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Kentucky-Delaware State Postgame Quotes




Nov. 10, 2012

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Kentucky Head Coach Matthew Mitchell

Opening statement ...
“We are thrilled to open up the season with a victory. It was great to be back out in Memorial Coliseum for another season opener and I was really, really pleased in a lot of areas today. It is just a lot of fun to come out in front of an enthusiastic crowd and get a victory to kick off the season. We are excited about today and happy to win.”

On the teams level of intensity for the entire 40 minutes ...
“The first part of building our team and our defensive identity starts with a high level of intensity. And that starts with their attitude and their willingness to really put themselves out there and willingness to make mistakes, because we made a ton of mistakes today. That is all part of the process. It’s what you have to do since it’s early in the season. The thing that I liked was the speed that Delaware State had to play with today. They were pretty uncomfortable it looked like to me. I will go back and look at it on film. There is a lot we have to get better at doing and I think we will. It takes day after day after day and repetition after repetition to really get good at some of these things that we need to get good at. The first step is the intensity, and I thought they brought that, so I was happy with that.”

On the team’s depth and ability to play so many lineups ...
“I think it’s important in a game like today where the margin is big and you need to give everyone a chance to get out there and see what they can do. I don’t go into the game thinking I need to get everybody in the game. Now, I do go into the game thinking I want a deep rotation, but they really have to earn that playing time in practice and so if the scoring margin is like it is today, everybody will probably get an opportunity to play. I was happy everybody got a chance to play.”

On how the staff goes about correcting the mistakes ...
“We will correct in timeouts, we will correct in deadballs, we will correct in video review and practice exactly. The main thing that you have to have is the mentality of putting the pressure on and attacking all the time. We had way too many turnovers today and those were a product of them trying to play the pace. There is only one way to learn how to do that, and that is to do it. It’s going to be ugly at times and there will be a lot of mistakes made here early in the season, but I am very optimistic about what we can become.”

On his initial thoughts of the performance of DeNesha Stallworth ...
“I thought she did alright. I will have to go back and watch the film. I didn’t think she played nearly enough in a stance today. On defense, I didn’t think she was anything close to what she can be. Offensively, I thought she was very impatient around the bucket, so that is my initial impression of her. She is a very talented player and has, what I think, is a real possibility of having a great year.”

Kentucky Players

#1, A’dia Mathies, Sr., G

On the first game of the season ...
“We just tried to play Kentucky basketball. We gave 40 minutes of our best effort. We felt that if we did that we would have a great victory, and we did.”

On not looking ahead on the schedule ...
“We know that if we do not focus on every game then anyone is capable of beating us. We do not look forward to any game. I think we went out there and took care of business.”

On what it means to play against Baylor ...
“It means a lot. It’s not going to make or break our season, but we are definitely going to put all we have into it, as we do every game. I think that if we focus on Kentucky, do the things we should do well, play aggressive and play our best then we should come out with the victory.”

#11 DeNesha Stallworth, Jr., C

On how her first game went...
“I was definitely excited. It’s a lot to work on. You just have to take it day-by-day and practice-by-practice, but overall it was a pretty good performance.”

On the team’s depth...
“Our bench coming in and knocking down the shots keeps us going.”

Delaware State Head Coach Tamika Louis

Opening statement...
“I’m just excited to be in this environment and finally have the jitters out of my first Division I head coaching game. The opportunity to have a chance to play against the No. 6 team in the country on their home floor, it doesn’t get any more exciting than this. We feel very blessed and fortunate to be here with the limited team we have. We brought half the team of course so I’m just excited to be here, to participate and compete against them.”

On her expectations of her first head coaching game...
“We talked about that to our players and there’s a lot of firsts right now. Every head coach wants to go out and win in their first game. No head coach is ever going to think that I’m going to take a little small school with kids that you didn’t recruit, not your kids, and go play against the No. 6 team in the country. A lot of the time what will happen is you go and get blown out by 100, which of course they just blew a team out by 80-90 points, and it kills your spirit and it’s nothing really to build upon there. At the same time, you think you don’t want that but then again, I’m happy that it happened because what it allowed me to do was play in the most competitive environment that I’ll play in this year and it allowed my kids to reveal their true character. We can’t match them from a talent standpoint, they have the most talented kids, but our kids revealed that they were going to play hard and try to do the little things, try to stay composed. Every setback gives you an opportunity to make a comeback so we’re just going to use this small setback as a learning tool and to get a chance to come back for our next game.”

On returning players from last season...
“It’s kind of a double-edged sword. I’ve been apart of programs, when I was at Illinois, where you were coming as a brand new staff and you don’t have any of your kids. You have a lot of returners so a lot of times they don’t really buy into your system because they’re used to the old way and they didn’t come play for you. I was really fortunate where these kids bought into my system right away. It’s totally different from last year; they didn’t run, they didn’t do anything we wanted them to do, and it’s a lot more discipline than what they’re used to and they totally bought in. As a coach coming in, you really want all seniors so you have your own kids to come in, but at the same time when you get a lot of young kids that are willing to buy into your system, that means we’ll continue to get better. Overall, I’ve been fortunate to have kids that were willing to buy into a brand new system and change the whole culture, and we’re really changing the culture there. When it’s all said and done, we want to be a legit mid major team, we’re getting ready to sign some of the top players in the country for our level, and we’re changing the culture around there.”

On Kentucky defense being better on film or in person...
“You know what you’re getting yourself into. The problem is just that you really can’t prepare for it. Our second string, or lack thereof, can’t simulate Kentucky and because of our practice schedule and times, we can’t get a lot of guys in there to try and simulate it. You see them on TV, and you watch a box score and even their last exhibition game, they forced 46 turnovers, so it is as intense on film as it is in person. I think Coach (Matthew) Mitchell does a great job of instilling pride of ‘this is how we play and we’re going to force teams to make good decisions and they’re going to have to get out of our organized chaotic defense.’ They are just as good or even better in person as they are on film.”


 

 

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