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Kentucky Mens Basketball Pre-Notre Dame Quotes

Posted: Nov 28, 2012 4:03 PM

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Head Coach John Calipari:
On the role he played in the hiring of new UK head football coach Mark Stoops ...
"I just told Mitch (Barnhart) and DeWayne (Peevy) that whomever you're talking too that basketball is going to be behind them. We will be behind what they are doing. I did know his family, but I have never met him. We've talked once, twice, but nothing really."

On the return of Ryan Harrow and if he is up to game speed ...
"I don't know. He has done good in practice, but to say that he is ready for that, I don't know. We will see. I may throw him in that Notre Dame game just to see where he is. We are still learning. It's November, but we will see."

On what is expected with the team playing its first true road game ...
"We don't know what we are going to get from our guys. It's our first road game, first hostile environment, but I think this team from what I am seeing, what I know, and what I don't know; it will be until February until we figure this out. Hopefully, we can go in good enough and win the number of games we need to be winning to stay alive, but we are learning. This will be another chance for us."

On if the Barclays Challenge with Maryland helped prepare them for the environment they will encounter in South Bend ...
"It wasn't (a road game). (Maryland) probably had 60 percent of the fans. We still had 40 (percent). We may have 40 people in the building here. This will be a new experience for them. I will be anxious to see how they respond."

On if he is taking it easy on Ryan Harrow since his return ...
"I don't believe so. He had just been gone for so long, that you start thinking everything I say is negative. I am coaching them exactly the same. It is amazing how when I ask them, ‘Who in this room am I being the toughest on?' Seven guys will raise their hands. They all think it's them. They only hear what is directed to them. They don't hear what is directed at anybody else. I am coaching them the same. I am happy he is back."

On Ryan being compared to previous Calipari point guards ...
"They are all different. I have told them all the same thing. It is all how you want to look at things. He is not expected to be those guys. Nerlens (Noel) is not expected to be Anthony (Davis), nor was he expected to be Marcus Camby. I coach them all to play to their strengths and try to help them be the best version of themselves. That is never talked about within. Now, maybe sometimes you think of that yourself, but that is not what we teach and what we want."

On what the team learned in Ryan Harrow's absence ...
"We want him on the team, obviously. It has shifted things. It gave us a chance to put Archie (Goodwin) exclusively at point guard; it gave us a chance to put Jarrod (Polson) in games that are meaningful. It gave us a chance to do some things, but it's not what you want. When you have a sickness, injury or anything like that on your basketball team that is not what you want. But, if it happens, you try to take advantage of it and say, ‘What do we do now and how do we learn from it?'"

On if Ryan Harrow's absence helped Archie Goodwin's game ...
"Archie is our point guard so I hope he is comfortable in that position. But, it gives us a chance now to give us two point guards on the court. My best teams have had two point guards on the court at one time. So, we have that opportunity now."

On if he feels the need to represent the SEC in the SEC/Big East Challenge ...
"I'm not sure we are the best team in the SEC. I have said that from day one. Again, I am worried about this program and this program moving forward and us getting better day-to-day and week-to-week and this is another opportunity for us to learn about our team and us getting better. Until you said it, I forgot it was the (SEC/Big East) Challenge. I thought it was just a game. Never entered my mind."

On the text that he sent Dick Vitale about the possible resumption of the Indiana/Kentucky series ...
"It wasn't last night. That was almost three weeks ago. He text me and I said, ‘Yeah, we will play them in the Barclay's Center.' Three weeks ago. I was in bed, so I didn't get it. I got all kinds of texts the next day and I am like ‘what did he say?' I was like ‘What? I was sleeping. I am exhausted all day. I can't stay up that late anymore.'"

On what Ryan Harrow brings UK ...
"He is a good basketball player. He is quick and fast, he can get to the basket, score the ball. We need him to be the energy bunny out there making plays defensively scrapping up the game a little bit, but he can do all the things we are asking him to do."

On how he handled the Ryan Harrow situation ...
"Whatever this young man was going through, I would hope you would look at it and say, ‘I wish he would handle my son that way.' That whatever is going on stays in house and his whole goal was to help my son get back on that court with a smile on his face."

On Archie Goodwin being the team's point guard ...
"He is our point guard. He has earned the position and he is our point guard. Now, he isn't our only point guard. We have three point guards, that's even better. It really is better and you can have two point guards on the floor at the same time, which is even better against zone, against pressing, so it's good for us. He is doing good learning the position and getting better game-to-game, so he has earned his spot."

