Dec. 5, 2010
Box Score |
Louisville Head Coach Jeff Walz
(On the comparison to last year's game)
"It's nice to have a healthy team. It's nice to have a full complement of players. I thought it was a great question when someone said Becky Burke was shooting the ball a lot better here. Well, go back to her freshman year when we had other players to go around her. Becky is a great shooter. Last year Becky and Monique [Reid] were the only two players we had who consistently scored. When we lost six players to injury and [Kentucky] continued to press us, we were going to turn the ball over. Now, when we have a healthy squad, we showed we can play. Becky comes out, she does exactly what she's supposed to do. We had 27 made field goals and 19 assists. They had 20 made field goals and four [assists]. We passed the ball. We have a team who can play like a team, and I was really, really proud. Shoni [Schimmel] hit some big-time shots, there's no question about it, but to get 19 assists on 27 field goals is showing you play team basketball."
(On Shoni's flashy shots)
"I recruited the kid. It's what she does. Some of the behind the back stuff, she's learning when and where and how to do it. That's what her game is; that's the flare she brings to the game. I would think that any first time fans who came out to a women's basketball game tonight, would be impressed with what she does. I don't know what else you want--her and Victoria Dunlap. Victoria didn't have an offensive night, she scored 17 points. I tell people, Victoria Dunlap is to their team what Angel [McCoughtry] was to ours. Dunlap is on top of their press, she's everywhere. She hits 23 boards and 17 points. It's just amazing what she does. I would think if you were a first time fan, you enjoyed the show Shoni and Victoria put on. I think our entire team--Becky played well, Sheronne Vails played well. Keshia Hines didn't score a bunch, but I think she did a great job defensively for us."
(On basketball being a game of runs)
"It's a matter of how are we going to handle their runs. We're going to go on some runs, they're going to go on some runs, but we can't panic. I thought we did a great job the entire first half of really controlling things. Starting out the second half, we didn't do a very good job out there. We panicked. I think we turned it over three of the first four times. We finally got settled down. Shoni gets the ball in transition, and makes a step-back three. We ran a set play that got screwed up, but we won the 50-50 play. If you want to be a good college basketball team and win big games, you have got to get the loose balls and turn them into a layup. I think Keshia Hines got it, threw it to Sheronne for an easy layup that really kind of gave us momentum to get us back into it. That's the way we coach every game. Basketball is always a game of runs. You have to make sure you can withstand some and that you can go on some."
(On big crowds)
"I think it's fantastic. I think we've played really well in front of two sold-out crowds. We lost one, our Tennessee game, but I thought we played well. I thought our kids handled the pressure of the crowd well. It's a tribute to the great fans we have in this city. There aren't many cities where you can get 22,000 to show up. We've done it twice. There may have been four or five thousand free tickets sent out, but the rest of them were purchased. It says a lot about where our program is, where our program is going. Hopefully we can continue to grow our fan base."
(On what the game means to the program)
"We're 6-3 instead of 5-4. It's a great win. They're a top 10 team. They've got an All-American on the team. I think it says a lot because you look at who we were able to put on the floor and have success. Shoni's a freshman, Sheronne is a freshmen, Monique is only a junior. Becky Burke is a junior, Tia Gibbs is a sophomore. We've got a lot of our team that is coming back to continue to get better. Our one young lady who has unfortunately been hurt, Shawnta' Dyer, is a great player. The kid has been out with a fractured heel, she's another great player we have. I'm really excited about where we're going. We're going to have some growing pains, there's no question about it, but I like the direction our program is going in."
(On if this is the best the team has looked this year)
"I thought we played probably just as well the first 18 minutes of our Xavier game. Overall I thought we did a fantastic job of handling their pressure--again, when we finally have got some players who are able to do that and be successful. I think we shot four layups off a dead ball set when they were trying to faceguard us. That is what you have got to be able to do. I'm not sure when the last game was [Kentucky] turned the ball over more than their opponent. I'm not sure when the last game would be, maybe Oklahoma, when a team got more points off turnovers than they got. We handled it, we did a fantastic job. The other thing I told our kids we had to do was keep them off the free throw line. [Kentucky] is averaging about 36 free throws a game; they're scoring 23 points a night at the free throw line. We did a great job of keeping them off the line. They got there 15 times."
(On Shoni's big-time shot)
"It is a big-time shot. She had the confidence to do it though. I don't want our players playing with fear; I don't want them out there afraid to make a play. At the same time, they've got to understand, you've got to do what's in your ability. Becky Burke doing a behind the back pull up is not what I want her doing right now. Her catching the ball in the wing and going up--great decision. We're finally playing in our abilities. If we continue to do that, we can continue to get better. I'm not sure if anybody would have thought we could have won tonight if Monique Reid goes 2-9 from the field."
(On this being the first UK/UL game in the new arena)
"It's great. We're trying to win every game. I've tried to explain to people, it's just different. It's a rivalry game. It's bigger for the fans than I think it is for some of the players. Shoni Schimmel is from Mission, Oregon. I don't think she has a clue. You've got players who are out there on the floor that will eventually understand, but I've got freshmen who are playing that don't understand the importance of this game for the fans more than anybody else. For us our goal is we had a chance to play a top 10 team, and we had a chance to come out and play well."
