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Kentucky-Auburn Postgame Quotes




Jan. 20, 2013

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Kentucky Head Coach Matthew Mitchell

Opening Statement …
"Well, that was a terrific performance by our team. I thought they played with unbelievable effort and great hustle all day long. I am just very, very pleased with how they are preparing for games. They did a really great job of preparing for this game. We wanted to try to take away Auburn's strengths and I thought we were able to do that for most of the day. Really, really proud of our players and really happy to get another SEC win."

On Auburn head coach Terri Williams-Flournoy's comments on UK pressing late in the game …
"Yeah, I don't want to spend a lot of time on that. Listen, we work really hard to get ourselves into a position to play the way that we play. These kids are up at 5:30 in the morning, four days a week during the summer and lay it on the line. I am not going to really spend any time with that kind of comment. If anybody is unfamiliar with how we play and what our goals are, then that is their problem. That is not mine. I am really proud of our players and I thought they conducted themselves with tremendous poise today and followed the scouting report and beat a team that can give you a lot of trouble if you didn't play well. I am really proud of our team."

On the team going on a 24-2 run and if that is the best he has seen them play this season …
"It was fantastic because what I think is so important is you are trying to prepare and you spend a lot of time preparing. Auburn had one primary ball handler and we wanted to make certain that we made her life miserable and try to make someone else handle the ball. That is something we have been able to do well. I thought the players hustled and the more plays they made, the more aggressive they would get and it fueled their confidence. It was a very impressive defensive display there during that run."

On A'dia Mathies being in a zone and if he talks to her while she is in that zone …
"Yeah, I don't speak to A'dia much (laughter). We are not on good speaking terms right now (laughter). I think she is playing with tremendous control right now and confidence. If you leave her open right now at the 3-point stripe, you are paying dearly because she is shooting the ball so well. This is the sense I have always had about our team. I just don't think that anybody is really concerned about where they are, what they are scoring or what they are doing. I think they are so focused on playing tough defense and hustling that that is really their main focus. I am not surprised that none of them are over there keeping up with what they are doing. They have to keep playing the next play and A'dia is playing well right now."

On Auburn making a run in the second half and cutting into the UK lead …
"Well, it's hard when you are up 30 at halftime. It takes tremendous discipline to come back out and be focused. We are trying to hold ourselves to high standards. We are not trying to look at the scoreboard. We are trying to play the best that we can because that is what we have committed to doing. We were just trying to get people to hustle. There were a lot of players that were coming off the bench that I didn't think had great focus and weren't doing what they were needing to do. Auburn was able to make a run there and when you weren't paying attention and doing what was necessary to take Auburn out of their strength zone you saw they were able to get loose. Hasina Muhammad went on a little six- or eight-point run on her own. She is an explosive scorer like that. We just wanted to try to finish the game strong. We had played such a good first half and we want to play hard for 40 minutes."

On if it is frustrating to get the team to play hard for 40 minutes …
"I was only frustrated for about five minutes today. I was pretty happy most of the time, about 30-35 minutes. If we can keep it at that ratio we will be in good shape."

On winning the last three SEC games by large margins …
"I worry about a lot of things and when you are playing good basketball I think as a coach you want to try to continue that. You are constantly looking to see where we are. What I try to tell this team is for a long time, I would hang around and wait for something bad to happen or the other shoe to drop, so to speak. I just think this team continues to build trust and show up and play hard and maybe we could have played less hard today and still won, but that is not the goal for us. The goal for us is to play our best. They continue to practice hard and get prepared. Listen, it is hard to win these games and hard to prepare for these games. Everybody in the league has 15 scholarships just like we do so everybody is trying to win. This is a really, really tough league and I worry about every game that comes along. The players are really doing a good job of preparing each and every game. This will be an absolute major, major challenge for us Thursday night against South Carolina. I will be really worried this week about trying to get them ready to play."

On the team looking pass first instead of shoot …
"They are a good group of players and good people. They could probably be on some other teams and have big, big stats or more impressive stats, but they don't seem to be concerned about that. They seem to be focused on helping Kentucky win and playing good basketball. We certainly value everybody on the team and trying to just do what is necessary for Kentucky to win. They have a good attitude toward that and a good mindset towards that. It is good to coach this group."

