Here’s some of what Malik Monk and De’Aaron Fox had to say on the podium after Saturday’s SEC Tournament win over Alabama.
Q. De’Aaron, I just wanted to ask you about your game. You made — you got off to a slow start with the turnovers, but you really got into a really good offensive rhythm and kind of started — I thought really got you kicked off with the shot clock, you make the shot with one second and get fouled. And then down the stretch, you were just unreal off the dribble. Talk about how you were attacking late.
DE’AARON FOX: I mean, honestly that shot had nothing to do with it. Sometimes we call a play down the stretch and if it works, we keep going to it. I just kept making plays and they kept putting the ball in my hands. When I know the Coach is trusting me and my teammates are trusting me, keep attacking, doing what you’re doing. All I got to do is just make the play.
Q. For Malik, what was different about today as opposed to the last couple of games? Was it just something as simple as the extra work this morning or seeing a couple shots go through the net?
MALIK MONK: Like I said — like you say, I got up early. Early. I knew I had to get up and execute for the team. Me having a shootaround, after every shootaround, I think I have a good game. If I get shots before the game, I just have a good game or have a better flow. So I think I’m going to start doing that, and that’s what happened.
Q. De’Aaron, you talked all year about toughness and focusing and decision-making. You were so locked in today, especially down the stretch. What was going through your mind when you were making those decisions?
DE’AARON FOX: Well, I didn’t want it to be the same as when I started the game. I had five turnovers in the first half. In the second half, I just wanted to cut down our turnovers and be able to run a team. And especially down the stretch, honestly for me down the stretch, it wasn’t too much passing the ball. The whole court was there. Even if Malik is having a bad night, which he didn’t today, they’re not going to help off of him. He says come to my side if you’re trying to score. That’s what I did.
Q. De’Aaron, if you could just — you seemed a little gimpy there at some points during the game. I noticed that you had also changed your shoes. Was it more comfort? Did it have something to do with your ankle giving you any kind of issues?
DE’AARON FOX: No. Honestly, the shoes were the same type of shoe, but the blue ones I was slipping at the beginning of the game. So after one media timeout, I switched them and I didn’t slip anymore and —
COACH CALIPARI: Slipping he so went back to the Nikes. Stop. I’m only teasing.