Jan. 14, 2009
Tennessee Head Coach Bruce Pearl: "We tried to deny Jodie Meeks the basketball, but to show how pitiful we were, Meeks did anything he wanted to do. We tried to guard him as a team, but we were not able to get anything done. We were frustrated at not being more aggressive against him.
"Our guards had a hard time keeping guys in front of them. Our guards are big, and we lost three seniors at guard last year, but the current guards right now are a little bit too big when going against smaller guards.
"Kentucky was clearly the better team, and we thought we could beat them if we played well. Our guys wanted this one, and they worked hard for it. We play our best when everybody contributes, but that was not happening tonight.
"When we were behind 71-64 and had a timeout, I thought we were in good shape, but we could not do anything about it. Tyler Smith competed hard tonight, and we have a big transition going on because of personnel changes.
"Tonight, we were not competitive. I do not think we are fatigued; I think it was more a matter of a lack of confidence."
Kentucky Head Coach Billy Gillispie: (joking) "We are still looking to try to develop that third scorer.
"I have never seen anything like it. Jodie Meeks had 46 against Appalachian State, and they are a nice team, but not near a team the quality of Tennessee, and on the home court. That was unbelievable. He had eight rebounds, which was going to be a very important factor in the game, and four assists. I have not seen anything like it.
"The fact that you had one guy in double figures on the opponent's home court, and win by 18 - I do not know if it has ever happened. It probably has not ever happened. It was just a great performance.
"The best thing about it - well, the best thing was he got 54 - but one of the great things was he took a shot with about two or three minutes left, and it was not the greatest shot in the world, but he looked over at the bench and said, `my fault.' That is the kind of person he is. He is just a great person. Am I surprised he got 54? Yes. Am I surprised he is playing really well? No, because he has turned himself into much closer to an all-around player. He plays hard on defense and has really developed in that area.
"There have been so many great players - this is the greatest basketball tradition in the world at the collegiate level - and to be able to put your name up there with some of those greats is quite an accomplishment to be at the top of the list for the time being is something else because there have been a lot of great, great, great players. I hope they were all watching it tonight and enjoying it, and I guarantee they were rooting him on."
- Kentucky's Jodie Meeks scored 54 points, which is a Thompson-Boling arena record. LSU's Chris Jackson scored 49 points vs. Tennessee Feb. 10, 1990. In the same game, UT's Allan Houston posted 43 points.
- Meeks' 10 three-pointers also tied the Thompson-Boling Arena record previously held by Jackson from the same game.
- UT's bench outscored the UK bench 15-9 in the game. The Vols have outscored the opponent's bench in 14 of 15 games this season.