Kentucky defeated Morehead State 92-67 in a charity exhibition game at Rupp arena.
Highlights from UK Sports Video
Morehead State Coach Preston Spradlin
From UK Athletics
Kentucky Men’s Basketball: Kentucky Cares Classic — Morehead State at Kentucky
Rupp Arena, Lexington, Ky., Oct. 30, 2017
FINAL SCORE: Kentucky 92, Morehead State 67
- This was the second of Kentucky’s three exhibition games this season.
- Kentucky is 58-4 all-time in exhibition contests and has won 29 in a row, including 17-0 under Coach John Calipari.
- Kentucky leads the countable series vs. Morehead State 10-0. This is the first time the teams have played in an exhibition.
- This game was not televised. The last time UK played in a non-televised game was Nov. 14, 2015, vs. New Jersey Tech.
- Kentucky returns to the court Friday, Nov. 3 as the Wildcats play host to Centre in the final exhibition game. The game is at 7 p.m. and will be televised on the SEC Network.
- The regular season tips off Fri. Nov. 10 as UK hosts Utah Valley.
- Morehead State has one more exhibition, Mon. Nov. 6 at home vs. Cincinnati Christian.
Kentucky Cares Classic
- This special exhibition game was created to benefit Team Rubicon, which is assisting with people in the United States, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico whose lives have been affected by the recent natural disasters.
- Tonight’s game collected $448,220 in ticket revenue.
- Kentucky’s starting lineup featured Hamidou Diallo, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, PJ Washington, Wenyen Gabriel and Kevin Knox.
- Morehead State’s Lamontray Harris hit a 3-pointer for the game’s first basket. UK took the lead 8-5 on a 3-pointer by Diallo and the Wildcats led the rest of the way.
- Leading 18-16, UK went on an 11-0 run for a 29-16 lead. .
- The Wildcats eventually stretched the lead to 39-23 before MSU got the final five points of the half. UK led 39-28 at intermission.
- MSU steadily chipped away, getting as close as 51-49 with 12:34 remaining.
- Ahead 54-51, UK created cushion with a 12-0 run for a 66-51 advantage.
- The Wildcats led by double digits the rest of the way en route to a 92-67 victory.
- Kentucky took advantage of 26 MSU turnovers for a 30-13 advantage in points off turnovers.
- Four Wildcats scored in double figures tonight. Diallo led the way with 23 points and Green had 20.
- Kentucky shot the ball well, 54.5 percent from the field and 81.3 percent at the foul line.
- In UK’s two exhibition games, the Cats have shot 54.8 percent from the field and 77.4 percent at the foul line.
- Hamidou Diallo led all scorers with 23 points, making 8 of 12 from the field.
- Quade Green netted 20 points, including 7 of 7 at the free-throw line. He also played an efficient floor game with five assists, four steals and only one turnover.
- Shai Gilgeous-Alexander tallied 17 points, adding four assists and two steals.
- Kevin Knox rounded out UK’s double-figure scoring with 16 points.
University of Kentucky Basketball Media Conference
Monday, October 30 2017
Men’s Media Conference
Kentucky – 92, Morehead State – 67
JOHN CALIPARI: Let me start by saying what a job Preston [Spradlin] did. He’s got a bunch of inexperienced guys to play Division I basketball and I watched the organization of how he had both sides playing because it was an intrasquad and I told him, you got them organized, that doesn’t look like a come down and just jack balls up. You’re playing pick and roll. They posted, they posted us more than we posted them. Think about that. They out rebounded us. They weren’t afraid. We needed this kind of game, to be honest with you. And I know it was for charity and raised half a million dollars and the Team Rubicon people are here. Is anybody in here from there? Just what the job that they’re going to do with that money.
But Morehead State should be proud of what they have got going. Somebody said they were picked ninth in their league. Wow, they’re going to have four teams going to the NCAA Tournament then, if they’re ninth. My gosh. I mean, so. Good for them though, I’m happy for them.