On subbing five-for-five …
"That is just game-to-game. There are not many situations where we can do that in the conference. Today it just worked out because of Auburn having the one primary ball handler and everybody was playing so hard. Today was the day in the first half where we trapped, which meant everybody had to roll up and rotate and play much harder. In the second half, we didn't trap. We didn't trap any in the second half so then you don't get as taxed as a player. So in that first half, when we made the big run, what you didn't want to happen was make the big run and then ware out and lose confidence in the press. We were able to get five-for-five but the game dictated that today. That is not any type of goal that I have."

On the team wanting to trap more …
"Today the personnel that we played today dictated a trap. Sometimes the personnel dictates that you want to play it a little bit more straight up. We used to have to trap and now we don't have to trap. A team like Missouri that is making 10 3-pointers a game, maybe you just match up and try to protect the 3-point line. This team we felt like we could trap and that was the most effective way to win the game. It worked out for us today."

Kentucky Student-Athletes

#1, A'dia Mathies, G

On the first half run…
"It felt great. We kept putting pressure on them and running them as much as we could and we felt like we had depth so we could sub where they couldn't. We feel like they eventually got tired and we were able to open up the game."

On keeping intensity throughout the entire second half…
"I think it's hard sometimes but I think any team is capable of a run at any time. You can play the best defense and they can throw up a wild shot and it goes in. They had a segment where they were making a lot of baskets that they weren't making the whole game. I felt like we regrouped after that and had to work even harder to eliminate those baskets at the end which we did."

On Coach Williams-Flournoy's comments that UK pressed too much in the second half…
"There was a point right before the eight minute mark that they cut it down to 20-something so we feel like they were on a run and if they were to deal 10 more (points) in the last couple of minutes then we really would've had a game. We felt we had to step up the pressure and it paid off in the end."

On just missing one shot all night…
"I really didn't feel it— definitely not in warm-ups. I didn't even know I just missed one shot. I was just out there playing and luckily the shots went in and my teammates did a great job of setting me up."

On what her teammates scoring double figures does to UK's offense …
"I think it makes us more dynamic. You can't just shut one player down and expect to shut the whole team down. There are too many great players that can score. It makes us a great team."

#11 DeNesha Stallworth, C, Jr.

On whether it was a fun game to play…
"Definitely. I love playing with my teammates. I thought we had a great game today and came out really strong. We stayed aggressive and I think it paid off for us in the long run."

On the key to her performance lately…
"I just try to go out, play hard and play 40 minutes. I try to contribute to my team and give it my all every possession and it has been working out pretty good so I want to keep it going."

#32 Kastine Evans, G, Jr.

On Coach Matthew Mitchell subbing five-for-five today…
"I think for subbing five-for-five allowed the teams coming in to keep up the same intensity. Coach Mitchell was very pleased with that. That gives him confidence knowing that people can come in and step up to the challenge and keep the same intensity that he wants the entire game and continue to play five-in, five-out or at least know in the back of his mind that he has the chance to."

On whether this was the best they have played this season...
"Coach (Mitchell) had come out and asked us to be sharp, focused and aggressive and I think we really took that to mind with how we executed and with the flow of the game."

On the upcoming SEC stretch…
"I think it will be a good challenge for us, especially for what we have gone through. Coach (Mitchell) splits up the season in four game periods. He really narrows it down for us to focus and now we are at 2-0 in this second series so we need to focus on that and move on from there. I think he does a real good job getting us narrowed in and a vision for what we need to do for each game."

Auburn Head Coach Terri Williams-Flournoy

Opening statement…
"Definitely a tough night for our young ladies. But, when you come in with one prominent ball handler against a pressing team, you know it's going to be a tough night. It's a learning experience and we've just got to get better."

On what aspect of Kentucky's defense caused the most issues for Auburn…
"We really don't have a legitimate ball handler outside of Najat [Ouardad]. With that type of lift on Najat, that makes it hard for her to pass over and they're quick enough that she can't get past them like she usually does. It was a tough team for us, with one prominent ball handler. I thought it was pretty un-classy to continue to press when you're up by 46 points. We're a pressing team also and at some point, we do take the press off because that becomes not respectful of the other team."

On whether she expected Kentucky to take off the press at some point…
"We're a pressing team and when we're beating someone like that, we pull the press off."


 

 

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