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Cats will have to do more than defend 3-point shot to beat Vanderbilt

Vicky Graff Photo

Vicky Graff Photo

Kentucky coach John Calipari didn’t let the snow keep him from meeting with media members Friday. Here’s most of what he had to say in relation to Saturday’s game in Rupp

On Vanderbilt …
“(They’re) really good. Really good. Run great stuff. Really can shoot the three. The biggest team we’ve played. I mean they’re huge. Their man is better than you think. Their zone, they’ll play a zone and space it out. That zone has given us trouble in the past. A really hard game for us. I’m glad we played liked we did because we have a little confidence. If we didn’t have a little confidence going into this game, ‘Whew.’ Because they’re good. They’re good. I mean Texas A&M, Vandy are probably – LSU may be in that range but I think Texas A&M and Vandy they’re both teams. Vandy, you have to understand, their record is what it is because the big kid was hurt. Now that he’s healthy they’re probably 9-2 with him – you know, 8-1 with him. They’ve lost games without him.”

On defending the 3 better against Arkansas …
“Well we talked about the game plan and said, ‘You can’t do what you did at Auburn.’ I mean, we had a guy play a 3-point shooter like that (bends down and puts hand in front of face), said, ‘What do you mean? My hand was up.’ Are you out of your mind? They hadn’t made a layup. They did not make a layup until one minute and 40 seconds because we didn’t run back. The kid threw one up and it was an and-one. That’s the only layup. Why would you do that? (Mumbles) That’s—in this game, we just said, ‘You gotta refuse to lose. You gotta listen. You gotta fight.’ And the only way you can do that is together. We know what the game plan is and we do it. You can’t act like, ‘Well, I didn’t know.’ So our whole goal was taking away the 3. Make them make tough 2s. We’re not leaving the rim. Make them make tough shots and if they can, fine, we go home. You know they can make 3s. You know that. And the guys did a great job. I mean, we had one play where Derek and Jamal just left (Dusty Hannahs). Why wouldn’t you both have stayed and gave up the layup? Because you know if you both leave he’s making that 3, which he did. So there’s still that stuff we’re working through.”

On how important defending the 3 will be against Vandy …
“It’s important, but they also post. They have a good post game. This is a little different. How we’re going to go at this is a little different.”

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