Q. What did you think of your guard play tonight? All three of those guys seemed to play well — have moments, play pretty well, scored it.
JOHN CALIPARI: I thought Shai [Gilgeous-Alexander]’s energy and his ability to deflect balls and make plays. And then I thought that Quade [Green], that’s the best he’s played. I still got to get him to get rid of the ball. He just wants to hold that thing. But when he gets rid of it, it comes back to him and he scores. Because he can do it. And the second thing that happens when he gets rid of it, he’s in a position that they have to space the court and play him, because he can shoot that three.
Hami [Diallo] shot threes and I took him out. You’re not playing that way. You’re going to drive the ball or I will sub you. It’s not that hard. So shoot a three, you’re coming out. He shot one, he came out. From that point on he drove the ball. He drove, he drove, he drove and then he got one three late in the game. That’s who he is. He will play that way, folks, and I love him to death, or he won’t play, but he will play that way.
I thought we had at halftime, we had three or four guys with one rebound and I challenged them, they came back the second half and banked. Hard game for Nick [Richards] to play because he’s so much bigger and he’s not as physical, so it was tough for him to play in that game.
I thought Sacha [Killeya-Jones] was good, I thought Tai [Wynyard] was good, Wenyen [Gabriel] was good, six rebounds and came up with some balls and blocks. But, again, I can say what I want, but Nick got three blocked shots in 12 minutes.
Q. You said this is a good game for you guys, what you need. What do you hope your guys can get out of it?
JOHN CALIPARI: Well, they shot 49 percent. That’s not a team that I’ve coached. My teams — and they got out rebounded. That’s not my kind of team. That’s not how my teams play. What I did like is 15 assists, 11 turnovers. Are you kidding me? A bunch of freshmen? And we’re still learning how to play too. If we did not turn them over, they may have beaten us. We turned them over and that’s what — that’s the advantage we had.
But they out rebounded us, made more baskets from the three than we made. But I’ll tell you, Shai, Quade, Hami in that second half playing the way we want to play. Kevin Knox could have done some more stuff, I didn’t think he was driving enough and we kind of got on him.
P.J. [Washington]’s got to do more and be more than he was in this game.
Q. You all turned them over a lot, but once they got into the half court it seemed Morehead was really efficient in shooting the ball. What do you have to say about your half court defense today?
JOHN CALIPARI: Not very good. I said if we didn’t turn them over they were scoring. Not only that, they were making some threes where the breakdowns that bothered me were we switched on a pick and roll and our guys had their hands down. So you’re 6-9 and you make yourself look 6-1. And the guy shot two threes on us.
Second one that I got bothered by is we tried to steal balls. It’s not how we play. We’re not trying to steal balls. We’re trying to deflect balls, but we’re not trying to get out of position. And every time we got out of position they made a three or a basket. We didn’t stay in the stance, we didn’t – they did some handoffs, we stopped playing, but that’s what freshmen do. Now we’ll be able to see it on the tape and talk about it.
Q. Since the little cramping problem with three of your kids, how much better, when it comes to being in shape, are your kids? From A to B are they getting closer or not yet?
JOHN CALIPARI: We’re a ways away. I cramped up today though, but we’re a ways away. I cramped up, I don’t know what’s going on, I’m trying to drink water. I guess when you get older, can you explain that to me as you get older? So I got a few years to catch up to you, like eight, but.
Q. You talked a lot preseason about Shai’s length, his wing span. What can that do for you? And is that maybe a unique player compared to what you’ve had in years past?
JOHN CALIPARI: He’s different but he’s just getting better. He works so hard. There was a quote I gave them from Will Smith. The question was asked to Will Smith, ‘What do you owe your success to? How did you separate yourself from the pack?’ And he thought about it and he said, ‘I was willing to die on the treadmill.’ You were willing to die on the treadmill. Explain what that means.
