Kentucky-Lipscomb Postgame Quotes

Nov. 21, 2013

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Kentucky Head Coach Matthew Mitchell

On the game today…
“Our players played extremely hard tonight. We had a good night, played together, played with a lot of hustle, a lot of effort. We are proud of the victory. You can’t just show up on a night like tonight, you have to work really, really hard. Lipscomb has our respect. They played really hard, and are very well-coached. I think they will win a bunch of ball games this year. We were very, very in-tune with each other tonight. Played really, really hard and did a great job. I am really happy for our team. We worked hard tonight.”

On the amount of pressure they want to put on the opponent…
“The goal for us is to put 40 minutes of pressure on you. Not just 40 minutes of defensive pressure. I think the offensive push and the push on misses and makes is hard to deal with. You don’t see a lot of teams do that, and we just practice it so hard. We practice it every day. We have a team that is built for it.  We have a bunch of young women that come in every single day and run up and down the floor really hard and train to do it. I think it puts a tremendous amount of pressure on people. Even in games when the margins not big, sometimes in the past we have run into teams where we played in a slowed down game with them and they’ve beaten us. That offensive push might get you the winning bucket; the bucket that makes the difference. I think the pressure our offense puts on you in transition is significant.”

On how well his team is playing together this early in the season…
“I am just really happy for them. I just start each season with a blank canvas and I thought this team had a chance to do some good things. We’ve done some good things so far. We have such a long way to go and some really difficult obstacles between now and the end of the season. I am really happy that they are playing hard and playing together and playing like they’ve got some confidence. We’ll need it Sunday. We play a very formidable opponent on Sunday. That will be the next one we try to focus on and see if we can get a win.”

On the success the team has had at Middle Tennessee…
“We haven’t had much success there the last two times, we have really struggled down there because of Middle Tennessee’s fine play the last two games. I don’t think those two games should factor in on this game. We have to go down there with a very, very sharp mental focus. Our preparation has to be excellent. We don’t have that much time to prepare, two short practices coming up. Tomorrow will not be a long practice, short practice Saturday. We will have to be very sharp in our preparation. They are such a good combination, always great players, always good coaching. Coach Insell will have a plan that gives them a chance to win and then you put a terrific crowd in there and it is a formidable place to go play. We look forward to that challenge and one that I think is good for this team. We need to go down and work hard to pass that test on Sunday afternoon.”

On the missed free throws in the first half…
“Well I need to fire the free throw coach. We are going to go back and see who they’ve assigned that to and they could possibly be terminated this evening. Unless it’s me, I’m not going to fire myself. I think I am the free throw coach so scratch that. We are not going to do anything with the free throw coach we are going to let him stay around. On a night like tonight where the players play so well and play together, we have over 20 assists and shoot the ball 52 percent, there is all sort of things we can look and find. Free throws we do need to do better. I still think we need to cut our turnovers down. There are a couple of things that individual players need to do against teams that are more talented that maybe we weren’t able to have success with tonight. So there are things in the game, although the margins large, that you can go back and try to focus on. We have not shot the free throws as well at times. There have been times where we miss too many free throws. We need to work on that and do better in that department.”

On what it is like coaching a team that is deep in talent…
“It’s really fun to see the players prepare and then be rewarded with success in the game. Tonight I was so happy because I could see the play developing. In your mind as a coach you are talking through, ‘well I hope she sees this and does that’ and they do it. It makes you really happy that they are getting some benefit from practice and they are taking it in the game. Tonight I thought our focus was to be as best as we could and I thought there were times where the players just made really beautiful plays that showed they focused mentally and executing it physically. So it is a lot of fun on a night like tonight to watch your players play well.”

On have two talented point guards…
 “I am really proud of Jennifer (O’Neill) and Janee (Thompson) for understanding that the goal of that is real. It is not to placate one and play mind games so ones not upset. We are not playing some point guard controversy. They are really trying to play together. I saw them today at pre-game meal sitting beside each other, walked over to C.A.T.S together. Our whole philosophy there is that if they can become the best single point guard together in the country, I think it bodes well for us. I am really proud of their attitude and how they are approaching that. All of the players are working hard and have put our team in a good position. We need to stay very humble, work very hard and stay hungry in practice every day. When we do that we will have a lot of opportunities to win some big games this year and play well.”

