Kentucky-Kentucky Wesleyan Postgame Quotes

Nov. 7, 2010

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Kentucky Head Coach Matthew Mitchell

Opening statement…
“Well, it was good day for us to get back into Memorial, with a crowd and officials, in a game situation. That was very good for us. We haven’t had a team yet that was a finished product in an exhibition game and we still haven’t and I don’t think you ever will have a team that is completely ready to go for that first day. (There is) certainly a lot to work on, but a lot of bright spots, too. Overall, my impression leaving the game is I’m pretty upbeat about this one.”

On what a 32-0 run feels like…
“I told the players, and I thought I had made a mistake when it was a five-point game, that I didn’t think they could beat us today. That’s no disrespect to Kentucky Wesleyan, I just thought we were so superior with our talent. So, the focus really was not the scoreboard at any time for me and I tried to have the discipline even when it was 47-42. I tried to continue to focus on what I had talked to the players about. So I knew it was 47-42 and I looked up and they had not scored for awhile. So, I was just happy with the energy and the press that got that going. Certainly, the coach in me, you know you can’t rely on the press like that all the time and you’re not going to have a lot of runs like that with the competition we play. But I was pleased with the energy, and they did have to expend the energy to get it done, no matter if they were superior athletically or not. They played hard during that spurt so that was a positive. I was feeling good about the energy at that time.”

On the freshman players, specifically Samantha Drake…
“Samantha Drake has a world of talent. She’s just an extremely talented young player. With all of our young players we’re just trying to emphasize that talent will not get you to where you want to go and that hard work must be applied to those gifts that you’ve been given. You must be honest and work hard and have some discipline in your life and in your basketball game. You have to have that. Samantha is very talented and she made some plays, little bitty things here and there, that I’m very pleased to see that you can’t coach with a player. She has fantastic hands, she catches just about everything and she has really good instincts. You know, (she’s) behind defensively, as all of our kids are. Samantha, in particular, is not used to matching up at that pace. She let a few threes go there because she didn’t match up correctly, but she’s very talented and I’m very excited about her future if she keeps her mind right and her attitude right she has a lot of potential.”

On the point guard spot and the play of Maegan Conwright…
“(Conwright) looked the best today. That wasn’t hard to see. We were just talking in the back, her instincts are fantastic. That remains my biggest concern, that position. Because Maegan’s ball-handling, when she’s with someone as talented as she is, that’s what we’ve really got to make certain, that she can get in and run the offense and initiate the offense against really good teams. That’s my concern with her. She’s fantastic open court, as you can see. And defensively, she is just what we thought when we recruited her. We thought she was one of the best perimeter defenders in that class. That was one thing that attracted us to her. I thought she was the best of any of her options today.”

On Jennifer O’Neill being young and needing to improve…
“Jen has some work to do. I am very optimistic that it will come together for her. Jen’s pretty hard on herself and that’s holding her back. She has to let that go. She has to stop being so hard on herself in practice because it doesn’t allow her to get on to the next play. She needs to progress some defensively and offensively she needs to run the team a little bit better. She’s not a player that I’m displeased with, we just have a lot of talent over there on the bench. It’s going to be really, really competitive. The way I’ve looked at it in practice, there are going to be some nights where the minutes are going to be tough to come by and it  doesn’t mean you’re a bad player, it just means somebody has done a better job in practice. It’s a good situation that we’re in.”

Kentucky Players

#1, A’dia Mathies, G

On UK’s big second-half run …
“I was on the bench at the end of the run and heard that we were on a 32-0 run. I didn’t realize we did that much. It was very exciting to get that big of a run, it was great.”

On what she learned about her team today …
“I think it shows we have a lot of potential. I believe everybody played a significant amount of minutes and contributed in their own way. I think that if we all come together as the team we’re capable of being, we can go really far.”

On Coach saying minutes are going to be hard to come by this season …
“Last year you just had to play through fatigue because we didn’t have that many players.  Now, if you’re doing something wrong constantly you will come out, somebody will substitute for you. It just gives you more motivation to play even harder, play even smarter and just go out there and do your best.”

#32, Kastine Evans, G

On what she learned about her team today …
“Definitely learned more about the style of play that we want to play. It was definitely evident that we went out and had a lot of energy and it was just good to be able to see that.”

On UK’s big second-half run …
 “I was on the bench during it, too so you get to see the tempo that they’re running. You get to see all of it going on. It’s just good to see all the girls getting up and down the floor.”

On if playing time makes things more competitive …
“It definitely does. I think having the mindset that you might come out of the game just gives everyone more power. Also, on the better side, to have other people that can come in and play that role and have other people come out I think its really important and really good for us.”

#34, Victoria Dunlap, F

On Conwright being an option at the point guard position …
“I think it’s still a work in progress to have a steady point guard but I think all of them, Crystal, Jen (Jennifer O’Neill), and even Maegan are working really just to get the feel especially since we’re used to seeing Amber out on the court. I think once we get into more games, especially more practices, the intensity will get much better.”

Kentucky Wesleyan Head Coach Caleb Nieman

On the game...
It’s really an honor for Kentucky Wesleyan to be here. We actually pattern our program after Kentucky’s program. The way that they get out and pressure people, full-court press and things like that. We want to get to that point. This is Nicole and I’s first year at this program so we’ve had 18 days to do it. Hopefully we can get out and eventually get a full-court game going. It was really cool to be in it at some times. It was cool for our girls to feel what it’s going to be like when they can do that to other teams.”
On the run by Kentucky…
“It teaches you not to use all of your timeouts. We had players use two of them and we hadn’t even talked about that, so, we’re definitely not going to fault them for using timeouts. I used timeouts in the first half but we’d rather the game not get away from us early. We wanted the girls to have confidence that they’re staying with this team as long as we did. We feel that’s a confidence builder rather than let it get away from us too early. Offensively, we didn’t have enough things to throw at them to keep them off balance. They were getting in passing lanes because they saw and predicted all of our entries. They just did a great job of really getting through stuff and really frustrating us. It was hard to take, there is no doubt about it. I think one thing we did bad in that run was we probably took too many threes. They were all falling for us in the first half and we just settled for them in the second half. It would have been nice to see some more attacking, getting into the lane, pump fakes and quality shots.”