UK-UNC: Tubby Smith Quotes

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – The Kentucky coach addressed the media following the game…

Opening Statement:
"I talked about being tested today and we failed this test. A lot of it has to do with UNC' North Carolina played their game. We allowed them to control the tempo from the start. The biggest think we concentrated on was transition defense and we were very poor at that all day long, giving up layups after layups. We gave up a lot of second shots. I don't think I've ever had a team get out-rebounded by 21.

"North Carolina was ready. You could just see the difference in their physical play. They took us out early, but we kept fighting back. I know we're a better team than we showed today. You always believe that you're never as bad as you look and never as good as you think you are either. It's something we have to go back home and evaluate."

On Rashad McCants' improved play from last year's UNC-UK match-up:
"He's playing a lot more comfortable in his second year under Coach [Roy] Williams. He's understanding where to take his shot and he's patient. We didn't really have an answer for him. He got to the free throw line when he wanted to. That was our biggest problem, just fouling people down low and not containing people off the dribble. He's a great player."

On Chuck Hayes' foul trouble:
"It just took him out of things. He was really pumped up to play. His game is all about being physical, aggressive and rebounding. I'll have to watch the film to see if he was really fouling as much as they said he was fouling."

On keeping confidence with such a young team:
"You can see the confidence come through since we didn't give up. In the end, they got a couple of breakaway layups which was par for the game. We got it to six then came down and took some ill-advised shots that were not a part of our offense. The leadership we needed at that time just wasn't there. What I mean by that is we needed someone to say, ‘Let's bring it out. Let's set it up and execute it."

On rushing shots:
"That is a sign of a team that is not quite poised enough because you think you are making a run back. You can feel the momentum start to shift and that is when you have to have leadership. There were a couple times we called plays and just didn't execute. In fact, we ran something else. But a lo of it has to do with North Carolina's pressure, pushing us out, forcing us to put the ball on the floor, taking us out of our patterns."

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