Kentucky-Cincinnati Postgame Quotes

Nov. 17, 2008

Recap | Box Score | Notes | Photo Gallery 

Head Coach Matthew Mitchell

Opening Statement …
“That was a big win for us tonight. I was a bit concerned about our team’s mindset coming into this game. We did not play well Saturday and we only had one day to make adjustments, mainly our attitudes. We got off to a rocky start tonight and it is a real testament to our players to have the ability to change their attitude and their way of thinking and to accept our coaching and adjustments at halftime. I am always proud to be the coach of Kentucky and I am awfully proud of our team tonight for winning this game.”

On Victoria Dunlap’s three-point shooting …
“There has been some debate on the coaching staff on if we should let Victoria shoot threes or not. I told them that one of these days they were going to fall. Victoria Dunlap can be this kind of player, and when she gets into a rhythm and into the flow of the game she can make those shots. I have seen her make those shots. I just felt like it was a matter of time before one went down and that it would take the lid off. I was proud of her, because she is not naturally comfortable being a go-to player, but she has performed marvelously thus far and I am proud of her for accepting her role on the team.”

On Dunlap’s ability to be a lock-down defender and explosive offense player as well…
“We had to as a coaching staff, make a decision on that (deciding to let Dunlap guard Cincinnati’s Kahla Roudebush). The press had been good to us. We pressed 17 times in the first half and they only scored three times. I felt that we couldn’t find her (Roudebush) in the press and I thought that it left a chance for her to get on a role. When that happens you have to find her and I thought that our man-to-man defense was going to help us do that. I knew that Victoria was who we had to put on her because she (Victoria) is so athletic and can play in a stance more consistently than anyone else on the team. She can really bother a shooter. After we made that adjustment, Roudebush scored five points the rest of the game and that was a key in us winning tonight.”

On how he got the team to focus mentally after the slow start…
“I was feeling a little down at halftime and my coaches did a great job of helping us stay focused. It was frustrating the way we shot the ball on Saturday and then another poor performance in the first half so it is frustrating. Your job is to try to get the players ready and focused to win the game. We made some adjustments at halftime and I made sure they knew that with these adjustments we could win the game and they came out and played a fantastic first four minutes. That was the key to the game to be able to take away their eight-point halftime advantage.”

On the team staying on the court after the game to sing the UK fight song “On, On U of K” …
“That is a new thing that we are doing. We are planning on that becoming a tradition for every win we have in Memorial Coliseum. We will go down and sing our fight song and if you earn the right to sing that fight song then you have done good things. I just want our players to understand how special it is to play for this university and that is one of the ways for us to show outwardly how proud we are.”

On Carly Morrow’s play…
“I thought that she made some key baskets and I have been waiting for her to be the kind of shooter that I believe that she can be. That is the role that she needs to play on this team. Sometimes she is her own worst enemy because she puts so much pressure on herself instead of just relaxing and expecting the ball to go in. I was happy to see her do that tonight and I thought that she defended a lot better.”

Kentucky Players

#1 Eleia Roddy F/C

On winning the game…
“It feels great, especially coming off the loss to Michigan. We showed that we can fight through adversity. It shows the tip of what we’re going to do this season. It’s a confidence booster.”

On the struggles at the start of the game…
“We were just a little bit discombobulated. It also happened when our UK Volleyball team against Florida on Sunday. They were behind and came back. That’s what happened to us. We tried to get off to a good start; that was our mentality going into the game. I think once we settled down we were alright.”

On winning the rebounding again…
“That is something we want to be in our mentality. We are known for our rebounding. We want to keep out-rebounding teams. That is something we drilled in our heads at halftime; we needed to stay on the boards. We want to keep doing that every game.”

On Victoria Dunlap…
“I know if I put up a shot Victoria will be there to rebound. If she puts up a shot and misses I’ll be there to rebound. She’s so athletic and I love that about her. Having her on my team is a bonus because neither of us has to do it all. Pushing each other is good for the team.”

#34 Victoria Dunlap F

On winning the game…
“It feels great. There is a lot of energy and adrenaline running through us. We are going to get ready for practice on Wednesday and prepare for this weekend.”

On her three-point shooting…
“It definitely gives me more confidence. I’m definitely going to try to shoot more and Coach will expect me to shoot more.”

On being down at halftime…
“Mentally we knew we had to come back in the second half and play harder than they were in the first. I think we felt it was dragging us down, but we didn’t put our heads down and say we were going to lose. We said we were going to go back out there and do what we needed to do to pull out the win.”

On being a presence in the offense…
“The coaches talked to me about it and told me I needed to be able to do certain things for the team. I wouldn’t say that threatened me but it told me I needed to get better, to get in the gym, get a lot of shots up, and build my confidence up. That was one of my issues; I didn’t have confidence to be a shooter.”

On improving the offense…
“I think the guards started shooting and got down on themselves because they were missing shots. I tell them to keep shooting because we will be there to rebound. They need to keep shooting to get their confidence up. If they make one shot they can make another and go at it that way.”

On guarding Cincinnati’s Kahla Broudebush…
“It made my energy level rise even more. Knowing that they wanted me on the shooter, to stop her was a big role for me to play. I actually loved it.”

Cincinnati Head Coach J. Kelley Hall

On the game…
"I thought it was a game of two halves where we controlled the first halve and did what we needed to do. We had four goals that we wanted to accomplish and at halftime we were ahead in all four of them. I have to give Kentucky a lot of credit because in the second half they changed several things. They basically turned the game back on us and forced us to try and go out and finish. On defense we did what we wanted to do and forced them to shoot a lot of three-point shots, but it was our inability to properly rebound the basketball that really hurt us. I know Kentucky is a very good offensive rebounding team. I saw that they had many offensive rebounds in their two exhibition games. We certainly knew what we were facing, battling them on the boards. Kentucky had four big possessions where they got put-backs down the stretch and it hurt us to allow them to shoot so close to the basket after rebounding the ball. We made them shoot 32 percent but at the end of the day they out rebounded us. It is hard to overcome being outrebounded like that."

On Kentucky's defense…
"I thought what really changed the game was when Kentucky stopped pressing and forced us into a half-court game. I felt like Victoria Dunlap did a great job playing defense against us, but when Kentucky made the adjustment and stopped pressing it changed the entire game."