Kentucky-Boston Postgame Quotes

Nov. 13, 2009

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Kentucky Head Coach Matthew Mitchell

Opening Statement ...

"We are thrilled to start the season off with a win and we need to get a bunch of them this year so we are glad to get the first one. I thought that our team, while not playing anything close to a perfect game, had a really good effort today. That is something that is going to be key to our long term success and that is we have to be able to come out with the right attitude and intensity. I thought that for a large majority of the game today, their attitudes were right. It is a good way to start and we have a long way to go to become a finished project, obviously, but I am happy with this win today."

On forcing a lot of turnovers the first few possessions...

"We don't have a lot of size, but we do have a lot of athleticism so the farther away we can make you start your offense from the basket the better it will be for us. Yes, that is what our game plan was and that will be a formula for success to try to make people earn their baskets and that was a good sign and start of the game, defensively."

On the performance of the juniors ...

"It all started with Victoria Dunlap and I was pleased to see that. I finally had to get her out of the game because I thought that she was going to hurt herself out there. She was so intense and it was great to see her contribute in all areas. Defensively, she had 13 deflections by herself today. That is a tremendous effort. She was very good and I was so happy for Carly Morrow because she has been struggling mightily in practice for the last 10 days in making shots. We told her to hang in there and keep believing and it was great to see her shoot the ball like that. That kid has worked her tail off since the day that she got to Kentucky. Amber Smith's performance today was getting back closer to what we need her to do. She made some plays and I thought her and Rebecca Gray both pushed the tempo where we need it to be. It was a good day for the juniors, definitely."

On Amber Smith's energy and if the rest of the team feeds off of her energy ...

"There is no question. I tell you what; I am after her every day in practice that she has to practice that and make certain that she is our energy. We will go as she goes and her enthusiasm and energy was something that we talked about before the game. We do feed off of her and it is important. The first thing we talked about in our pregame session today was enthusiasm. We needed to play with a lot of enthusiasm and passion and be proud to have that Kentucky uniform on. Every time we get a chance to play wearing that uniform should be special to us. I don't think that we will have a very good team if we don't play that way every time. Amber led us in that today."

On how pleased he was with the on-ball pressure after Boston broke the press ...

"It was good. When the ball handler is having a hard time seeing what decisions she needs to make her chances of success decrease. So that is a big key to the defense. You have to put pressure on the basketball. We talk about guarding the post 30-feet from the basket. Meaning you have to put pressure on the ball handler so they can't find an open person. Ball pressure is going to be something that we work on every single day."

On if this is the game that he envisioned when he started practice this year ...

"I think I said this earlier in the week, we are going to be superior athletically some nights and some night we won't be. We had the advantage today athletically and we need to make that pay off for us. You can't do that if you don't play very hard. This needs to be our style. I don't think that we can walk the ball up or let the other team walk the ball up, especially if they have really a big-post presence. We need to speed the game up. One thing that I thought was good for us today was the players kept running it looked like. We have tried to work hard to get them in shape and our strength coach does a really good job with them, too. We have tried to work on that in practice were they run a lot and I was pleased with that today."

On what they need to work on for the next game...

"We are playing so much effort defensively and getting out and running but we are sloppy in the half court and didn't execute well in the half court. I will have to figure out what is a good balance on that but I know that we can play better in the half court and execute better. I thought Boston wanted to make sure that we didn't get easy looks at the basket so I thought that had something to do with it. I think that needs to get better. As good as the numbers looked, I think that defensively we need to take some steps forward. We need to contain dribble penetration a lot better and we didn't communicate on screens that great today. Finally, rebounding is going to be something that we will continue to work on. So we have a long way to go, no question about it, but today was good."

Kentucky Players

Victoria Dunlap F #34

On her play today...

"I was trying to be there for my teammates. With everyone we had on the court and Lydia out with a shoulder injury, I wanted to step up for them and let them know I was playing for them. I wanted to let them know I was there either way so I played with that mentality."

On if she can dunk...

"I have before, but not recently. I have since my knee injury but haven't tried since a few months ago. I think about it from time-to-time but not yet."

On being in shape and the depth of the team...

"It's pretty important for people to recognize the kind of effort we have on the court. Mainly when we're out there we're thinking of going as hard as we can and just keeping that tempo the entire game."

Carly Morrow G #5

On the junior class setting the tone with their play today...

"From the start, we began with defense. When we got in our press we confused them and we forced them to make plays that they didn't want to make. We made them play up tempo and that's where it started, the press was big. Also, Amber on the back line hustling and being all over the court."

On her shooting picking back up in today's game...

"It's a relief. I had gotten into some old habits this past week, falling away, landing on one foot. Coach Elzy got us in the gym yesterday to work on some very simple drills. It reminded me of the good habits and I had some good looks when they were doubling up on Vic (Dunlap) and her kicking out and also Amber (Smith) driving and kicking in transition. It was all of the team making plays today."

Boston Head Coach Kelly Greenberg

Opening Statement...

"I thought Kentucky played a great defensive game from the get-go. Their press and defensive pressure put us out of our comfort zone early. It took some of our players out of their game and we became pretty tentative. I give their defense a lot of credit because it set the tone for the game."

On Victoria Dunlap...

"We were very familiar with [Victoria] Dunlap. We watched a lot of tape from last season and she is one heck of a player. She does a lot of really good things and she's not the traditional post player. She opens up to the basket then opens up for a quick move. She knows how to get fouled as well. She does a lot of good things, she has pretty good awareness and she doesn't force a bad shot."

On Boston's youth...

"With our coaching staff and team this year, we need to remember to keep things in perspective. We lost a lot of experience to graduation. We are looking to play a lot of our freshmen and we need to improve every day. We had 15 or 16 turnovers at the half and we didn't have that many in entire games last year. We have to take a deep breath and realize we have to keep getting better."

On Kentucky's defense...

"Not many teams in women's basketball press a whole lot and I'm not sure why that is. They are quick at the guard spot and they do some nice things. Players in general become tentative or step back a little bit when they see pressure. Any team that presses usually has success. I don't know how much they have done it in the past, but I'm sure it's something they'll build on this year. They don't have the size some other teams in the conference have, so it could work there."