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UK Hoops Ready for Postseason Play

  • Head Coach Mickie DeMoss

    On playing in the postseason…
    “We’re excited about being in postseason play, we really are. It’s the first time for the seniors to have an opportunity to be in the postseason, and it’s good for our entire team. It gives us a little incentive and makes it seem like we did some good things in the season that we were rewarded for in the end by being invited to the WNIT. It will be good for our fans. It’s a good step for this program. It’s not only for our seniors and being able to reward them, but for our freshmen and our sophomores to be able to have that experience of playing in the postseason. I think it’s invaluable that they get a little taste of it and know what it feels like so they know every year they’re not going to want to sit at home and watch everybody else play. They’re going to want to participate. It’s an invaluable opportunity for us.”

    On the impact of the season home attendance numbers in landing a home NIT game…
    “It says everything. There’s no question our fans got us this, the home-court advantage. The WNIT was so excited about our attendance. They were like, “We hope you keep winning. We’ll stay in Lexington.’ I think our fans made a huge statement nationally.”

    On the extra practice available to the coaching staff…
    “I don’t know if the players are excited about that part of it, but it gives the players more time. We put in a few new wrinkles here and there, which I think keeps us kind of mentally fresh. It does give us more time, particularly with the young players.”

    On whether it is difficult to motivate the players during spring break…
    “They seem to have good energy since we’ve been back from the SEC Tournament. Just having the opportunity to play in the postseason has kept them motivated. I’ve tried to keep practices short and intense so that mentally we’re not drained.”

    On the opportunity for Kentucky to increase its national presence…
    “Everybody knows who’s in the WNIT. We’ve gotten several calls from a lot of coaches wanting tapes on people. Everybody’s aware we made it to the WNIT, and everybody knows that’s the first step. Our ultimate goal, obviously, is to make it to the NCAAs. Making it to the WNIT does give us national recognition, and everybody’s aware of it.”

    On Eastern Michigan…
    “I think they’re a very good team. They made it to the NCAAs last year and they got beat in a close game by Boston College, and they won the Big East last year. They’ve got almost everyone back. They have a veteran-oriented team. We’re looking for a very tough matchup. When you get in tournament play, obviously to be in the tournament, you’re not going to be a pushover or you wouldn’t be in the tournament. We’re looking for a tough matchup against them.”

    On whether the team’s SEC schedule has prepared it for the postseason…
    “I hope that it has prepared us. You don’t go through a brutal season with the SEC teams and feel like you haven’t been prepared in some way. I was thinking about that today watching film on them. They (Eastern Michigan) will throw a lot of different defenses at us, some zones and this and that. Vanderbilt does the same types of things. I don’t think you can go through the SEC schedule and not be prepared for what people are going to throw at you.”

    On Eastern Michigan guard Ryan Coleman…
    “She’s a very good guard. She shoots the three and can go of f the dribble. She’s a senior and is very seasoned. She’s had a great year.”

    On the importance of having home-court advantage…
    “I think our (home) record says it all. We seems to be a lot better at home, especially with a young team. That’s pretty typical. You have your familiar surroundings, not having to go through the different variables on the road with different courts, different environments, all of those things that young teams sometimes have a difficult time with. I think playing at home is huge for us.”

    On whether the team has extra confidence after its effort at the end of the Auburn game…
    “I think so. We still have to grow when you play with so many young players. You’re still growing and learning every game. We did fight hard at the end of that Auburn game. A lot of our veteran players stepped up big in that Auburn game and showed a lot of fight in the end. I’m a little concerned about our freshmen because it’s been a long season. Where are they right now mentally and physically? I’ve had to be very conscious of that. The good thing is we’ve got veteran players who have been through these seasons and they know how to pace themselves and rejuvenate themselves.”


    Kentucky Forward Sara Potts

    On whether she thought the Auburn game would be her last game at Kentucky…
    “No, I knew we would be able to have this chance to play. I’m really excited that we do get the chance.”

    On whether the team’s recent workouts have been more intense than in-season practices…
    “Last week, they were (more difficult). I thought we were in preseason. It’s good for us, and she (Coach DeMoss) knows what she’s doing.”

    On whether the postseason games are important to her…
    “Definitely. Ever since I got here, I’ve been trying to get to the NCAA Tournament. But, like everyone is saying, our team has to progress to get where we’re going. This is a very good step to get there.”


     

     

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