PAGE k THE CATS' PAUSE, DECEMBER 4, 1976
foe K Welti
Too Much Individual Play For Kentucky
Cats' Pause-Kentucky made a lot of mistakes tonight, they looked awfully tight at times. Did the Rupp Arena opening have anything to do with it?
Coach Hall- I was tense, myself. I was nervous and felt the importance of winning the first game in the Rupp Arena. And I put a lot of pressure on them (the players). I feel very strongly about our program, maybe because I'm from Kentucky, the tradition means so much to me. Once they feel the tradition, I think they will come through. Certainly our young people will come along. We're not going to play that tense always, at least I hope not. It was much like playing away from home although we were at home. Maybe this will prepare us to play
better on the road.
Cats' Pause- The arena floor area
seemed to he rather cold Saturday
night. Did it have an effect on your
Coach Hall- No, I really couldn't tell
if it was cold. I don't think our players
did either. At least they didn't say anything about it. Of course, somthing was cold out there, like our shooting.
Cats' Pause- When former Coach Adolph Rupp was introduced, we noticed you applauding him and you appeared to be recalling old memories. What was going through your mind at the time?
Coach Hall- Thinking about Coach Rupp brought back lots of memories to me. I went out to see him just before our exhibition with the Marathon team last week and I took him a copy of this year's press guide and got him to autograph it for me. He was very pleased that we had his picture on the cover. Coach Rupp has done so much for the game, and he has done so much
for Kentucky. It was good to have him with us Saturday.
Cats' Pause- What was your impression of Jay Shidler in his first start as a Kentucky Wildcat?
Coach Hall- He didn't work for shots enough but it's going to take him a few games to find his way around. You know, it took him a couple of scrimamges for him to feel like he was a part of the team. It's the same way with game action. He'll be a starter again when we play TCU.
Cats' Pause- What about TCU? What do you expect from them and who are their key players?
Coach Hall- I don't know a whole lot about them, but they do start two junior college transfers and Darrell Braden is an exceptionally fine athlete. He scored 27 points and had 21 rebounds against Ole Miss.
Cats' Pause- Do you plan to do anything different against TCU than you did against Wisconsin?
Coach Hall- I'm more concerned about us executing than I am about them although we have to be concerned about the things they do too. If we play our game, I think we will be all right. But we can't continue playing the way we did against Wisconsin. We'll go with the same starters probably, that we did against Wisconsin. I feel like we've got to get Mike (Phillips) in more, but he was in foul trouble and I couldn't afford to lose both him and Robey.
Cats' Pause - What phase of the Wildcat game were you most pleased with in the Wisconsin battle?
Coach Hall- Our defense. I had really been wondering about it. There were times when we were very tough and alert. But later in the game, we let
Cats' Pause- What about Kentucky's free throw shooting? Isn't it usual for Kentucky to hit only fifty percent from the line?
Coach Hall- We never have shot that poor here at the Arena in practice sessions nor in the scrimmages. And we haven't shot that poor from the field. It's like a slump though, the more you talk about it, the worse it gets. Larry Johnson just isn't a player which hits only two of twelve from the field.
Cats' Pause- Has the high national rankings in preseason polls affected kentucky's play?
Coach Hall-1 don't think so, but I do think we're way overrated. I don't think we deserve any of the ratings of being in the nation's top ten, at least not at this point. If anything, they (the pollsters) are overlooking such teams as Auburn and Mississippi State which haven't even been mentioned. Tennessee and Alabama should be higher than what they are. You can see how tough our conference is when Alabama whipped Purdue like they did.
Cats' Pause- After the TCU game, there is a trip to Bloomington with Indiana's Hooisers. How good are the Hooisers this year? Should they be in the top ten in the nation?
Coach Hall- I think they are definitely in the Top Ten. (Kent) Benson may be the top player in the game today. Especially, when a kid like Benson is a center, he can do so much for your club. You're able to work the whole game around a man like him, the rebounding, the defense
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and the offense. They're awfully tough.
Cats' Pause- Wisconsin appeared to play with more ease than Kentucky did. Wisconsin is a young team and the Badgers appeared to have everything to gain and nothing to lose in their game here. What is your assessment of their play?
Coach Hall- I thought they were extremely ready to play. They had their heads together and played a very inspirational game. They were well coached and the defense was good. They were physical and took it right to us inside. They had a very good game.
Cats' Pause- You said Kentucky went from team play to individual play. Do you attribute this to the opening of the new arena or what?
Coach all- I just don't think I've got control of them (the players) yet. During the scrimmages, everyone played together and nothing really mattered because the statistics didn't count. But Saturday nights the stats were for good and some of the players began thinking of them. If they don't learn to play together, some of them won't be playing.
Cats' Pause- Do you plan to continue using all eleven men on the roster or will you settle to a regular six of seven players for most of the playing time?
Coach Hall- We'll be going with the same line-up Thursday against TCU, but I'm not going to continue playing everyone if they continue to play as individuals like last week. I don't like selfish play and I won't put up with it. I'm going to play a group that will play team ball.