Kentucky-Arkansas Postgame Quotes

Jan. 11, 2009

Recap | Box Score | Notes

Kentucky Head Coach Matthew Mitchell

Opening Statement ...
"I get very excited this time of year because I have so much respect for this conference that we get to compete in and it is very difficult to win games in this conference. I am very proud of our team today and everybody played hard and overcame some adversity at times to get the win. That is the name of the game and we are thrilled with this victory."

On how he dealt with both Dunlap and Roddy being in foul trouble in the first half ...
"They are two of our best players and when they are off the court we have to focus and play really hard to make certain that we pick up the slack. They are both very valuable players to our team and I am proud of the players that came in and stepped up and got that big lead going. I was certain that Arkansas was going to make a run and I told the coaches that on the bench. I was proud that our players got the big lead and when we got in foul trouble we struggled a bit because you lose offense, defense and rebounding."

On their recent strong starts after halftime ...
"I told our players before the game that Arkansas was a good team and very tough in stretches. When you have an opportunity to increase the lead we have to take advantage of it. As you could see we had stretches where it was difficult for us to score. They were changing their defensives and it turned into a chess match to try to get the right look. When we were in the right looks and were able to execute, we looked good. We got some wide open threes and our transition game was good early in the first half that enabled to get off to a good first of minutes."

On the zone they ran against Arkansas and the effectiveness of it today ...
"Arkansas is so athletic and sometimes they go small and play a lot of guards and matchup-wise it can be tough for us. I thought that our players were terrific today, especially in the first half when we turned them over a lot in the zone. I thought that Arkansas got better as the half went on and as they adjusted. Victoria (Dunlap) had some deflections and that bothered them in our zone and we also got some shots blocked and some other things like that. The zone was great to us in the first half because we were concerned about our matchups."

On the team's offense starting to click ...
"We have been working awfully hard as coaches to present where opportunities will present in the offense and the players have done a good job of committing to their fundamentals and focus and shooting the ball well. The 3-point line was good to us today. They were making it tough to get the ball inside and we made some timely threes today. Any time that you can improve offensively and get into a rhythm it can pick up your team and give them more confidence."

On Carly Ormerod's play today ...
"I think that she played very good today and she was a steady influence on us at times. She made, what I like to call, experienced, senior-type plays today. She got in there and got a big offensive rebound and got fouled and got to the line when we were trying to score. Those types of plays show you her court savvy. Carly always has played well against Arkansas and she had another good one today."

On if there are any similarities between last year's team and this year's team ...
"We will have to wait and see. I think that this time has a lot of confidence right now and they should because they are finding ways to win games. I would have liked for our interior players to shoot a higher percentage but Arkansas had a lot to do with that because they were so tenacious getting inside. The bottom line is that we found a way to win and that is great because in this league they are tough to come by. I think that mental toughness and having enthusiasm for what we are doing is our blueprint for success and I look forward to us to have more success in the conference season."

Kentucky Players

#25 - Jr. - G - Amani Franklin

On making more three-point shots...
"We have more confidence. Me, Carly Morrow, and the rest of the team have the mentality that the shots will go in. Early on, if we missed our first shot, then we would think we were having a bad shooting night. We need to keep believing the shots will go in."

#34 - So. - F - Victoria Dunlap

On getting into foul trouble late...
"I did a poor job recognizing how many fouls I had. When I got the fourth foul, I wanted my teammates to know that I was there for them. I was cheering off the court and I wanted them to keep making shots and scoring. Also, I was trying to stay focused and get ready for when I had to go back in."

On beginning games strong...
"Coach wants us to take the game four minutes at a time. The first four minutes of the game we want to go out strong. We want to be intense and get right at it."

Arkansas Head Coach Tom Collen

On the game ...
"I thought it was a hard fought game and you have to give Kentucky credit. We were both coming off losses and they did a good job of bouncing back. I think the difference in the game was the free-throw differential and the difference in that was the aggressiveness as compared to how aggressive we were. A lot of that has to do with their size advantage. Early in the game they were very aggressive off the dribble and then we got arguably our two best players on the bench. Kentucky stayed aggressive. We are not a big, physical team. We are out there competing with two 5-10 post kids. The strength in Kentucky's game is the strength of their two post kids. Kentucky takes it at you by boxing out aggressively and guarding hard. They are going to win or lose on how their two post kids play. It wasn't a terrific matchup for us but to our kids credit we are last in the league in rebounding and they are first in the league and we out rebounded them. I can't fault my kids in the way they played and the effort they gave. In the end, we were out-manded and Kentucky was the more aggressive team.  They also made their free throws."

On their play in the second half ...
"We tried to get our kids to play as aggressively as the Kentucky players. We wanted them to take it at Kentucky. We did make a run when (Victoria) Dunlap spent a lot of time on the bench. Ultimately, one time we cut the lead down to four and another time we cut it down to six when we came down the court in a zone and we missed two defensive assignments and that allowed Kentucky to hit back to back 3-point baskets. Their lead went from six to 12. I was surprised that we battled back. I have a very young team and it is hard to get a young team to battle back. We need to make a few more plays and we have to get bigger in the post."