Photos by Vicky Graff
Q. I confess, I haven’t really watched your team play a whole lot this year. Do they usually play with that amount of effort and intensity? And if so, how in the world did you lose 8 games during the regular season?
NATE OATS: Great question, really. Wes Clark transferred from Missouri. We didn’t get Wes eligible until second semester. So we lost five of the non-conference, three of them without him. And we were down to seven scholarship players, one of them we had to pull off the football team, Dominic Johnson. We didn’t have enough players. We lost to Cincinnati and South Dakota State, who everybody saw play here.
Q. Did you feel a little bit like people didn’t understand how good this team really was?
WES CLARK: Definitely. With us being the MAC team it’s easy to look as a team that can’t compete with a high Major or a team that got four NBA prospects, we wouldn’t be able to compete. But we know deep down, watching enough film, looked at things, that our confidence was there. We can play with these guys and play hard.
UK MEN’S BASKETBALL POSTGAME NOTES
KENTUCKY vs. DAVIDSON
NCAA TOURNAMENT | TACO BELL ARENA| BOISE, IDAHO
MARCH 15, 2018
Compiled by Jake Most
Final Score: No. 5 Kentucky 78, No. 12 Davidson 73
Team Records and Series Notes
- Kentucky is 25-10 overall. Davison is 21-12.
- UK leads the series 2-0. Both meetings have come in the NCAA Tournament.
- Next for Kentucky: The Wildcats will play the winner of this evening’s Arizona vs. Buffalo game.
By LARRY VAUGHT
Kentucky didn’t make a 3-point shot for the first time in 30 years — a stretch of 1,047 games — and got outscored 33-0 from 3-point range.
Kentucky coach John Calipari also thought his team play “undisciplined” at times in the second half and didn’t match the energy that Davidson had.
However, Kentucky still found a way to win 78-73 Thursday night in Boise in the NCAA Tournament South Region first round and advance to Saturday’s second round matchup against the Arizona-Buffalo winner.
By LARRY VAUGHT
The storyline for tonight’s Kentucky-Davidson game is that No. 12 seed Davidson has a great chance to beat UK and will be playing with a chip on its shoulder against more high profile UK.
“I think as of right now we’re playing with a chip on our shoulder. A lot of people think that they can upset us and we’re the team to beat in the first round,” Kentucky freshman Shai Gilgeous-Alexander said. “We’ll be more than ready for this game coming up.”
By KEITH PEEL, Contributing Writer
No one really knows what makes certain people overachievers in life. Some people just have a knack for going farther than anyone expects. You would think extra preparation or meticulous attention to detail or just plain hard work would be the reason some people achieve more. And you would be correct, to a point. But even with all that some people just have a knack for being extremely successful at what they do.
By LARRY VAUGHT
There’s no way to tell what one might learn during a John Calipari press conference.
Sure, he talked some about Thursday night’s NCAA Tournament game with Davidson during his time with the media in Boise Wednesday. But he also spent a lot of time discussing donuts.
It started when he was asked about being in Boise.
Davidson coach Bob McKillop and his players shared some thoughts on Kentucky today during a press conference in Boise, Idaha, today. The teams play Thursday night in the NCAA Tournament South Region.
Q. As you were preparing for Kentucky and watching film and probably the first thing that pops out is their length and athleticism. How do you slow down a team like that?
COACH BOB McKILLOP: What impressed me most is how much they’ve improved throughout the season. We’ve watched tape early and we’ve watched tape midseason. We watched tape late. We watched tape conference tournament. And they just seem to be getting better and better. And that’s a statement of the outstanding job that John has done. John has brought a group of young men in there and molded them into a team.
By LARRY VAUGHT
Jarred Vanderbilt wants to play against Davidson Thursday night in the NCAA Tournament. However, Kentucky coach John Calipari doesn’t see that happening.
Vanderbilt missed the SEC Tournament with a sprained ankle after about the first three months of the season with a foot injury.
“The kid wants to play. I don’t think that it’s fair to him or us if he’s not able to go in there and compete at a high level. When he first started playing — this is what made this year hard. It was hard because we had all freshmen,” Calipari said during his press conference today in Boise.