Willis knew he had to do something, so he went to the boards

Derek Willis (Vicky Graff Photo)

Kentucky needed a lift against Georgia and got it from senior Derek Willis. He not only went 3-for-3 from the field and had 7 points, but he pulled off a career-high 12 rebounds.

Here’s what he said about his rebounding after the 82-77 win Saturday night:

On his 12 rebounds against Georgia and if he made a conscience effort to go to the boards …
“No. I didn’t think I had a really good game, honestly. I think defensively with the pick-and-roll, with the open side open, it was kind of tough because the Frazier kid you had to stay long enough to let the guard get back over and get in front of him. But if he saw that happening he was throwing a bounce pass to at the time it was my guy. I think it was 32 (Mike Edwards) or something. That kid had like two or three baskets right around a little stretch. That was definitely getting under my skin. I just tried to do something else and rebounds was the thing I came up with. A couple offensive rebounds at the end and tried to do something.”

On if he has an awareness knowing while the ball is in the air that it could be a big rebound …
“Yeah, of course. Just try to stay calm and stay in the moment. Don’t let – they score a basket on you and the energy of the whole (Stegeman Coliseum) gets the Georgia team hyped up a little bit. Just stay calm, come down and make a play on the other end, get a stop and you’re right back in the game. We just ended up breaking away from them at the end, hit our free throws and locked down.”

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