Post Game Quotes: Louisville vs. Kentucky

<b>BATTLE OF THE BLUEGRASS</b> - Quotes from the players and coaches following U of L's upset of top ranked UK Saturday night in Rupp Arena.

Kentucky vs. Louisville Post-Game Quotes

12/27/2003
Head Coach Tubby Smith

"I'm very disappointed in our play. We seemed to once again not play with the poise and the patience that we needed to. Rick (Pitino) had his team ready to play. I was worried about us getting off to the great start because we were using a lot of energy. I thought the depth factor played a major part in the game because we asked Chuck (Hayes) and Erik (Daniels) to give us a lot of hard work. We need some more energy from some more people. Brandon Stockton came in and gave us positive minutes. He probably gave us the best line of anyone. "

"I thought they did a good job on our inside people. That really eliminated Chuck and Erik from being very effective on the inside. We've been preaching to our team about playing tougher defensively since the UCLA game. There are some things that are correctable and hopefully we can get them corrected soon."

On losing the rebound battle …
"We weren't getting much help from our perimeter guys. Chuck and Erik were banging and working hard without getting help from our perimeter guys."

On Kentucky's shooting …
"We took a lot of bad shots. That's the same thing we preached before. We reverted back to things we were doing in early games that I kept harping on. It becomes contagious. It wasn't one guy, it was everybody."

On his team's energy …
"I thought the crowd was great. It was a great atmosphere for a basketball game. We just didn't execute. When you are being pressured like that you have to have poise and be physical enough to fight the pressure. I thought maybe because our guys got a little winded. We didn't have our legs after the first 10 or 15 minutes of the first half."

UK Players

#1 Cliff Hawkins
On Louisville's second half play…
"They really got after us in the second half. I blame a lot of what happened on myself because the point guard is supposed to determine the tempo of the game and take care of the ball and I didn't do that. Therefore, we had some turnovers and couldn't take care of the ball."

On shooting so many three pointers…
"It wasn't the plan. They forced us to shoot from the outside. They did a good job of keeping the ball out of the post and we had to take outside shots."

#4 Gerald Fitch
On his play today and Louisville's defensive pressure…
"I had mixed feelings. It was just the typical defense. Teams play me like that so I'm used to it by now. There are no excuses.

On this loss compared to last year's loss…
"I don't know how to compare it. It's terrible. I don't remember the exact feeling I had last year but it's a terrible feeling that I have right now. I don't know how to compare them."

#10 Lukasz Obrzut
On Coach Smith after the game…
"After the game we sat down and talked about what we didn't do well. We have a lot to work on to get ready for the next game. The season is not over, and now we have to come back and work harder."

"Coach was quiet and he tried to explain to us things that were missing in the game. We didn't work on defense and that was it."

On what Kentucky didn't do against Louisville…
"In my opinion we didn't take any charges and that was the key. We weren't doing any (of the little things) and that was the most important thing."

#24 Kelenna Azubuike
On the game…
"We wanted to win really bad. Our shots were falling early, but we didn't take any charges or rotate over on defense. It was a tough game, but they are a good team and we have to give them credit. They came ready to play."

On Coach Smith…
"He wasn't really pleased about anything, especially (Francisco) Garcia hitting that big shot at the end. We will just try to grow from this game and get better."

On what UK did not do during the game…
"We weren't as aggressive in the second half. We didn't get as many offensive rebounds. We didn't do a lot of things that came back to haunt us in the end."

#44 Chuck Hayes
On the transition game…
"We needed to hit out shots. Our game is in transition, and they did a great job of getting back on defense."

On the UL run…
"You knew it was coming. Their defense is like ours… when we tried to do something there were two or three guys right there to stop you. We didn't crash the boards and we didn't take a charge the whole game. Guys just didn't do their jobs."

On how the loss compares to last years loss…
"It is the same feeling. A loss is a loss. Tomorrow we are just going to have to break down film to see what we are doing wrong."

Louisville Head Coach Rick Pitino

On his thoughts on this game…
"I'm stunned because there were four things I told (my team) yesterday that we had to overcome. First, and foremost, (UK) is a great basketball team. The second thing is that you're playing the No. 1 ranked team in the country. The third thing is that it's on the road against the most hostile crowd you're going to face and the fourth thing is that this is a revenge game. I said if you could overcome those four this would be the greatest win of your life. The fifth thing we added after the game was that if you're down the way we were and they're putting that kind of heat on you; to show that character is truly an unbelievable performance by our basketball team."

On Kentucky's team…
"We have great respect for their ball club. This is a special, special moment. You hate to see friends lose and Tubby (Smith) is not only an unbelievable coach, but he's a great friend and one of the classiest guys in the business."

On the play of Francisco Garcia and Taquan Dean
"We were able to win on a night when Taquan and Francisco didn't have good nights, due to (Kentucky's) defense. I got all over both of those guys at halftime telling them that the guy in the other lockerroom is a great coach – he's not letting you guys get off – so you have to make plays for other people. You have to understand scouting – their whole game plan is to stop Garcia and Dean."

On how his team was able to win…
"I think we played great defense. They're a great basketball team. I think this is the best Kentucky team I've seen. They've all gotten so much better – (Gerald) Fitch, (Erik) Daniels, (Chuck) Hayes. We played great defense, we pressed intelligently and I think they only had three fast breaks in the first half and that's where they're great. We had that special moment that happens once in a lifetime."

On this win …
"Kentucky is a great basketball team that just happened to lose tonight. We were very fortunate to win. We played very hard and I'm really proud of our kids. Everyone did a great job defensively."

On Kentucky's defense…
"I can't tell you how good Kentucky is on defense. They are scary good on defense. They wouldn't allow us to run about 50 percent of our sets. But we're very good on defense, too."

Louisville Players

#32 Francisco Garcia
On the game…
"It was a really great game. We played really hard team defense. I think our defense definitely won the game for us. If we had not picked up our rebounding in the second half there was no way that we would have won the game."

On being shutdown offensively during the first half…
"I got off to a slow start in the first half. My plan was to come out from the start and show my game but Kentucky defense stopped me. During the half, Coach Pitino told me that it didn't matter if I had a good offense in the first five minutes of the game or the last five minutes of the game. I came out after the half and played hard. Coach said to go out and play hard – wear them down. That's what we trying to do during the second half to get the win."

#24 Luke Whitehead
On the momentum of the game…
"Kentucky came out strong and made an early run, but as the game went on they just ran our of gas. You have to credit Coach Pitino for getting us (Louisville) back in the game and wearing them (Kentucky) down."

On how much this win means to Louisville…
"This is just a great feeling. Coach Pitino already told us how much this game means to him. He said it meant a lot to us, him and the city and it just makes us so happy."

On Louisville's team play…
"Nobody scored a lot, but everyone contributed. Otis (George) was a huge factor today for us, and our teamwork was great."


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