PJ Washington and Quade Green spoke to the media before UK faces off against Monmouth. They both discussed UK trying to improve their defense. Washington spoke about hearing some hate on social media and Green talked a little bit about dancing in the pregame.

PJ Washington 

Quade Green


Quotes from UK Athletics 

Kentucky Players

#0, Quade Green, So., G

On what practice has been like the last couple of weeks …
“I think we’re trying to make better for ourselves, for the team. Breaking down difficulties, breaking down what we do good, what we do wrong, that’s pretty much it.”

On if the freshmen are learning what to expect …
“They get it now. They already know what to expect from Coach Cal and what to expect from the team, what we need them to do. They just come to work.”

On if it matters who starts games and who does not …

“It’s Kentucky, it doesn’t matter who starts, who comes off the bench, it doesn’t matter. Who played the last five minutes, who started the last five minutes, it doesn’t matter.”

On improving one-on-one defense …
“Our emphasis on that is working every day at it. Playing against each other one-on-one, no straight line drives.”

On common defensive mistakes …
“Slow feet. Coach Cal got everybody together, we’re working on that every day. I think we’re going to work on that for the rest of the year. I (shouldn’t say) slow feet, just slow reactions off the closeouts.”

On the emphasis of having hands up on defense …
“If you put a hand up, he’s shooting and you don’t jump, that’s giving him a clean look to the rim really. If you jump with a hand up, that means you contested it really. We’d rather take that than straight-line drives, really.”

On who is taking leadership roles on the team …
“Keldon (Johnson), Tyler (Herro), Quick (Immanuel Quickley), Ashton (Hagans), everybody, PJ (Washington), Reid (Travis). Everybody has a voice in this locker room.”

On the team, and Coach Cal, having more fun …
“It starts with the head master. Once he has fun, we have fun. If he’s good, we’re all good.”

On the biggest adjustment during the five-game winning streak …
“Just no straight-line drives. Just cutting that down. Nobody gets in the paint without being touched. If you come in the paint, you’ve got to get touched.”

On Coach Cal telling the team not to worry about offense …
“Everybody’s got an offensive game. Everybody can score on our team. Reid came here, he was averaging 20 and 15, and he’s doing his job right now without doing that.”

On offense vs. defense …
“I like defense more. I think everybody is going to like defense more now. There’s nothing better than stopping somebody and having pride into it. On offense, you’re going to score, regardless.”

#25, PJ Washington, So., F

On the state of the defense …

“Just experience. We don’t really have too much experience with our younger guys, so I feel like as the games go on we can get a lot better than what we were in the beginning of the season.”

On the importance of dominating an opponent …

“We haven’t done that in any game this year, so that would be a great start for us. That’s what we’re looking to do. We feel like we’re a great team. We just need to do what we do in practice in the games. We’re just going to try and do that tomorrow.”

On whether the spotlight can be a hindrance to young players …

“It’s definitely hard because in high school there’s no spotlight like this. There’s nothing like Kentucky basketball. When you come in in front of all these fans, it’s hard to be yourself and just come out and be comfortable in your own skin. It takes time for the young guys and they just gotta come out and play their games and they’ll be fine.”

On what Cal means when he says he wants more from him …

“Just bringing energy and effort the whole time I’m on the floor. No letdowns, no give-ups on the defensive end. I just can’t afford to do that on the defensive end and put my team in jeopardy.”

On what Cal’s standard is on defense …

“We’re definitely going towards March. For right now, we just need to keep the ball in front of us and not let people get to the lane as easy as they are right now because that’s creating open 3s for everybody and they’re making them right now.”

On the importance of communication on defense and how hard that is with a young team …

“It’s definitely hard when you have a bunch of young guys because we don’t really talk like that on the floor. Once we get to talking, it’s going to be a lot easier for us to rotate or get to each other’s men and play help-side defense.”

On facing a winless team …

“We gotta go out there and not underestimate them. We know they’re a pretty good team. We know they can score the ball, so we gotta come out and lock them down and play defense the whole game. I feel like if we do that we should get a win and that’s what we’re looking to do.”

On the focus in practice …

“Just talking on defense, helping each other. Say if somebody gets beat, coming over and sliding over and taking a charge and stuff like that. And just being in the right spots at the right time.”

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