Postgame Quotes
AUBURNTIGERSDOTCOM
AUBURNTIGERSDOTCOM

AUBURNTIGERSDOTCOM

Jan. 21, 2009

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Auburn Head Coach Jeff Lebo

On the game ...
"There is no doubt that defensively Kentucky is a very good team. Their intensity in the second half certainly got us out of sync. They pressured us very hard and they have some great size on the perimeter and they have some great shot-blocking ability and that really hurt us. Defensively, I think we did a good job for most of the game. Jodie Meeks really hurt us in transition, he plays with such confidence. Patrick Patterson was able to get to the foul line all night long. We talked about and worked on not fouling him when he got the ball and he still got to the line way too much and did some damage there."

On playing off some guys ...
"We knew we were going to play off some guys. In some ways we were almost daring some guys to shoot while they were out there. We came down pretty hard off some perimeter players except Meeks. We did a good job surrounding Meeks after working on that this week. Defensively we executed pretty well tonight."

On the second half ...
"We had three turnovers in a row. Kentucky is very good in transition, especially Meeks. He has such confidence on those pitch (the ball) ahead and he really knows what to do in transition. They really got going off our turnovers and the first four minutes of the half were killers for us because it led to a lot of points for Kentucky."

On Kentucky's defense ...
"We got a little fatigued and missed some shots. We can't really go inside a heck of a lot with the make-up of our team. (Kentucky) is good defensively and I think that is where their strength lies. There really isn't a weak link to (UK) defensively. Meeks can really defend, Harris' role is defense with his size, Stevenson is an excellent four man because he can guard a larger and a smaller four man. That makes it possible to play Stevenson and Harris on the court at the same time. Our league is really pretty small and what happens is if you have a smaller four man then you are forced to guard with smaller guys. But Stevenson can guard those smaller guys because of his length and that makes him pretty good defensively. Stevenson can back up off you but still move his feet good enough. Kentucky is big and physical and did a great job tonight."

Auburn Players

#21 Rasheem Barrett

On the difference between the first and second halves ...
"The intensity of Kentucky's defense picked up. We could stay with the offense, but the defense picked up the pressure and we couldn't handle it. I take my hat off to them. Whenever you are down one or two points, or up one, away, that is a good feeling, especially at Kentucky. They hit a basket at the half, but we went to the locker room feeling confident. We came out of the half flat and we had three turnovers. You can't have turnovers against a good team because they will find a way to score."

On Kentucky ...
"Kentucky is a great team with Patterson inside, Meeks outside and other good role players. Their defense came together and played a great game."

On guarding Jodie Meeks ...
"Considering what he had done throughout the season, we did a good job. He got a lot of points at the line. He got off a few wide-open threes and Jodie can make those baskets. Overall, we did a good job, but we needed to stop fouling."

#12 DeWayne Reed

On Kentucky's defense ...
"They (Kentucky) have a good defense. They're talking on defense and everybody is making plays. They don't have to sub. They're just a good defensive team."

On their offensive game plan versus Patrick Patterson ...
"The plan was to get the big man (Patterson) out of the paint so we could drive and get an easy layup or kick back and get a wide-open shot. Patterson, in the paint, is a good shot blocker so we wanted to try to get him out of the paint."

Kentucky Head Coach Billy Gillispie

On his team's defensive effort ...
"It was great. That was why we played so few guys tonight, because those are the guys that communicate and execute the best defensive. I was very concerned because it seemed that every time that we substituted they would make a shot immediately. The longer the game went with them having good confidence it was going to be a hairy situation. We put our guys out there that can guard the best for the longest period of time during the most important time. I didn't like the way we let them hit a layup and three at the end of the game, but for the most part we really competed hard and communicated. They were doing a great job on the ball screen and we were switching when Pat [Patterson] wasn't involved and were switching when Pat was involved and I thought we did a fantastic job of communicating. Our defense was tremendous against a team that was hot and very tough to guard. It was a good win for us tonight."

