Wall enjoys Alumni Game

Former UK All-American John Wall, who was playing in Rupp Arena for the first time since playing for UK in 2009-10, enjoyed the experience of  the UK Alumni Charity Game Monday night.

“It was fun,” he said. “The main thing is to give back support to the community. It’s fun being back and Kentucky and playing on that court again. It was fun and for a great cause.”

Here’s an edited transcript of Wall comments:

On the number of people at the game:

Wall: “It’s a state of basketball, so it’s not very surprising to me knowing that anytime you put something together and this great group of guys come back, it’s all like a brotherhood. Coach Cal and the University of Kentucky do a great job of getting everybody organized and putting stuff together. I’m happy to have the opportunity to come back and have fun and put on a show for the fans.”

On the kind of impact something like tonight can have on recruits:

Wall: “I think we do it the right way. Midnight Madness is a big thing for this university, and I just think having us guys come back and maybe play pick-up with some of the guys sometimes and playing with recruits and having them around is great. They see what type of school this is and what they put together.”

On last year’s team and how much Cal was disappointed with last year:

Wall: “We knew he was disappointed but some things happen that you can’t really control. An injury happened in the middle of the season, and I think those guys did a great job of still going out there and competing and knew that they had Kentucky across their chest. It was a tough year. Sometimes you’ve got to go through times. I think they’ll be alright. They’ll get back on the map and do everything they’re supposed to do.”

On his impressions of this year’s team:

Wall: “Actually I just got here today so I didn’t have an opportunity to play pick-up with them. I love basketball so I’m watching the circuit all throughout the year and highs school basketball, so I think they’ve got a great group of guys. The main thing with Coach Cal is he does a great job of getting a lot of talented players to play together. If they all accept their role they’ll be pretty good.”

On going back and forth with Brandon Knight:
Wall: “E. Bled told me I wasn’t going for 40 so I just tried to get 40. It’s a great thing. Whenever I play against Brandon I know what type of competitor he is, just watching him since I was growing up and playing against him. Even when he was playing pick-up today, when we play against each other, it’s fun, it’s exciting to have fun and put on a show for the crowd, but at the same time, we want to get each other better so we’re taking it pretty seriously and trying to guard each other.”

On Cal’s best point guard:

Wall: “Me. It wasn’t just from tonight. I just feel like that’s my competitive edge that I’m always going to say me. We’ve had a lot of talented ones come but we’ve still got more to come.”

On Andrew Harrison’s potential as the next great point guard:

Wall: “I think so. He does a great job. I think he’ll probably be, between him and Brandon, probably the best two point guards that Coach Cal that can shoot the ball. I think that’s what sets him (apart). He’s very strong and can attack the basket very well. I think he’s not one of those ones that’s going to speed the ball up the court. He’s just smooth, slow pace player, but I feel like he can do a great job from the point guard position.”