Women's Basketball
InteractiveTwitterFacebook
Kentucky-Marist Postgame Quotes




Dec. 30, 2012

Recap |  Box Score |  Notes |  AP Photo Gallery  |  Photo Gallery 

Kentucky Head Coach Matthew Mitchell

Opening Statement …
"Great victory today for our team. I am very excited to earn a quality win over a quality team and program. We have so much respect for Marist and how they play the game. That is a difficult, difficult team to prepare for in one day. As you saw in the first half, they really had some success with some things and I thought that the adjustments our players made at halftime really, really benefited us in the second half. Great win for us today."

On entering conference play after a hard-fought victory compared to a not-so close victory …
"I think you have a better idea about things you need to work on this week as we lead up to our first non-conference game. I think that it is much more beneficial than a blow-out win. We had some pressure on us today to perform. Marist just kept coming back at us and cut it to single digits so we had to earn this one. It was hard fought and didn't always go our way and we saw how some people responded and dug in. I thought it was very beneficial for us and we will have a good idea of where we are heading into Thursday."

On Jennifer O'Neill's play …
"Great offensive lift she gave us today. I just think that Marist was determined to make it tough in the paint and I think they were going to force somebody to step up on the perimeter and make some shots and boy did she do that today. I thought she had a really, really good offensive day and gave us a big lift by making shots. Her offense was much needed today and I was happy to see her involved and being productive."

On if there was something Jennifer O'Neill did differently Sunday compared to previous games …
"She is a great perimeter shooter and a very skilled offensive player so I am not surprised (with her offensive performance) just really happy to see it because we needed it today because they really made it tough on our interior players."

On if he had to encourage Jennifer O'Neill to shoot more …
"No, we just always encourage our players to take open shots in their range. Jennifer certainly has 3-point capability and I thought they made good decisions and moved the ball and I thought our post players did a good job of kicking the ball out when they were double and triple teamed. You need to make teams pay and Jennifer was able to do that."

On his relationship with Marist head coach Brian Giorgis …
"I have a lot or respect for him and we are friends. We try to visit every year together at the Final Four and go to Mass together every Sunday at the Final Four and have been doing that together for the last four or five years. We have a good relationship and are involved in some different things with the coaches association together. I have always admired him and he has really built an incredible program. He is a friend that I have tremendous respect for. I am excited that our two universities are able to get this series started and hopefully we can keep it going for a while. He is a great, great coach and a really good man."

On A'dia Mathies' injuries during the game …
"A'dia told us out on the court when she hit her head that she thought she would be OK. It just kind of stunned her more. When she got up I felt good about that. The other was sort of a funny bone deal that her hand went numb for a second and she just needed to shake that off and at halftime we knew she was OK. You don't ever want to see any of your players go down and you don't want to see one of your really, really important and productive players offensive and defensively go down. It is a scary situation any time a player goes down and we are really happy that she was able to bounce back and wasn't injured too bad."

On if her injury delays changed his game plan or substitution strategy …
"What is so difficult for us, it is a good thing on one hand and makes it tough on the other, is we tried to throw a little zone at them today and they made some 3s and had a good enough ball handlers and they schemed us well enough that it didn't look really good. I though we have to get in and grind them out and pressure them. That offense is designed to beat our defense so that is a difficult game for us to play in and a difficult defensive challenge for our players. I thought they handled it remarkably well. It didn't change much when she went out."

On teams concentrating more on stopping UK in the paint …
"I think that is something you have to anticipate happening and people just thinking that maybe you can't make enough outside shots. That has been something that has plagued us in the past and I am hopeful we will make people pay the way we did today. We really made some timely 3s and some timely shots. We will definitely be prepared for people trying to take away post players and we will work hard on preparing for that."

On if the team is ready for conference play …
"I think they are ready and I think they are excited. This is a 13-game stretch and a long grind. It was a tough turnaround today to get ready in one day and now you can exhale a little bit tonight and take some time to reflect back on a very successful non-conference portion. I have to believe that our players are tremendously excited for what we considered the most important part of our season. We are really excited about that."

