Kentucky defeated East Tennessee State 78-61 in Rupp Arena.
Highlights from UK Sports Video
From UK Athletics
UK MEN’S BASKETBALL POSTGAME NOTES
KENTUCKY vs. ETSU
RUPP ARENA | LEXINGTON, Ky.
NOV. 17, 2017
Final Score: #7/4 Kentucky 78, ETSU 61
Team Records and Series Notes
- Kentucky is 3-1. ETSU is 1-1.
- Kentucky leads the overall series 5-0
- UK leads 4-0 in Lexington
- Next for the Wildcats: UK will next host Troy on Nov. 20 at 8 p.m. on SEC Network
In the First Half
- Kentucky’s starting lineup featured Quade Green, Hamidou Diallo, PJ Washington, Kevin Knox and Nick Richards for the third time this season, and the third time in a row
- ETSU led by as many as 10
- Kentucky has trailed by double digits in three of four games this season
- Kentucky took its first lead at the 5:29 mark, 26-25
- Wenyen Gabriel made a 3-pointer on UK’s next trip down the floor to stretch UK’s run to 9-0 over 1:16
- Kentucky trailed for more than 14 minutes
- Kentucky held ETSU scoreless for the final 3:53
In the Second Half
- Kentucky scored the first nine points of the second half
- Knox hit a 3-pointer with 16:27 to play, giving Kentucky a 45-30 lead. Beginning with the final 3:34 of the first half, Kentucky went on a 16-0 run
- Kentucky made a season-high nine 3-pointers
- Kentucky’s 38 points in the paint were a season high
- Kentucky’s 19 bench points were a season high
- Kentucky made 3 of 15 free throws. The previous fewest free throws UK made in a game during the John Calipari era was four vs. UConn April 2, 2011 in the Final Four
- Kentucky had three players grab more than seven rebounds for the second game in a row
- UK has had at least three players with three or more assists in all three games this season
- Kentucky scored a season-high 78 points
- Kentucky committed a season-high 22 turnovers. UK had a season-high 18 turnovers in the previous game against Kanas
- Kentucky grabbed a season-high 40 rebounds
- Quade Green scored a career-high 21 points
- That was the most by a Wildcat this season
- He made three 3-pointers, tied for the most in a game by a Wildcat this season (Knox vs. Kansas)
- Kevin Knox posted his first career double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds
- He’s scored in double figures in all four games this season
- Sacha Killeya-Jones grabbed eight rebounds
- He’s pulled down eight or more in back-to-back games
- PJ Washington reached double figure scoring for the second time with 12 points. He added eight rebounds, four assists and a block
- Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had six assists, two turnovers
- He’s contributed at least three assists in every game this season
Coach John Calipari
- Calipari is now 252-54 at Kentucky
- Calipari has a 697-194 all-time on-court record
- Calipari is 4-0 vs. ETSU
Steve Forbes, David Burrell and Peter Jurkin
Men’s Media Conference
Kentucky – 78, East Tennessee State – 61
Q. Coach Forbes thought your length and defense caused them a lot of problems. What did you think of the defense tonight?
JOHN CALIPARI: We just got so far to go, I gotta watch the tape. When you’re shooting hooks at the free-throw line instead of free throws and you go 3 for 15, when you are playing to get a basket versus playing for our team to score, it’s what it looks like.
And give them credit, there’s another team that won 27 games this year, or last year, and going to want to win a ton of games. And I watched their stuff and their tape and was very impressed with Steve (Forbes) and the job he’s doing. Their big guys looked better than our big guys. One kid walked off, ‘Why didn’t you recruit me?’ I said, ‘Yeah, I probably should have.’ I mean, this is all good. I knew we would have a letdown after Kansas. But it just shows, they’re just, they’re not mature enough to figure all this out and that every game matters and you’re being evaluated personally and us as a team every game we play. Guys went out and, ‘I’m just going to go get mine,’ and when you do that, you just don’t look like a very good basketball player. You look like, ‘Does he really get it?’ We had a lot of that kind of play today. Even in the end, I mean, how about just make easy plays? There’s a lob, but I got to do a wraparound. ‘Why would you do that?’ ‘Because I had to show everybody this wraparound.’ ‘They don’t know that I have this in my repertoire.’ ‘Really? You could have thrown a lob and the guy dunked it right there, but you threw it away and then you went and told the guy, you should have caught it. Really?’ Yeah, we had a bunch of those today, too.
