Kentucky-Northern Kentucky Postgame Quotes

Dec. 3, 2014

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Kentucky Head Coach Matthew Mitchell

Opening statement …
“Well, we’re happy to win tonight. Give Northern Kentucky a lot of credit. They sure played hard. Came and competed. They were well-coached and really played hard tonight. We are just going to keep working. Trying to get better. Trying to tighten up our defense. We need some practices here to try to see if we can sharpen up in all areas. We’re looking forward to having a team meeting. Glad we could get a victory tonight.”

On the team’s shooting …
“We have to be a better shooting team than that. We did try to get some reps on that yesterday and today. We didn’t show that very much tonight. That’s an area where we just have to individually step up there. Azia Bishop yesterday got a lot of reps, and she just comes in the game and was not prepared, not focused or whatever it is. She has a really good shot. It just has to be mental. There’s not a lot you can do there, but just work at it and keep working at it. We sure missed far too many tonight.”

On the team’s free throw shooting this year …
“We’re not shooting free throws well.”

On how Kyvin Goodin-Rogers played …
“She was aggressive to start. Offensively when she gets in a rhythm she can make some 3s for us. She can get to the basket. Play with some energy offensively. In transition she can help us out. We just have to take advantage of some practice time, and get better in the half court. Our post players are seeing a lot of packed lanes. We are not reading those situations real well in the half court. She got us off to a good start offensively, and scored a bunch of points early in the game.”

On the first-half turnovers …
“Very concerning. It has been that way a lot this season, where we will have one half where we just don’t value the ball. Come back in the second half and do a little bit better. That’s the challenge for this team is consistency. Trying to become consistent. When you have one half where you turn it over 12, and the next half you turn it over four. Not much changed at halftime. The players don’t get smarter, or stronger or faster on the other side. You clearly made better decisions and valued the ball more. The ones that are killing us are just the needless ones. You try to figure out what the player is thinking when she throws the pass. It’s been a problem for us. Hopefully through some dedicated time in practice, with players working hard we can get that corrected.”

On if he saw anything residual on O’Neill and Thompson’s injuries …
“No. That was a little frightening to see those two go down early in the game, but Janee ended up with 33 minutes. That’s probably a season high for her. Jennifer, I don’t think had any problems with her hip.”

On Bria Goss breaking out today …
“Bria just plays so hard and works so hard for you and I think she was pressing a little bit and shooting real off balance shots early in the season. That’s what I attribute to. She really panicked around the goal and off balance. Tonight I really thought she was much more under control and took good shots. You know she’s not shooting free throws well right now. Seventy percent for her is not typical, but it makes you a champion on this current team. I think Bria has a lot of good basketball in front of her. She’s a good player.”

On defensive performance …
“I just thought the positioning was poor at times. We’re not a real cohesive defensive group. There were some good flashes. I think that when some of your real important players like Makayla Epps, who’s been interested this season in defense, and she wasn’t really tonight. It’s just one of those old flaws that resurfaced tonight. She wasn’t into it defensively and I didn’t think Jennifer was into it defensively. We played our freshmen together tonight. Alyssa Rice is into it, but she’s just off balance and fouling. We just disjointed. Our team needs to be really sharp and everybody needs to give a great effort. We’ve certainly shown that we can be a good defensive team. I think we’ll be a good defensive team eventually, but we weren’t tonight.”

On lack of practice and time during holidays …
“I think that we just need to treat every practice as a real precious opportunity to get better. I’m not making excuses. I’m just telling you what I think we need right now. I think we need some time to get some reps and be able to do some things. I look forward to hopefully three good days of practice leading into Sunday’s game.”

On going on the road to face Louisville …
“One thing that helps you is if you have to worry about energy in that game, then you’re in trouble. In my previous seven meetings, we’ve only had to worry about energy one time. It’s a very rare occurrence when one team in that game is not energetic and ready to play. That should help and I thought tonight we were a bit unfocused and we can’t play our best when we play that way. We played well enough to win tonight and you can’t take that victory away from us, but clearly we have to play much sharper. I think their confidence level can increase between now and then with some good practice.”

Kentucky Student-Athlete Quotes

#13 Bria Goss, G, Sr.

On playing so many games with little practice time …
“It has been tough. We have played a lot of games so far with very little practice so it’s a lot of mental focus and making sure that we’re taking care of our bodies and staying physically healthy. We are capable of doing better as we go along.”

On free throws …
“I haven’t made every one this year, but I’m still very confident along with my teammates. We know that we’re not going to make every one but that still gives us room to get in the gym and get better and concentrate and really focus in. I usually shoot a lot before and after practice. After I notice something I did in the game I tune it up.”

On her impact on and off the floor for this team …
“There are still a lot of things I am doing off the court, so me not being the leading scorer did not discourage me because I do a lot of the things that the stats don’t show and that people don’t want to talk about, which is fine. Yes, it was nice to be on the board tonight, but my main focus is a Kentucky win.”

On Makayla Epps’ and Linnae Harper’s production off the bench …
“They give us a lot and would be starting anywhere else. They bring a lot of energy. They are silly and fun to be around.”

On what this team takes out of this game headed to UL on Sunday …
“We can take away a lot from this game, just watching film seeing what we are and what we’re not doing well and getting back to the practice floor. We have a few days before Louisville and that’s always great. Coach (Mitchell) is going to take care of our bodies, but we’re really going to hit it hard and make sure were all focused.”

Northern Kentucky Head Coach Dawn Plitzuweit

Opening statement …
“I thought overall, our kids did a good job of competing. They played really hard. Obviously we need to take care of the ball a little bit better and keep them off the free throw line. I think we could have rebounded better but we were challenged certainly to do that. Their size, athleticism and their speed is an area that we need to get better at. Overall, I was really proud of our kids and proud of the effort. It was a great opportunity just to play Kentucky on their home court.”

On the team’s effort …
“I thought our kids played really hard. I was very pleased with our effort. I thought they were really working at it and competing. I thought as the game wore on, we started to recognize some opportunities that we had offensively that we weren’t sure about early in the first half. We weren’t really driving to score it, we were driving to pass it and we turned it over doing some of those things. I thought our kids got better in this game, it was a great opportunity for us.”

On Kentucky’s defensive pressure …
“Yeah, they turned us over an awful a lot. They do a good job of getting up and pressuring you, keeping their hands off and getting their hands on the basketball. They turned us over at least three times in that scenario. We had three or four times when we were penetrating the basket and a kid came from behind and we would clear edges and then someone else would come from behind and we turned it over. If we recognized that, we had a wide-open kid on the perimeter and we are not afraid to shoot it from the arc if we recognized that. So they are very aggressive, very good defensively and really frustrated us. I think the difficult things teams have playing against them is getting into an offense if you are trying to run an offense – a patterned offense. We run a motion offense, it gives us a little different opportunity for us. It doesn’t matter if our post kid enters it or our perimeter kid enters it. But it was hard for us to get in and move the ball and take care of it against them.”