Kentucky Wildcats TV over on YouTube are back again with their pre-game videos–this time for tomorrow’s huge game against Florida in Rupp. First up is Cal’s press conference addressing the media followed by player interviews with Alex Poythress and Dakari Johnson. I’ve written a rough transcript of the questions the media asked the coach and players, which can be found below each video.
QUESTIONS TO COACH CAL:
John, does a game like this get the coaches excited as well as everyone else?
Cal, there’s some discussion now about whether they’re the best team in the country despite some undefeated teams. Do they belong in that discussion?
Cal, this will be another game where probably a big story line people will talk about is youth versus experience. Do you hope that… Do you want your team to put that excuse to bed?
We know, you know, the players know, everybody knows that this is just another game as far as you all are concerned… But it’s a huge game. In the players’ minds, what is it like to them?
How well do they [Florida] play defense, collectively as a unit?
Cal, for better or worse, does this team play to the level of their competition?
How has James [Young] responded from the other night?
Is that the jest of what you were showing him [James Young] on tape? Those moments where he avoided contact?
John, there was a play when Florida played Tennessee Tuesday where Patric Young went all out dive for a loose ball and your players were saying you showed that to them. What was the message?
It sounds like Florida is playing the way you want your guys to play.
How has Julius [Randle] matured and handled some of the double teams and physical play?
Julius… he was a very sought after guy in high school and a lot of people thought he might end up at Kansas, and Billy Donovan had a relationship him with… How do you kind of develop that relationship to convince him that Kentucky was the right school for him?
There’s an old saying where everybody goes into a fight with a plan until they get hit in the mouth or whatever. You talk about teams keep playing through all that stuff. How good are you guys at keeping playing when that first wave hits you?
QUESTIONS TO ALEX POYTHRESS:
How big is the Florida game?
For all the struggles last year, you did win some big games down the stretch–Missouri comes to mind. Have you taken anything from those experiences?
Cal said after the game the other night that “It’s time… You know, I’m tired of talking about it, I’m tired of saying it. It’s time for the guys to put it together.” Do you feel that way as a team?
“Show the world” what, Alex [referencing Alex’s previous statement]?
What do you remember about that defensive stretch last year at Rupp when you held them scoreless for like 7 minutes? What particularly was clicking for you guys?
Was that kind of a desperate stretch for you guys [last year against Florida] in terms of needing a statement win?
What do you think of the idea that they have veterans, seniors, that that’s an advantage against a young team like you guys?
Is that a message Cal’s been giving to you guys–to drop that excuse–the young thing shouldn’t be a factor anymore?
QUESTIONS TO DAKARI JOHNSON:
Dakari, Cal said he’s been saying the same things to you guys all year and he said the other night that it’s time these guys get it… How close are you guys, do you feel, to finally kind of getting it and taking over the reigns of this team?
Do you still keep in touch with Kasey Hill [former teammate that is playing for the Gators] at all, or no?
What’s that like to see him [Kasey Hill] and kind of face his team with some of the ties you guys have back and forth with each other?
Do you feel like you guys are growing up a little bit and maturing? I mean, now it’s at the point where you’ve got 5 freshman starting–obviously that’s not easy, you’re going to have some ups and downs… but how do you feel you guys are at at this point in the season?
Where does this Florida team look the most dangerous to you?
This is going to be another one of those games where probably a lot will be made of experience versus youth with you starting 5 freshman, they’ve got all these seniors and juniors… What do you make of that?
Is it time for that excuse to go away–the youth experience for you guys because you’re so deep in the season? I think Cal said today on Sports Center that you guys are basically sophomores now.