Kentucky Student-Athletes

#3, Janee Thompson, So., PG

On eight players in double figures and what sort of lineup Coach Mitchell will put on the floor…
“You never know with Coach Mitchell, especially in games like this, he might put five guards on the floor. Just with our athleticism and versatility of players most of us can get out there and play one through five positions.”

On Coach Mitchell’s two point guard system…
“I think that starts off the court. Jennifer (O’Neill) and I have a really good relationship off the court and that just transfers onto the court. He knows that either one of us could be on the floor anytime and he trusts the both of us equally. We just try to do our best and give Coach Mitchell what he is looking for whenever one of us is on the floor.”

#13, Bria Goss, Jr., G

On eight players in double figures…
“It says that we have worked on our offense this summer. We did a lot of offensive execution during the offseason and preseason and we are still doing a lot of offensive fundamentals, getting in the gym outside of practice. It’s kind of showing up now.”

On almost setting a school record for team points in a game…
“I had no idea. We were just going out there and playing. Our defense was allowing us to get a lot of easy lay-ups at the end.”

On halftime talk about the first half missed free throws…
“Yes, it was brief. Usually when we go in the locker room we have a list of points of improvements and a list of things we were doing well and free throws were on the points of improvements. We came in the second half and just knocked free throws down. “

On facing Middle Tennessee…
“We lost my freshman year; it was a great crowd, great environment, and a great place to play. I think it’s going to show our mental toughness when going down there. We only have a few hours, Coach Mitchell said to get prepared. That means a lot of mental hours outside the gym.”

On 20-plus assist games…
“That is almost unheard of. That just kind of shows you where we are at as a team right now. Eight players in double figures and 20 assists, it is only going to get better from here. We still have a long way to go and a lot more games to play. I am excited to see what the team goes from here.”

#23, Samarie Walker, Sr., F

On 20-plus assist games…
“I don't think we heard anything about it until tonight and I think we only had like eight at the half and he told us we need to pick it up and pass the ball more. Just drive and shoot it, then drive and kick, drive and kick then got a shot off. That was definitely a point of emphasis at the halftime.”

On facing Middle Tennessee…
“It's a really tough environment to play in. They have very tough players. They have a few returners. Ebony Rowe is still playing for them she is a really great player. We will just have to play hard and stay with it, even though the crowd is tough.”

On eight players in double figures…
“I think it shows how talented this team is and also how good our bench is. Linnae Harper came off the bench and scored 12. Bernisha Pinkett came off the bench and hit 15. That’s really good you don't see many teams that can do that.”

On almost setting a school record for team points in a game…
“We wanted to hit triple digits. That was a point of emphasis but I don't think we knew what the record was.”

Lipscomb Head Coach Greg Brown

Opening Statement …
“Obviously Kentucky is an excellent team. I told Matthew (Mitchell) and Coach (Jeff) House before the game I thought they were so well put together in the post, to a crafty point guard, to guys that can put the ball in the hole. They are going to be a very, very good SEC team. They are going to be a very, very good nationally-ranked team. They are put together very well.”

On his feelings after the game …
“They are a better team than us, I told the team that and everybody knew that. We had some specific process goals. The best thing is, UK is not in the Atlantic Sun. What we have to do is get a couple players eligible, get our transfers ready to go and take some things out of the game. The best thing is I have their attention now. The little things that you ignore in practice are magnified here against elite athletes. The best thing for us is to take this back and prepare for Tennessee State and Murray State as we go along. It’s a learning process and I think we have their attention a little bit right now.”

On the amount of turnovers his team had and if they were forced by Kentucky …
“The answer is yes. I told them when you watch the game on tape tomorrow, it is not going to seem nearly as fast as when you were playing it. That’s what Kentucky does, they mentally drain you. I don’t think it’s as much physically as it is mentally draining. With a bunch of freshman that aren’t used to that it’s difficult. It’s going to be difficult for anyone in the SEC as well. They can put waves of pressure on you and then force those turnovers.”

On how Chandler Cooper played …
“She’s getting there. She was just eligible last week at 11:30 in the morning and she was out early in the season with some injuries, so she’ll get there. We are a blending team right now, and like I said we have one more transfer to be eligible after exams, so we will continue to go through that. Kentucky just makes you pay for your weaknesses.”