Matthew Mitchell Press Conference

Kentucky Women’s Basketball 
Pre-LSU News Conference 
Joe Craft Center – Lexington, Ky.
Feb. 5, 2016


Kentucky Head Coach Matthew Mitchell


Opening statement…
“We’re preparing for our match on Sunday versus LSU.  They have a really tough defensive team and play a lot of really tough zone.  We’ll have to move the ball well and work hard to score against them, and we’ve got to continue to seek defensive improvement.  We saw some things take shape last night that show a little bit of improvement but we’ve still got a long way to go. We’ve got to keep working at it every single day.  I believe we have a good team, and we just have to bring them together.  And we have to work real hard between now and Sunday at noon so we can earn a victory versus LSU.”

On if he saw improvement in defense after watching the tape against South Carolina…
“What I wish I could report to you is that our habits are better at this time of year in defense.  I just don’t think we have great habits formed.  We still have some time to get that done, but we need to continue to improve.  But we saw a couple people rotate from help position last night and take some charges—some things that we hadn’t done.  Still, some of the issues that have plagued up showed up in the game.  So I just think it’s more about trying to stay with the plan of working on our defensive fundamentals and trying to get that really, really engrained in our team.  But we saw some improvement.”

On what he sees in Batouly Camara that he likes…
“What I loved about Batouly is that the issue in the Florida game, she was stopping.  So the play didn’t unfold the way that she wanted it to and she would just stop and give up a 3 or give up a basket.  And so after the Florida game, she was not the only one, but that’s one thing I’m trying to get to a young player is that you can make mistakes, but you can’t stop.  And she really came to practice and really put her best foot forward.  That’s how she earned the start against South Carolina. We’re not trying to play mind games or head games with any of these kids.  You’ve got to play hard, first of all.  You can figure everything else out as we go along.  She was so very aggressive last night, offensively and defensively.  Made a ton of mistakes, but she played.  And when some kids were backing up against that big size, she was going at them.  I love that.  I thought all our three freshmen really stepped up and competed last night in the game.  And they’re making mistakes because of inexperience, but I loved our freshman class last night.”

On Camara’s impact on the team as a teammate…
“High-character person.  She cares about others.  Benching her at Florida was trying to get her out of her own way.  We’ve never questioned if she wants to be a good teammate.  She’s always been a great teammate as far as caring about other people.  She was letting her team down by stopping, but you never question her intentions. She is a fantastic person and we knew that when we signed her.  And she’s been even better than what we’d imagined.  We’re excited about her future. She just overthinks things sometimes, and I’d rather a person care too much than care too little.  Batouly Camara will be a success here.”

On moving forward after three straight losses…
“You have to keep your head about you in the storm.  The wind’s blowing and the rain’s pounding down on you, and you just have to believe in what you’re doing.  There’s a reason we lost the last three games.  It’s attention to detail, it’s defensive effort, it’s paying attention to the little things.  That was a high-level game last night.  We’re down two with 2:28 left.  We showed up and competed.  We didn’t do enough things to beat a team like that.  We need to learn from that and move forward, but it’s going to come down for us, I think, to defensive effort and attention to detail.  We’ve been slow to get that, but I loved the way they worked going into the South Carolina game.  If we can work that hard between now and Sunday, I think we can get a victory.”