Post-Game Quotes: #14/13 Kentucky 64, Auburn 56

Feb. 12, 2014

Auburn vs. Kentucky
Feb. 12, 2014 | Auburn, Ala.

Head Coach Tony Barbee
On the team's shooting performance...
Our guys played hard. I'm proud of how hard our guys fought and how tough they were, but at the end of the day give credit to Kentucky. They made winning plays when the game mattered. With 10 minutes to go in the game we had a three point lead and from that point forward they made the majority of the winning plays. That's what this game comes down to. We fought hard too, I thought we played as hard as them, but at the end of the day they made more winning plays. That doesn't mean they made more shots, they made more winning plays. Offensive rebounds, more loose balls, defensive rebounds and some big shots on top of it."

On Matthew Atewe...
"Atewe played well, it's just a glimpse of what he can be. He has a chance to be a warrior out there, a beast on the backboard, blocking shots, we just have to help him keep improving.

On K.T. Harrell's shooting...
"I give them credit. They're a good defensive team and hard with their length, but guess what, you still have to make plays if you're going to be one of those high level guys."

On Kentucky's defense...
"They're a good defensive team. They can switch with their fours and fives, their ones and twos can contain you and make it hard. They're hard to score on that way."

On K.T. Harrell's offensive struggle...
"No it's not disappointing. I know he's hurting because of the type of competitor he is, but there's no secret, we need Chis Denson and K.T. Harrell to play big for us at the same time. We've got some other guys that aren't as good as those two offensively so he's expected to produce. There's no one hurting more than him."

On the other players...
They need to make winning plays. Offensive rebounds, defensive rebounds, getting lose balls. We had our opportunities, but we didn't take advantage today."

On rebounding...
"You've got to go get them, you've got to go get rebounds. That's what it's about."

Senior guard Chris Denson
On coming up short...
"I'm very disappointed. Like all the games we've lost, we lost in the trenches, or rebounding. We let up too many offensive rebounds. We didn't make plays down the stretch. We were up by 3 and we were conservative trying to hold the lead and we can't do that with a good team like Kentucky."

On playing aggressively after pulling ahead...
"We were in the passing lanes because we saw that they were being lazy with the ball, but I guess Coach Calipari got to them because they were very safe with the ball. We couldn't get to the passing lane like before, but the game was lost by rebounding."

On him and KT Harrell not both playing their best...
"It's hard because Coach Barbee always tells everyone to contribute to the team. Kentucky had a lot of players in double figures and for Auburn it was just me. I have the ultimate trust in KT, the whole team does. We thought we were going to get it going but we have those type of days. It's tough to beat a team with one person in double figures."

On the late lead changes...
"We've been there. We have been down and in that situation. Especially against South Carolina, we made that run and came back. Our heads were still high, but we didn't make the right plays down the stretch. We missed shots, gave up offensive rebounds, and that killed us."

On being in a lull in the middle of the game..
"It's very frustrating. We have the playmakers and we have people that can do it. I don't know if we came out too timid, but we should have done what Coach Barbee said and hit the gas pedal when we were in the lead."

On missing shots...
"We definitely hit a wall with the missed shots. KT couldn't get it going tonight and I would call it a snowball effect. The offensive rebounds destroyed us."

On effect of hitting lulls in games...
"We almost let a couple go against Georgia and South Carolina, but you can't let a Kentucky team have a chance. Coach Barbee said we gave them hope because when we took the lead, they were timid, but they made a plan and we gave them hope."

Kentucky Head Coach John Calipari
On tonight's game...
"We shot 30 percent and won the game. That is old school. We just didn't have a whole group of guys playing. James (Young) gave us nothing. We broke down. We didn't rebound. We were soft. Dakari (Johnson) was outstanding. In the second half, Julius (Randle) played the way he needs to play. The picture he has of himself is not the picture he needs to play with. He needs to see that second half, the block out of nowhere, the offensive rebound and that tip-in. We didn't make foul shots. Guys were only hitting one out of two from the line."

On Julius Randle...
"He needs to sprint the court. He needs to be the hardest worker on the court and fight like crazy for offensive and defensive rebounds and see what you get on offense. Don't worry about the offense. Just do all that other stuff. He is not being evaluated like other guys are. Guys that are 6'4 are going to be evaluated differently. He is doing fine. He had a great second half. Aaron (Harrison) made a great basket. Andrew (Harrison) made a great basket. We got the rebounds that we needed to and we got out with a road win. We shot 30 percent. I am happy."

On if tonight reinforced defense to the team...
"I don't know. We won the game. I will probably watch tape on the plane and be yelling in the front. We had guys we took out because they weren't going through the motions of playing. I am going to play guys that are going to fight and battle."

On what he said to the team after the timeout up three...
"What I said to all of the guys is that I am going to play the guys that are going to fight. If you are not into this, you are not playing. Let's go to Julius. I am telling the guards we have guys like James Young who are driving. In the first half, Andrew and Aaron were shooting all threes. We are learning. We are still in our motions on offense. I told them after the game, at some point, if you want to be special, that has got to change. Our motions has to be about team defense. That's it. Nothing else."

On the second half...
"They had the will to win, which I liked. Again, it is time. Enough. I can't say it anymore. I have said it 1000 times. Why am I saying it publically? I want them to read it."

On Auburn's performance tonight...
"Tony has done a great job. They didn't make shots that they have been making, or we lose the game. They had Florida. It was a 1-point game late. Tony is doing everything to keep these guys on a high level. The schedule they played early, all that stuff they just played, they are going to get the other side of it now. I think what you will see is them win. By the end, I think they will be fine."

On holding KT Harrell to seven points...
"We had some size on him. If you don't have size on him, he is really good. But, you had (Chris) Denson get to his left hand. I told the guys that he is lefty. He will split you left, fake right. He is coming left and he just did it anyway. He had nine at halftime."

Julius Randle
On winning a ugly game...
"Yeah, it was an ugly game. We stepped up, the guys showed leadership and we won."

On what made it an ugly game...
"We couldn't make a shot. We weren't doing the little things and not doing what coach was asking us to do. There came a point in the game that we had to let it go and just play."

On not getting good shots...
"We were getting good shots. We just weren't making them."

On how missing shots affects everything else the team does...
"I don't let it affect me. I just think about trying to score the ball and stuff like that. I just make sure I'm doing the little things."

Andrew Harrison
On if Coach Calipari is happy about with an ugly win like this...
"Yeah, I think he's pretty happy about this win. Some of our scorers didn't play as good as they usually do, but they still played hard and that's what we needed."

On playing good defense in the second half?
"There comes a point in the game that you have no choice to play good defense or you'll lose the game. It comes from mental toughness and from inside of you."

On what coach Calipari tells you in a bad offensive game like that...
"When it's going like that he just really talks about defense and taking good shots. Not taking as many 3-pointers and stuff like that. He told us at halftime to not shoot as many threes and I shot the first three. I'm so happy I made it, but it was a good grind out win."

On if the team needed a game that depended on defense to win the game...
"Yeah, definitely I think so. It shows we are a tough team and we can't score. It shows that we can stop people as well. We're just a young team and getting better every day."