On Patrick and Jodie's offensive production even though the defense is focusing on them ...
"Well they had 53 of our 73 points and I thought that Pat was a beast offensively and defensively. I thought that we did a pretty good job of throwing him the ball although we missed him some times and didn't take advantage of the way they were playing us. Auburn is a hard team to play against because of their quickness and strength and they are really competitive defensively. I was most concerned about them hitting a bunch of threes. The difference from this year's Auburn team and ones from years past is that they are a very good man-to-man defensive team. That is why they are allowing some of the fewest points in our league. Our guys for the most part did a good job although we had too many turnovers. We did a good job getting the ball to Pat and found Jodie [Meeks] in transition and he made two big 3-pointers to get us going in the second half. Those guys continue to impress me. Pat was obviously affected by his finger tonight more than I have seen recently. He wasn't shooting the ball, instead he was trying to lay it in and he had some opportunities that he always makes but he missed. He didn't look like he was trying to shoot the ball tonight but trying to deliver it to the rim. It is hurting him and hopefully it will get better."

On if some guys are passing up too many shots and if the crowd is hurting by yelling for them to shoot ...
"I think that our crowd is always panicky about that and I think that if a player is mentally weak then it would bother them but it doesn't bother any of our guys. As great as our fans are I think that they can improve in that area. Our guys do a good job of taking good shots and playing defense and rebounding leads to victories. I think that we did pass up some shots and we didn't pass up some shots that maybe we should have passed up. I want them to shot it and play inside out and I think that we played a little too much outside in tonight. I tell guys not to shoot a shot as a second thought. We have to eliminate those kinds of shots because they never go in."

Kentucky Players

#23 Jodie Meeks

On Auburn's defense ...
"They did a really good job of running people at me and it was just really hard for me to get open. I missed a couple of shots early on and I just think that they did a really good job at guarding me."

On UK's offensive play ...
"We just stayed patient and we were trying not to force anything. When we get everyone else opportunities to do stuff offensively, that really opens up the floor. And that way it's not all about Patrick (Patterson) and me, it's about the whole team. But when the defense switches to us it opens up the floor for easy lay-ups."

On UK's defense when Auburn got up 51-48 ...
"I thought we did a really great job on team defense through talking and communicating. Those guys are really hard to guard. They did a really great job of coming off ball screens and knocking down shots. But they didn't have many open shots and they did a great job of shooting some tough shots. That's why our team had a tough time defending them."

#54 Patrick Patterson

On being called a "beast" by Auburn guard Rasheem Barrett ...
"That is a huge compliment, especially by Barrett, because he's a great player. He was difficult to guard down low. To get a compliment out of Coach Gillispie you know you have to be doing something right. I hope I can keep that up in the games to come. A beast is something that is unstoppable and hard to guard down low under the basket. If I keep rebounding that limits the opponent's offense especially when my teammates are playing great defense on the perimeter. The sky is the limit for us as a team."

On needing a third scorer ...
"We definitely need another scorer on the court. Perry [Stevenson] stepped up tonight and we also have Michael [Porter], Ramon [Harris], Darius [Miller] and DeAndre [Liggins]. We just need someone to step up. We think any given night is someone else's chance. Perry stepped up tonight, got his shots, was able to score, and that was a huge help."

On his finger injury ...
"I have some swelling of my middle finger. Nothing is wrong with it. I've just been having it jammed in practice. I just have to tape it up for the games. It was a big help to only have one finger taped instead of two, because I had more control over the ball."

#21 Perry Stevenson

On being the only remaining undefeated team in the SEC ...
"This is definitely the great start that we hoped for at the beginning of the season. It does nothing but help build our confidence."

On opposing teams guarding Jodie Meeks and Patrick Patterson ...
"They are impossible to guard. That's how good players play. I'm just lucky to have them on my team. That's the toughest I've seen anyone try to guard Jodie [Meeks] and he still came out the leading scorer. I've seen him get upset before and he will turn around and light you up on both ends of the court."

On the defensive play at the end of the game ...
"We knew we had to do that to win. If it means guarding the dribble or guarding the shot and getting rebounds that's what we have to do. It just so happens, it was guarding the dribble."