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Transcript: UK Players Tyler Ulis, Marcus Lee [email protected] Carolina Interviews

TYLER ULIS

On fighting and competing the whole game …
“That’s what this game was about. Coach (Cal) stressing through practice and stressing earlier in shootaround, and we just came out and tried to fight. Our bigs fought in there with (Michael) Carrera and the other guys pushing around there, really aggressive down there, and they held their own.”

On the reaction to Calipari getting tossed early …
“It was a shock. It was crazy. I’ve never seen anything like that. But we all just responded. We tried to take over as a team and just stick together and do it all for Coach (Cal).”

On if this was the best the team has played this year …
“Definitely.”

On him coaching the team with Calipari gone …
“Yes, I had to. Guys couldn’t really hear calls from the sidelines and the coaching staff, they gave me the Green Light to just call what I wanted to call. I just tried to get guys set and just try to get the win.”

On if it was all him calling plays …
“No, they made defensive calls, offensive calls in a stretch. But for the most part, they just gave me the green light like I said to call my plays. They had us in double fits, Robs (John Robic) gave some suggestions, and it all worked out for the best.”

On if today’s game was the most leadway he’s had all season …
“Yeah, K.P. (Kenny Payne) just was worried about strictly defense. He wanted us to fight and get under the boards. He said on offense just push it up and play free, and that’s what we did.”

On being hot from the 3 lately …
“It’s something we do in practice every day. We do a drill that just gets us running up and down the court, shoot 3s and just get things going in transition. When Jamal (Murray) is hot running down the court, I’ll flip it back to him and he’s just knocking that down. So we look for him in transition. With Isaiah (Briscoe), when he gets the ball in the lane, I try to spot up and just try to help him out.”

On how the emphasis on defense has helped the team offensively …
“That’s all we focus on is defense, so offensively they just give us the green light, like I said again. We’re just out there free. With the 32-drill that we do, we just out there, run up and down and if we don’t have something, then we grind it out.”

On how big it was to get Marcus Lee back to form …
“It’s great. I feel like it just started with him rebounding. Trying to get in the paint for us. Guys got into foul trouble and he held it on his own down there getting boards. He saved me on that backboard lob. He just had a lot of energy today, dunking the ball, going up strong and rebounding for us.”

On him intentionally doing the lob to Lee …
“Yeah I intentionally threw it, but the guy backed off of me, so I thought it was going to be a turnover. He still caught it and dunked it over him.”

On how sick he was hearing of the road troubles …
“Well, we don’t really hear it unless it’s from Coach (Cal). We try to put everything behind us, don’t listen to what everybody else is saying. Just try to stick to the team.”

On if the team had to get settled down after Calipari got tossed …
“When you see your coach get Tossed that early, you know he’s fighting for you. So you have to fight for him, and we just tried to go out there and win a game for him.”

MARCUS LEE

On Calipari getting ejected setting a tone for the game …
“Seeing Coach (Cal) fight for you changes your whole mentality. So when we see him with all that energy, it kind of just picks you up, and after you tell the coach we’ll be alright. We kind of just took the energy and were like, “Alright, we got this.’ ”

On the rebounds the team had against South Carolina …
“Big stress being tough this whole year and it’s been a process this whole time. Now it finally clicked for us knowing if we, us as bigs, battle, the game gets easier.”

On him staying in rhythm without fouling …
“Oh yeah. Not fouling feels awesome.” (laughter)

On if he knew Tyler Ulis was going to throw it off the backboard …
“Oh yeah, we were kind of playing with that all week and we were talking about that right before that happened. And then he just threw it.”

On the difference today not losing the lead compared to other road games …
“I think we just had the energy for it. At halftime, we were up a little bit and then we kind of just looked at each other like, ‘We can’t let this happen again. We just have to keep pushing like it’s 0-0.’ ”

On what Calipari said after getting tossed …
“We’re not going to comment on that. But just know that he’s a great coach to have our back like that.”


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Transcript: UK Players Tyler Ulis, Marcus Lee [email protected] Carolina Interviews

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