UNC-UK: Tubby Smith Quotes (w/audio)

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Kentucky coach Tubby Smith addressed the media following the Wildcats' 75-63 loss to North Carolina on Saturday at the Smith Center. Read and listen to what he had to say.

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Opening remarks -

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Well certainly we thought coming into this game that we could play and do some things that we really got better at....But whenever you play North Carolina, or anybody, you've got to take care of the basketball and execute, and I thought that was our major concern and problem today.

As I said, we did some good things. We certainly have to compliment North Carolina because they've got a very talented ball club, a very athletic ball club. They made their shots when they were open and I thought that was one of the turning points in the game. We got it to three there, or four, right when we started the second half and felt like we had some runs, but we kept taking ourselves out of it with careless turnovers, offensive fouls, things where we just have to be more disciplined.

Randolph [Morris] obviously had an excellent game, I thought he played well. We had some good play from other individuals, but I thought primarily he was the one that really stood out. We've got to regroup, and try to find a way to address this ball handling issue, because this is the fourth game in a row I think that we've turned the ball over each game more.

On controlling the tempo -

That was the game plan to try to control the tempo, but in order to do that you've to keep possession of the ball a little bit longer and take care of the basketball. We defended well inside by trapping when we had to, and if we take away some of the dunks that they had and if we make a couple shots, it might be a different story. Again, rebounding the ball is something we've been struggling with, and I liked our defense. We were a lot more aggressive in trying to take things away from them as far as handling their screens. But again, they come in waves, and I thought our transition defense, even though they turned us over a lot, a lot of them didn't really lead to quick baskets on their part. Usually, it was us with the ball doing something crazy like pushing off or charging.

On three-point shooting -

Well Joe had a bunch of good looks in the first half. I think he was 0 for 5, and we had a few good looks there that didn't go down. If those shots drop, maybe we get some momentum. Maybe we haven't been shooting enough.

On Tyler Hansbrough -

I thought Randolph did a good job of keeping the ball off of him, and when he did get the ball we gave him a lot of help. But then again, a player like Hansbrough can really find people open, so it wasn't necessarily his pass, but maybe the next pass or the extra pass that leads to the shot. He'll kick it back out, reverse you and then someone hits an open three, so you've got to pick your poison. You decide to go down and take him out of the game, and double him, and the rotations I thought weren't very quick and that's why Carolina got a lot of open threes.

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