On if Notre Dame has more experience than Duke ...
"No, Duke was a veteran team. Duke had seniors, but Notre Dame has big players and they are also a veteran team, but I would tell you Duke probably had more experience than Notre Dame had. I mean Notre Dame has lost some key parts each of the last two years, each big-time parts to their puzzle, and I think Duke, when you talk about the guys that were returning, that was the guts of their team."

On what Notre Dame does well ...
"They shoot the ball well. They were 12-22 last game (from 3). If they do that against us, we will be coming home with an L. They are very, very big, they have great size. They play a great zone. They spread the zone out, they try to play gaps and they do some things that we have not seen, so that will be interesting to see how we respond to that. They are a veteran team compared to us. They do well in that
building. They are a good home team, so it will be a tough challenge."

On his reaction to Louisville moving to the ACC ...
"I heard about that as I came down. I think it's good for them. I mean, everybody laughed at me three years ago when I told you where this was going. It's kind of playing out that way. They are not left out this way. They were left out. Everybody was taking a chair but them. They must have bumped somebody and then they took a chair. So, I think at the end of the day there will be 64, 80 teams that will be in that next (tier)."

On if he is comfortable with not knowing what his team's identity is right now ...
"No, I'd like to know tomorrow, but with that not being the case, I am just going to have to be patient. When we figure it out this team is going to be pretty good. Right now, it's amazing that we are the ninth most efficient team in the country. Well, there are some inefficient teams in this country. We are the third most efficient team on offense. Folks, we have been together 36 practices and there are 350 teams. So, as I'm saying to you, I'm not looking for us to just be a good basketball team. I want us to be special. To be special, we are not close yet. We're okay. We can win some games, beat some people, but that's not what this is about. This is about, when it's all said and done, were we the best version of what we could be as a team, were individual players the best version of themselves and were we having more fun than any team in the country. Now, the answer to all those is no, no and no. We need that to be yes, yes and yes and that's the team that keeps marching and doesn't want the season to end."

On the upside of this team ...
"We could be very good. We could be very good. We just are not right now. Should we be? If we are, then we were practicing double time in the summer. We are what we are right now. I'm fine with it."

UK Players
#3, Nerlens Noel, F, Fr.

On Notre Dame making a run during the game...
"We had that against Duke. I feel prepared for that. We did a good job responding when Duke did it. Coach Cal keeps us focused. So I think that we will be able to maintain playing well during the game."

On preparing for Baylor...
"No we haven't yet, only Notre Dame."

On different style of Notre Dame...
"They have a slower paced game. They will try to use the whole shot clock to get the bucket."

On Ryan Harrow...
"Ryan looks well. Doesn't look like he lost anything. He is a natural basketball player, he just comes in he's a dog."

#4, Jon Hood, G, Jr.
On confidence with playing more...
"Playing on the court gives you confidence and that's what it is giving me."

On Notre Dame...
"They have a lot of seniors. We played them when Brandon (Knight) was here which was two years ago, and I think they still have that big guy. They are all experienced."

On what you remember of that game two years ago...
"Terrence (Jones) caught it in the post and dunked it on four people at the same time, and that is what I remember most."

On pre-season non-conference schedule ...
"Anytime you go out and play, that's preparation. That is what we want, we wanted to go out and win and we went out and won and we are looking forward to playing these next two teams."

On chemistry of the team...
"This is great chemistry; this is one of the closest, if not the closest, teams I have been a part of."

On reading each other on the court...
"We have had that for a long time, but we just haven't shown it in the games when the lights come on. That is just one of those things we have to get use too."

On freshmen handling the road environment...
"When you play in your first road game, you thrive on it. You love when everyone boos you, and they will be hyped up for it. They will be ready for it."

#12, Ryan Harrow, G, So.
On what kind of shape he is in...
"I've been doing pretty well in practice, so I think I am still in shape. I have been running on the treadmill and that has been keeping me in shape so I'm good on my conditioning."

On what kind of encouragement he received from his family...
"They just wanted me to get back on the floor and keep positive thoughts. That's all I have been trying to do really and talk with the guys."

On if he feels he is back in a position to play in games...
"I have been doing well in the two practices that we have had since I have been back. If coach feels like he needs to play me, then he will play me. I'll be ready, but I don't know when that is going to happen. All I know is that I will be on the side cheerleading like I was last year. I'll be dressed up and ready to go when needed."

On if he watched the games while he was away...
"I watched the Duke game. It was kind of hard for me to watch the game and not be able to play. I just looked at the play by play on my phone. It was easier for me to do it like that."

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