Q. What does Nick have to do to defend without fouling?
JOHN CALIPARI: He’s got to — you’re allowed to put an arm bar when the guy has his back to you. So we probably have done a poor job of teaching. He’s good shot two hands on the guy and he’s got his hip, his chest — you can’t. The guy catches it on you, you arm bar. If he squares up, you gotta get your arm off him. You’re never body to body against a big guy if his back is to the basket. When he catches it, it’s arm bar and space. Now as I say that, you’re saying, well, it’s obvious you haven’t taught him that because he didn’t do that one time.
So, again, this is the kind of stuff that we, we watch the tape and it’s like, OK, let’s cover this. But trying to get them to play faster, you know, again, you go 3 for 15 from the line, you get this — how about you make 10 out of 15 and you’re not very good. You make 12 out of 15, which we had been making, now all of a sudden you’re looking at this saying, OK. But there was — we just, again, we started the game down 18-10. We made some runs, we did some good stuff, but we got a long way to go.
Q. Quade Green had 10 points in two minutes there when you guys kind of needed a lift and shot really well tonight. Forbes said he thought that’s the guy you need Quade to be aggressive offensively.
JOHN CALIPARI: We need him to be aggressive and to make jump shots. And I thought that – I told Shai (Gilgeous-Alexander) – I mean, again, we had two guys with 12 turnovers. Two guys. If we’re going to give you the ball, you gotta respect that, you can’t get six turnovers. And Shai, last game, had six. And this game I keep telling him, ‘If it’s a crowded lane, you got one thought, who am I passing it to? Don’t try to score, don’t try to spin, don’t try — if it’s an open lane, shoot a layup, you’re 6-6.’
So, we have got to get with him, and like I said, I’m — here’s what I love about this team. They’re trying to do what I’m asking them to do. I don’t want to get frustrated. I did today because I thought guys got selfish. And I don’t know if it was selfish and they – or they just don’t know. But I know this: A bunch of great guys that do want to please me. You know how lucky I am to be coaching guys like that? And I gotta keep reminding myself of that because I want them to be better every night out. Well, guess what, they’re not machines, they’re not computers, they’re not going to do that. But in the same sense, I have a responsibility to help each of these kids grow individually and collectively. That’s my responsibility. And if I see a guy slipping, just because he’s going to try to do things the way he wants to do them or is going to try, I gotta say something and I got to be firm about it. If a guy’s turning the ball, I just say, ‘Look, either we can’t give you the ball as much or you can’t be on the court as much.’ It’s just one of two. We’re a team that turns it over normally 10 to 12 times a game, which is perfect. We usually get 15 or 16 assists. In this game we had 17 assists, 22 turnovers. Now, my first team here who had really good players, if you go back, we had more turnovers than assists probably through 10 games, 12 games. We really did. So I imagine for the year this puts us, we’re like even right now.
But Wenyen (Gabriel) had — he’s better than he’s playing. Shai’s better than he’s playing. PJ’s (Washington0 way better than he’s playing. He did some good stuff, but he’s just a better player than he’s playing right now. I’m telling you, when you’re not in sync together, all of a sudden everybody looks kind of bad. Would you agree? Like every guy kind of looks off kilter. And it’s all based on, we got to do this together. We’ll get back to work this weekend. We’re going to practice Saturday and Sunday, do film both mornings, practice both evenings, and we got a tough game, a game that’s going to be another tough one for us to win. And then you got another tough one on Wednesday. Then when is the next one?
JOHN CALIPARI: Then another one on Sunday.
Q. Monday, Wednesday, Sunday.
JOHN CALIPARI: Yeah. He (sports information director Eric Lindsey) had his feet on my desk, says it’s early. He was throwing popcorn in his mouth. It’s early. I’m here with a noose around my neck.
Q. It looked like early Sacha Killeya-Jones came in and did the kind of things that you have been wanting him to, but how did you feel he played coming off the way he played against Kansas?
JOHN CALIPARI: He’s doing better. He’s just playing hard, he’s trying. He’s making some mistakes and doing some things, but they’re all making mistakes. So I’m happy for him, just — I come back to, he was 17 years old last year. He’s 18. He’s at the age of a freshman. And it took him a year and maybe some more to understand it’s not your skill set, it is your energy, your passion that you’re playing for, your ability to play harder than the guy you’re playing against, your extra effort. Then your skill comes into play. I’m trying to convince this whole team of that. This team has gotta be a defensive first team. We gotta figure out ways of disrupting the game, without, in my opinion, stretching the court all over the place, because we’re so big it makes it hard in the half court to get baskets. If you stretch the court out, good teams are going to get open shots. But we should press some, we should do some — but there’s other ways of being disruptive, other than a full-go pressure.
