UK-USC: Tubby Smith Quotes

Coach Tubby Smith addressed the media following his team's 79-75 win over USC. It was Kentucky and South Carolina's first SEC game of the season

"Again, it was a tale of two different halves. We did what we had to to control the game in the second half. Once again, we struggled finishing inside. But, I have to give South Carolina credit. They were very quick and athletic. They challenged every shot and made it tough for us to make plays. This is the first team in 42 games to shoot over 50 percent against us. Defensively we weren't really at our best. We were very poor defensively, especially in the first half. In the second half we did a better job of challenging their shots and making them work harder. I thought Chuck (Hayes) set the tone in the second half. He really came out and did a good job on Carlos Powell because he was killing us. He was 5-for-5 in the first half and got off to a great start. I like the balance that we have in our lineup with five guys in double digits (and) Chuck, once again, with a double-double. He logged a lot of minutes tonight. We didn't get the production off the bench I was hoping for. But, it is the first conference game and we were going up against a team that had played some tough games. You could see they played with a lot of confidence, as they did against Kansas and as they did against Pittsburgh. Again, we did some good things and we just need to improve in a lot of areas."

On Kelenna Azubuike not getting a rebound …
"We are always concerned when we don't rebound the ball, especially when they beat us on the boards in the first half. In the second half we did outrebound them by (two). He needs to have more of a presence on the boards and it's something we need to work on. I like that he took care of the basketball, did some good things, had a couple steals and had some deflections in there. Hopefully that makes up for the zero on the board."

On taking care of the ball …
"In Rajon (Rondo), we have a very talented player who understands how to take care of the ball. He gets us into it. Obviously Patrick (Sparks) was off his game tonight and it was a burden for us. When Patrick doesn't have a good game it's going to be tough for us. But, I thought he bounced back even though he let it get to him there at the end. He's our best free throw shooter. We have good ballhandlers in Chuck, Kelenna and Randolph. Those guys did a good job taking care of the basketball."

On South Carolina's three-point shooting …
"They haven't shot the ball well, but we didn't guard anybody. I could have made threes tonight. We gave them wide-open threes all night. It was a joke."

On the Hayes-Powell match up …
"Chuck is a veteran and he knew that Carlos had a good first half. A lot of it had to do with we just didn't have the defensive intensity. We didn't keep the ball of him like we should. We did a better job of limiting his touches in the first half."


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