TAMPA Ã¢â‚¬â€ Doron Lamb was just 3-for-7 from the field, made three turnovers and grabbed just three rebounds in 34 minutes of play Thursday in KentuckyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s 59-57 NCAA Tournament win over Princeton here.
However, the freshman guard wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t worried about his seven-point performance or UKÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s narrow escape thanks to Brandon KnightÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s last second-shot Ã¢â‚¬â€ the first game-winner heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s made at Kentucky in the closing seconds. Instead, Lamb was just happy UK (26-8) survived and will now get to play West Virginia Saturday.
He shared these thoughts after the game.
Question: What did you think of your first NCAA Tournament game?
Lamb: Ã¢â‚¬Å“I am just glad it is over. We were trying to win a game. We didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t worry about who was scoring or who was hot. Me, Terrence (Jones) and Brandon (Knight) didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t play the best we could play, but the veterans stepped up and led us to victory.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Question: Was there a time you maybe worried Kentucky was not going to win?
Lamb: Ã¢â‚¬Å“No. We always had confidence in ourselves to win the game. We just knew we had to get some (defensive) stops and we did that. Darius (Miller) and Terrence (Jones) hit big 3Ã¢â‚¬â„¢s in the second half and that helped us a lot.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Question: Were you, Knight and Jones nervous even though all of you have played in national all-star games, nationally televised games this year and won the SEC Tournament last week?
Lamb: Ã¢â‚¬Å“We were. I had a few butterflies at the beginning of the game in my first tournament game. When the game started, I was ready to go. My shots didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t fall, and that didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t help. But we won.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Question: Does it surprise you that all three freshmen could have an off game in the same game?
Lamb: Ã¢â‚¬Å“It surprised me a lot, but things happen. The veterans helped us win and move on.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Question: Why were you struggling with your shot?
Lamb: Ã¢â‚¬Å“It was just a night that they were not dropping and then you have to do other things to help your team win. That doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t happen a lot, but when it happens at this time of year your season can be over and glad that did not happen to us.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Question: How confident were you that Knight would score on the final drive of the game?
Lamb: Ã¢â‚¬Å“I knew it would be a great shot, maybe even a tip-in. But it went in and I was happy with that.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Question: Did you know he was 0-for-7 from the field at the time?
Lamb: Ã¢â‚¬Å“I knew that. I knew he had no points and no field goals. I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t know what was going on. He missed every shot, but things happen and other players have to step up.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Question: Did you know Jones only had two rebounds and one came in the final three minutes?
Lamb: Ã¢â‚¬Å“I knew that, too. But Terrence got a tough rebound late. Next game he has to step up.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Question: How do you know all these statistics when you are trying to play?
Lamb: Ã¢â‚¬Å“I heard Coach (John Calipari) tell them. ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s how I knew.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Question: Do you believe Knight when he says he didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t know he had missed every shot until the game-winner?
Lamb: Ã¢â‚¬Å“I think he did. He had to know.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Question: Were you supposed to commit a foul when Princeton inbounded the ball with two seconds to play since UK had only three team fouls in the half?
Lamb: Ã¢â‚¬Å“I was going to foul, but I didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t want to foul him (Kareem Maddox) in case he was shooting. The plan was to foul him, but I didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t want to chance it and just let him go and figured if it happens, it happens. Coach (Orlando) Antigua was yelling for me to foul, but I wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t going to do it because I remembered when Brandon gotÃ‚Â fouled (by Mississippi State) in a similar situation.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Question: Was Princeton better than maybe you thought?
Lamb: Ã¢â‚¬Å“Yes. They are real good. They ran their offense well and gave us problems.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Question: Did you watch any of UKÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s loss to West Virginia in last yearÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s NCAA Tournament?
Lamb: Ã¢â‚¬Å“I watched a little bit of it. I know we lost and missed a lot of shots, but I have to worry about our team and playing them Saturday. I know we can shoot. I think we will all play good and win the game.Ã¢â‚¬Â