Nov. 21, 2008
Complete Pregame Notes | Pregame Press Conference Quotes
LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Kentucky women’s basketball team will play host to the George Washington Colonials of Washington, D.C., in Memorial Coliseum Sunday, Nov. 23. Tip-off is scheduled for 2 p.m. EST and the game will be carried live on the Big Blue Sports Network (radio) with Neil Price.
Single-game general admission tickets are available for $5 adults/$2 senior citizens and children 6-18. Ages five and under are admitted free. UK students, faculty and staff also are admitted free with valid identification based on availability. For ticket information, log on to ukathletics.com or call the UK ticket office at 859-257-1818 or 1-800-928-CATS (2287).
Fans are encouraged to park in Parking Structure 5 located next to Kennedy’s Bookstore on Limestone Avenue. Parking within Parking Structure 5 will be available free of charge. A shuttle bus service also will be provided and begins one hour prior to game time until one hour after the game. Additional game day parking is available in the E lots surrounding Memorial Coliseum including the Martin Luther King Parking Lot and the Student Center Parking Lot.
The Wildcats (1-1) are coming off a thrilling come-from-behind victory (58-55) over Cincinnati on Monday. The Wildcats erased an eight-point second-half deficit and sophomore Victoria Dunlap (Nashville, Tenn.) scored 17 of her career-high 22 points in the second stanza to help lead UK over the Bearcats. Senior Eleia Roddy (Columbus, Ohio) followed with a near double-double, recording 14 points and nine rebounds.
“We have had a good week of practice up to this point and we face a very good opponent in George Washington Sunday,” UK Hoops Coach Matthew Mitchell said. “They are off to a fast start and have had two big victories up to this point by wide margins. We hope that we can grab some momentum from a very hard fought victory Monday against Cincinnati. We have been trying hard in practice to get better at the things that we know will help us become the team we want to become.”
This marks George Washington’s second game in three days. The Colonials (2-1), picked to finish second in the Atlantic 10 conference, are looking to rebound from a 72-64 loss to Western Kentucky in Bowling Green on Friday. Senior Antelia Parrish and senior Jessica Adair led GW's four double-digit scorers with 13 points apiece, followed by 12 from twin Jazmine Adair and 11 from freshman Tara Booker. Booker led a Colonials' bench that scored 29 points, but the Lady Toppers countered with 22 points off 17 turnovers. The Colonials aren’t ranked but are receiving seven votes in The Associated Press Top 25 poll.
This is the third all-time meeting between Kentucky and George Washington. UK is 0-2 after falling to the 14th-ranked Colonials, 75-65, last season in Washington, D.C., and dropping a 71-62 decision in the teams’ first meeting on Dec. 14, 1991. This is GW’s first game against the Wildcats in Lexington, Ky.
Head Coach Matthew Mitchell - Pregame Press Conference Quotes
Opening Statement ...
"We have had a good week of practice up to this point and we face a very good opponent in George Washington Sunday. They are off to a fast start and have had two big victories up to this point by wide margins. They will have a tough game tonight (at Western Kentucky). We hope that we can grab some momentum from a very hard fought victory Monday against Cincinnati. We have been trying hard in practice to get better at the things that we know will help us become the team we want to become."
On what are the things this team needs to do to get better ...
"The progression right now is that our defense is getting better all the time and that needs to improve because we have to become a good defensive team. Cincinnati played a lot of zone and I think that we will see a lot of that early from George Washington so we have been working hard to create open looks out of our zone offense."
On if the better shooting will help against the zone ...
"The way Cincinnati played zone it is very important to find a consistent outside shooter. You saw as we made a few threes that their zone started to adjust. If you don't make some outside shots then they will hang around the basket all night and dare you to shoot. It is very important in zone offense to have a level of consistency in shooting the ball from the perimeter. One thing you can't do against a zone is let them force you into taking shots you don't want to take. So not only is shooting the ball important, but patience and ball reversal, things we talk about all the time, are important as well. George Washington plays a lot of zone defense so we are expecting to see a lot of it on Sunday."
On what kind of zone he expects to see out of George Washington ...
"They play a 2-3 match-up aggressive zone. They can show multiple looks out of it and sometimes it looks like a man-to-man on the perimeter but it's a zone. They will do some half court trapping, what we call a diamond set, a 1-2-1-1 type look. They will give you a variety of looks out of the zone, but they also played some man-to-man early in the first two games."
On his team getting off to slow starts ...
"For our team, the slow start Monday night was a by-product of Saturday's performance. You can slice it however you want to but that was a difficult day for us in shooting the ball and executing our offense. They had a hard day Sunday because the coach wasn't happy with them. I knew going into the game Monday night that it was going to be a rough game for us and I wasn't totally surprised by the start because you know where your team's psyche is. We planned to start a certain lineup that we thought would give us some good energy and it wasn't the best lineup to start against a 2-3 zone. There are some things we want to get done in this program as far as fundamentals and principles and that's why we started the lineup we started. Those players played and tried real hard, but the psyche and the players we started against a zone attributed to our slow start. I am very proud of our players for fighting back and getting the win because that was one that we could have lost but we didn't."
On Amani Franklin's confidence...
"A lot of Armani's struggles to be the kind of player that we want her to be has a lot to do with her confidence. I had a long talk with her yesterday. She did not have a very good preseason. She had some struggles and got behind and had to play catch-up. She looked very aggressive against Kentucky State and she has to understand the difference between Kentucky State and Michigan. Just because the name on the jersey across a team's chest is different doesn't mean she has to play different. She made some plays against in the Kentucky State game that it wouldn't have mattered who you were playing they were going to be effective plays. We are going to try to talk daily about where her confidence level is and see if we can help her. We as a coaching staff and Amani as an individual have to take on a lot of responsibility to stay strong and tough. There are certain things we are going to do as a staff to evaluate. When a player goes in the game and allows a straight-line drive to the basket then they are going to come out. They all know that and Amani did that in the game on Monday, but she can't let that affect her confidence. She has to come to the bench and let me correct that and then go back into the game. That early failure in the game affected her for the rest of the game. I have told our players to let me evaluate during the game and then they can evaluate their performance after the game when they are watching film."