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Matthew Mitchell Talks About Beating Evansville 100-62 - LEX18.com | Continuous News and StormTracker Weather

Matthew Mitchell Talks About Beating Evansville 100-62

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AP Photo/James Crisp AP Photo/James Crisp

Opening statement …

“I’m really proud of the players. They came out with tremendous intensity tonight. They’ve had a lot on them game, after game, after game, coming on them and really tough coming down to the wire academically – and to come out with that energy and that focus tonight, I was really, really proud of that. Lots to be excited about, a whole lot we have to work on and get better, but I appreciate the strong effort from the team tonight.”

On Tatyana Wyatt’s performance …

“I’m just so proud of her and we absolutely believe in her talent and her ability. You know, I don’t ever go into games saying ‘Hey you need to go get 20 [points] and 10 [rebounds]’ but you all can see that she’s extremely poised offensively for a freshman. She’s getting better defensively; hustling, smart, highly-intelligent player, plays hard, great attitude, walks in with a smile on her face most everyday ready to get better and ready to roll. Just doing an outstanding job. Very gifted, can certainly improve and get better, but we’re happy she’s on our team.”

On how Tatyana Wyatt has played after missing five games…

“That’s the thing that you’re so surprised about is that, I was ready to be extremely patient and let her work back in. I love the way she handled herself at Baylor. We all kind of had areas we didn’t do great in, but just finding some small victories there, I thought she handled herself well. I thought she just presented herself to the game extraordinarily well and reacted to the difficulty of the game well. I liked the way she was that night and then she had a nice game on Sunday and really just very little time to prepare for this one. So just got out there and made some plays tonight and was aggressive.”

On Alyssa Rice’s leadership …

“There’s no question that Alyssa’s leadership has made a huge impact on our team and on individuals but just overall on our team. She’s a product of the program. She’s embraced improvement. She’s embraced all our principles and attributes that we’re about and is now passing them on to younger players and that’s what a leader does.”

On so many players accruing a double-double so far this season ...

"Every game is different and so tonight’s game, the freshman get a lot of opportunity. They are not playing behind everybody. So, they have to get out there and they have to get the minutes and they have some opportunity. Just real proud of them (the freshman) and out of what (Paige) Poffenberger did. I hope there are more of those in her future."

On the press being utilized and how far along in instillation it is ...

"That's in such the early stages. Right now, we are just picking up to try to get players and we thought we had some ability in the last few games to effect the opponent with pressure. We have a long way to go for that to be effective in the Southeastern Conference and that is what we are building for right now. But, hopefully by the end of the year that will be a weapon for us because I do think that with the mobility with our post players that is a big key to be able to press in full court and then if our guards will hustle and commit to really tenacious defense then we will have a chance to be a good pressing team. But, as you can see, we are in the very early stages of our press right now." 

On calm attitude when dealing with the team this season compared to prior seasons ...

"Well, I am trying to improve but the team makes it easier. Really incredible young people. They are a lot of fun to be around. They are really grinding here at the end trying to be great students and have a really good academic semester. They just do a lot of things that I admire and they make mistakes and I do get crazy over them some, but I am trying to handle that better. So, that is my part. I am trying to do a little bit better. But, also, we have so many young players that we know have to come along and are trying and the just don't know what they need to know yet and that is our job. So, we have to teach them that. I am trying to do more teaching to make sure we are going to round into the team that we need to be. But, I think that this is a team that has potential to be good at the end."

On free throw shooting and if it’s a concern for him ...

"I don’t think they need to be. I really think that these game-after-game and not a lot of prep time and then, I know all college students are trying to do well academically and everybody is and we are no different than that. I just think that they are not bad free throw shooters. They are good free throw shooters. Maybe our attention is not where it needs to be on the free throw line. But, we will work all that out. It is not a trend that needs to continue. I think when you get a big lead too, you have to teach a team how to keep their foot on the gas and some people that need to work on their free throws are getting fouled and they need to get up there and make their free throws." 

UK Student-Athletes

#4 Maci Morris, G

On Tatyana Wyatt’s ability…

“Tot’s tough. She gets the ball down low, she’s going to score it. I just love her mentality when she gets it. She knows what to do. She’s going to go pull down a rebound. When she gets it, she’s going to go back up and take somebodies head off if that’s what it means. She runs the floor. She’s playing great right now, so I’m really excited to see what else she can do.”

On the 3-point before the buzzer at the half …

“I’ve just been shooting the ball well. So, I knew I was getting it, I just had to let it go. I had confidence in myself that it was going to go in.”

On the potential for this to be a really good 3-point shooting team…

“Yeah, I think so. We have a lot of good 3-point shooters, from our point guards down to the four man if Tot’s in. So, it’s going to be fun. Everyone’s shooting well. We shot great tonight I thought. So, if we can just keep that up, it’ll bring another aspect to our game that’ll help us.”

#14 Tatyana Wyatt, F

On what Coach saw in her making a return…

“Just potential on how I was running the floor. I was fighting for rebounds, so stuff like that.”

On getting her first double-double and leadership on the team...

“The leadership on our team is very encouraging. They’re always encouraging other players to be the best they can be. So, that really helps with confidence. To get the first double-double in my career was a great feeling. Just knowing that my teammates trust me to have the ball in my hands gives me an opportunity to score, and then just working hard in position to get rebounds was a goal for me.”

On her mentality from having to sit out so many games…

“It was very difficult, actually, just having to think positive every day and telling myself that I’ll eventually come back. So, when I was able to come back, just how hard I needed to work.”

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