: Without getting into specifics players, how do you feel like recruiting is going for next year and beyond? Mickie DeMoss :
We had a great summer and got early committments from four really good players and have already started working on the junior class.
Mickie : It is tough playing in the SEC! Then playing through the SEC tourney, how do you see the Lady Cats matching up with some of the other premier SEC opponents?
Mickie DeMoss : It's always tough in the SEC. Every year teams from the SEC end up in the Final Four. But I feel we have a well-seasoned team and should be able to match up competitively.
K : Will you have any recruits at Midnight Madness?
Mickie DeMoss : Yes we will but I can't talk about them.
John : What do you predict will be the biggest improvement with this years team. Also will some of the girls step up and be able to be more potent offensively. Thanks and continue the great job!!! Go Big Blue!
Mickie DeMoss : I think our overall athleticism and our depth. Because of those, we're going to be able to do more things on the defensive end and extend our defense more.
Adam : You had a really good year last year. What is the main thing you want the team (or individual players) to improve on to be better this year?
Mickie DeMoss : We have to take care of the ball and cut down on turnovers. We have to be more consistent on the offensive end - score more points and shoot a higher percentage.
Ray : Are there any health questions for team? Is everyone ready to go?
Mickie DeMoss : At this point, everyone appears to be pretty healthy. Just a couple minor nagging injuries, but nothing major.
Steve : Are there any rule changes that you would like to see?
Mickie DeMoss : I think the game is fine the way it is.
Jenny : When do you plan on moving into the new practice facility? Is the practice facility having any effect on your recruiting?
Mickie DeMoss : We plan on moving in late December or early January. I'm sure it will be a big plus in recruiting. Up until now we've only been able to show them pictures. So that has helped. But once it's completely built, it will be a big big help for us.
Jenny : Is there any team or teams that you would like to schedule in the future?
Mickie DeMoss : We take that on a year to year basis. We always try to play teams from different conferences. But there's no one team in particular that we're looking to schedule.
mike : In the future how do you feel about taking pre-season trips? (Ex: in the Month of August or September.)
Mickie DeMoss : That's something that we're planning on doing in the near future. That's something that we would have to do in August before school starts.
Steve : How is recruiting going? How many player would you like to sign for next season?
Mickie DeMoss : We already have four verbal committments for next year and signing day is in November. So we're done for the upcoming class.
bbfan30 : Ive read that Mahoney and Elliott have both transformed their bodies this season and become much stronger. Will they be KY's "go-to" players this season? Good luck and i'll be there every home game!
Mickie DeMoss : Thank you for your support. Samantha Mahoney is the most obvious transformation we had. Her body looks great. Sarah's knee is healthier this year than last year at this time, so she's been able to get through the conditioning and weight training that she missed last fall. Therefore she is much stronger. I think on different nights, different players have stepped up for us. They will certainly players we will look for to help our success. But we have a strong team and I can't really narrow our "go-to" players to two people.
Eric : When people think of Kentucky people think basketball. For the longest time high expectations were only for men, but now it is for men and women as it should be! How does this effect your coaching and what are your expectations for this season's team?
Mickie DeMoss : I have high expectations every year, even my first year here. I don't feel it affects my coaching. Everyday I go in and try to get the best from my players whether we're ranked 15th in the country or not ranked at all.
Amy Laschinske : Congrats on a great season last year, any advice for a young coach just starting out?
Mickie DeMoss : Work hard, stay positive and find some players. :)
Bubba : Do you allow items to be dropped off at your office for autographing? I have a ball signed by a few of your girls and would love to have you sign it.
Mickie DeMoss : Yes Bubba. You can drop your basketball off at our office and I will be happy to sign it.
: Coach DeMoss, thanks for taking the time to chat with your fans. It's been a thrill to have you here at UK and I hope you'll be here a very long time! I'd like to find out about the Strength & Conditioning program for the women's basketball team. Do we have a dedicated strength coach like the men's team? If not, do you see this happening in the near future?
Mickie DeMoss : Yes, we have a full time strength and conditioning coach that works with women's basketball. Her name is Stephanie Tracey-Simmons and we are extremely happy to have her.
