Vaught: 1-on-1 with Josh Harrellson

Harrellson: " When we were in Cancun, every night we went out to eat as a team. All of us, no coaches, just players. We would go to the pool together and everything that we did we were always together. It is a good experience and we definitely need it.

Question: Will the trip to Portland and then Maui be similar to the bonding time the team had last year during a holiday trip to Cancun?

Harrellson: "Yes, it is definitely a good thing. When we were in Cancun, every night we went out to eat as a team. All of us, no coaches, just players. We would go to the pool together and everything that we did we were always together. It is a good experience and we definitely need it. Everything we did, it was together. I don't know what the coaches were doing, probably scouting our next opponent, so it was just us."

Question: Is bonding more important than how the wins and losses turn out for these four games?

Harrellson: "It probably is. If you can just look past the wins or losses and just go on and get better, then the loss is not going to impact you. If you let a loss get to you, then we just fall apart and separate and that is not any good. I don't think coach Cal will let that happen. If we do end up losing a game, he will push us past that and we will be all right. We want to get closer together and make the next step forward in team chemistry."

Question: But with so many new players, isn't this like starting all over when it comes to bonding as a team?

Harrellson: "I think it will be like that from here on out. It's just going to be a new team year after year. They will have to redo the same thing over and over and re-bond as a team. If they do, they will be successful. If not, it will be a rough season."

Question: Can you do something to help that bonding this year?

Harrellson: "Everybody has to be willing to do it. Right now we are all getting along well and hopefully it continues. The games in Canada gave us a head start on all this, so hopefully it continues."

Question: What do you know about Portland, the team you play Friday?

Harrellson: "I know that they are a pretty good shooting team and their big guys are pretty good. I know that they play really hard."

Question: Is freshman Terrence Jones excited about going back to his hometown to play Friday?

Harrellson: "He really hasn't said much about it, but everybody loves to go back home, especially in the season. This is his only time before Christmas to go back so I am sure that he is excited to see his family and friends again."

Question: What can you do to stay out of foul trouble?

Harrellson: "I just have to play smart and within myself. Last game, I was just so anxious to get to play finally and I went out there and committed a couple of dumb fouls. I just have to play within myself and play smart. I was really anxious to play back in a Kentucky uniform and actually play. I have been here, but to actually start and show how hard I have been working, I was really excited."

Question: Do you expect teams to go after you to try and get you in foul trouble considering UK's lack of inside depth and experience? Harrellson: "Definitely they will. After me, it's Eloy (Vargas) and then we are a small team. We don't have the depth of foul trouble. They will come after us to get us out early."

Question: What should these next four games on the road tell you about this team? Harrellson: "We will find out our weaknesses and strengths real quick. We are playing really good teams coming up the next few games. It will be tough challenges but we will be ready. We will see how good we actually are."

Question: If you and Vargas can hold your own against Enes Kanter in practice, can you hold your own with anybody?

Harrellson: "Definitely. If you can play and compete against Enes and guard him and score on him, there is not any big man in the country you should fear. He is probably one of the best, if not the best big man, in the country. It's a two-person job to stop him even in practice."

Question: How beneficial has it been to get to practice against Kanter the last week?

Harrellson: "He is making me and Eloy way better. He is an all-around great player. He is a great practice player and will make us better in the long run."

Question: How does he seem to be holding up to the ruling declaring him ineligible pending his appeal?

Harrellson: "He hopes the appeal goes through and he gets to play. He is just happy it is off his chest. The first day we had practice, he was all smiles. I guess he is happy with the decision was made."

Question: What is Kanter going to do why you guys are gone for a week?

Harrellson: "He is just going to stay here and work out. That's all he can do. We have been working on post plays every day in practice. I know I can make them now myself. I am confident in myself. If Enes is not here, we are still going to be fine. We all hope and pray that he will be playing with us and that's what he hopes, too."

Question: Is there any time to enjoy Maui or will it be all basketball?

Harrellson: "I am sure we will have some time. Maybe the day we get there or day after we get there to hang out and enjoy it a little bit. But once we start getting games, it is all basketball. I am sure Maui is a great place. Maybe I can go back there and visit when I am done (at UK)."


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