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Listen to Audio (7:47)
“First of all, congratulations to Bruce and his club. I think Bruce Weber is one of the best coaches around and truly one of the greatest guys around. He and I both felt the same thing last year about not being able to go to the big tournament, but he had a better year than we did. It’s difficult for us right now… Their experience – Demetri [McCamey] was something else. I know it may not have been his best game statistically, but we’re trying to make a comeback and he hit two or three baskets, two I know when the shot clock was winding down. He never looked like he felt pressure or anything. Davis was really good, too, but I just think Demetri controlled the basketball game.
“Their defense was so much more aggressive than our offense was sharp. We turned it over way too many times and gave them – I know at half, they had 26 points off our turnovers. We can’t turn the ball over like that. It was a tremendous problem for us last year and right now, at this point, it’s looking like it is this year, so we’ve got to do a better with that.
“Another thing is when you’re coming back, you’ve got to make shots and you’ve got to make free throws. We were trying to make a comeback and we never could finish the play. Twice we got defensive stops and they got the offensive rebound and were able to score on the second time. But I think to me, the game in a nutshell was their veteran, experienced, good players played like veteran, experienced, good players. And Demetri, I thought, was just sensational. We turned it over way too many times.”
On ESPN making jokes about Harrison Barnes:
"If you're going to anoint the guy and then three weeks later crucify him, that's ridiculous."
Listen to Audio (1:30)
On playing at Assembly Hall:
"It wasn't as tough as it was talked up to be, but it was a pretty good crowd. They've got a good fan section, but it wasn't anything I haven't seen before."
On what problems Illinois presented:
"They played pretty good 'D' and they hit big-time shots. I give them credit for that. They stepped up and made some big shots and some big plays. We did all we could, but when McCamey makes fade-away threes and stuff like that, it's tough on us physically and mentally."
Listen to Audio (3:50)
On how his foul trouble hurt the team:
"I think our guards did a good job, but at the same time, it does change a lot of things. John stepped up and made a lot of plays and Justin Knox stepped up and made a lot of plays. But they started getting tired and I couldn't come back in. And then Justin picked up two fouls, so we had to go small. So it does change the mentality when Justin Watts and John are out there."
On moving forward:
"Illinois is a great team and Kentucky is just as good, if not better, so we've got to be able to come out and play on Saturday. We've got to be able to get better between now and then or else it will be the same result."
Listen to Audio (2:45)
On Zeller’s foul trouble:
“He’s a great scorer for us and our go-to guy most of the time. When he gets in foul trouble and goes to the bench, we have to adjust and try to find other things to keep the offense flowing.”
On playing at Assembly Hall:
“It’s the toughest atmosphere I’ve ever been in during my young career. They have a great student section, great fan support, and they really get into the game. When they’re knocking down shots, they’re a tough team to play.”
BRUCE WEBER & PLAYERS
Listen to Audio (16:18)
On asserting control:
“We talk about playing in a zone, in that ‘magic level.’ You've got to concentrate, you’ve got to have discipline. In the first half we played with no discipline. I think once we started doing the things that we practiced, we really started taking control of the game... We did our part, we took care of it at home. We got stops, we got deflections, and our play-hard was off the charts. That led to some easy baskets for us.”