Brian May : Congratulations on last seasons success. It was a pleasure to work with you and your team. With a slew of veterans, how much will you depend on the leadership of your upper classmen, such as Lanky and Sam, to bring this team to the next level. Good Luck this year!!!
Mickie DeMoss : Hi Brian. We miss you. Of course you always turn to your upperclassmen to provide leadership to the younger players. And I would certainly look to all of my upperclassmen to provide that leadership.
David Crickmer : Coach DeMoss, Thank you so much for what you have done to turn this program around! The team has been getting a lot of fan support and national recognition and I was wondering if you could describe what you feel a successful season would be this year?
Mickie DeMoss : It's hard to put it into specific statistics. We certainly want to maintain our national ranking throughout the season and we would love to advance further in the NCAA Tournament than we did last year.
Devin Klein (Lexington, KY) : I want to begin by stating that the success between yourself, John Cohen and Craig Skinner has been wonderful to watch, my fianc? and I are purchasing season tickets to all three sports this year. The question I would like to ask has three parts and I hope you have time to address each of the three: 1 ? Of the success your team has achieved, how much of it can you attribute to what you learned as an assistant at Tennessee and, of your success, (outside of the basketball circles) what other sports or people do you look to for your own motivation for success? 2 ? Within your staff, who takes care of monitoring the academic progress of your athletes and do you have a standard grade point average which you, personally, set for your team in order to assure success on the court and in the classroom? 3 ? If you were on a recruiting trip and a parent gave you just one sentence to sell their family on sending their daughter to Kentucky for a student-athlete experience, what would that sentence be?
Mickie DeMoss : 1 - I think my experience at UT was truly a valuable experience. For 18 years, I learned from one of the very best coaches in the game of basketball. I feel like the things I learned under Coach Summitt were the resolve everyday to go into practice and expect high standards, to never lower my standards and to be consistent to the players on a daily basis. I read a variety of different books on different coaches and athletes - anywhere from NFL coaches to NBA coaches. I look to see if I can pick up stuff from them. 2 - Coach Pam Stackhouse is the liaison between the players and the academic center. We have a goal as a team to have a collective GPA of 3.0. Each player is treated on a individual basis as far as GPA is concerned. But academics is very important to me and my staff. As a result, we have had 100% graduation in my three years as head coach. 3 - "We will take care of your daughter."
Tamara : How has the team responded to the pre-season rankings (aka RESPECT) that they have received? Thanks Coach Demoss and I'm looking forward to getting the season started.
Mickie DeMoss : So far, they seem to be excited about the preseason rankings. But we've discussed it many times that it's not how you start the season but how you finish. We're focused on not only starting the season strong but finishing strong.
Michael Bonner : I just want to say that it's great to finally have a womens basketball program that lives up to the high standards of kentucky basketball. Thank you coach Demoss!
Mickie DeMoss : Thank you for your support and we hope to see you at the games.
Will : Hi Coach DeMoss. Congratulations with everything you, your staff and the team were able to accomplish this past year. As we are getting ready for this season, I have several questions. Do you anticipate any changes to the lineup? Who has been impressive in the offseason? How much contribution are you looking for from the incoming class? Good luck on the upcoming season!
Mickie DeMoss : It's still too early to determine lineup changes. We're still assessing with where everyone is. Our bench was so strong last year and were just as important as our starters. The entire team has worked extremely hard in the summer and fall. It's hard to single one person out. I know that Sam Mahoney has dropped about 12 pounds and her body has changed and worked hard with her conditioning. She looks really good at this point. Eleia Roddy has worked hard in the offseason and looks good. As a team, I think we look really good so it's hard to single out just one or two players. At this point it's probably too early to tell how much the incoming class can help us in game time situations. With all the players returning, game time is going to be at a premium so we'll have to see as we start playing some games.
ukathletics.com : Thanks so much to Coach DeMoss for joining us today.
Mickie DeMoss : Thank you for all the questions. It's really been a great experience for me since I've been at Kentucky and the fans have been a huge part of our success. I want to thank you for supporting the women's basketball team. I look forward to seeing you at Madness and all the games this season.