Kentucky-Arkansas Pine-Bluff Postgame Quotes

Dec. 21, 2010

Recap | Box Score | Notes | Photo Gallery 

Kentucky Head Coach Matthew Mitchell

Opening Statement ...
"We are very happy to win tonight and very pleased with our players' intensity to come out and stay mentally focused over 40 minutes. They just kept plugging and working really hard. I was very, very pleased with that. We will have a few days off here and the players I know will feel much better going into the holidays with that kind of performance. Really happy for them and it was a good night for us."

On if it would have been easy for the players to lose focus in a game like that ...
"Absolutely and you aren't thrilled by a margin like that but the thing for us is that we must play with intensity at all times. Here in two or three weeks we are going to be in Southeastern Conference play and we are really trying to get our minds focused for what kind of team that we need to be and how we need to play. That is what I was most pleased with tonight was that we didn't worry about the opponent, we stayed focused on what we needed to do. I was happy the team was able to do that. It was good for them."

On what he wanted to get out of tonight ...
"The thing that I was looking for tonight, as far as goals, were more effort based. We wanted to turn them over a lot and we were able to do that. We wanted to try to maintain our mental focus and we wanted to get to 100 points and we were able to do that. I think in a course of a game like that you are going to have some times where you are playing so hard and the base is a bit fanatic that you are going to make some mistakes. We will need to clean that up a little bit but overall I was pleased."

On Keyla Snowden's shooting tonight ...
"She is a tremendous shooter and that is one of the things that brings great value to our team is her ability to shoot. I was pleased that number one Keyla really hustled tonight on defense. It's always interesting to me how that seems to correlate into people playing good offensively when they are really hustling and their minds are where they need to be. It is good to see her rewarded with a good shooting night. I was much more pleased with her defense than her offense. I thought that Keyla just made some smart plays and shared the ball. It was one of her better performances."

On the UCONN streak ...
"I just think that it is tremendous for Connecticut that they were able to get that done. Over the course of that many games, I don't know if that is three seasons or whatever it is, to be able to show up every night and get it done is tremendous. I think that it is great for women's basketball because all of us need to get to work and get going and try to get to that level. If you have any competitiveness about you then you desire to try to get there. I totally disagree with anybody that says that it is bad for the game. All of us have the same opportunity that they have to recruit players and to practice our teams the same number of days and the same number of games. We need to work as hard as we can to reach that level. I think that it is a tremendous accomplishment and my hats are off to them. Well, my hat. I guess I don't wear two hats. So it's just my hat is off to them."

On the winning streak in Memorial Coliseum ...
"We love this place and this coliseum. It is so special to the Commonwealth and what it stands for. We feel honored to get to play in this building and one thing that I always thought was important is to protect your home floor. The only way you can make a place tough to play is if you put players that are tough on the floor and they play hard and win games. I am very, very proud that over the course of two seasons or three seasons, however long that streak has been that our players have been able to get that done in this building. We love playing at home."

On the decision to go with Jennifer O'Neil tonight at point guard ...
"The decision, you know, you have to be ready when your opportunities come. One of her teammates didn't do what she was supposed to do in Maegan Conwright, who was the starting point guard. Jen has had a lot of struggles and difficulties and no matter how the opportunities come to you or in what way it presents itself you need to be ready. She had a shot to start tonight. I thought that she did some very good things. She just has a ways to go defensively to bring the type of intensity a point guard at Kentucky needs to bring. I thought she made some strides toward that tonight but she has a ways to go and we will keep working. Jennifer needs to really fall in love with the practice floor and the defensive end of the practice floor. If she does that I think that she can be as good as anybody around. When she doesn't she is just average for us. We are looking for her to really commit to the defensive end."

On Conwright's suspension ...
"With Maegan, we are trying to be about honesty, hard work and discipline. We call those our winning tools. Our losing tools are complaints, excuses and laziness. If you are exhibiting any of those over a long period of time then you are not going to be successful here. As far as I am concerned, if she handles it well, than it will be a one-game suspension. She will determine the length of the suspension. What she did was not illegal, she didn't break any laws she is just not being as responsible as we expect a Kentucky basketball player to be. Hopefully through this challenge she is facing, she can learn something and be back with us because we will definitely be a better basketball team if her mind is right and she is playing with all of her capability. We will be better but that will be her choice, not mine."

Kentucky Players

#4 Keyla Snowden

On her confidence right now shooting...
"I have a lot of confidence right now. Before and after practice I have been getting a lot of shots up. In shoot-around, I make 100 three-pointers which helps my confidence.

On only allowing 35 points in 60 minutes...
"Yeah, that's our identity. We want to be a defensive pressuring team. We want to have that pressure out on the court, so it's important for us to bring the intensity no matter who we play. I felt like we finally reached that challenge that he (Coach Mitchell) set for us."

On the fan support over the holiday break...
"The fans here are great. We really love everybody coming out here in the holiday season. It just means a lot to us to look up in the stands and see so many people coming out to our games and cheering for us. That really means a lot to us."

#0 Jennifer O'Neill

On her starting the game...
"Coach just told me the opportunities come around. Mine just came today. I did whatever I could to help the team win. I still have to prove myself of the defensive level and be more intense."

On UConn breaking the record of 89 straight wins...
"That has nothing to do with what we are trying to do. As far as Kentucky basketball, we have our own goals and we don't really worry about anyone else."

#1 A'dia Mathies

On staying focused through this stretch of games...
"I think Coach Mitchell does a great job of keeping us focused. Anytime he doesn't think we are playing our hardest, he lets us know. I think we knew we could keep up the intensity the whole game."