Q. All of your teams, typically, are young and they struggle at the beginning but they eventually get it. What happens that they get it and how do you kind of marry up an individual getting it versus the whole team putting it all together finally?
JOHN CALIPARI: It’s a process. I would tell our fans, just enjoy this because I’m the one dying. You should be enjoying it, watching these kids. We got great kids. I’m just here to tell you that really solid, good kids that I’ve been very tough on and probably dragging them faster than they really are capable of doing this. I’ve given them so much stuff. We’re preparing them like we would a normal team here and they’re probably not ready for all that stuff, but that’s my job, to make this — to do things that they’re not sure they can do. I mean, I think when you’re, when you’re really leading and you’re trying to do stuff, you are asking your players to do more than they think they can do, basically doing the impossible and you’re asking them to do it. But what they find out is, man, I can do way more than I thought I could do. Then by the end of the year they start saying, wow, you know what, we can do this. Early on, it’s talk until you get hit in the mouth and then you start thinking, man, maybe I’m not as good as I thought. And I got to get them back to say you can be better than you thought, but you have to have a desperation about your work and what you’re doing every day, and that you know you got to spend some extra time on your own to build your own confidence and then get in the game and go from there. This team needs a lot of tape work, watching tape. Just do.
Q. Is there anything in between the Kansas game and this game that you expected your team to have a grasp on but they didn’t quite in this one?
JOHN CALIPARI: I expected a what?
Q. Is there anything that you expected from your team to have a grasp of coming into this one that you didn’t?
JOHN CALIPARI: We had a day practice and some film. I mean, we didn’t have enough time. I wish we had one more day for Kansas. We didn’t. I mean, we had, we got – we came home at 3 in the morning, 3:30 in the morning, what was it? 3:30? And every one of these kids went to class. I wouldn’t have gone to class. That’s just me. Every one of those kids went to class. They’re just, like I said, they’re young, they don’t get it. And then they’re trying to get it themselves. Think about this: How about you’re trying to figure out yourself and then we got to figure out each other and then we got to learn about each other, you gotta learn about me, I got to learn about them, and we’re doing it at Kentucky where we’re supposed to win every game by 20. ‘What’s wrong with the Cats? They’re too young. Why don’t we keep kids and let’s try to make them stay longer?’ You deal with all this stuff that we hear and deal with. It’s what it is. We all bought into it. But I’m excited about this team, but I’m just, I wanted them better today than they were probably capable of being.
Q. If you didn’t have this glut of games, what would you be doing that you can’t do now? What wouldn’t you be doing that you have to do now?
JOHN CALIPARI: Situational stuff, probably more shooting. Getting them to play with more chemistry. Being clearer in what we’re doing. Breaking down defensively individually and as a team. And we, next game – like we, like tomorrow we’ll watch tape and I’m going to try to do some stuff to get us — I want us to play faster. I thought we did that at times today. And then there are times where you’re playing a team – look, and again, I’ve done this 30 years, you gotta be able to play both ways. You gotta be able to play really fast to try to separate yourself, but you’re going to get in a game when it really matters and the other team’s going to make you play half court. Or they’re going to be a really patient team and you’re not going to be able to just throw it and score and shooting within five seconds because you’re going to be on defense 75 percent of the time. You have to be able to play grind it out and you have to be able to play fast. That’s historically what I believe. Defensively, you start with the basics around the goal. How do we guard? how do I keep people in front and then you spread out your defense? Other people go and say, ‘Look, we’re going to – we’re pressing, that’s how we play, and we’re doing it from day one and we’re going to go crazy.’ But again you’re going to meet a team that you’re not pressing into submission, they’re too well coached and they’re too veteran and all of a sudden you’re going to get beat. And if you get beat at the end of the year, your season’s ended. And that’s why I like the start the way we are and figure out as we go. We can’t play a 2-2-1, 1-2-1-1, a trapping zone, go back and play a 2-3, a 1-3-1 and let’s trap and let’s go man-to-man and let’s pay pick-and-roll five ways. You hear what I’m saying to you? These kids can’t do that. We’re playing man-to-man and we’re struggling at that. So it’s a step at a time. You ready for this? Can’t skip steps. I want to. Come on. I want to. I want us to be great right now. Guess what? Not happening, sorry. And I gotta accept it and be patient. At the end of the game I kind of got frustrated. I probably shouldn’t have, but I did, and normally after a game like that I don’t want to say much but I came in and guys were taking their shoes off and talking and so I said some stuff. Not mean. Kept it real.
