Friday, February 17, 2017

Video/Transcript: UK Hoops Coach Matthew Mitchell Pre-Florida Press Conference Interview


Video courtesy of kywildcatstv

Kentucky Head Coach Matthew Mitchell

Opening Statement…

“Alright, another really tough game facing us on Sunday. Florida is a really tough team and explosive offensively. They always play really hard and we always have really difficult games with Florida. They are always well prepared and well coached. I am proud of our group right now, they are working hard each day and finding ways to win. We will need another great couple of practices to prepare and see if we can earn another victory. We will work hard over the next couple of days and see if we can get that done.” 

On Taylor Murray …
“Yeah, she is so gifted athletically. She is not very tall, but she does have some length and has great explosive speed straight ahead that is elite and just her overall athleticism and her lateral moves and jumping allows her to do some of those things. Her hands are so quick. She just batted a couple balls out last night just with quick hands and was off for the races. So she is just a tremendous athlete and when you couple that with extremely high character and tremendous desire to win and compete and tremendous love for her teammates, she is a great, great young woman and we are fortunate to have her. But just her total package allows her to do these things. She has worked really hard too. I tell people the first day she showed up on campus, we were having camp around here and so the gym was taken up so we were over across campus at the Johnston Center for her first individual workout and I remember telling the coaches, ‘I don’t know if we are going to be able to let this kid shoot in the game.’ Her shot was so bad and she had just such a tough workout that first day. To see what she has done in less than two years is a real testament to her be coachable and just getting in the gym and working hard every day. She is having a great season and can still continue to get better.” 

On if he is surprised at how her and Makayla have been able mesh so quickly and become such a great guard tandem …
“Well, I am not surprised at really anything that this group has been able to do because of the strength of their character and how much they really care about each other. It is just a really fun group to coach because they genuinely – it is not fake or phony, you can see it on and off the court – they are great people and they are committed to winning for each other. I think both of those kids, Makayla and Taylor, had a strong desire to win and compete this year and to be the very best we can be and they are doing whatever is necessary to get that done. We are not perfect and have flaws, but at the end of the day, they really work hard for each other.” 

On his 100th SEC win …
“Well, the honor is just having the opportunity. I thank God Almighty for that. From my point of view, it is a miracle that I am here and only God could provide that opportunity. So I give him the glory for that. All of the great people over the 10 years, it is overwhelming to thank about all the effort that different people have put into making it possible. I am just very blessed to be at Kentucky. My prayer is that we can continue to be successful and continue to impact people’s lives and continue to help young people develop and grow. The honor is just having the opportunity every day.” 

On where he thought he would be at 22 years old …
“Well, jail was a possibility at 22. Thank goodness by 24-25 I had eluded the authorities to the point where I didn’t think I was going to jail anymore. I was going to try to be the best America history and high school football and basketball coach that I could be and just try to be a solid citizen and solid person. All of this has been a miracle in my life and I praise God for it.” 

On any concerns of the team wearing down …
“No concerns from that because they continue to come in and give it to you every day. They give great effort every day and I think that we have worked ourselves into a position where we understand how to play a 40-minute game and somehow and someway everybody is figuring it out. Each game we are just trying to win that game. I think that our ability to stay focused in the moment is sort of helping us. When you start looking at that as it relates to the end of the season or where we came from at the beginning of the season, it might could get into your head that this is really difficult. But I think the team wants to win. I think they want to become their very best and they show up at practice every day with a great effort and somehow we are figuring it out. We don’t discount it totally from a coaching standpoint, we have tough practices but we don’t stay out there for three hours. We try to get it down to an hour and 15 or an hour and 30 minutes or work, not including the stretching and the shooting. We try to stay mindful of that. It is a group that seems to be holding up very well.”

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