What's Ty's status and do you expect him to play on Saturday?
"Yesterday at practice he did about 25 percent of the practice, but he was not going full speed. I'm more skeptical of him playing tomorrow than I was after the game Wednesday night. Maybe it was wishful thinking, but I thought he'd make more significant improvement. If he's not close to 100 percent I'm not going to play him ... if I see him limping around at practice today I think that'll mean he's probably not going to play tomorrow."
What impact long term can this have on your team?
"If you can win while somebody is out it does give the other guys more confidence and hopefully makes the injured person more hungry. It's given Bobby and Quentin more quality time and has enabled those guys to hopefully get some more confidence, so I think it has helped our team -- if we can get Ty back completely healthy I think those guys will be even better then."
How much this year has Tyler Hansbrough been a target for the opposing defense?
"He's been a tremendous target, but he's been that way for the last couple years, maybe even moreso last year than his first year. He started out that way this year, but luckily for us some other guys have been able to make some shots. Last year and for sure the year before, if he goes 6-for-19 we don't win the game, but he goes 6-for-19 and we still won a road game, so that shows he's maybe got a little more help than in the past. But he's still got to be a huge emphasis for the other team."
Through six games, what stands out from your team's defensive performances thus far?
"I was disappointed in the Old Dominion game because we didn't finish the defense by getting good boxouts and chasing the ball. Against BYU, I thought we were pretty doggone good defensively. And the other night against Ohio State I thought we were pretty doggone good defensively. The most impressive is that the guys have really embraced it and understand how important that is and I think each and every day they go out there it's a challenge to them and they're willing to work at it because they know how important it is."
What did you learn from playing without Ty?
"I think we noticed our depth. Bobby came off the bench, so did Quentin, and they played big roles for us and stepped their game up. It shows how versatile we are and how if one guy gets hurt, we're going to have other players step up."
What has Kentucky done to keep your scoring down your first two years?
"Their defense was one of the toughest we've faced -- the pressure and just allowing you to have one shot. I don't know how much their system has changed since Coach Smith has left, but I know it's always been an aggressive defense."
How much do you feel you've got a target on your back from other teams trying to stop you?
"I think I have a big target. I've drawn a lot of attention this year, but it just drives my work ethic and makes me go a lot harder. And it helps me prepare better for teams, too."
Can you elaborate on the development of your game and how it's grown since last year?
"It really became more mature over the summer in the offseason. I worked a lot on becoming more of a scorer than just a perimeter shooter. That's been paying off and helping me a lot. ... I feel more confident and more comfortable taking shots. Throughout the game I'm just taking shots in the flow and last year I took some shots that maybe weren't as much in the flow."
The team's showing increased toughness -- how do you think that has developed?
"It comes with our experience. We're a year old now and we know what it takes - especially on the defensive end of the court. ... I think we all see the big picture now."
What does it mean to you to be a part of two storied programs going into an environment like Rupp Arena?
"It's a huge game -- a big-time college basketball game. It was a big-time game last year when they came here and I'm sure it'll be even tougher for us this year going into their place."