Sonny Lubick hates expectations. Hates it when his team is the conference favorite, hates it when …
UK's Bubble floats to Gainesville
On Florida's Nick Calathes…
"He is a hard guy to guard, because he knows how to utilize the ball screen and he can shoot it from the perimeter. He drives it to the rim and he does a fantastic job getting to the foul line. We tried just about everything on him the first game, but if he makes his shots from the perimeter, he is almost impossible to guard. I think he is a great player because he makes everyone around him a lot better. I haven't seen anyone do anything that bothers him, but sometimes he makes his shots and sometimes he doesn't."
On Florida's Chandler Parsons…
"He made seven three-pointers in a game and he makes you pay attention to him. He stretches out your defense because he is very capable. He is a good offensive rebounder, especially in transition, and he usually gets a rebound-dunk every single game. In his second year, he has improved as a player, and he makes them a special team when he makes three-pointers and gets the offensive rebounds."
On Florida's inside defense…
"We have a great post presence on the interior. Florida has great players, they are just inexperienced on the inside. Coach (Donovan) does a great job with them, but they are more inexperienced inside than most other teams. I think they perform roles well and (Dan) Werner stretches out the defense."
Gillispie then analyzed the overall matchup with the Gators.
"We are trying to play well against a team that we are in a very similar situation with. Both teams are going to play extremely hard because it is a good rivalry. It will mean a lot to both teams. We will try to play as hard as we can, and we both need to get back on track and win."
Coach Gillispie believed the Wildcats had practiced well this week, and really, all year long. "They've been great. We have practiced as well as any team I have been around all year long. We have to be a little more competitive when it gets down to the heart of it, and I think that we will. If a team practices hard, then they are selfless. They try hard and they understand what it takes to be successful. If you don't practice hard on a daily basis, it won't be good for you."
Gillispie believed that a real key to Kentucky's possible success will be their defense.
"I don't think we have gotten stops at the most critical times. I don't know if we have done that all year long. We have to defend much better than we did Wednesday night if we want the chance to win any game."
Two key positions for the Wildcats will be from the point guard position and the shooting guard position. Point guard Michael Porter is coming off a career-high 15 points on 5-8 shooting from 3-point range against Georgia.
"Some days it (the point guard position) has been difficult, and some days it hasn't. Michael (Porter) has played very well, and not too many guys are going to make five three-pointers in a game. He ran the game very well and he defended very well. He has done as much on his best nights as anyone could ever ask for. On the tough nights, it has been more challenging, but Michael Porter has been great for us. I would hate to imagine what our success level would have been without him."
Of course, no discussion is complete without mentioning UK's Player of the Year candidate, Jodie Meeks.
"Opponents are focusing a lot of attention on him. He was pressed a little bit the past few games, because he was probably trying a little too hard and he badly wants to win."
Gametime is 2:00 p.m. ET Saturday in a game broadcast by CBS.
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