Well, I wasn’t sexier, I wasn’t prettier, I wasn’t more talented, but if that other guy and I were on a treadmill, he’s getting off first or I’m going to die on a treadmill. I would outwork everybody. I am going to outwork. I’m asking them, you’re not the sexiest, you’re not the most talented, you’re not the, hey, man, are you willing to outwork? Today, we got outworked by some guys. And it’s individuals in the room that you have to reflect and say, does this mean enough to me? Because every game we play, Morehead came in here in Rupp Arena and had a chance to play and fight, they fought. But guess what, every team that comes in here does the same thing. And if you don’t fight back, it’s obvious. People look and they say, man, that kid doesn’t compete. He’s not battling, he’s not. That’s what you learn here. That’s where our guys leave here and when they go on, they do have success. And the guys that are on the edge to get in, they fight to get in, whether it’s Dakari [Johnson], whether it’s Alex [Poythress], whether it’s Andrew [Harrison], whether it’s – they fought to get where they needed to be. You learn that here. Today was a great lesson in that.
Q. You said the other day that Jemarl Baker would, that they were going to look at his knee again. Is there any update?
JOHN CALIPARI: Yeah. He’s, he had, they scoped it again, so he’s going to be out probably three months. So he’ll be out.
Jarred [Vanderbilt], I met with he and the doc today. We’re on a timetable, some conditioning, work with Kenny [Payne], start practicing, and then see where we are. So there’s a good timetable now for him, but it’s not just we’re by chance, happenstance, we know. And if we have to move it a little bit, we can, but let’s start with a timetable. That’s what we’re doing. Be nice to get one more guy.
Q. Looking ahead, I wondered why you went ahead and decided that scheduling Centre College Friday night would be a good thing for Kentucky basketball.
JOHN CALIPARI: Well, it’s better for Centre College. And you know I’m not afraid to leverage this program to help others. We did it tonight to create money for charity. I was really happy we could do this for Preston [Spradlin] and Morehead State. I mean, I loved when their fans were chanting, that was the greatest. They made a run at us, it’s a three-point game, and they’re chanting and going nuts. I mean, come on, what’s better than that?
Now, for Centre College, it’s the same. I went and spoke to the alums of Saint Thomas More the night before, and I mean it’s just, they’re thanking me and I’m like, look, man, this is, why not leverage the program to help other people and help other schools, especially in state. Or my alma mater, we have done that twice.
Q. I’m trying to look for positives —
JOHN CALIPARI: Tough.
Q. You’re going to be in some close games this year and when Morehead cut it to two and your team went on a spurt, what does that tell you about your team?
JOHN CALIPARI: Well, we got to see who was in the game when we went on a spurt. See, that’s what we – we chart rotations and, OK, what did that unit do. And we had some units that were good and we had some guys that we had to take out, that may be starters, we’re better without you in there. I don’t know what to tell you, numbers don’t lie, there they are. So, we’ll look at that and say who was in the game and what you’ll normally find out it was energy guys. Guys just played with energy. Now most teams will come in here, first half, beginning of the game, ‘Oh my gosh, they’re jumping three inches higher than they ever have in their life.’ The game goes on, if they’re not a great conditioned team we may get them eight-minute mark in the first half. Normally, like this team, they battled and they weren’t afraid and they made a shot at the end and we came down and broke down and didn’t do what we were supposed to. Here’s what we’re doing and a guy went and he’s pointing and, you know, stop. So now they think they have a chance. But there was that seven-minute mark, there was a point at eight-minute mark in the second half where they, you kind of get ’em, if you keep coming. Now, good teams, whoever has the ball last wins, two good teams. Or if there’s a veteran team with veteran guards that we’re going to play against that aren’t going to turn it over like this, then we’re going to have trouble. We’re going to have trouble early in the year. I don’t care, you guys can all say, oh, he’s just saying this, no, I’m prepared for it. Now I’m going to be about these kids and I’m going to be focused on how do I get individuals better because my belief. Until individual players get it, your team can never get better. I got to get Hami playing the right way. I got to get PJ playing the right way. I got to get Kevin Knox, Nick, we got to get them playing the way they got to play for themselves and for us. Now, that’s why you play – this was an, I’ll say it again, a great game for us right now.
