Cats speak out on China trip

Josh Harrellson: "I think it boosted my confidence. I mean I've been playing against Daniel (Orton), Patrick (Patterson) and DeMarcus (Cousins) all year long and I just tried to carry that over in playing against them.

On Chinese officiating …
Jon Hood: "It was different. Some fouls weren't fouls and some, like when you breathe on someone, it was a foul. It's like they were trying to keep the game close but you still have to play."

Josh Harrellson: "Like Hood said, (the opposing team) could pretty much just do whatever they wanted to. Every once in a while they would call a foul on them, maybe an intentional foul. A couple times our guys had a fast break on the dunk and they just grabbed them on their shoulders and took them down. Sometimes they wouldn't call an intentional on it. The refs had to try and keep the games close. We were more athletic than them, but they were more experienced, for sure, and a lot taller. But we pulled through, played as a team and played well."

On how the experience could benefit them heading into next season …
Josh Harrellson: "I think it boosted my confidence. I mean I've been playing against Daniel (Orton), Patrick (Patterson) and DeMarcus (Cousins) all year long and I just tried to carry that over in playing against them. (The Chinese team) has been playing in the CBA for…one guy said he's been in there for 13 years or something. He was a veteran and that will boost my confidence for next season and I hope I can carry it over."

Jon Hood: "The same thing for me, it was all a confidence booster and it helped me get some game experience. I'm happy we went. On what they learned about their game …
Josh Harrellson: "Really all I did was rebound. Just offensive rebound, and put it back in. So if that's all I need to do here then I'll be happy just doing that, offensive rebound, just score like that and keep the game close."

On the size of the teams …
Josh Harrellson: "The average height of the whole team was 6'8. The guys I was playing against were 7'0, 7'1 around there. The guy from Russia was 7'4, so we were playing against some height."

On helping their confidence …
Josh Harrellson: "Yeah. It really reassures me, knowing that I can produce and I am a good player and that's why I'm here. Going over there and playing against these guys, then coming back here knowing I actually have a chance to play, I'm just going to keep pushing myself as hard as I can."

On what they learned on the trip …
Josh Harrellson: "For me personally, it was just a great experience overall. It makes you value things you have here more, anything we want we can get like any type of food we want. It was a great cultural experience and we had a great group of guys. Every guy on the team just clicked. Our first time being there we played as a team from the get go, so it was just a great experience overall."

Jon Hood: "Pretty much the same thing, you get whatever food you want to over here, over there you are limited. I mean there are KFC's, McDonalds, I saw a Pizza Hut all this stuff, but most of the time we ate their cultured food. It was 17 days of rice and noodles, if you didn't like what they had to eat you ate what you wanted to then went back up and ate some more of it later. It was a humbling experience."

On the food …
Josh Harrellson: "The food wasn't bad. It was different. We went to this place called the Hot Pot that was really different, just a big boiling pot of sauces. They brought you raw food. They had cow intestine, duck blood, eel, squid, beef, pork and a few other awkward foods. All you do is put it in a boiling pot and it boiled your food. It wasn't even cooked, but it was to them. I tried it all besides the blood, but it wasn't bad."

Jon Hood: "It was different. Potatoes are about all I ate. I was sitting next to someone who did try the blood and he just kind of coughed…and then grabbed another one."

On whether they were able to maintain their weight …
Josh Harrellson: "I lost about four, five, six pounds, somewhere in there. We would have lost more, but all they had to drink for breakfast, lunch and dinner was pretty much soda or this weird tasting Tang, orange juice type stuff. All I pretty much drank was soda all day, so that is kind of where I kept my weight a little bit."

On the gyms …
Josh Harrellson: "When we played the (Chinese professional team) Bayi, every gym was sold out. Some gyms, most gyms, weren't bad; some of the floors were kind of slick, but every floor was nice. Every gym was nice; sold out to the rim and people were cheering for both teams. Whoever won they didn't really care they were just happy to see basketball. Being here and being there is a lot different, you just respect the floors a lot more and respect the game a lot more.

"There was one gym that stood out. We went to this one city and inside the gym you couldn't see the other end of the floor because of all the fog that rolled in to the gym because the doors were open. You couldn't see the other end of the floor."

Jon Hood: "It's not Rupp at all, nowhere close. There was one gym that looked, about as big as Ole Miss.

On the Great Wall …
Josh Harrellson: "It was long. I ran to the top, well three-fourths of the way to the top. I couldn't run to the top because I got tried. But it was fun, a great experience; a lot of cool things were there."

Jon Hood: "It was amazing. It was phenomenal, how you get to the highest point and you think that's it. We walked to the edge, three of us did, or however far you could walk. It said no visitor on the wall and then you look past that and it was still going on for miles and miles. It was just starting to crumble and they had just closed it off. It's just amazing."

On what they missed the most …
Josh Harrellson: "When we all got to Beijing, it was the first place where there was American style food, so everybody just grubbed out on a cheeseburger, the biggest Cheeseburger they had.

"I guess when I say miss the most, just being around faces I know, seeing people I know. Being able to communicate really, being over there you could communicate with them. In Beijing a lot of people did speak English, but other (places) we went to, not very many people did. We had a translator at all times, but being able to communicate is probably what I missed most."

On playing point guard …
Jon Hood: "I've played point guard in the past. That was one thing I wanted to play again. I like having the ball in my hands. I'll do whatever on the court; it really doesn't matter to me, if that's point guard or shooting, whatever."

On how the team was received …
Jon Hood: "They welcomed us with open arms, like we were tourists. Over there everybody is nice, there is really no danger when you're walking around. I didn't feel any threat of danger walking down the street at night. There were three or four of us that did it, like normal."

Josh Harrellson: "Yeah, they welcomed us with open arms. Everybody just stopped and stared at you like they had never seen white people before. But it was funny, they just stopped and stared. When we went to the gyms, they would go crazy when we walked in; cheering, clapping, they wanted to shake our hands. Especially after the game it was nuts; after a game we would sit there, we'd sign autographs for about 15/20 minutes, they would mob you. They would run up to you, there would be four or five people taking one picture with you at a time. They didn't care who was in it as long as you and the other person was in it they didn't care. They would grab you, pull you and you would sign autographs, it was neat."

On playing with guys from rivals Louisville and Tennessee
Josh Harrellson: "I didn't know how the guys were, but surprisingly (Louisville's) Peyton Siva was a really great guy, down to earth true guy; a really good person. (Tennessee's) Skylar McBee was hilarious, really funny, great personality and great character to him."

Jon Hood: "It was like playing AAU ball again. I played against and with (Peyton) Siva. I played with (Western Kentucky's) Stefon Pettigrew so it was nice to see those guys again and some of the other guys. Everybody on the team was just great guys, class acts. Like Josh said earlier we just kind of hit it off."


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