Q. You had a pretty quick trigger at the beginning of both halves today. What did you or didn’t you see that made you pull your starters so quickly?
JOHN CALIPARI: I didn’t think some guys were engaged with their team. So I’m watching and you got one guy that’s kind of just out there. He’s not engaged with his team. Well, you can’t be out there. I don’t know what to tell you. Can’t be out there. So the beginning of the game I just thought it was just, wait a minute, and that didn’t help, we were still down 18-10.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
From UK Athletics
#25, PJ Washington, G
On how he would describe this win …
“I feel like it was a great win because we obviously came back. We still have a lot of work to do and it starts tomorrow. Getting back in practice and doing the dirty work.”
On if it was an ugly win …
“I would say so, yeah. I feel like it was an ugly win just because we were down at the beginning and then fought back. We ended up playing really well and I feel like we can play better.”
On the slow start and allowing 19 offensive rebounds …
“Honestly, I don’t know. If I knew I feel like it would be different by now. We got to figure that out just watch film to be better.”
On if he agrees this was a let down following Kansas …
“I feel like everyone wanted to get a win after that. Just get back in the winning column and try to fight hard in our next game.”
On if following up on several misses gave him some confidence post-Kansas …
“I was just trying to bring energy tonight. Just crash the glass and get easy buckets.”
On Quade Green providing a spark tonight …
“We needed him tonight. He played really good. We are just hoping he continues to play like this. He’s a great point guard. He’s a great leader and we love to have him on our team.”
#0, Quade Green, G
On what East Tennessee did defensively to allow him explode in the first half…
“I was just reading how they were playing me, you know shoot when I’m open and then play hard, get in the lane, swing it, get everybody involved. It’s as simple as that.”
On being aggressor for this team…
“I think I need to be a rebounder. Play defense, I think I need to do everything for this team but everybody else has got to do every thing also.”
On being in the zone when on a hot scoring streak…
“It’s shooter zone really, they are playing me wrong, I’m going to knock your head off.”
On the East Tennessee Coach thinking they were at kind of a low after the Kansas game…
“No, we weren’t. They were a good team though. They came out of here with a lot of confidence, wasn’t scared. We just won, that’s all.”
#5, Kevin Knox, F
On his performance…
“Not what we wanted. The other team they fought really well. We didn’t play the way we wanted in the second half and the first half coach Cal wasn’t happy at all, but at least we got the win and we will enjoy it.”
On games performance contributing to Kansas loss…
“No, usually when you come off losses and close games like that you usually come out tough and come out fighting because you want to get back in the winning column, but I don’t know what was up tonight. I think some of it had to be effort. Defensively, we weren’t the way we were supposed to be; the way we practice. But we will bounce back. We got practice in the morning and we’ll fix it.”
On difference between first half and second half for him…
“I think the first half I just wasn’t letting the game come to me. I was kind of rushing stuff, not going to the offense, wasn’t doing what Cal wanted me to do. Kind of just focused on the offense and second half I had a big block, 3 straight rebounds, and next thing you know I was hitting my shots and doing everything offensively. So, I just have to let the game come to me defensively- rebound the ball like I did well tonight. So, if I just let the game come to me it would be better for me.”
On an “ugly” win…
“Oh yes this is definitely an ugly win. We’ll take the win, but we don’t want to win like that. Like coach Cal said in the locker room, if they’re hitting their shots we probably would’ve lost. Against good teams, we can’t play like we did tonight. Like Cal says, enjoy the win and we got to get back to work.”
ETSU Coach Steve Forbes Quotes
“I thought in the first half we had things going our way. I thought we played really under control offensively. We got shots. We caught them at a good time coming off a very emotional game against Kansas on Tuesday. I knew that coming in they were right for the (pickings). We played a really solid first half. I thought we left some points on the table late in the half. We missed some baskets, some easy baskets, and that hurt us going in. Second half, they came out and they defended like they’re capable of defending. That was my biggest worry, that we’d have a hard time scoring. I thought defensively they ramped it up and caused us a lot of problems. We couldn’t, we just had a hard time scoring in the second half. They got it going and made threes. I thought for us to have a chance to win, we’d have to do a good job on the glass, and for the most part we did. We had to take care of the ball. We still had 16 turnovers. That was a real problem too, turnovers and the baskets. The second half they ended up making nine threes. When they make nine threes, they’re going to be hard to beat.”
