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Kentucky-Wright State Postgame Quotes




March 22, 2014

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Matthew Mitchell, Kentucky, Head Coach:

Opening statement …

We’re thrilled with the outcome of today’s game. I want to congratulate Wright State on a great season and they have some very tough players and are very well coached. We felt like we faced a tough team and they played very hard and should be commended for an outstanding season and what they accomplished for their school. Congratulations to them. I’m really, really proud of our players. It’s been a long time since we’ve played a game. They’ve worked really hard to try and prepare themselves for this tournament and we got off to a great start. I’m really excited for them. They reaped the rewards of a lot of hard work and I’m proud of them.

On what he expected coming into the game…

“I thought we had a chance to play well today. It’s hard on a coach. You don’t know exactly what’s going to go on and you care so much for these players and you want them to succeed. I certainly didn’t come into today with this kind of expectation that we would play this sharp. We’ve historically kind of struggled in this game for whatever reason, because of the long layoff or for whatever reason and so my mindset going into the game was just to let them know that they had clear advantages in the game. They had physical advantages in size, speed, depth, and so I really try and go into the game thinking about just playing 40 minutes, coaching them, encouraging them and making sure that we moved onto then next round. I’m thrilled with the margin of victory and I’m thrilled with some of the things that they did in the game. It’s nice to see them come out and give good effort. While we made a lot of mistakes today, I feel like they really attacked the game and set a great tone, so that was wonderful for me and I tried to make sure my expectations were just on helping them advance to the next round.”

On keeping Wright State in check …

“I think that we had a real advantage personnel-wise and we had some size advantages that made it difficult for them to score at the rim. I think they still did some really good things. I think our size at the rim bothered them a little bit. I think our guards in the first half did a really good job of not letting them get into the lane. I didn’t think we did as good of a job of that in the second half, but they had some good players and I think our personnel and our depth probably helped ware them down a little bit physically, so I think just our depth and our overall talent was the reason we were able to be so successful.”

On getting KC Elkins in the game at the end …

“Just there at the end. It was obvious what he was going, and we were able to communicate and get that done. I was happy to do it. We didn’t talk about it before the game.”

Kentucky Student-Athletes

Jennifer O’Neill, Kentucky, G:

On playing crisp in the first round game …

“We’ve been off of for a couple of days, but we haven’t been off of practice. That’s the way we’ve been practicing. Today everybody was just clicking on all cylinders. We had seven people in double-digits so everybody was clicking on all cylinders today.”

On the inside play freeing up the guard to be able to shoot and penetrate …

“It freed us up a lot. We were able to play an inside-out game and that’s something that we have been struggling with. We’ve been struggling to get post touches, and this game Matthew (Mitchell) told us that height was going to be an advantage and we just looked to go to them as much as possible”

Samarie Walker, Kentucky, F:

On if rebounding was a special emphasis …

“Rebounding is always an emphasis for us. Coach (Mitchell) makes sure that we know that’s what we need to do every game no matter who we’re playing. This time, he definitely emphasized that and especially since we had a size advantage, there was no reason for us to lose the boards today.”

On if they were focused on rebounding margin …

“I mean, I wasn’t necessarily thinking about the margin, we just wanted to beat them on the boards and that’s what we did.”

On playing crisp in the first round game …

“After our loss in the (SEC) Tournament, (Coach Mitchell) gave us a few days off just to refocus and kind of get past that. When we came back to practice, it was like a totally new team. Even during the (SEC) Tourney it was a totally new team. I think we kind of felt that sadness from the loss and we wanted to make a run in the (NCAA) Tournament. That’s what we came here to do.”

Mike Bradbury Wright State, Head Coach:

Opening statement …

“Well, clearly that didn’t go the way we wanted to, the way we had envisioned. I’ll say this, the pace was right, the speed of the game was right, all of that stuff was right, but we shot 22 percent. I give a lot of credit to Kentucky for that. Defensively, they were good and they are good, they’re always good. We missed some open shots, especially early in the game and that go us behind the eight-ball a little bit. Then, it just kind of continued from there. I will say, I’m very proud of our team. We continued to fight, we continued to play hard, we didn’t roll over, didn’t lay down and we fought them to the end there. It just wasn’t our day.”

On where the program can go from today …

“I think it only helps and hopefully we can build off of that. We can continue to recruit because that’s what it’s all about. We don’t have any McDonald’s All-Americans and they’ve got three or four. That’s where it’s at. It’s a different level and let’s not pretend it’s not. Their budget is eight times what ours is. I think we can use this to hopefully continue to improve our program, be good in our league, be good at our level and hopefully you get in a game like this, on the right day, something good happens.”

On if putting in KC Elkins was the plan…

“It did cross my mind. I was hoping that we couldn’t, that the game would be competitive and you couldn’t afford to do something like that. Since it was like this, yeah, we had talked about it.”

On driving the ball …

“Andrew, you’ve been at all our games and that’s just how we play. We have to drive it. If they’re going to pressure you, which they did, you have to drive it. You can’t stand there and shoot it because they’re guarding you. We have to drive it and that’s where their size got to us. Those shots that we normally make around the basket, they’re much more difficult against Kentucky. You look at our three best players now and they went 13-for- 59. That’s three of the top five players in the Horizon league. We can’t afford a day like that and I think I was (Azia) Bishop, (DeNesha) Stallworth, in there just hanging out under the basket and makes it difficult. That’s why they’re good.”

On when the game started to get away from them …

“It was okay. I think it was 12-5 and then maybe 17-8. All of that was fine. I don’t remember exactly, but 12 or 14 points with eight minutes o go, nine minutes to go, something like that and then it kind of, at that point, started to get away from us. What happened is that hey can play so many people. We were fine as long as it was our first five against their first five and about the last eight minutes of the first half, we got a little tired. They just continue running them at you, running them at you, and that’s when it got away.

Wright State Student-Athletes

Kim Demmings, Wright State, Guard

On competing with Kentucky’s size …

“I felt their guards were the same size as us. They did a real job of staying in the passing lane, pressuring the ball and inside they had a little bit of a size advantage, but I feel like our post players competed.”

On memories from today’s game...

“It’s our first NCAA appearance so that’s going to be a great memory. We played a great school in Kentucky so credit them for coming out, playing hard with intensity and competitiveness. That’s one thing I’ll remember.”

Tay’ler Mingo, Wright State, Guard

On holding their emotions …

“I think we managed our emotions pretty well. Our main focus was to try and get back into the game. Shots didn’t fall, but we still tried our best to hold it together. It just didn’t go our way today.”

On how big the tournament was for their team …

“I guess. It was a big accomplishment for our school. Giving credit, we put a lot of work in this year. Everybody hates for it to end, but you know.”


 

 

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