UK Hoops vs. Ole Miss -- Post-Game Quotes

Feb. 2, 2012

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Kentucky Head Coach Matthew Mitchell Quotes

Opening Statement ...
"Well, you're always happy to win but I was particularly impressed with how the players went about winning this one. They really played with great energy and bounced back from a sub-par effort on Sunday. We wanted to give a Kentucky-level effort tonight and I am proud of them."

On bouncing back from poor shooting early in the game ...
"We had a hard time getting the ball in the basket and when we missed one, it seemed like we felt the weight of all the ones we have been missing. It's been a little bit of a shooting slump but today we were falling away and hoping it would go in, but we had great effort on the offensive boards with incredible energy, but we were rushing around the basket. It improved a little bit in the second half, but we have some players who carry a miss to the next shot, but we will stop doing that I believe. I was so proud of our effort tonight."

On causing 36 turnovers ...
"We had tremendous energy and commitment from the players. They stayed at it all night and kept hustling, even when we were struggling scoring I was not upset, I just kept telling them to keep hustling. We hustled from the opening buzzer until the final one and it was a product of our attitude and our commitment to this particular game. I was proud of them."

On the 20-18 run by Ole Miss ...
"I just kept telling them at each timeout that if we kept hustling, we would break it open and the shots would start falling. We talked about it at half, If we did a couple of things offensively might help but really if we kept hustling and tried to turn turnovers into transition points it would all work out for us and it did. We kept hanging in there and giving good effort and we got back on track."

On the team's emotions of being in the driver's seat of the SEC after Tennessee lost to South Carolina ...
"I just think having an effort like tonight and playing Kentucky basketball is the most encouraging thing to me because we have been saying that if we can do that, we can be SEC champions. Now as the standings go, you hope you can get as much separation as you can. You'd love to see a huge lead in the standings, but the case is just a two-game lead and we have a bunch of games left.  It is a positive development for us but it is nothing we can spend time thinking about because a loss Sunday and a win by Tennessee would make the lead go right back to one game. It nothing for us to get too excited about."

On Kastine Evans' line, which included seven steals ...
"She gave tremendous effort, activity and hustle. It was a great, great energetic performance. It is not surprising she is a great, energetic kid. She gives us everything she has every night out. She plays multiple positions, even point guard tonight. She is really tough that is fantastic. It is contagious and she is terrific."

On A'dia Mathies' 2-of-14 performance ...
"You can't imagine with how pleased I am with A'dia's performance tonight. She was 2-of-14 (shooting), if she did not have a good attitude it would've been 2-of-8 or 2-of-7, and when she shoots good things happen for us. They committed so many people to her it was tough and when she went to the basket it opened up the offensive boards. I thought she had a tremendous performance, she just kept hanging in there and we got her to double figures. She kept plugging I was really proud of that. Shooting just 35 percent and putting up 80 points, a night where we can make some lay-ups could be really good for us."

On the players' effort tonight ...
"We have been able to attract high-character kids. They understand they have a chance to become something special and we have told them that. They seem to really care about each other and when it is more about the group than personal stats, you get this kind of effort"

Kentucky Players Quotes

#13 Bria Goss, Fr., G

On the feeling of getting a bounce-back win while turning over Ole Miss so many times ...
"It's a good feeling. During the run, we just want to keep running, keep increasing the lead, and keep increasing the score. We want to try to force a lot of turnovers, get a lot of defensive boards, and keep them from scoring."

On how they create turnovers ...
"I don't even know. It's about us. We want to make sure our defense is to our standards. That is our goal."

On her reaction to South Carolina beating Tennessee...
"I heard the crowd go crazy. Even though they lost, we are still going to be doing the same things we have been doing. We are not going to let up. This is the time we need to push harder. We don't want to let this opportunity slip away. We need to continue to focus on Kentucky."

#32 Kastine Evans, So., G

On forcing turnovers ...
"Coach always talks about how there is a Kentucky standard, and how it developed, and how he wants us to keep it up. That is part of the Kentucky standard of honesty, hard work, and discipline. He always talks about discipline being our turnover margin. He talks about that everyday in practice. That is just part of our defense."

