Kentucky coach Bill Gillispie addressed several topics during his press conference. The following are excerpts from the briefing.
Gillispie on Florida:
“They are a really good team and it is hard to imagine, but in my opinion they have been underappreciated nationally. They haven’t lost too many times and they have some really great players. I think they have one of the best point guards in the country by far. It is amazing to me that a team that just came off of back-to-back national championships with a coach that is destined for the Hall of Fame to be totally underappreciated in my opinion.
“They are a very good team and play good defense. They don’t give up a whole lot of points in conference. They are really great in transition and then you have to guard all five spots on the floor which we will have a hard time doing because they shoot the ball so well. They also have great ability to beat you on the dribble as well. They are a very difficult match-up for anyone. I think that it would be foolish to think that they are not a well balanced team. They look differently defensively, but what they do is very effective. You don’t win back-to-back national championships, which is something that (rarely) happens, without having a great plan in every aspect of the game. They have really good players, and a great coach and a really good plan. They do a great job of taking away what you want to try to do. I don’t think that any team could win as many games and lose as few games as they have without being a good defensive team. ”
On Nick Calathes:
“He has great size, athletic ability and great vision. He has an unbelievable skill to be able to deliver passes on time and on target and that is not easily done. There are very few players that can do that. He can shoot it well and probably changes pace better than anyone I have seen in a long time. He really understands how to go fast and then slow and get you again. He is really a smart player and when it all comes down to it, I would think that even though he has a ton of great attributes that is probably his greatest, his ability to understand how to play the game.”
What has been the routine in practice?
“We have worked on everything just like we would no matter if we had won all of our games. I have been saying that all year long, even when we were 5-0 in the SEC, I said that we had a lot of things to work on and I really meant it. We have to get better offensively, defensively, transition wise and rebounding the ball as well. Hopefully we have done those things and we will see when we play again. Practice has been good and this team has practiced well all year long. We haven’t always played nearly as well as we have practiced sometimes. The opponent has a lot to do with that too. This has been a good practicing team and their attitudes have been great the entire year. I don’t have anything to complain about in that respect.”
On the player’s meeting after the Mississippi State game and if the players spoke candidly with each other in the meeting?
“Someone asked me about that and asked if it was a very vocal locker room. I have been in vocal locker rooms before and that wasn’t the case in my opinion. I don’t know where that came from. Maybe that happened at a different time after I left the locker room, I don’t really know.”