Postgame quotes from UK


Fans hang their heads after the Wildcats Final Four loss, 56-55, against UCONN at Reliant Stadium in Houston, TX on Saturday, April 2, 2011. Photo by Britney McIntosh

UK fell one point short of a national championship game. Here’s some quick thoughts and quotes from post-game.

  • The last play was what UK wanted — kind of. Brandon Knight said it was a pick-and-roll, and his options were the same as they were against Princeton and Ohio State. He could drive, shoot, or kick. This time, he felt he didn’t have an open look, so he passed to DeAndre Liggins for the three. However, Liggins said the perimeter shot — which would have given UK a one-point lead — wasn’t by design: “I should have drove it. … But I thought I had the hot hand a little bit. It was a good shot, but it fell short.”
  • Brandon Knight hit a third buzzer-beater, but it only cut the lead to one. “The game was pretty much over, whether I missed it or made it. It just goes like that some times.”
  • For Josh Harrellson, it was both an extremely sad and happy time. He walked off the court crying and got a little choked up in the locker room whenever he started to talk about his teammates. But he also recognized what this team accomplished in getting to the Final Four on an improbably run. The rest of the team did, too. “I’m going to shower. But I’m not going to wash my uniform. It’s going to hang up like this. Final Four logo on it and everything.
  • UK shot the ball terribly in the first half, making just 9 of 32 shots. Brandon Knight said the different sight lines weren’t the issue, because the team had practiced and shot in the arena leading up to the game. Harrellson said the inexperience was a factor: “I guess we weren’t expecting everything that goes on with the Final Four, all the pressure and everything. We just came out and let it get to us.”
  • John Calipari told the team that 56 was the target number to hold UCONN to. UK did. “I just didn’t think we would score 55. We’re a team that scores 75.”
  • Brandon Knight shot just 6-for-23, taking more shots than any two of his teammates combined. Calipari: “There was some anxiety to his game. I kept saying, ‘it’s just another game.’ I could say that all I want, but there’s some anxiety that goes along with this game that may have gotten to him a bit because I can’t remember one or two games where the last three minutes, he wasn’t at his best.”
  • I thought the underdog factor was big for UK — and Calipari kept it up, saying all the experts were picking UCONN despite Vegas favoring UK — but I didn’t know it was this big. Terrence Jones, asked to reflect on the year: ” It was a great year. All the people that didn’t believe we couldn’t make it this far, always picking us to lose every game this whole tournament, just going out and proving them wrong together.”
  • Terrence Jones on the last four minutes of the game said there were way too many jumpers. “I feel like the shots we shot looked that way (gassed). I don’t know. I respect everybody’s when to shoot, though, but I think we were a little tired and didn’t fight to get to the rim the last four minutes because we were tired.
  • Knight, Jones and Lamb declined comment on NBA future. Liggins said he would sit down with his family to talk about the decision.
  • Liggins did his job, containing Kemba Walker to 18 points on 6-for-15 shooting. “I talked to the ref before, I told him to watch, he’s going to flop. But he’s a great player, so I guess he got the Michael Jordan calls. But he’s a great player. I respect him to death.”