The Kentucky men’s basketball team took its turn in the spotlight Wednesday as the Wildcats prepare for Thursday’s NCAA Tournament opener against Western Kentucky at 6:50 p.m. Thursday at the KFC Yum! Center. The following are comments that were made during the Q&A session.
Kentucky coach John Calipari on the rumors surrounding the New York Knicks opening: “Every job that’s open, including high school jobs and AAU jobs, my name is mentioned. So no. But I just wanted to say, I have a great job. The best in this profession. That’s what I said.”
Terrence Jones on a possible rematch with UConn in the third round: “Being in this tournament, you’ve got to take it one game at a time. We’re just worried about tomorrow’s game and getting ready for that. We don’t know what will happen in the game they’ve got, so you can’t try to get ready for games down the road. You’ve just got to get ready for the game you got first.”
Darius Miller on opening the tournament in Louisville: “It means a lot to me knowing the support that we all have in Kentucky. I feel like we should have a lot of fan support here. I’m curious to see how many people will be at the open practice today. I feel like it will be a good game for us.”
Coach John Calipari on three of the four Kentucky teams playing in the tourney having second- and third round games in Louisville: I think it says a lot about basketball in this state. I mean, you’re talking about two of the teams, really three of the teams won their conference tournament. We did not. You’re talking three of the teams at the end of the year, they’re all on win streaks right now. Obviously, we are not. But Murray was the story all year, and then at the end of the year, Ray gets Western playing, and out of nowhere they become the story. And then Louisville goes to New York and does what they do. It’s neat stuff for our state.”
Calipari on playing the NCAA Tournament: Yeah, it’s going to be enough for them and for me. Let’s go for it. Let’s play and let’s do our best. Let’s play, play great. If we play great and that’s not good enough, what? And I like my team. I like our individual players, and I like how we’re playing. But the greatest thing about this tournament is the one and doneness of it. You’ve got to play game to game, and anybody can do anything. That’s what makes it exciting. That’s why people watch it on TV. That’s why it rates the way it does.”
Calipari on Western Kentucky’s comeback win over Mississipi Valley State Tuesday night: “That’s what makes them dangerous. I told my team today, if you think they’re going to stop playing with 4:39 down 16, you’re out of your mind. I just watched it. They’re not stopping. Literally, the other games I watched, they had people – or the people had them beat. It was over. And all of a sudden, you have to go back. How did they do this? They made plays. They just play a vicious game. Ray should be proud of them. Their community should be proud of them.”