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Kentucky-USC Upstate Postgame Quotes




Nov. 25, 2012

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Kentucky Head Coach Matthew Mitchell

Opening Statement …
“I thought that we gave a better effort today. The team we played Friday in Morehead State really made us play a very physical game as far as being in-tuned physically for the entire possession and I just thought that after looking at our film on Friday didn’t have a great effort there. I really wanted a better effort today, and I will have to look at the film to see, but I felt like we gave a more energetic performance today. I felt like it was a lot closer to where we are trying to get. Happy for the players, they worked hard to earn this victory today.”

On what he hoped the team learned from today’s victory …
“Well, there are so many opportunities to learn in the game. One is how to stay focused on what we need to do to be a very good team. In a game like that today, it is not about the scoreboard, because there are things we can define and we did before the game. They are all based around your attitude, your effort and your energy. Those three things are critical for the development of our basketball team. Those are the things that you can focus on. You can focus on how tough you are playing defense, how hard you are cutting, if you are paying attention to box out situations. All of those things you can gage if you are having a good day or not. I would say, I am going to look at this and it’s probably going to be better than it was on Friday. That is good. We wanted them to be a lot better today than they were Friday.”

On if this was the most complete game the team has played both offensively and defensively …
“I thought it was probably, at first glance just watching it live, was the most consistent energy we have had and people being sharp. We still miss a few too many shots around the basket that I hope we are going to start making. We need to do a good job as coaches of helping them do that and putting them in situations where they can get that done. I was really happy that we could shot 50 percent today. I want to try to see I we can keep doing that and staying around that number is going to be important for this team’s development.”

On the team playing zone defense …
“We are trying to play some 2-3 zone and trying to see how our players can develop in that scheme, while still making it aggressive, but giving you a different look than our pressure man-to-man. That is certainly a work in progress. We gave up a ton of open shots and we didn’t look as good as I hope we will at some point in time. I thought that they hustled in it today and we had a couple of groups out there that really looked good in it. When you have long, athletic, quick players, it can be very effective if you can hustle in the zone. You don’t want a zone where you are resting and standing. We want it to be very aggressive and that is something that we are looking to try to get some value out of for our team this year.”

On scoring 100 points …
“You have to give a great effort to get there. The other team is trying to stop you and if you get satisfied in the game, it could have been 80 to 34. Really, it is our hope and our wish that our players just continue to play hard and everybody played today. There are some players that didn’t get to play a lot of minutes here in the last few games and I want them to have the opportunity to go in and have success. I think it was something that the players wanted and they worked hard to earn it. It just didn’t happen for them today, they worked hard to get that. I am happy for them.”

On what kind of encouraging trends he has seen with his tem the last few games …
“I thought that there were some bright moments for Jennifer O’Neill today and not so much even making shots or passes, but she got some outlets after some made baskets and really pushed the ball up the court the way I have been asking her to do. She still had some mental lapses in the game, but I was encouraged with Jennifer and Maegan (Conwright) today. We have really challenged them and they had to come in early this morning and get some extra work in before our gameday practice and I thought they responded well. I thought they did a good job and gave us some energy. We certainly didn’t turn the ball over as much as we did on Friday so that was encouraging for me as well. We had a very poor shooting day on Friday and bounced back with a better shooting day today. So those were all encouraging things.”

Kentucky Student-Athletes

#1, A’dia Mathies, Sr., G

On her thoughts of the game …
“I think we just did a great job of playing defense and going out there and hustling and giving great effort. I think that’s what made the game so lopsided. If we would have went out here and just played down to the level of our competition, it would have ended up being a closer game. I think everybody did a great job of just doing their part of playing their role and being aggressive out there.”

On the team’s confidence shooting outside …
“I think we’re very confident. We do a lot of shooting and we know we all can make shots. We see it in practice every day, everybody’s knocking down baskets. So coming off a game like last game, we just had a bad shooting night so we got in the gym and put up extra shots and I think it showed today that we’re capable of knocking down open shots and doing what we know we’re capable of doing.”

On what the team got out of its recent stretch of home games …
“Just playing aggressive at all times. We’re not going to let an inferior team to us, we believe, talent-wise have a career night or a great night against us. We take every game as important and just go out there and try to give the best effort we can and have great energy. I think that’s going to carry over to the next game because we know if we play our best we should be able to win the majority, if not all, of the games we play.”

#11, DeNesha Stallworth, Jr., C

On finishing strong even with a big lead …
“I think we definitely had a lapse about the eight-minute mark, but we just gathered back together and tried to push and always tried to do our best because, although the scoreboard might say something different, if we give our best that’s how we get better.”

#13, Bria Goss, So., G

On what the team hopes to get out of a game like this one …
“Games like this are very important to us even if it is a team that’s not ranked. It shows us where we are mentally. Physically and talent-wise, we can get the job done, but coming out and giving your energy, we could get beat at any time of the season. So we really want to focus in on these games and make sure we come out with a lot of energy and play with a lot of effort.”

On wanting to reach the 100-point mark …
“That was one of our goals at the four-minute media (timeout) and we like to reach our goals. Once JJ (Jelléah Sidney) put it back in on the rebound then we were all really excited.”

On taking pride in scoring points off turnovers …
“What gets us going is our defense. If we’re out here hustling and getting points on the defensive end from their turnovers, that’s always a plus. We just got to keep attacking and our offense will come.”

USC Upstate Head Coach Tammy George

On facing Kentucky’s defense …
“Forty minutes of pressure. Obviously we struggled from the get-go. They jumped on us early. You know we’ve been struggling a lot turning the ball over. It’s been our Achilles heel especially against a very, very good team like Kentucky. We just really struggled, obviously 38 turnovers. They play very hard, lots of pressure.”

On how Kentucky compares with USC Upstate’s other opponents …
“Kentucky’s just pretty solid all the way around. We found some weaknesses against West Virginia and Purdue. We competed for the first 20 minutes of those games. From here, we were out of it pretty much at the get-go. We zoned Purdue, we zoned West Virginia and we competed and kept it close. I think with Kentucky we didn’t feel like we could play them man. They just had shooters and drivers. It’s just really hard for us. Just out-manned today.”

On learning lessons from today’s game …
“I think the biggest thing I learned about my team today, I mean, I thought even though they were up big the whole game I felt like they just kept playing hard. That’s something we want to do. You can’t look at the score you just want your kids to go out and play hard. We’re trying to put together 40 minutes of play ourselves. I think that’s the biggest thing, and I just hope our kids didn’t lose any confidence today.”

USC Upstate Student-Athletes

#23, Tee’Ara Copney, G

On Kentucky’s defensive pressure…
“Their defensive pressure was a lot more than the other teams that we played against, like Purdue and West Virginia. That was something that we knew was coming. It was just something that we wanted to work on. Like Coach (Tammy George) said, just trying to handle the pressure and get better with limited turnovers”

On playing zone early…
“That was our game plan. We wanted them to shoot the ball. We didn’t want them to get inside with their bigs. We made some adjustments when they started making (shots), but we did what they asked us to do on the defensive end as far as staying in a zone, making them shoot 3s and closing out.”

On learning lessons from today’s game …
“I wouldn’t really say we got tired, but it is challenging. We didn’t lie down so I’m proud of the team. I think like she (Tammy George) said everyone continued to play hard. That’s one of the things we want to work on to get better so we can get in our conference and compete for 40 minutes.”


 

 

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