Ulis on recruiting, Murray on bow and arrow

Jamal Murray (Vicky Graff Photo)

Jamal Murray (Vicky Graff Photo)

Q. This is a question for Tyler: At one point when you were being recruited before you chose Kentucky you were being recruited by Iowa and Fran MacCaffrey, how close were you going to Iowa before you went to Kentucky, and what’s it been like for you to be back in the state again?
TYLER ULIS: I was choosing between Iowa, Kentucky and Michigan State and one Kentucky came in I knew that is where I wanted to me. I was close with Coach McCaffrey and Coach Izzo, I wanted to go to both of those schools because they were what I had in my top three, but at the end of the day I felt like Kentucky was the best for me.

Kentucky’s speed biggest worry for Stony Brook

Here is everything that Stony Brook coach Steve Pikiell said during his press conference in Des Moines Wednesday.

Q. Steve, your players are just talking about how this has been a surreal moment for them getting here today and being able to take this in. What has the past few days been like for you coming from behind to win the Championship game, seen the Selection Show where you guys are drawn and getting yourself here?
STEVE PIKIELL: It’s been a crazy few days. I think we have been on a lot of radio shows and it was an unbelievable game first and foremost and the environment was like spectacular. Our community really has embraced this team, and we’re a great university, and people are very excited.

Guest post: Even with high ticket prices, Big Blue fan in Iowa happy to have her Cats in Des Moines

By JESSICA JONES

Being a Kentucky fan living in Iowa isn’t always easy. Kentucky fans, like myself, aren’t just your casual fan. We bleed blue. We plan around Kentucky basketball games.

Before the days of SEC Network, it was a bit more difficult to watch every game in Iowa. We bought all kinds of extra sports packages from our satellite companies to ensure we could get the Cats on our television. However, this was even more difficult in tournament time.

Stony Brook players saw plenty of Cats on TV this season

Q. Kentucky is on TV a lot. How much did you watch them without knowing you would play them in this tournament throughout the season or past seasons?
JAMEEL WARNEY: I mean the best part of it is if you turn on ESPN or CBS. They’re always on TV. You can watch ’em on Sports Center. Obviously we watched them a lot as a fan of basketball, but it’s great to watch ’em even closer when you’re scouting them because the feeling of knowing you’re going to play one of the biggest programs in college basketball history.

Interviews with Willis, Labissiere, Lee and Hawkins

Cats getting ready in Des Moines

Stony Brook star: “It really doesn’t matter if people aren’t giving us a shot.”

Q. First time in the tournament facing Kentucky, do you feel like anybody is really giving you guys much of a chance in this game?
JAMEEL WARNEY: If not, it’s perfectly fine. We have the most confidence in the world with us 14 on the team. So it really doesn’t matter if people aren’t giving us a shot. We know what we can do.

CARSON PURIEFOY: Yeah, I mean, we’re giving us a chance. We’re a confident team, like Jameel said, and we’re just going to go out there, and like I said before, do what we’ve been doing all season. And, you know, we’ve been good at refocussing and doing all this stuff, so that’s what we’re going to do.

Isaiah Briscoe on Stony Brook star — sort of

Isaiah Briscoe (Vicky Graff Photo)

Isaiah Briscoe (Vicky Graff Photo)

DES MOINES — Isaiah Briscoe kind of talked about Stony Brook standout Jameel Warney, who went to the same high school as him, here Wednesday.

Q. Isaiah, tell us about why you chose Kentucky; but more importantly, what can you tell us about Jameel Warney of Stony Brook who you grew up with in the same town?
ISAIAH BRISCOE: Growing up I always watched Kentucky basketball along with Duke and North Carolina, but my senior year coming around and Coach Cal came down to PCM and when I went and took a visit to Lexington I had Tyler (Ulis) and (Devin) Booker as my hosts and when I went there it felt like family and it was something I wanted to be part of.

Calipari on Pitino: “Sometimes you’ve got to rub elbows, sometimes you’ve got to throw elbows, but I respect him”

Kentucky had its media opportunity today in Des Moines, Iowa, before playing Stony Brook Thursday night in the NCAA Tournament

Here’s a couple of things John Calipari said not related directly to the game:

Q. Cal, when Rick Pitino was on ESPN yesterday he made some, what sounded like criticisms of Kentucky in the way that you recruit and I’m wondering if you have a response to that?
JOHN CALIPARI: I would really rather not respond. I don’t know exactly what you’re talking about. They run a terrific program. He’s a terrific coach. He is a Hall of Famer. We’re in the same state. Sometimes you’ve got to rub elbows, sometimes you’ve got to throw elbows, but I respect him.

Coaching an escape from granddaughter’s cancer battle for coach Dave Loos

Austin Peay is playing in Des Moines Thursday and coach Dave Loos’ 5-year-old granddaughter is battling bone cancer. Her father, Ben, is an assistant coach at Missouri.

Here’s the touching comments Dave Loos shared about her Wednesday: