Sunday, January 08, 2017

Transcript: Texas A&M Head Coach Gary Blair, Player Curtyce Knox Post UK Hoops 68 vs Texas A&M 77 Comments

Texas A&M Head Coach Gary Blair, Player Curtyce Knox Post UK Hoops 68 vs Texas A&M 77 Comments 

On Knox’s play…

“She has shot well from the 3 in years’ past. This year she has just focused more on getting other people the ball, which is why she leads the nation in assists but she is working on her 3-point game. She hit three out of three today so hopefully that will give her some confidence.”

On the games being tight in recent years …
“I think Matthew looks like Rock Hudson and can dance like Bruno Mars. He does the halftime show, he is a hell of a recruiter. He has the best coaching show in men and women’s basketball, and I just love to compete against him. He’s a fun guy and I think it is good for women’s basketball that he is going to win a National Championship before he leaves here because he can coach and he can recruit. When I start looking at the guys that are in the game that can do it, I look at Ohio State, Louisville and I look at Kentucky. Those three guys right there. I look at my old assistant out at Washington and he is fixing to graduate.”

On the atmosphere at Kentucky …
“First I would like to compliment Kentucky. We came here from Georgia because we’re out of school ‘till the 19th so we just made one little trip, but it is great coming into basketball country. Basketball is No. 1, Horse Racing is No. 2, bourbon is Nos. 2 and 3, and basketball recruiting is No. 4. You all have a good football program as well, but your state supports and is so loyal. We stayed at the Hyatt. I just enjoyed talking to your fans going around. I wish I could have gotten a ticket to the game last night because that is my old school in Arkansas. I love to see knowledgeable fans that aren’t worried about whether the Packers are winning or are my Cowboys winning. You have a great state that supports a lot of different things. Kentucky is very good school. You’ve got a good program but we’re in the SEC.”

On play and resiliency down the stretch …
“They start taking control in the 3rd quarter. Then all of a sudden, we fought back, we fought back in the second quarter, we fought back in that third quarter and that made the difference. He went to zone in the first half to stay out of foul trouble. He went man to man in the second half about 98 percent of the time and we were able to finally isolate. The one isolation play I got her on down there is an old Louisiana Tech play that we call Tech because I did that when I coached and I had to get Anne Donovan out of the hole at 6-foot-8, and I was the assistant. It is an overload play and finally we figured out that they weren’t going to guard my four so I put Danni (Williams) in at the four. They ran her up, she got the go and the easy basket and that put us over the hump and then they missed some shots that they had been hitting down the stretch but our execution in the last five minutes was pretty dog on good, offensively and defensively. We were playing a matchup zone and we were mixing it in with a man. Sometimes I felt like they didn’t really know what we were in and I didn’t know what we were in. (Assistant Coach Bob) Starkey started doing a good job, but after we stopped giving them the right handed drive, which we gave them the whole first half we did a lot better job. You however have the two of the top 10 players in our league, and you know who they are, and they’re very good. You have one of the best point guards in the league. Neither have depth, my freshmen are not quite ready and you’re down to seven scholarship players. So is Tennessee. The only team that has that depth is Mississippi State who just beat Tennessee.”

On league play over the season …
“You’re going to have games like this the whole year. I told my team before we started SEC play: 10 out of our 16 games will be decided in the last minute of play so we’re two out of three so far in those games. This team though, I’m proud of them. They’re resilient. (Khaalia Hillsman) I really believe she is the most improved post player in the league between her and Porter of Missouri. The two most improved post players that have been good and there are some damn good ones. Nobody knows who in the hell she is (Knox). You saw that charge she took. The ref said ‘Coach I just missed it,’ hell I got now backup point guard and an 18-wheeler just ran over her, and I am sacrificing this little skinny little thing. Look I appreciate you all, have a good time, and root for my cowboys.”

Texas A&M Players

#11 Curtyce Knox, G


On that 15 footer late in the game…
“I just kind of threw it up. I just prayed it (was) going to go in, but I had to play if off that I knew it was going in.”

#00 Khaalia Hillsman, C

On how their play changed in the fourth quarter…

“We were just trying to get stops. We were just trying to stop Epps, Murray, and Akhator so I felt like once we were able to get some good stops that was really going to help our offense.”

On Coach Mitchell complimenting Texas A&M’s effort …
“Well last year they killed us on the boards and that was a very strong point of emphasis for this game. We weren’t quite over the Georgia loss, and I felt like we took our anger out on them.

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