#23 Samarie Walker, So., F

On rebounding the ball ....
"That's another thing that we focus on, is defensive rebounds. Everyone can rebound from the guard position to post position. A'dia (Mathies) had an off night, and everybody stepped up."

On their style of play...
"I would say it is not easy. Obviously, it was not easy for me to get used to it when I first came in here."

Ole Miss Head Coach Renee Ladner

On turnovers, defensive pressure and expectations coming into the game...
"Definitely wasn't a surprise. Kentucky is a very good basketball team. Their team is on a mission. Their style of play affects, obviously, everyone in this league. Tonight we got bit by the same bug; turnovers and pressure. Some we did to ourselves, but most were forced."

On whether Kentucky is the best team in the SEC...
"I believe they are. I would say so, yes. They are definitely the hardest team to play against because of their relentless pressure and their ability to sub so deep. You know, they wear you down. We probably gave them a game for what, about 15 minutes? Then it's 18-18 all and then next thing you know they're up and then you're digging out of a hole and then the pressure comes back. It's not like it's going away."

On the difficulty of going into the game without Nikki (Byrd) in the lineup...
"You know I think it's always difficult when you lose a starter, somebody who has played for you all years, and someone who earlier in the season averaged a double-double. We knew that going in. We just had to do the best we could. We played a lot of freshmen in that spot so they had an opportunity to play in this environment; something they can build on."

On catching up with Kentucky's lead in the first half...
"We had some looks with the pressure. We passed over the press and got some easy layups in transition. You look up and it's 18-all, and the next time I turn around they've made a run of about 10 points. Again, you are always trying to warn your team to not allow a team like Kentucky to get on a run. Try to handle each possession the best you can. They got that right and we just couldn't recover."

On how often you see defense like Kentucky's in the SEC...
"The last two or three years, for the most part. They have their own style of play; run and jump, pressured defense, a lot of players play. You are going against guards for the most part. A lot of time he plays four guards and one post and that's difficult if you have a true team of two forwards and two guards and a point guard. How often? Just recently, today and I'm sure we will see it in the future."

On the future of this team...
"The future is bright. We are very young. With nine underclassmen, we certainly had a lesson today. Hopefully we can grow from that."


Ole Miss Player Quotes

#3, Valencia McFarland, G

On playing against Kentucky's defense and pressure...
"It's crazy. There is pressure for the entire 40 minutes. They substitute in and out, so there is constant pressure which makes it very difficult."

On playing today's game without Nikki Byrd...
"I just try to deal with the players that we have on the court. They helped me out a lot today and they played hard."

On what they can take away from a game like today's...
"We just have to come in and play poised and play our basketball. Just play Ole Miss basketball and deal with the pressure."

#13 Bria Goss, Fr., G

On the feeling of getting a bounce-back win while turning over Ole Miss so many times ...

"It's a good feeling. During the run, we just want to keep running, keep increasing the lead, and keep increasing the score. We want to try to force a lot of turnovers, get a lot of defensive boards, and keep them from scoring."

 

On how they create turnovers ...

"I don't even know. It's about us. We want to make sure our defense is to our standards. That is our goal."

 

On her reaction to South Carolina beating Tennessee...

"I heard the crowd go crazy. Even though they lost, we are still going to be doing the same things we have been doing. We are not going to let up. This is the time we need to push harder. We don't want to let this opportunity slip away. We need to continue to focus on Kentucky."

 

#32 Kastine Evans, So., G

On forcing turnovers ...

"Coach always talks about how there is a Kentucky standard, and how it developed, and how he wants us to keep it up. That is part of the Kentucky standard of honesty, hard work, and discipline. He always talks about discipline being our turnover margin. He talks about that everyday in practice. That is just part of our defense."

 

#23 Samarie Walker, So., F

On rebounding the ball ....

"That's another thing that we focus on, is defensive rebounds. Everyone can rebound from the guard position to post position. A'dia (Mathies) had an off night, and everybody stepped up."

 

On their style of play...

"I would say it is not easy. Obviously, it was not easy for me to get used to it when I first came in here."