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Jan. 24, 2015

Recap | Final Stats | Photo Gallery media-icon-photogallery.gif

South Carolina Head Coach Frank Martin
Opening Statement
I’m real proud of our guys. They were willing to fight. Like the old saying says, sometimes the bear gets you and sometimes you get the bear. Today, the bear got us. That’s who we were up until January 3rd and that’s what we’re looking for to refine and kind of rediscover our team. I think that we did after we played Tennessee. Right after that game we figured out that we needed to rediscover ourselves. We’ve done that in the last two days of practice. I couldn’t be prouder of the fight and the attention to detail that we played with today. It’s hard to beat anybody, none the less the number one team in the country when we shot 22 percent, but if our fight is where it needs to be, we’ll be ok.

On the team’s rebounding effort today
That’s all I ever ask for. I had so much fun coaching today and we lost. I’m so proud of our guys and we lost. All I ever ask for in guys is to sacrifice as hard as they can and control the things that they can control. The demeanor with which they go after the ball, the effort with which they screen, the effort with which they cut and then, you have to find the confidence as a player to make shots when you’re open. We lost the mojo and we were a pretty good rebounding team up until we left New York and we lost it. That’s why we’ve lost games. We didn’t lose today because of our effort and demeanor. We lost today because we played a real good basketball team and we didn’t make shots. We have to work to sustain and that’s what we’re trying to find.

South Carolina Sophomore Guard Sindarius Thornwell
On the Kentucky run before halftime
It hurt us a lot. It would have been good if we could have been able to build off that shot to gain momentum and try to increase the lead. When they went on the 11-0 run it kind of hurt our confidence. It put us in a hole coming out of halftime where we would have to fight instead of if we could have increased the lead off that play we could have been more comfortable coming out of halftime.

South Carolina Junior Forward Michael Carrera
On out-rebounding Kentucky
Effort, that was the key in rebounding and trying to win the game. UK is a great team.

Kentucky Head Coach John Calipari
On Kentucky’s second half defense
It was pretty good. The first time we went zone, I just said, “should we do it?” and the guys, normally, would tell me no and they said, “yeah, let’s do it one time.” I thought we did fabulous and then we kind of fouled and then one of the coaches on the bench said, “let’s go back to the zone.” I don’t know which one it was. I won’t throw him under the bus even though I do know which one it was and they made a 3 and I apologized to the team. We’re not a team that tries to trick anybody. That’s not what we do…other than that play I thought we defended and we made it hard. They came in with a game plan that was pretty obvious: we’re driving this thing and we’re coming at them. Anytime we got on their side, they went right to the rim. We played pretty good. The other thing is that we knew the game would be physical, and it was, and a couple guys struggled with that and it is a great lesson. You’ve got to play people before they catch you, you’ve got to play people before you catch the ball, you have to stay down, either you meet them or they meet you. For these young kids, it’s a great lesson.

On surge at the end of the first half
There was a surge. Again, I can’t remember every play but I think we made a shot. Basically, we locked them down for six straight possessions and we scored and that’s how we got it. They got us on their side on the last one that we were just big enough to deflect the ball so they couldn’t get a layup to end the half.

Kentucky Freshman Guard Tyler Ulis
On defensive effort to close out first half
Everybody just did their job, staying in front of their guys. The big guys: Willie (Cauley-Stein), Dakari (Johnson), Karl (Towns), everybody just did their job helping with backside blocks and when we’re in the zone it’s hard to score on us.

Kentucky Freshman Guard Devin Booker
On team leaders using last year’s loss to South Carolina as motivation
All the returners, they came back for a reason and that was to win a national championship and I feel like we’re all trying to work towards our goal.