"We started out playing okay defense. In the first 15 minutes we held them to 10 points. Then the last five minutes of the half we just kind of thought the game was over. That's not the way we like to do things."
Seattle trailed 39-24 at halftime, and then was outscored only 43-39 in the second half. That's not what UK, which was ranked 20th in the Associated Press preseason poll, should have happen against a Division II team. Then again, UK did give up 37 points to Pikeville, a NAIA school, in its exhibition win on Wednesday.
Part of the problem has been fouls. Gillispie warned fans that his team was apt to lead the nation in fouling early in the season because of his aggressive style. However, he didn't anticipate fouling 26 times against Seattle, having senior guard Joe Crawford foul not much past midway of the second half or having point guard Ramel Bradley in foul trouble as well.
"We play good defense until we foul. We've got to learn not to make stupid fouls," Crawford, who had 14 points in 23 minutes, said.
Crawford was blaming himself as well as teammates for the mistakes.
"I've still got to get in better condition (after offseason knee surgery) so I can pressure the ball without just reaching in and fouling," Crawford said.
Still, Seattle did go eight straight possessions in the first half without a field goal attempt and scored just one field goal in a 12-minute stretch.
Seattle coach Joe Callero thought his team was in awe of UK's history as well as Rupp Arena.
Coach wants more of first half defense
"We walked in here in awe of the building and forgot to play basketball," Callero said. "We saw the best defense we have seen in a long time for about 10 minutes in the first half."
Gillispie wants to see more of that and less of what he saw in the second half.
"Too many guys on our team right now think that their play is determined by if their shots go in the basket," the Kentucky coach said. "That's not the way you are going to be a really good team. If your shot goes in the basket, it is a byproduct of how you're playing."
Then there was the fouling.
"We just fouled way, way too much," Gillispie said.
So is there a fine line between being aggressive and fouling too much?
Won't accept passive play
"We teach our guys how to play as hard as we can. Sometimes early that equates to fouling too much," Gillispie said. "We've got to guard the ball better. We got beat off the dribble too much. Help is arriving too late. We've got to get guys moving side to side instead of allowing straight lane drives."
However, Gillispie will take the fouling over passive play -- something UK fans surely will accept.
"We don't want to foul that much, but we want to play hard. I would rather foul too much than having them standing around and watching guys throw it around the perimeter. We are going to dictate the pace," Gillispie said.
That's a change from what UK seemed to do the last few years under Tubby Smith when the Cats would allow foes to set the tempo way too many times.
Gillispie was not happy with the way Bradley and backup point guard ran the team on Saturday.
"Don't slow us down, but slow down, survey and lead," Gillispie said he told his guards. "They are trying hard. Sometimes you have to know when to whoa and when to go. We've got to whoa some right now."
Still, these are not insurmountable problems. But a lack of depth could be.
For the second straight game, Gillispie said no thanks to playing sophomore center Jared Carter -- who did play one minute against Pikeville -- and freshman center Mike Williams -- who started to check into the game in the first half only to be quickly sent back to the end of the bench by Gillispie.
With the way UK was being "whipped" inside, why not play the two centers?
"Whoever deserves it gets it. That's the way we do it here," Gillispie said.
What are they not doing to deserve to play?
"Whoever earns it, gets it," Gillispie said.
However, Jodie Meeks says the team is learning and will improve.
"The exhibition games are a learning process. It's all about what the team has, and not what you have individually. You just need to listen to the coaches, work hard and improve. If we keep doing that, we'll be fine," Meeks said.