"Did you see Darius (Miller) run that court at the end of the game? Why don't you start the game running the court like that? The same thing with Doron (Lamb)," said Calipari after UK?beat Marist 108-58 to open the season here Friday night. "Defensively he and Darius are not where they need to be with the rest of these guys."
Calipari said he didn't know why Miller, a senior, and Lamb, a sophomore, were behind defensively.
"I don't know. I mean, I thought Darius at the end of the game played pretty well," the UK?coach said. "I don't know if they were uptight because it's the real season now and the stuff is on and we're this highly ranked team who could get beat by 100 teams in the country right now, and we didn't perform."
Miller was 4-for-6 from the field and had eight points, five assists, three rebounds, two blocked shots and two steals in 28 minutes. Here's what he had to say about his play and other things after the game.
Question: Will the situation with Terrence Jones being involved in a 2:30 a.m. automobile accident be a learning experience for the team's freshmen:
Miller: "I guess so. I really don't know all that happened. We are just trying to move on and not worry."
Question: Can you ever throw a lob that freshman Anthony Davis can't dunk? Miller: "Not really. It makes it a lot easier for us. Every time his man helps out (on defense), we just throw it to the rim and he dunks it. It helps so much."
Question: Did you play harder the second half and if so, why?
Miller: "I think we just came out sluggish. I think we might have come out a little cocky or something. We have to do a better job of respecting the opponent because they did a great job of playing harder than us and were beating us. We have to be ready to go every single game."
Question: Was coach John Calipari justified to be criticizing your defensive play?
Miller: "Yeah, in the first half I?played really sluggish. I didn't really get going until the second half. I just have to do a better job of being consistent and coming out from the beginning and just playing."
Question: Does it matter to you if your role turns out to be as a starter or as the first player off the bench?
Miller: "No. We are all going to play any ways and have a big part in helping the team. We don't even think about it."
Question: What does it say to you when the freshmen are standing and cheering for teammates when they are not in the game?
Miller: "It just shows how close we are. We everybody is happy for each other and cheering for each other, it feels real good and is better fo for the team. It helps everybody out."
Question: How much have you seen Davis improve already?
Miller: "He does what coach Cal asks him to do. He doesn't try to do much more than that. He has really helped his game out and is really successful doing whatever coach Cal tells him to do and it is helping out the team."
Question: What does going to Madison Square Garden to play Tuesday against Kansas mean to you?
Miller: "It is going to be exciting. It is one of the best gyms for basketball and I think we are going to have a lot of fun with the opponent we are playing against. It was a lot of fun the last time we played there. I think the whole team was and now we get to experience it again. That's something a lot of people don't get to do and I?am excited about it."
Question: Will playing the next three games away from Rupp Arena be good for the freshmen? Miller: "It gives us a lot of experience and a lot of time to spend together. We should improve from the trip and it should be a lot of fun, especially playing the places we play and the teams we play. It should help us a lot."