Kentucky-Florida A&M Postgame Quotes

Dec. 13, 2009

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Kentucky Head Coach Matthew Mitchell

Opening Statement...

"There was a lot of effort given by our players today and I'm very appreciative of that. They played extremely hard, and they did what we asked them to do from an effort standpoint. What we asked our players to do was play with great enthusiasm today, no matter if we got way up or way down. No, matter the situation we were in, we wanted to play with a lot of enthusiasm and we did that. I'm very proud of them and it was a good win for us."

On Kentucky's defense...

"I am really proud of the pressure we were able to give defensively. Our players continued to guard and Florida A&M had some bad numbers in the second half. But, I give a lot of credit to our players for continuing to play hard, making every pass difficult to complete for Florida A&M. It takes a lot of energy to play that way. I think that was the key to getting the big run in the second half."

On staying motivated despite a large lead...

"We are not defined by this one game and we have a lot of basketball yet to be played. What we are doing is trying to get better, no matter what the situation is. We stay motivated by continuing to talk about what we need to do, and not what the other team needs to do. We need to continue to do that every time we take the floor, whether we are up by a big margin or down a big margin. No matter what the situation, we need to know our formula for success. We need to work toward that at all times."

On playing without Victoria Dunlap...

"I told the team before the game that I have tremendous respect for Florida A&M. They had beaten some tough teams in tough situations, so they had proven they have talented players and that can be dangerous. But, I was very calm when I got the news, and the reason I was is because the players had prepared at a very high level this week. If they would focus and do what we had talked about in preparation for the game, I was confident in them. They proved me right. It all came from Lydia Watkins who had a fantastic week in practice, Brittany Henderson who worked extra this week, and Rebecca Gray and Keyla Snowden who worked extra on their defense this week. I would certainly rather have Vic(toria), but I was happy we were able to get that kind of win without her. It's a real credit to our players for coming out and staying focused."

On tying the school record and being 9-0...

"Our reality is 9-0 means absolutely nothing. I am happy we have played with enthusiasm, energy and effort. Today we played with a lot of hustle and that gives me a lot reason to be optimistic for the future. We will not be the most talented team in the country this year and we are going to play in a very difficult conference. We need to do certain things every day, so being 9-0 has no bearing on it. We want to be confident, but we don't want to lose humility and focus. We need to stay humble and hungry, and keep working hard."

On Victoria Dunlap's status...

"It's a mild concussion, so we don't anticipate it causing any problems. She possibly could have gone today, but then you risk it getting worse if she got hit. We needed to make certain Vic(toria) is safe and has time to recover. I expect her back practicing within the next couple of days. We just need to check with the doctor."

On A'dia Mathies...

"There was nothing that pleased me more than the way she started the game. She had four deflections in the first possession. When our most statistically productive player, Victoria Dunlap, is not in there, as a coach I looked for the next person who could most easily carry the load, or have the best chance to do that. A'dia Mathies is a person I believe in, so what we talked to her about all week was, let's get all of our energy from defense and not worry about missed layups or shots. She is talented enough to play fine offensively. It set a great tone for our team."

Kentucky Players 

#23, Rebecca Gray, G

On Florida A&M's second half...

"I knew they were frustrated. As soon as we came out, we got steals the first two or three possessions. I felt like it got worse for them throughout the game. For the past month, the coaches have pounded it in our head that defense is going to win games. This shows that we can by frustrating on defense."

On stepping up in the absence of Victoria Dunlap...

"I felt like there was no better time to step up and play my game than today. I'm glad I was able to relax, get into a rhythm and play. It was fun."

On starting the season 9-0...

"It means a lot because we want to win every time we step on the court. It feeds into later on in our season, whether we are one win away from getting into the tournament, or one win away from getting a better seed. It's important for us and when we step onto the court, our mindset is to win."

#1, A'dia Mathies, G

On Victoria Dunlap's absence...

"Up until we were ready to play they told us Victoria wasn't going to be able to play. I think we all felt responsible to step up our game because Victoria is a big part of our defense and offense. We all were going step up and play our `A' game because that's what it was going to take to bring out the victory."

On holding them to 10 percent shooting in the second half ...

"We started seeing them getting frustrated. At halftime coach just said for us to stay up on the ball pressure. We knew if we kept our intensity and pressure we knew they would get frustrated. We just had to keep pushing and I think that really helped us tonight."

Florida A&M Head Coach LaDawn Gibson

Opening statement ...

"I have to give Kentucky their props. They played a very aggressive style of defense and we just lost our confidence."

On what was Kentucky doing specifically that was making it tough...

"I think a lot of ball pressure. I thought we had prepared the ladies for it but we just didn't come out and do what we needed to do. We didn't bring the game plan to the floor."

On can you take anything positive out of a game like this...

"Yes, we're going to straight to the airport and watch the game on the film and learn how to play defense like Kentucky. We're very capable and we have the athletes but we left our game in the locker room. I felt like my ladies just didn't come to play."

On playing three SEC games in a row ...

"With it being my second year stepping into the college game, I want to play teams like this because I want to eventually compete nationwide with great teams and bigger schools. I want to go and recruit players who can play with these ladies. With another year of recruiting I feel like we'll be closer to accomplishing that. I felt like my girls didn't bring the game plan out to the floor and we played very passive and timid. "

On playing how Dunlap's absence changed their game plan ...

"Yes, we were shocked she wasn't playing. The last few practices we focused on how to play Dunlap and then we got on the floor the players were like, `Where's No. 34?'. I said, `Young ladies that might be a great thing'."