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Link: A'dia Mathies shooting more, and that makes her coach happy

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A'dia Mathies leads UK in points, steals and 3-point shooting. (Britney McIntosh, UK Athletics) A'dia Mathies leads UK in points, steals and 3-point shooting. (Britney McIntosh, UK Athletics)
With a road matchup against No. 15/14 Georgia (15-3, 4-1 Southeastern Conference) for the No. 6 Kentucky Wildcats (16-2, 5-0 SEC), Jennifer Smith of the Lexington Herald-Leader wrote a story this morning on UK's best player: junior guard A'dia Mathies.

Mathies was recently challenged by head coach Matthew Mitchell to step up her assertiveness on offense and her leadership, and the Louisville, Ky., native has responded as UK Hoops is off to its best start in school history. The story includes quotes from Mathies, her father and her coach and gives an interesting look into the mindset and intelligence of one of the early favorites for SEC Player of the Year.

Here is an excerpt:

Since SEC play began five games ago, Mathies is averaging a league-best 19.4 points, she's second in the conference in three-pointers and she's hitting nearly half of the ones she's attempting (48 percent).

She's also fifth in the league in blocked shots (1.6 per game) and sixth in assists (3.2 apg).

Asked how he was finally able to flip the Mathies switch, Mitchell smiled.

"She doesn't like to run wind sprints, that's all I can tell you ... she knows that if she's not the leading field goal attempt leader, she has some work to do the next day," Mitchell said.

"It's changed her mind-set. She hasn't had to run and she's a different player."

Mathies admitted last week that the running threat has been a factor.

"At practice he says I have to be the leader or there's going to be a consequence," she said. "And you never want a consequence."

But as it usually is with Mathies, it's more cerebral than that.

"If he's stressing it that much, there must be something to it," she said. "The last couple of games, just seeing how much better we look as a team when I am aggressive, makes me want to do it more."


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