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Kentucky-Auburn Postgame Quotes




Feb. 3, 2011

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Kentucky Head Coach Matthew Mitchell

Opening Statement…
“It is a long season and kids have a lot of opportunities to play. Every now and then they really make a coach proud and they impressed me tonight. Our team played hard from the opening tip to the final horn and I was really, really pleased with that. I really appreciate the effort tonight. I am excited for them that they could get rewarded with a very important win that we needed and they got it done in an impressive fashion, so I am really proud of our players tonight. They did a great job.”

On if this was the best game the team has played this year…
“I thought defensively the intensity was the best from the opening tip onward. It was absolutely the best hustle and intensity and paying attention to scouting and all those things that went into it tonight. It is very difficult to play defense the way that we did tonight. It takes a lot of hard work and those kids have worked hard. That was not easy to do what we did tonight, so I am really pleased with the overall effort.”

On the spacing and ball movement as well as the play of Brittany (Henderson) and Victoria (Dunlap) at the end of the game…
“We did a good job there. I thought we had some very smart moments offensively and unselfish moments offensively. One possession that got everyone excited was the pass and the made three in the corner, which to me is the kids being in tune with it mentally at the end of the game. We had some young players play better tonight. Auburn has made it very difficult for people to score. They have been holding opponents to under 60 (points) per game. Those traps in the first half helped us keep the ball moving, so I was impressed with that.”

On how much better Victoria (Dunlap’s) passing has gotten since she is double -teamed more now than in the past…
“She has gotten a lot better. She had five assists tonight which is a big stat for us. She didn’t score as much tonight, but if you get five assists, that is helping someone else score. I thought she and Brittany Henderson connected tonight, so we kind of had a good thing going there. We worked hard on that and all Victoria’s (Dunlap) problems weren’t just hers. We try to get everyone else moving and the kids practiced really hard on that, so it came together for us tonight.”

On how much the team has progressed from the Louisville game to tonight…
“It has come a long way. We have had a lot of time to continue to work on our fundamentals, intensity and hustle. That afternoon we didn’t hustle that much. I try to tell our players all the time that everybody talks about our defense and intensity, but it is not something you can talk about. You have to go out and prepare yourself to play that way every day in practice, so they have come as long way since that day.”

On the good balance offensively…
“It was a great night and you look at A'dia (Mathies) and Vic (Dunlap) not having that great of stats from the field, yet we still win by that margin, it is encouraging. I think one of our keys to success is having the ability to play a lot of players so we could keep the game up-tempo, but tonight was the first time we really pressed from the opening tip. We have been waiting to kind of get into the press, so we took some steps forward there defensively, but I think offensively it is hard to keep someone on the floor if you are not making buckets. We have been sort of putting an offensive group and a defensive group out there, but tonight it all came together. We played a well-balanced game offensively and defensively, so it is in our best interest going forward to keep that kind of balance.”

On if there was any concern if the team was looking ahead to the game Monday night…
“This particular team, I have no idea. I do not know certainly what is going through their mind, but I did not get that sense at all. This game was terribly important right now, and there is such a difference between being 7-2 and 6-3, so I doubt they are looking ahead to Monday night.”

Kentucky Players

Victoria Dunlap, F, #34

On her teamwork with Brittany Henderson…
“They were triple and double teaming me, so I knew Brittany was open in the post and I found her.”

On the team playing the whole 40 minutes…
I think this is the most complete game we have had. Both halves we have came out with intensity and played together as a team.”

On Sarah Beth’s toughness tonight…
She has come a long way. That is probably the most aggressive I have ever seen her play. She is just getting better and better everyday.”

A'dia Mathies, G, #1

On a comment from Nell Fortner on how she thought this years’ Kentucky team was better last years’ team…
“I take that as a great compliment. Last years’ team, we did some unexpected things, but this year we have more people and a lot of talent.”

On the team’s scoring balance…
“The fact that we had so many people scoring puts less pressure on others that they have to score. I think it brings us closer as a team, just being able to cheer on everybody.”

On the upcoming Tennessee game…
“We haven’t talked about it much. Each game is as important as the other; especially in the SEC every game is important.”

Brittany Henderson, F, #40

On how it is easier when the team is hitting 3’s…
“It makes it easier. When they are not hitting it gives me a chance to go to the offensive boards and when they are hitting we can play an inside-out game.”

On being a role player…
“When Victoria and A'dia aren’t scoring our offense is real stagnant, but getting my points or Keyla shooting 3’s or Bernisha driving, it opens the game up a lot. It makes us a lot better when we have more offensive threats.”

Auburn Head Coach Nell Fortner

Opening statement…
“I thought Kentucky’s pressure was outstanding, we just didn’t handle it very well. Twenty-eight turnovers isn’t going to win a lot of ballgames for you. They are a very good defensive team and we just had a hard time finding the basket today.”

On how Kentucky compares this year to last year’s team…
“I think they’re better than they were last year, actually, because they’ve got more depth. They have more people who can come in and they’re strong. All five players on the floor can shoot the ball. They spread you out really well, they pressure you hard defensively, they spread you out well offensively and just knock down shots. I think they’re better than they were last year.”

On how Kentucky will match up against Tennessee when they play the Lady Vols on Monday in Memorial Coliseum…
“I think it’ll be a great game, I do. I think Tennessee’s very good. They’re extremely good and they have depth so it should be a great game.”

Auburn Players

Alli Smalley , G #5

On handling the ball against Kentucky’s press…
“It’s tough, but we simulated it in practice as best we could because we knew from last year how intense their pressure was, but like Coach Fortner said, we didn’t handle it tonight.”

On how they tried to simulate Kentucky’s pressure in practices…
“Our practice guys would just (apply) really tough, intense pressure from one end to the other. They simulated it pretty well, but still wasn’t anything like what we see out there.”


 

 

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