Cats Down No.11 Gators
Q. How well do you think your guys responded like a drowning man?
COACH CALIPARI: Yeah, they swam like heck. In the last seven minutes, when it was in
they swam like heck. When you're going to drown, you want to die, don't
swim. If you want to live, the life raft is over there, you got to swim
As a matter of fact, it's kind of breezing away from you, so you're going to have to swim real hard, and they did.
A lot of good efforts. I got to tell you, Julius (Mays) came up with 10 seconds to go and
Get me the ball. So I thought they may trap first. So we were going to
curl him, pop Kyle (Wiltjer), then get the ball to Julius. He walked
out, I ain't curling anything, just
get me the ball. He went and got fouled, made both. He knew he was going to make them.
Q. Can you talk about the decision to put Willie Cauley-Stein back in?
CALIPARI: I said I'm forgetting he has four. A basket doesn't kill us.
You fouling out can kill us. He can play with four fouls. That team we
had out that last seven minutes, every one of them guarded. They just
locked down, rebounded, went and got balls, made a couple shots to get
it close, came out of timeouts did some stuff, listened. One timeout we
didn't. The good news is they got on each other about it. They broke it
down. We threw the ball to Archie (Goodwin) and he drove. That's what
we were running. He ran a guy over. We were still down seven at the
time. It was a big play. Obviously didn't come back to hurt.
Q. Can you talk about the way that Alex Poythress rebounded today.
COACH CALIPARI: I heard he spoke to the media yesterday and basically said, I haven't
hard enough all year. I'm going to give everything I can. There was one
spell that he gave up. He's done that throughout the year. This is the
first game he did that. Took him out. His teammates got all over him.
And he said, Put me back in. He grew up today because he went back in
and finished those last seven minutes and was a beast.
he's been able to do that, get by, slumping shoulders, head goes down.
Now I got to put him back, he's got to play again, and he did it today.
Q. Do you feel like you were coaching an NCAA tournament team today?
COACH CALIPARI: At our best, we are an NCAA tournament team. When we're not at
our best, we're not very good. But that takes everybody playing. That takes everybody being responsible.
Here is what I did yesterday. I gave each guy two things that I needed them to do in the
that the team needed them to do. They were different for each guy. I
had them come up and read what we were asking them to do. Can you do
this? Will you do this the entire game? Each guy said yes. One of the
things I did was I said, Is everybody all in? Yeah. Raise your hand if
you think everybody's all in. No hands were raised. So then I gave them
these two commitments. Can you do these two things all game? If you do,
tell me what's going to happen to our game. Next guy, next guy. Well,
what happens after that, I said, Now how many of you think everybody is
all in if they take care of what they're supposed to do? They all
raised their hand. This team is young. Nobody is winning on the road
right now, unless you're top five or top eight teams. Teams on the road
are losing. The loss at Arkansas, no one has won there. The loss at
Georgia was tough to take because of how we
played. But guess what? They just played Tennessee and somebody else in that building.
So they're on a good roll right now. This win today shows that we're one of those teams.
to go to the tournament, one game season again. I guess we're 2 or 3 up
there, seeded 2 or 3. With what this team has gone through to finish
second in the league is a
pretty good deal. Proud of 'em. We'll see what we can do in the tournament.
Q. Florida struggles a little bit, if you call it struggling, in close games.
COACH CALIPARI: We were trying to make it a 20 point bulge. One thing about close
they can make threes at any time. They're a talented team. The last
time Billy (Donovan) won a national title was in Atlanta. His father
and I went to (get) coffee at Dunkin Donuts every morning. When I
grabbed his father, I said, You make sure your son gets his team to
Atlanta so you and I can have coffee in the morning. They have a
terrific team. They've lost some road games, just like everybody else.
But they're still one of those teams that in my mind is odds on to have
a chance to get to a Final Four.
Q. The crowd, Cal.
COACH CALIPARI: Unbelievable. What I did last night, I was home, driving in, thinking,
else can we do? What edge can we get? We're doing two things to the
players. Here is how we're going to do it. We have a game plan. What
I told Dewayne (Peevy), We need the fans to take us over the hump. The last eight minutes,
we need you standing to carry us over the finish line.
And they did.
building was unbelievable. That was as loud as we've been in four
years. The great thing is the crowd knows this team is so young that
they really need them.