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Kentucky-Morehead State Postgame Quotes




Nov. 23, 2012

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Kentucky Head Coach Matthew Mitchell

Opening statement …
“Well, we were really pleased to win today, the “Terry Hall Memorial Classic.” We just wanted to honor her memory. Her family was here today and I told the players that we wanted to come out and play with great effort and intensity to give that to them. Coach Hall’s sisters were here today and we wanted to come out and give an effort that was appropriate for what Coach Hall has done for our program. Happy to get a win and we did some good things out there.”

On the advantage on the boards …
“That was a key today. We thought we should have a huge advantage on the boards. We were bigger, stronger and more athletic, but you still have to go in and get them. The unfortunate thing was that we so many opportunities because we missed some many baskets we had some offensive rebounding opportunities, but you still have to go get them. I really challenged our post players. They have been given a lot of gifts. We have some athletic, fast, tall and long post players and I just didn’t feel like we had been as active as we needed to be. I thought we were more active today. I was really happy with 10 blocks. I wanted them to get in there and try and block some shots today. That would show that you were up off your feet and you were trying to play aggressive and you were trying to get some stops. Morehead’s offense, I just knew, was going to have it spread out and we would make some mistakes and they would get the ball at the rim and we would have to go in there and try and erase some mistakes with our shot blocking. The rebounding was good and I thought the bigs played with great energy today.”

On the point guard position …
“There were some positive things there. What I am really looking for is more of an energy and a presence from that position and we are not where we need to be yet. I will know it when I see it. It is not there yet. (Starting point guard) Jennifer (O’Neill) is a very talented player; she has an ability to make all the plays. She needs some repetitions. I was glad to get her 21 minutes. That shows a positive because she wasn’t having to sit on the bench because of lack of effort. She made some mistakes out there but I can live with those. There are too many peaks and too many valleys for us right now at the point guard position. We need a more consistent energy and mindset there and we need to develop it pretty quickly.”

On the play of Samarie Walker
“She did a nice job. I wish some of her shots had fallen and she could have had a really monster day. She worked extremely hard and was very, very active. That is what we need her to be. She gets so frustrated when she misses those around the rim and I thought she did a nice job of handling that. She kept playing hard. She had the great rebounding numbers which means she kept playing hard. I thought Samarie had a really good defensive game. She and DeNesha (Stallworth) and Azia (Bishop) played with a lot of energy. That was a difficult scheme to guard. Morehead and their players fought really hard and made you stay engaged with their sets. We did a really good job and I was particularly proud of those three kids. Brittany Henderson was another post player that really talked and worked hard on defense today.”

Kentucky Student-Athletes

#23, Samarie Walker, F/C

On what was key for her in the game even though she was frustrated after missing some shots …
“It’s just knowing that those shots will fall eventually. It is hard for me not to get frustrated when I miss such easy shots but I try to continue to get better with my attitude and work on my frustration.”

On the team keeping the energy up during the game …
“We all came out with a lot of energy and pushed each other to continue to keep that up throughout the game and having teammates with energy helps keep my energy up.”

On having 63 rebounds as a team and the effort it takes to play that hard …
“It takes a huge effort. I know all of us were tired. We all ran up to the huddle and were like ‘man, I’m hit’. We just have to just keep pushing and making those hustle plays and it will all pay off in the end.”

#1, A’dia Mathies, G

On Kentucky’s post play…
“They did a great job today. We knew that the post play would be our advantage today because they were a very short team. We knew that if we got the ball inside we should be able to score. They did a great job especially DeNesha Stallworth and Samarie (Walker), they both recorded double-doubles today. That’s awesome. I’m just glad they’ve been putting in the work, and you could see it on the stat sheets.”

On the Kentucky’s 63-rebound performance …
“A lot of them were offensive boards just because we were missing wide-open layups and open shots. Fortunately we were hustling to get those rebounds, but we still want to make those open layups and shots.”

Morehead State Head Coach Tom Hodges

Opening statement …
“First of all, we are very fortunate to be here and to play in this venue against a top-10 team at the University of Kentucky. We have the upmost respect for Coach Mitchell and his program and what they are doing here. It’s always nice to be in Memorial and test ourselves accordingly. I felt like there were some spots where Morehead State got better tonight and that was our goal. There were some spots where we were obviously deficient. Overall, we will take our positives and learn from our negatives and move on.”

On the issues caused by the size of Kentucky’s team …
“I wish we could go to a Black Friday sale and buy us a few more inches, but there is no alleviating that type of physicality. That is the one thing that this year’s team has. With DeNesha Stallworth and Bishop, there’s just an influx of physicality. They are not just tall, they are imposing. I think that is what makes this maybe their best team.”

On the rebounding margin …
“With us playing the matchup and playing the zone, it puts a premium on boxing out and finding your correct matchup. I thought our post players boxed out really well, but the off side is what killed us ultimately. Then you get in the cylinder and they might miss another one. Well now you are at the mercy of the size advantage. A lot of those second, third and fourth ones were just in the cylinder plucking over our heads. It is a great offensive rebounding team and a great offensive rebounding night for Kentucky. Not so much for Morehead State, but it is something that we have to learn from.”

On what positives will be taken from this game …
“I thought there were spurts where we did great things offensively. We drove the ball really well. I thought we screened better than we had up to this game. We distributed on some drive and kicks that we felt like would get us open. So we felt like there were some good things. Now obviously we knew we had to handle pressure. We felt for the most part that we handled the pressure pretty well. We threw a freshman point guard out there, Mackenzie Martinez. I was pleased with that. Our game plan was to keep the score as low as possible and to slow it down as much as possible. If we had to take a 30-second shot clock violation, so be it. We didn’t want to give them a live ball turnover where they can go down and dunk it and then all of Memorial Coliseum goes wild.”


 

 

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