Q. You guys obviously went and got Jemarl Baker late for a reason. Thought you needed some other outside shooting. How significant is it that some of your other guys have shown early here they can step out there and make those?
JOHN CALIPARI: We’re not as bad as everybody says shooting the ball. I mean, I’m with them every day. But we’re more of an athletic, driving, throw the ball at the basket, go rebound it, kind of team too. But you’re going to have teams that are going to pack it in and you’re going to have to make some shots. 37 percent, not great, but again, we had a couple threes, now all of a sudden that’s, do you shoot 37. But 37, if you’re near 40, again, historically, I’ve only had a couple teams above 37 percent. Probably two or three. And I’ve been here 17 years? How long have I been here? Oh, my God. It’s dog years here. So, seven times eight, I’ve been here 56 years.
Kentucky Basketball Postgame Quotes
Kentucky vs. Morehead State
Rupp Arena – Lexington, Ky.
Oct. 30, 2017
#22 Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, G
On how good the guards felt playing tonight…
“We felt really good. We do it everyday in practice. We compete against each other, and we know what each other like to do and spots we like to get to. Getting out there on the floor it made it easier.”
On if they were stat watching each other…
“We don’t worry about stats. We just try to take it to the other team and get the dub.”
On what its been like playing with Quade [Green] on the court together thus far…
“We don’t play a lot because the match ups and stuff like that, and it’s better for us to go against each other. We both know we are good players and we know each other’s spots and stuff like that. We know how to benefit each other on the court, so it’s good.”
On how much he can tell his length bothers players on the court…
“Yeah, I know it bothers other teams a lot. Being a point guard I don’t want a 7-foot wingspan smothering me all game, so I just try to give the opponents what they don’t want.”
#3 Hamidou Diallo, G
On how tough the game was…
“It was definitely a tough game. I mean, Morehead’s a great team and they are very competitive and they come out and gave it their all. They left it all on the floor.
On Coach Cal telling him not to shoot 3s…
“No, he doesn’t want me shooting bad 3s. He definitely wants me shooting 3s and driving though.”
On who stepped up in the second half to grow the lead…
“I feel like we all stepped up. I mean the five that were out there, we just huddled up and we said, ‘We got to get it together.’ It’s a game of runs. I mean, they’re going to have a run and we knew our run was coming, so when it came we just didn’t stop.”
On whether Kentucky’s defense sparked their run…
“Definitely defense and offense I would say. I mean, we just started being really aggressive on the offensive side and just started creating turnovers.”
On how they’re improving…
“I feel like we’re just going into every day and practicing knowing we’re not where we need to be and just bringing a lot of energy and competitiveness knowing that we need to work.”
On how Morehead was able to get open 3s …
“I would say miscommunication. It’s just something we have to work on. When we switch, we have to talk more and not just point. So it’s just a lot of miscommunication and something we’re going to get better at. It’s just our second game.”
#00 Quade Green, G
On what he learned about the team…
“We had toughness today. We didn’t let up today and let them get the win.”
On being able to play a challenging team as a young team…
“It was really a toughness test for us. They were coming back and we had to do something. Cal was getting on us and we went and did what we had to do.”
On Morehead State coming back…
“They were playing tougher for a good six minuetes. I think No. 13 [Lamontray Harris] was outrebounding all of us big men and we had to make a change.”
On being able to play aggressive in future games…
“It’s in our DNA. It’s in everyone’s DNA. Everybody played a tough game, so it will be an easy transition for us.”
On what caused Morehead States six-minute scoring stretch…
“Defense and rebounds. We were getting out rebounded for no reason. We had to do something.”
On upcoming practices after this game…
“We’ll have to be up tomorrow. [Laughs] And Wednesday will be another defensive practice, rebounding especially.”
