Kentucky-UT-Martin Postgame Quotes

Dec. 30, 2010

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Kentucky Head Coach Matthew Mitchell

Opening Statement …
“We were able to earn a victory tonight and it wasn’t our best showing but it is good to get a win. Glad to close out 2010 with a win.”

On Victoria Dunlap’s knee …
“We are optimistic there. I don’t know if it was Crystal’s (Riley) head that hit it or if it was knee-to-knee. We don’t think that it was a twist but she is getting examined right now. We are surly hopeful that it is not anything serious. Just really sore and she is up and walking around, which is a good sign. That doesn’t mean anything definite but we will have our fingers crossed there.”

On Samantha Drake’s performance …
“Her energy was just so much better. She and I got together this morning after I watched the Middle Tennessee game last night. I really go off of their body language. I am looking for them and how they are carrying themselves to see what kind of confidence that I have in them. After watching Sam play last night on video and then what I was observing in the game, didn’t match up. She was hustling and playing hard but she just let her offense affect her energy. We watched it and she made a defensive mistake and went down and came back and made a defensive play. So she didn’t worry about her defensive mistake she still played well on defense but the second she missed a shot it went down. This is a player who has really scored a lot in her career and that is how she identifies herself as a player. I thought that she was much better tonight in just energy. She missed a lot of shots but kept battling and there you see a career high. She was really the only person that brought any energy to the boards. I was just pleased with eight offensive boards and much better energy from her tonight.”

On losing the rebounding battle in the first half and if that had anything to do with UK playing back-to-back games …
“I thought that some of our players had it in their mind that this was going to be really hard and harder than it actually was. I thought that we played and guarded a little bit harder on defense than we did on offense. I didn’t think that we worked on offense very hard. If I had to choose one of the two I guess it would be better to play hard on defense but I really wished we had played a solid 40 minutes throughout. That was a big concern at halftime that we were being outrebounded and I am glad that we got that turned around and were able to do a better job in the second half. That was largely attributed to Samantha Drake battling.”

On what makes Keyla Snowden a good three-point shooter …
“She is very gifted and has been blessed with that ability. She has a repeating stroke. It is the same every time and she has great balance. She is very square. She has a great follow through and a great repeating snap of her wrist. The rotation is beautiful and then I have coached her extensively on that and worked extremely hard on her three-point shooting (laughter). I will take most the credit for that.”

Kentucky Players

#34 Victoria Dunlap

On what happened when she was forced to leave the game du eto injury…
“I just kind of took out my own teammate. I think it was Crystal (Riley). I just kind of hit her. I was looking at the ball and I just hit my knee, but I’ll be alright.”

On her teammate Crystal Riley’s condition after the collision…
“She is okay. She told me she might have a black eye tomorrow, because apparently I hit my knee on her face. I don’t really know what happened after that, but we will both be okay.”

On the current pain level of her knee…
“Right now, I haven’t really tried to do anything, so we will see what happens.”

#4 Keyla Snowden

On if two games in two nights has set in physically…
“It might hit us tomorrow, but right now I think we are pretty good.”

On if she is doing anything different with her shots than at the start of the season…
“Yeah, as a guard group we get up a lot of shots before and after practice sometimes. I guess a lot of the extra shooting has helped me stay focused and have a lot more self-confidence.”

On the newly formed guard shooting group…
“It’s kind of new. We started it a couple of weeks ago. We are getting up a lot more shots than we usually do. We usually get up a lot of shots as a guard group, but now Coach Insell is pushing us to make 100 makes a day.”

#31 Samantha Drake

On if her confidence grew tonight…
“Yeah, I was feeling a lot better about my play. I really stepped up from last night. I had a talk with Coach (Mitchell) and he was trying to get me ready for this game since we didn’t do very well last night, and I think that really helped out. I just kept my head up and we had a lot of passion for the game tonight. We were trying to play with a will to win.”

On what her discussion with Coach Mitchell entailed…
“We talked about how missing offensive shots can’t affect your defense and the rest of the game. You just have to pull through it and just keep playing the whole game.”

On the sequence of missed shots resulting in offensive rebounds…
“Yeah, I was really just trying to put it back in. I wasn’t trying to light up the stats like everyone else has tried to say. I was trying to score and help the team out.”

UT-Martin Head Coach Kevin McMillan

Opening comments ...
“I thought it was a pretty hard-fought ball game just intensity wise. They (Kentucky) are real athletic. They play very hard. They’ll be really good in the SEC this year. We’re by far the youngest team in the country. We have one year of experience. All we asked our kids to do was battle. I thought that maybe they did, but I’ll have to watch it on film to really see. I thought it was a good lesson for us to learn.”

On UT-Martin’s tough non-conference schedule …
“We scheduled the first 10 games of our season on the road, and then we had some conference games in there as well. Then we put Louisville and Kentucky right before we get back into conference play. We did it because we only have one returnee. For the majority of the time we play four or five freshmen. They’re all newcomers. What we did was really a gamble. We said they’re either going to grow up or they’re going to get kicked every night. I want them to grow up. We put that in front of them and said now here’s your challenge. By-in-large, the second half versus Louisville and the two halves we put together here tonight, effort-wise I think when we go out to conference play if we carry that effort out we’re going to be in good shape. The problem is youth. I hope that they do (grow-up), because they’re a lot more fun to be around if they do.”

On the scouting report on Keyla Snowden
“No disrespect to (Keyla) Snowden, because she hit 26 against us last year, but we just talked about her being a three-point shooter. We wanted to make her put the ball on the floor. The problem is not Snowden, it’s (Victoria) Dunlap. You can say all you want on the scouting reports on all of these kids, but when Dunlap is in there and she decides to play, if you don’t help with somebody then you’re going to get killed. So, a lot of times we’re trying to help and cover things up and if you don’t find Snowden she’s going to knock shots down. Honestly, Dunlap was the Player of the Year, All-American; you have to pick your poison. Snowden makes shots and she’s a great player.”

On his team’s effort …
“We actually played pretty well. We just missed shots. We’re a good shooting team. But, we don’t play at the level that Kentucky does every night. When you don’t play at that level every night, your shots are just going to be a little bit off. You’re not used to that effort that your body is having to give, and if you don’t practice that way every day. That’s what I just told our kids. We did a good job and we got some good shots. But, because you don’t play as hard as you have to, or as hard as you need to those shots don’t go in. We talk about it all of the time, the basketball gods have a way of having things happen the way they are supposed to. We try and preach to them that they need to play harder and they kind of go “eh.” So, when your shots don’t go in, that’s me saying now that’s what we told you.”

On the final possession …
“I thought that we did (have some good looks). We had a good look from (Heather) Butler. We had a good look from (Jasmine) Newsome and we had two good chances of sticking in a layup. We missed them. It wasn’t going to give us a victory, but it was going to make a little statement for our team. If it goes in it probably gives us a little false sense that we can turn it whenever we want to. But, you’ve got to bring it every single day. I hope that is the lesson that we learned.”