than once that you think Terrence can be the best player in the country.  You've got the player of the year on your team.  Could you talk about how Terrence complements him, number one?  And number two, what has Terrence given you maybe over the last three or four weeks that he wasn't giving you earlier this year if anything?
COACH CALIPARI:  Probably an aggressiveness that we needed him to play with.  In the last month, he's been terrific.  I will tell you that, when he's playing and then Anthony can go do his thing and doesn't have to try to do everything, it makes Anthony even better.
You also have Michael Gilchrist.  And I keep trying to tell Michael, you don't have to score a basket, just help us win.  If you score, great.  If you miss shots, don't worry about it.
These guys, one thing I keep telling them, what do you do to help us win if you're not making shots?  But they're helping each other.  They're lifting each other.

Q.  Coach, before the game, were you aware of the Syracuse result?  Did you tell your kids?  Do you think one time a 16 is going to beat a 1 any time soon?
COACH CALIPARI:  If we're a 1, I hope it's not us.  But I will tell you that, no, I did not talk to them about it.  What I'm trying to get them to focus on is forget about the whole tournament, we're just playing basketball.
You've got a game tomorrow or two days from now, and we don't even know who it is.  We're just staying in this, and I'm not watching much of the tournament.  I'm with my family watching tapes of games and doing stuff like that and trying to get them to‑‑ look, I've got a good team, and I've got good players.  Let's worry about us playing as well as we can play.  If that's not good enough, then it's done.
But that's what our challenge is, and that's what our goal is.  Let's just play as well as we can play.  Today, I talked to them prior to the game.  Let's just worry about defense.  I don't even care about offense.  Let's just be a great defensive team today, and let's show everybody how we guard.  I thought they did that in the first half, and they were fine until I went zone as a coach, and I wanted us to work on it a little bit in case we have to go to it.

Q.  It seems like the last couple of games, especially against Vanderbilt, you struggled shooting the ball from the outside.  Is that something that teams are just focusing on, taking away the inside game, and it seems like sometimes the players are quick to shoot outside shots.
COACH CALIPARI:  We didn't.  Doron the last two games shot the ball well, but he's shooting 45 percent from the three.  It's dangerous, if you come into a game and say we're almost a 40 percent three‑point shooting team.  We just don't shoot that many because we don't need to.  But if you give them to us, we'll shoot 20.
It's dangerous because all of a sudden, we make four, five in a row, you're down 16, 17, and it's hard in this tournament to do that.  But there are games we shoot it better than others.
One game we made‑‑ am I saying this right?  15 threes I think we did.  And there's another game we made one.  On the season as a whole, we're almost a 40 percent three‑point shooting team.  So it's dangerous to play a zone.  It's dangerous to‑‑ you know, you can do it, but what you're doing is let's hope they don't make shots today.  That's a tough way to play.
THE MODERATOR:  Thank you, Coach.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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