Kentucky-MVSU Postgame Quotes

Nov. 27, 2011

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Kentucky Head Coach Matthew Mitchell

Opening Statement …
“Good win for us today and I was glad that we were able to play with some energy in the first 30 minutes of the game and put the game away pretty early. We had some good moments in the game today and we are happy to be 7-0.”

On Amber Smith’s play today …
“I think that Amber’s experience and just her talent helps us a lot. She is slowly but surely getting back closer to full speed. She had some really good moments today with five assists and two turnovers that is a really good ratio. I think when she is shooting the ball well like she has the last couple of games that helps us a lot. I was just pleased. I thought that her energy level the first 30 minutes was just so different than what it was two nights ago. I was happy with the start.”

On Amber Smith going over the press table after a loose ball and if he’s comfortable with her doing that…
“That is just sort of the way we play. No, I would not like for her to go over tables and I would not like for her to run into a chair or anything like that, but I have accepted that that is sort of what we have instilled in them in practice. That is sort of what happens in practice every day because we don’t blow the whistle a lot and we have a lot of collisions and things like that. That is part of how we play so I would rather see that than someone not hustling for it. I hold my breath a lot on different plays out there like when Bria Goss had that collision out there and hit her head. It is a pretty physical style of play so you just have to go full speed and see what happens.”

On Jen O’Neill and how she is recovering from injury …
“Yes, she is getting closer. She is out of the boot now and shooting now. The last hurdle we have to clear here is that there is a pin in her toe now and just for the bone around the toe to get used to that pin being in. That is a little bit painful, but it is normal and just part of the process. We are looking for her to come back and see what she can do this week. We are still on target for the first week of December, second week of December. That was our target. She is progressing nicely. The doctors really like how her foot looks now. She is raring to go and fired up to be back out there. Her attitude is really good. Obviously I don’t know what she can do or what impact she can be but if her attitude remains good I think you are putting another weapon out there on the court for us.”

On the depth of the team …
“I think that we have numerous weapons. On the court at one time, when you have those kind of players and a lot of guards that can make plays in the open floor and they can create for other people. I thought for the first half and the first 10 minutes of the second half they were really getting the ball into gaps and kicking the ball out to open people. The last 10 minutes it didn’t look very good and we let down mentally. When you have those kind of weapons on the court it gives you some confidence that no matter what situation you are in you can score enough points to win a ballgame. For a long time here we tried to see who could score the fewest points and now we have a team that could score enough points even on an off night defensively. We hope that continues to develop and people keep taking steps forward. I do think that we have assembled some talent on this team.”

Kentucky Player Quotes

#24, Amber Smith, PG, Senior

On if she's hesitant to save a ball going out of bounds...
“Not at all. The only thing that was going through my mind was that I was saving it on their end of the court. But I went for it and we came up with the ball so I was just happy.”

On having seven different players score in double figures...
“I think any given night anyone can score. It's not just one player a team can key on. If they shut A'dia (Mathies) or Bria (Goss) down, it just means other people can step up. I'm just happy that we have that because we haven't had that depth in the past. I'm just happy we are versatile.”

On the next game Sunday vs. Louisville...
“You just don't know. The number 26. We lost by 26 and I was on the bench, and couldn't do anything about it. That just hurt. It is the biggest game of the season because it is the next one, but we are all just looking forward to it. I can't wait, I'm ready right now.”

#10, Bernisha Pinkett, G, Sophomore

On how a game with such a big margin can help the team improve…
“It makes you a little better, but you don’t know how good you are until you play somebody that plays at the same level of competition as you.”

On if the team’s blowout wins might have them overconfident going into the tougher part of the schedule…
“No, not at all.”

Mississippi Valley State Head Coach Nate Kilbert

On rating Kentucky compared to other teams he has seen…
“For creating problems for what we like to do, it isn’t even close. They are way better because they create problems for us. I think they are probably the best team we have played. Nebraska had a great shooting game against us but they don’t put the kind of pressure on the game that Kentucky does, they don’t create those kind of problems for us because normally we are faster than the bigger schools that we play against. We didn’t have an advantage anywhere. That’s the problem they create for us. They may have some problems with teams that can match up better than we did. I think they are better than No. 11.”

On Kentucky’s pressure…
“We’re used to doing it ourselves; we’re not used to having it done to us. I thought we could spread them out four across and get that long pass on them but we couldn’t even get that. They were tipping the ball up front. It’s really ugly because they get at you from every angle. I thought we did a decent job in the second half. They make it tough for you to get it in bounds and then once you get it in bounds if you don’t get the spacing right their big people will steal the passes. It’s really something you need more than one day to work on. You need a month at least to actually work against that because it is constant pressure. They do it off made baskets, off free throws, on dead balls, it is some tough pressure. I am glad we got to play against them because we have some teams in our conference that play like that but not as good.”