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Kentucky-Bellarmine Postgame Quotes




Nov. 5, 2012

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Kentucky Head Coach Matthew Mitchell

Opening Statement …
“We were excited to be back in Memorial Coliseum tonight and get another season started. We were looking for some great attitude, great effort and great energy from our players tonight. I think we had a good night at that. We are not where we need to be but we will keep working towards that, but I was happy with what we got tonight.”

On where his team needs to be …
“I could really get in detail here if you want me to, but defensively, there were some tough matchups for Bellarmine tonight, just physically. We can get better defensively. There are some areas there that we need to cleanup. We were able to make some plays tonight because we were more physically talented and we have to sharpen those things up. Very soon we will be playing games where the talent level, there won’t be such a disparity there. I thought Bellarmine played really hard and we gave them a really tough time with just our physical presence.”

On Bellarmine breaking UK’s pressure early …
“I know that we have some good players and great possibilities but I didn’t know exactly what we would get tonight. I thought that if we would keep playing hard and coaching and keep making adjustments (we would be fine.) I thought the players made good adjustments tonight and tried to get better at some things we wanted them to do. Eventually, I thought that we could wear them down just by being physically better there. I wasn’t overly concerned because I thought that we were hustling pretty good. It is always tough that first time out because if they are a little rusty it is hard to get off to a great start sometimes. I was really, really pleased with the way they settled down and finished the half out really strong.”

On Janee Thompson’s first collegiate game …
“I thought it was good. Janee is very talented and has a lot of ability and a bright future. She got a lot better in practice this past week. She came a long way in practice. She just needs to continue to put good practices together and she will be in good shape.”

On playing Janee Thompson and Jennifer O’Neill together …
“Jennifer has done a pretty good job in preseason practices with just her pace and effort. She has gotten a lot better defensively and that is going to give us a chance to play her in a variety of positions. As long as she can stay on the floor and defend because she is really multi-talented and versatile on the offense end and can really shoot the ball. She didn’t shoot it good tonight, she will shoot it better than she did, but I have been happy with Jen.”

On Samarie Walker’s play …
“I was happy with her. Those three things that we talked about before the game, we didn’t put a lot of statistical goals on this game we just talked about having great attitude, effort and energy. We kept talking about that and in those three areas I thought she was great. When you have a very talented player like her and she is strong in those three areas then she has a chance to do well. She had some high-percentages shots tonight, which she made and she has struggled with that at times. That has to be a good thing for her confidence. I thought that our post players tried to get better tonight. I was just extremely thrilled with (DeNesha) Stallworth’s progression through the game because that is the first live action she has had in a year or so. For her to listen to coaching and not get frustrated and continue (means) she has made some really good strides. I was just really, really pleased with the effort we got out of (Azia) Bishop tonight. She has really progressed the last few days and we need her playing like that to be at out top capacity.”

On this year’s team being better offensively than last season’s …
“We sure hope so. We have some things in place that have promoted them to stop running plays and just be players and make plays. They moved a lot better tonight than we ever have I thought. We worked really hard on that in the preseason and I do think we have the capabilities (to be better offensively.) We have a lot of people that can score in different areas. As coaches, we just need to put them in good positions and make sure they get enough repetition to make sure they can be confident going into a game and do a good job. I have high hopes for this team offensively.”

On the rotation of players he will use in a game and if he sees that rotation shortening soon …
“Players will determine that in practice. If you look at that tonight, I don’t know how many games we will have like that with distributing minutes, but practices will be very competitive every day and everybody on the team will have a chance. We really don’t have an end of the bench where you look at somebody and they can’t physically get it done. I will say probably we will let it play out in practice everyday.”

On Maegan Conwright not playing …
“That is another thing, we didn’t have Maegan tonight. Maegan sprained her ankle badly. It will be two weeks on Saturday (since she injured it). We are hoping she will be ready for the open. It is a pretty bad sprain and she was having great practices and doing a good job. She helps us be more explosive and push the pace even more. We are very hopeful we will have her Saturday.”

On if Samantha Drake is injured …
“Sam has been out with some concussion symptoms. She had a collision in practice four or five days ago so she had not got the repetition in practice. We were just making sure she was feeling alright tonight and I thought she had some good minutes.”

On if his practices are physically tough …
“We certainly don’t want them to get dangerous, but they are intense, very intense, and physically demanding. We don’t stop a whole lot or call a bunch of fouls in practice because we are trying to get them as tough as we can so there are not touch fouls in practice. At some point, we are going to have to make sure we clean up our defense because I thought that we reached a little too much tonight and got away with some things maybe. We need to keep working and that is this time of the year. I think we can get better and they want to do that. We will keep at it.”

Kentucky Players

#23, Samarie Walker, F/C

On if she is continuing her stride from last season as fast as she would like…
“I wouldn’t say as fast as I could but that was definitely something that was on my mind, just continuing that success and just continue to get better and play hard.”

On playing this style of basketball and if it’s a lot of fun…
“Honestly, it’s not always that fun because of all the hard work we have to put in, but once you see it go into effect, it is very fun. We see that the hard work we put in is being rewarded.”

#1, A'dia Mathies, G

On how good this team can be offensively this year…
“We can get a lot better. We still have a lot of things to work on, fundamentally. We missed a lot of layups today and wide open 3’s and just not knocking down shots and just running the plays right, so there is a lot of improvement we can make on offense.”

On this year’s offense compared to last…
“We have a lot of different offensive weapons. There were six people in double figures and pretty much everybody that got into the game scored. Everybody has the potential to be the leading scorer this year. I think we have a lot of weapons that will be to our benefit.”

On having a lot of depth on the team…
“Having that amount of depth is great. You can’t just shut down one player and the team goes down. Just having that many players that can score points and put the ball in the basket and work equally hard on defense, it makes a great balanced threat.

#3, Janee Thompson, PG

On how well she played in her first collegiate game…
“I think I did alright. I was really excited to be out there and really excited to let loose and play with my teammates. We all still have a lot we need to work on.”

#13, Bria Goss, G

On if the Cane’s promotion of a free combo if UK scores 35 in the first half is fair since the team scored 35 in the first 13 minutes …

“There is going to be a lot of dead chickens out there. We just go out there and play our game. If Cane’s wants to give out free chicken every time we score 35 points, like I said, everybody is going to be eating good tonight.”

Bellarmine Head Coach, Chancellor Dugan

On the game against a very impressive Kentucky team...
"They are very impressive. We had way too many turnovers. They came with a lot of heat and we didn't respond well to it. The thing is, hopefully there isn't anybody that we will see in the GLVC (Great Lakes Valley Conference) that is that good."

On the defensive pressure by Kentucky...
"We tried to simulate it in practice, having seven people out there on defense but you can't simulate that. They play hard, they get after the ball, and that's where we are trying to get. We are trying to get the kids in that are aggressive and want to play that type of basketball because that's the type of basketball that I want to coach."

On the relatively good play defensively...
"We had some bright spots and we can build on those. That was one of the things that we talked about coming in, making sure we are better than we were the other night (against Indiana State University). I just wish we would have taken care of the ball a little bit better but they are so long and they are just hard to get around. When you don't have that extra gear to go to, you can't get your head and your shoulders around somebody, it makes for a long night. Not having (Kylie) Brady and Betsy (Goodin) out there, that hurt us as far as two senior ball handlers not there. Our guards got a little tired I think."


 

 

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