Kentucky vs. Auburn Post-Game Quotes

AUBURNTIGERSDOTCOM
AUBURNTIGERSDOTCOM

AUBURNTIGERSDOTCOM

Jan. 11, 2007

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Kentucky Head Coach Tubby Smith

"I thought we played well tonight. We shot the ball well, and I thought we were very focused and ready. Sharing the basketball was a big key to our success tonight. We gave the ball up to people the right way. I was very impressed with Auburn's defense. They forced us into 19 turnovers and their 1-3-1 is one of the tougher defenses that we've seen this year. I know [Auburn head coach] Jeff [Lebo] does a good job with his team. They're very aggressive and very quick and athletic. We knew that we'd have to get out and guard the three tonight. I thought we did a good job up until the second half and then they were able to get some threes on us there, especially after they got [Kelvin] Lewis in the game and he lit us up with his four threes. Otherwise, I thought we did some good things. We played with intensity and had a good all-around effort. We finished the game, I thought, the right way and that is something that we've been concerned about all year long. I thought tonight our kids kept their focus. Even when we subbed, our kids continued to play the right way."

On UK shooting better than 50 percent for the second consecutive game...
"When you have 19 assists, that means you are looking for people and getting some open looks. Against the 1-3-1, if you are patient, you can find some open spots there. We made shots down the stretch and made some free-throws."

On the performance of UK's veteran players...
"I thought that they did play well. The tone was set by Ramel [Bradley] with his defense. He was very active and very energetic. I think that was contagious. Joe [Crawford] was the same way. He made some shots early on in the game and got us going. Guys were making shots and, when you do that, it puts pressure on the opposing team with their shots. We just need to shoot free throws better and shoot the ball better, but it was a well-played ball game all around."

On Kentucky committing 19 turnovers...
"We were very concerned about Auburn's athleticism and their quick hands and their ability to trap and rotate for steals. That's something that we have been working on a lot. We had the turnovers down the last few games, but they crept back up on us tonight. If we cut that down to even 12 turnovers, then we have seven more opportunities to score. The opposing team had a lot to do with it and tonight Auburn did a good job with it in that area.">

 

 

#3 Ramel Bradley, Guard

On being three assists shy of achieving a triple-double...
"I didn't know I was that close. One of our managers kept telling me during timeouts to `pass the ball, pass the ball.' I thought he was trying to tell me I was shooting too much, but I just had no idea he was trying to help me get those three assists."

On the way the team played tonight...
"We came out really focused and ready. We wanted to come out from the start and cut down our turnovers. I thought we played well and shot the ball well."

On playing tough throughout the game...
"We wanted to stretch the game out, and not let them (Auburn) back in the game to make a game of it. We kept it up throughout the game and stayed tough."

#21 Perry Stevenson, Forward

On the level of competition on the college level...
"The competition is very fierce. This is the SEC; it's the best conference in the country. There's definitely improved competition and tougher play, and I'm feeling it too."

On the intensity of practices...
"Those are tougher too, especially when we have two-a-days. I definitely think one practice is enough a day especially when you have to play against guys like Randolph (Morris) and Woo (Lukasz Obrzut). I'm feeling it after practice with those guys, and I think they kind of enjoy it too because after they hit me they're always smiling at me."

On the adjustment of college...
"It's been an adjustment that's for sure. I feel like I'm getting better and I'm enjoying college life."

#32 Joe Crawford, Guard

On his hot offensive shooting production that last two games...
"I feel like I'm getting good shots. I felt like I was getting good looks earlier in the year too, but I just wasn't knocking them down. That's changed these past two games. I don't want to talk about it too much. The team is playing well and we're winning. We need to just stay focused on the next game in front of us."

On Kentucky's defense...
"Coach (Smith) is a defensive coach. That's what he wants us to be first (a defensive team). He's made us a defensive team. We know that if we play defense the offense will come to us."

#13 Bobby Perry, Forward

On the team wanting to get off to a good start...
"I thought we were ready to come out and play tonight. I thought everybody really played well. Auburn gave it their best shot, but we really played well tonight."

On breaking out of his shooting slump...
"I came in and hit some shots. I've been in the gym getting extra shots in trying to break out of it. I knew that I needed to get out of the slump to help out the team. Joe's (Crawford) been working really hard too. I thought the team played really unselfishly tonight and we moved the ball well."

On gaining confidence...
"My first three shots went down. It was a huge confidence boost to hit those first couple of shots. It not only was a confidence booster for me, but I felt like it gave my teammates confidence in me as well."

Auburn Head Coach Jeff Lebo

Opening statement ...
"I thought that obviously the difference in the game was the guards. I thought [Ramel] Bradley and [Joe] Crawford were terrific tonight. Bradley had a great game, he didn't turn the ball over, he took big shots, he got to the foul line. He is a smart player, a very smart player. He gets to that foul line and shoots a high percentage. We just could not shoot the ball in the first half. We missed five or six lay up attempts in the first half and dug ourselves such a hole. We were a little intimidated in the first half especially. We finally made some shots in the second half and just couldn't ever get over it. We got it to 13 at one point in the second half with about seven to go and had the ball, just couldn't get over the hump at that point. We just got ourselves such a big hole in the first half. It was hard for us to dig out, especially when we were having a hard time scoring."

On Kentucky holding Auburn to 28-percent shooting from the field ...
"We were just not very good offensively. We had some defensive adjustments that were pretty good but we just couldn't get out of that first half, which was just atrocious - missing lay ups, committing turnovers. We had some key people that did not play very well for us tonight and we can't have that on the road."

On the Kentucky defensive effort ...
"Kentucky is good defensively. If you look at their percentages, they hold people to a very low percentage - in the 30s from the field. I think they are holding people to around 28 percent from the three point line, so they do a good job defensively. A lot of the missed shots are because of their defense and because they are so physical."

On shifting point guard responsibilities between Bradley and Jasper ...
"Bradley is experienced, he is stronger with the ball. Being a freshman point guard is hard, it is especially difficult in this league. Jasper has tried to get the right spots and run the team, get the ball up and not turn the ball over. He will get more comfortable with it. They have been taking him off point recently and moving Bradley over there which I think was a great move by Tubby."

#5 Kelvin Lewis

On playing in a hostile environment...
"It took us a while to get used to, but once we got used to it, it took us too long to turn it on. I think we'll do better next time."

On how Kentucky differs from other teams they have played this season...
"They were a little bit bigger and a little bit longer. They were a pretty good team."

#24 Quan Prowell

On playing at Rupp Arena...
"It was a new experience. I've never played in front of this many people before. It was something to get used to before the game, but after a while it was another game."

On defending Kentucky center Randolph Morris...
"I think we did a pretty good job on him. He didn't score as many buckets as we thought he would. We did good on him and bad on the rest (of the players). We have to learn how to shut down more than one person."

On how this game will help Auburn the rest of the season...
"I think this experience will give us an idea of how we have to play on the road. We didn't have many tough road games in the preseason. It's SEC team so we have to play big or it's going to be a tough season."