On Quade Green …
“He was good. He was a guy that gave them a spark when they needed it. He played with a lot of confidence, I thought on offense. He came off the ball screen to make some shots. Probably didn’t do a good job of defending that and giving him that look. But he’s a good player, and just watching him play, just a small sample of what I’ve seen, they need a dude to be aggressive like that at the point. Kind of a fastball and a change up with him and (Shai Gilgeous- Alexander). Yeah he’s good. I saw him play in high school a lot. But yeah, he was great. He did a great job for them.”
On Peter Jerkin …
“Peter played great. I didn’t think we did a good job early of getting him the ball enough. I felt like, watching Kansas play, we run kind of the same offense, a little bit. We run high-low. They’re not running it as much this year, but a couple times against Kansas in the game on Tuesday they threw over the top to big boy and got baskets. I thought we could do that with a lot of backside action, and we got that a few times. I don’t think we did a good enough job of probably getting him the ball, but he played great.”
On the talent of Kentucky Basketball and overcoming players lost …
“Yeah, we’ve got to overcome a lot from last year. We lost some good players, but we’ve got some good players in our program, I think they’ve showed that tonight. They’re just playing some different roles. Last year, some of those guys were backups and now they’re starters and they have to make plays when the game is on the line. And they’ll do that. I think when you play against a young team, in my experience, sometimes you’ve got to change those looks to try to confuse them a little bit. We tried to do that tonight. We played some man, played some zone, played some soft press, played some 1-3-1. We just tried to mix it up to kind of keep them off balance. To their credit, for the most part, I think they handled it pretty well for a young team.”
On Kentucky’s defense …
“It’s their length. You and I talked about this before. That was my biggest nightmare coming in here was trying to decide how we were going to get our baskets, and early on we got them. We got good looks. We moved it. We shared it. We tried to mix them up. You can’t just dribble at them and score. It’s not going to work. You’ve got to drive it and kick it. And we did a good job of that early on and made shots, but to me, defensively, their biggest thing is just their size and their length and athleticism. You don’t get clean looks, and that makes it really hard.”
On Kentucky transitions for young team…
“Especially more for a young team. As talented, athletic, and fast as they are, they can turn defense into offense. I think right now that’s something they’re going to thrive in. I think they’ll get better and better offensively at the half court as the season goes along. Coach’s (Calipari) team usually do, and I think right now his defense is ahead of his offense. But a lot of the teams are like that right now. You know, Vermont came in here but they have a much older group that has played together for a long time, they ran offense deep into the clock and got shots and made them. But they shot 60% in the second half and still lost. So that tells you how good their defense really is in my opinion.”
On Grant Marshall and Bruce Pearl…
“Well those guys are two different people, you know. One guy takes his shirt off, the other guy doesn’t. Pressure defense, both of them are different though. I’ve coached with Grant, he’s a lot like Billy (Gillispie). I’ve worked with Billy too, and I’m tight with Billy to this day. I’ve learned how to defend and grab the ball with two hands, the same stuff that Coach Cal talks about. So we play a lot more pressure half court man-to-man defense at Wichita State, but Coach Pearl’s defense was full court. But again, in the big games you have to be able to defend at the half court. You can’t just press people. I’ve learned a lot from those guys, I’ve been very fortunate to have great teachers. It’s just unfortunate that Kentucky beat us when we were 35-0 in the country.”
On watching film compared to how UK played…
“They are what I thought they were. I was really concerned about their length, their rebounding. They got 13, you know, I was really concerned about those things. I was just really worried we weren’t going to be able to score. Because I thought they’d do a good job at keeping us in front. We did a really good job early on at creating some help situations for shots, we did a good job at that. And I think they settled down. Let’s be real, they’re young kids that just came off a big stage Tuesday. They’re playing Kansas and now they’re playing Eastern Tennessee State. It’s human nature, it’s not Tennessee in their head, and that’s just a part of it. We’ve clipped some teams because of that. My first year we beat Georgia Tech, first game of the year we played Villanova and they weren’t ready to play so we beat them. We beat Mississippi State last year coming off a break, it happens. But give those kids credit, they didn’t let it happen.”
#2, David Burrell, F
On the first jump shot he made to start the game …
“Yeah we don’t show any fear to no one, but I got to give it to them, they are a great young group and they are going to be hard to beat. I just feel like it was a missed opportunity for us, but it’s cool. We’re just going to bounce back. We are just going to work harder, practice and go on from there.”
#5, Peter Jurkin, C
On if this was the kind of game he was hoping for coming back …
“Yeah, the reason I came back is because last year I didn’t play you know, so I got a chance to come back this year and I jumped to it. I was like I’m going back there so I can prove to myself at least that I can play.”