Kentucky-McNeese State Postgame Quotes

Nov. 28, 2009

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Kentucky Head Coach Matthew Mitchell

Opening Statement ...

"It was a good win for us and I am proud of the players today. I thought that we were a little out of sync offensively in the first half but I think that we came back and had a better effort in the second half offensively. I thought that the players did a good job of regaining their intensity when we lost it at times. We finished the game strong. It is good to get a win today and good to be 6-0. We will keep trying to improve."

On what went right in the first half when Kentucky took a big lead behind a key run ...

"The one big adjustment we tried to make coming out of halftime was to pass the ball better, move the ball better and set better screens. For whatever reason, this team feels that it wants to be in a hurry on offense. I don't want them to be in a hurry, I want them to move the ball and to make good decisions. I thought we did a better job there. We made some good decisions in moving the basketball to the basket. When those things happen for us we are going to do better offensively. "

On applying full court pressure the entire game ...

"We haven't had a lot of practice time and the reason that we stayed in the press today was that there is not another better look you can get because they are running the press break and trying to break the pressure. I thought that we made a little progress in our two-two-one today. We have always thought that this team had the athletic ability to do it. That comes with experience and being able to make reads and you don't get that unless you get repetition. I was glad that we stayed in the press and make some plays in it. That will be a key in our long-term success for us to be able to apply pressure whether it be full court or half court. I was, at times, very pleased with our full court press today."

On what is so effective about the 2-2-1 press ...

"It just allows us to use our athleticism and we have some length on that second line. We have some quickness up on the front line so it is a good combination. We have some intelligent players that we can put in the back and that is really where you have to be smart and know where to go and where to rotate. It just fits our personnel really well."

On going deep into the bench today ...

"It was very good to be able to get everybody in and get everybody some time today. That is a key for us moving forward in the long-term. We need to be able to play a lot of players because of the intensity we need to play with defensively. A few times you can see them give a lot on the press and working hard and you need to be able to get them out after that to give them a breather and keep the intensity going. It was great to be able to get Anna Cole some playing time. She has not been able to get in for any extended length of time and it was not a lot of time today but it was a good amount of game experience. She is working awfully hard and doing individual workouts every single day and she is making progress."

On winning the most games in November in UK history and what that means to him ...

"I have said countless times how excited it is to be able to coach at Kentucky and how proud I am to be here. Anytime that we can do anything special reflects how the players prepared in August and September and were ready to go in November is great. Obviously, we have a long way to go and we need to get better. They had six games put on the schedule for them and they made the most of it. It is exciting. We have had the advantage in just about every game and we have probably been the favorites in each game. What I have liked is that the players have played hard. I thought that today we did probably the best job of responding to a sluggish first half and bouncing back with some intensity. That is good. It is sometimes easy to look at the score board and for the most part if we have been up big we have held the intensity. We know we have to improve heading into conference play."

On Keyla Snowden ...

"I thought that she was more aggressive than anybody in the first half, and I told her that at halftime. What created that was her defense intensity. I know that she can play offense. There are not a lot of people that I have coached or been around that have the gift of shooting or the intelligence to make plays. She drives the ball well and knows what to do with it. I have been trying to get her to turn it up on the defensive end and she did that today.

#4, Keyla Snowden, G

On her strong first half ...

"I just felt that I had to come out and make plays and help my team out in any way. I think that our defense picked up in the second half and that caused us to get the big lead."

On if she could see the defense starting to wear on McNeese State ...

"Yeah, in practice we focus a lot on keep running and playing hard and making sure that we keep the intensity up. I think that is starting to transfer to the game. We usually have a lot more stamina than our opponents."

On this being a very unselfish team ...

"Definitely, any night it can be anyone on our team. It depends on who is having the big night. That will help us in the long run. Teams will have trouble focusing on our outside or inside because we have so many threats."

On if this team likes to play defense ...

"Yeah, but with defense you have to work at it. Coach is always saying, `Defense comes from the heart.' And we definitely have a lot of heart on this team."

#34, Victoria Dunlap, F

On does this team like to play defense ...

"I think so. We've worked on it a lot and (Coach Matthew Mitchell) continually says we have to be strong on defense. There's a challenge personally for me because the team I used to play with was an all boys team and you couldn't break down on defense at all. It's just much easier for me to stay up on defense."

On what caused the slow first half ...

"We can't really give an excuse, we came out strong and then let up. I think we kind of settled for where we were because we were beating them but were weren't going all out. We just have to stay strong and not let the team come back on us."

On what about the press suites you guys...

"I think just our intensity and just knowing where everyone is. Also, mentally we know we can stop people with our press and it gives us confidence."

McNeese State Head Coach Brooks Donald Williams

Opening Statement...

"First of all, I want to say Kentucky is extremely lucky. Matthew Mitchell and his coaching staff are amazing. I really respect what they are doing in recruiting around the country and how they are building this Kentucky program. I am honored to be here in Kentucky and I wish our girls had been better competition. I'm excited for Matthew Mitchell and the future of Kentucky basketball."

On Kentucky's defense...

"Their defensive pressure is really good and tough. I think this year's defense causes complete chaos. It really makes other teams struggle to get anything going on the offensive end. I know they are going to be very successful down the road with that defensive effort. It is impressive that even when they are up 20 or 30, they'll come at you with the same intensity and fire, in full and half court. That is tough for teams to do, and Kentucky did that today."

On playing at Kentucky and building the McNeese State program...

"It's a great opportunity for our girls to learn from such a basketball environment. We are building a program and we are young, and we are trying to show them what it's about. Today is a great example of, if you work, play hard, get in the gym, give a defensive effort, and have intensity and fire, you're going to build a successful program. Throughout the game, our coaching staff finds the positives, and we learn how we can better our program and team. I have no question we'll do that. There were some bright spots, but against a good basketball team, when you make several small mistakes, the opponent goes on runs. We need to improve that if we are going to compete at a different level. So, we are excited to build that for our future."