It’s not often a team clearly outplays the defending national champions, but that’s what No. 2 Kentucky did in its 11-point win over No. 5 Duke on Tuesday night.
Blue Devils coach Mike Krzyzewski spent almost have of his presser heaping praise on the Wildcats, especially sophomore point guard Tyler Ulis.
“God was good to him,” Krzyzewski said. “The gene pool was good. They didn’t give him height, but they gave him, probably, a heart that’s five times bigger than most people. He has great balance. Even though he’s short, he’s got long arms. And he’s got poise. He’s just a heckuva player.”
Here were some of Coach K’s other postgame thoughts on…
…Kentucky’s backcourt: “I thought they were stronger than we were. Their perimeter — especially Ulis and Murray — they were just strong, good guards. Ulis played a great game. Six assists. No turnovers. Eighteen points … he really takes control of the game. And Murray’s a man. He’s played big-time competition. Briscoe played well. I thought they were stronger than we were. And we gave up.”
…the 17 points UK scored off turnovers: “They played better than we did, but you can’t give ‘em points. So I’m disappointed in that. But they’re good. They’re really good. We’re gonna keep trying to get better.”
…Ulis (again): “It doesn’t look like he gets tired. He’s in complete control of his team. Competing against him, I admired his presence throughout the game, and his face throughout the game was the face of a winner and a really good leader.”
…UK’s unique lineup: “Kentucky has three point guards, so they’re not just strong; they’re strong with the ball. All three of those kids can initiate an offense. They can make plays. They can play without turning it over. So it’s a dimension that’s different.”
…the 3-0 Wildcats: “Kentucky’s a really good team. Very well coached. They’re competitive. I mean, really good competitors. You can’t win games unless you respond to that. We have to learn to do that at this level.”