On Cal saying this was his best game…
“I thought it was my best game defensively. I did a lot better tonight than I did last game defensively. I was moving my feet, squaring the man up and being in the right place on and off the ball.”
On Cal wanting him to get rid of the ball quicker…
“I think I did a bad job today of getting rid of the ball. I bounced it too many times, more than I usually do. He corrected me on that.”
On how fun it is play with Shai [Gilgeous- Alexander] rather than against him…
“His wingspan, how tall he is – you really have to maneuver and debate and swindle around him.”
On how much they needed this game to show their strengths and weaknesses…
“We could be very good. We defend very good, but we just had too many offensive rebounds taken from us. We just have to cut that out the loop for any team we play.”
Morehead State Head Coach Preston Spradlin
Opening Statement …
“I really liked the effort by the guys tonight. We needed to see that, much like Coach Cal’s team. Getting guys to practice hard consistently is a difficult thing. You can only tell them so many things. If you don’t go hard or what we ask you to do, then it’s going to result in basket. A turnover is going to result in an offensive rebound or ultimately in a loss. This game was really good for us, but I was very encouraged by how hard our team played. I thought they fought. I thought their energy was great. On the bench, guys were coming in and out and they played for each other. This will be a great learning tool for us as we go forward and build this as we go through the season.”
On struggling with turnovers and if it was due to the UK defense or where it was just early in the season …
“It was a little bit of both. You’ve got to give them some credit. They’re extremely long. Coach (Calipari) does a great job with those guys. They were flying around with their length – it’s going to give anybody problems. A lot of it early on had a little more to do with us. That’s not the team that we’ve been in practice. We’ve played a little different defensively in practice too, so our turnovers are down. Obviously we don’t have that length. We got away from some of the things that we’ve been doing and that’s the kind of thing that you worry about coming into this game in this type of atmosphere in this building – you get away from that stuff. It’s great that we learned it, and the game didn’t count today either, right? That’s good.”
On how big of a piece servant leadership was when he was on staff at UK …
“It goes hand-in-hand in being part of the team. We said it the other day in the press conference, and (Calipari) is the mastermind of doing it, bringing guys together, getting them to be selfless, getting them to think about others is a hard thing to do especially with young guys. I have six freshmen. (Calipari) has eight. I have two new players. It’s a hard thing to do. All of these kids go from being the best player on their high school or junior college team – or wherever they were before – to now everybody is good. They may have played against three, four, or five Division I players last year. Well, every time we tip it up, the other team has 13 of them, so you have to get ready for that. The only way that you do that – you can’t just go out and hoop. You can’t just say, ‘I’m a good player, and I’m going to do exactly what I did to be successful.’ You have to do it together. That servant leadership part goes into that. We’re finding our footing just like (Calipari) is because there’s nobody walking in the door and saying, ‘Here’s a ‘C.’ Put it on your chest, you’re our leader.’ We don’t have that. You just have to figure it out as you go along. The best way you do that is relieve the pressure off the individuals by making their focus be on other people, and games like this certainly echo that message.”
On the play of Quade Green…
“He’s good. He’s a good player. That’s about what I would expect in a point guard here at Kentucky. They kind of know what they are doing with point guards here, wouldn’t you say. So good player. I thought he was good coming in, we talked about him as a staff. We obviously watched the film. I mean what did he have tonight, 5 assists, 1 turnover, 20 points. He’s good, he’s good. Hopefully he’ll continue to play like that for those guys going forward. But you can take a lot of good things from him.”
On playing in a game that benefits many people…
“It is very gratifying. I was honored to be asked to be a part of it. We really thankful that coach allowed us, our university, our department and team to be a part of something special like this. To partner together and showcase how much people in Kentucky care about basketball. It’s a big part of my sales pitch when I recruit players from all over the country that people here are going to love to watch you play basketball. They are going to really care about you and to use that going forward to give the money to charity, an unbelievable charity such as Team Rubicon is pretty gratifying.”