(On talking about last year's game with this year's team)
"I just brought up the fact we got beat by 30-something, but it's hard to get everyone to understand. Shelby Harper did a fantastic job for us all night. The poor kid had to play 40 minutes a game all last year as a walk-on freshman point guard with Becky on one wing and Monique on the post, and that's all we had. We competed--we lost six BIG EAST games by six points or less. Now all of a sudden, you're throwing out Shoni Schimmel, Sheronne Vails, Tia Gibbs--we've got players who can play. That's the difference. I'm not going to go back to last year and worry about that game."
(On his feelings about the arena)
"It's fantastic. It's a beautiful building. I hope you've all had a chance to walk around it. The thing that impresses me the most about our university, this arena, is the fact that our administration is a big fan of women's sports. You look at the banners, you look at the billboards that are on the poles--there are women's basketball players, there are men's, there's everybody. There are not many arenas you go to that put women's sports out in the forefront like we do here. That's a testimony to Tom [Jurich] and Julie [Hermann], and everybody who works in our athletic department."
(On the future of his team after some big wins)
"I know we have fight in us. I know we compete. We're willing to fight, we're willing to get after it, and that's what impressed me about this team. They made a run at us and we could have rolled over, but we didn't. That's the important thing for us."
(On getting an early lead)
"It's really important. I thought we attacked them, I thought we did a really good job attacking them. I thought we were fantastic in our match-up zone, really forcing them to take shots they normally don't like to take. They were 3-of-18 from the three point line and that's not their strong point. We did a really good job of making them shoot it. [Keyla] Snowden is a great three-point shooter. I thought we did a great job being right there every time she would shoot it to contest it."
Kentucky Head Coach Matthew Mitchell
"Well it's a disappointing day, obviously, for us. We said before that our style of play is all about hustle and playing tenacious and really playing hard, and we picked a bad day not to play hard defensively. There are a lot of things that you can control and defensive effort would be one of them. It is disappointing; you don't see that from our group very much. We just picked a bad day to do that in a game that meant a whole lot. UofL looked like they were much more motivated to win and that bothers me. I have to take some responsibility for that and we will see what we can figure out. But absolutely terrible day for us; tough day. I thought that UofL had a lot to do with that."
(On Victoria Dunlap's injury)
"I don't know much, she is being looked at right now. She walked off on her own power, I don't know what that means. It might be a hyperextension- she didn't say she heard anything pop, but it would be a terrible blow for us if she misses any time."
(On trying to guard Louisville's Shoni Schimmel)
"What a great day she had. I thought that she not only took advantage of when we made mistakes and hitting open threes but she also hit some big shots when we were trying to claw back into it that were pretty deep and with somebody on her. It was a tremendous day for her, and she is a great player."
(On the three-point defense)
"We have experience with this team preparing, and preparing well. For instance, the Notre Dame game, we really did a good job. I was very concerned this week with the preparation. As a coach, you know how tough it is going to be, and I guess that is one of the mysteries of coaching for me- how to absolutely turn that on every time. It is such an unfortunate thing- we didn't hustle. The three-point line was one of the major points of emphasis from us. We felt like if they got clean, open looks at the threes it was going to be difficult for us to win today. That happened in a variety of ways, all hustle related. In transition you must sprint back, you must tag the shooters, you must get out there. This was the worst day we have had trapping and rotating since we implemented the style. And I have said many times that if you don't really hustle, you will look silly doing it- I am on record saying that. And today was a bad day to look silly."
(On the A'dia Mathies injury)
"It looked like she was cramping. We have not had that problem before- she was limited some this week with a bone bruise on her knee. I don't know how you get out of shape in two or three days, so I don't know what that was. We will have to examine that and make sure that doesn't happen again."
(On the crowd)
"I think it is fantastic, what a great job people did of turning out today. It was an exciting atmosphere for UofL, it wasn't very good for us."
(On lack of defensive intensity)
"I sensed it Friday and Saturday, I was very concerned about out preparation. We are not good enough to be able to show up and beat anyone, much less on the road in a hostile environment in a rivalry game that means so much. A year ago leading up to this game I walked into the locker room with very few concerns because of the way we were prepared, and I was not today. I was worried and that is my job to figure out why we could not get fired up for this game. That is a bad, bad thing for us. That is not acceptable in a game of this magnitude to show up and do what we did. I have to take a lot of responsibility for that and examine what we did. We did something very similar, as far as the week planned out, that we did for the Notre Dame game. We will look at it and see where the responsibility lies and we will take the responsibility for it, but it was a bad game for us."
(On Victoria Dunlap's performance)
"She got a lot of rebounds (23) and a tremendous amount of points (17). It is just unfortunate that nobody else had close to those statistics. We have Mathies and Dunlap who have a lot of experience and a supporting cast that just didn't handle it well today. UofL has some inexperienced players as well but they handled the situation better than we did. I think it all comes back to defense, we didn't get pressure on the basketball, we didn't deny the passing lanes, we didn't execute traps. All of the things that we usually do, we didn't do. Have I said it is disappointing yet? It's disappointing."
(On whether the shooting problem dealt with depth perception)
"If we said it was depth perception, it would be taking away from the tremendous effort those kids gave on the other side. We are absolute rivals, and we want to beat them really bad, but you have to admire how hard their kids played today, and my hat is off to them. I think it had more to do with the heat of Louisville's defense than it did any depth perception issues."
(On the mentality of the game)
"This is a very important game for us. This was not any game we took lightly or any other game on the schedule, I would be lying if I said that. The coaches put their heart and soul in the game and tried to make sure that the players knew. We have a lot of veteran players that performed well in the series last year, so we absolutely did not disrespect UofL. I thought that their defensive strategy could give us a lot of trouble today with the struggles we have had on offense in the half court."