Kentucky Student-Athletes

#1, A'dia Mathies, Sr., G

On how the early injuries affected her play …
"I guess it had something to do with me getting in a groove because I kept having to go back to the bench and see the trainers and doctors to make sure I was alright. I thought they did a great job of going out there and playing aggressive and scoring buckets and playing aggressive defensive. I wasn't too worried about that."

On what the second injury was …
"I guess she hit my funny bone, but it wasn't too funny. It really hurt and my left hand went numb for a second so they just worked it on the sideline. The feeling came back and I was ready to go."

On what they will take from the non-conference schedule heading into SEC play …
"I think just coming together as a team more. We got some new players and some players that didn't play last year, including these two right here (points at O'Neill and Stallworth). Just coming together offensively and defensively as a team and making steps towards become a better team heading into SEC play."

#0, Jennifer O'Neill, R-So., G

On if she is getting more confident with each game …
"Yeah, but it comes from practice and preparation. Even today, I didn't have a good shoot around and I spoke with Coach (Matthew) Mitchell before the game and he motivated me to go out there and play my hardest and that is what I tried to do."

On her feeling more confident with her outside shot throughout Sunday's game…
"I always feel confident in my outside shot, honestly … Probably the third 3 (I felt good about getting some shots up."

On if she could tell that Marist was challenging them to hit outside shots …
"You could see holes in their defense. When they would hard hedge and go under the screens, you could see that 3-point shot would be open. You could definitely tell they were trying to force us to shot outside shots."

Marist Head Coach Brian Giorgis

On how he prepared to play for Kentucky …
"We focused on fewer turnovers, which we didn't accomplish. And, actually we had done a pretty decent job until late. That's the whole thing. It's a great mantra for (Matthew Mitchell), the '40 Minutes', because for 35 minutes, we were great. It is kind of interesting, we played (Kentucky) and we played UConn. We lost by 42 to UConn, lost be 22 here, and I am happy as a pig in slop because we played great in both games. People around me couldn't understand 'Well, how could you be happy by losing by 42 to UConn?' Well, we scored more points than Stanford did yesterday and held them to 81 when they were averaging quite a few. The same thing with these guys. Our plan, at least defensively, was to make them beat us from the perimeter. That's what they did. They hit a lot of big shots from the perimeter.

That is one thing Matthew (Mitchell) hopefully should be happy going away, is that we tried as hard as we could to take away the inside game, because as you can see, with our injuries, we aren't big. We had some people not understanding the game plan enough, but it's kind of like with Oklahoma. At Oklahoma, we had a one-point lead with eight minutes to go and we just kind of ran out of gas. That is another thing Matthew (Mitchell) has. He can go 11 deep and play a lot of people. We get excited when starters play major minutes. They probably haven't even seen 30 minutes in a long time with 11 kids averaging double-digit minutes.

So, our game plan to handle them is to just screen the hell out of them and he made some adjustments and then we had to make some adjustments. It made it fun because most of the times, they were just sticking to their man, and we got some curl-cut lay-ups and stuff like that. Other times, they were showing more help, so we shape up. It just kind of makes you feel good with our offense. You know, we only ran one offense today. Against people like that, we only have one offense, which makes my life easier, but we usually do it fairly well, because as you can see, we don't have the best. Athletically, it was no contest. You know, skill wise, they have four McDonald's All-Americans and the only thing we have McDonald's is that I have four McDonald's Diet Coke's a day.

So, you know, I told our kids, we are ecstatic because we are not going to see this in our conference. We are not going to see Purdue, we are not going to see UConn, we are not going to see Kentucky, we are not going to see Oklahoma, we are not going to see Wake Forest. So, we played a heck of a game. Four of our losses are to teams in the top 12. The things that we are excited about is that you guys get to come to our place next year and see our atmosphere, which for a little school of 4,500 is a lot of fun. Sherri Coale loved it a couple of years ago and that's why she is coming back. That is why we don't play the money games or guarantees. For Kentucky we will get two or three thousand. We average 2,000."


 

 

Interactive UK Tube - Now Playing Here