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Women’s Basketball Media Day Coverage

Matthew Mitchell’s team has one goal in mind this year: A berth in the 2013 Final Four in New Orleans. Last year’s team was one game away from accomplishing that goal, but was eventually overwhelmed by a talent-laden Connecticut team. The remaining players from last year’s team still have a bad taste in their mouths from the defeat and want nothing more than to finish what they started a year ago. Unfortunately, this team will not have the privilege of sneaking up on anyone. In a preseason media poll, Kentucky was picked in a landslide to win the SEC conference with no other team coming close to the amount of votes they received. Mitchell knows how good this team can be, but still cautions expectations before a product is seen on the floor. “Being picked to win the SEC means absolutely nothing for this year’s team, it speaks more of last year’s team than this year’s,” Mitchell explained. “We’d love to get to New Orleans, but we’re a long way from there and today.” In the video above, Mitchell talked more about handling expectations, the three new additions to the team, and an early season match-up with defending National Champion, Baylor. Take a look.

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-How far this team goes depends on senior guard and Preseason SEC player of the year, A’dia Mathies. Mitchell acknowledged her impact on the team and how much the program has thrived since she made her commitment to Kentucky. “The program has literally transformed right in front of our eyes since A’dia arrived on campus,” Mitchell said. “We want nothing more than to send her out with her best season to date.”

-All indications is that Mathies is ready for the challenge. She didn’t shy away from the Final Four talk and stressed how confident she is in this year’s team. “I think that the [Final Four] is the big step this year. We work hard in practice everyday to try to make that dream a reality.”

 

-When asked if this team could be better than last year’s Elite Eight team, Mathies didn’t hesitate in her answer. “I believe so. We have even more pieces this year to fit the puzzle and ultimately make a Final Four.”

-Mathies is very happy with the talent in this year’s backcourt, especially with the additions of Jennifer O’Neill, who missed all of last season with injury, and freshman Janee Thompson. Mathies thinks it all starts with Bria Goss, though. “Bria is my ace. I know that if we need a play made, I can count on Bria to make it,” she said.

-Goss thinks reaching the goal of a Final Four is all about mindset. “We had that mindset last year, we definitely have it this year, and we expect to have it next year. This year is our year, it’s going to be a good year for us, and I’m excited to go out there and perform.”

There’s no way you can mention college basketball these days and not mention Kentucky. The men’s team is coming off an outstanding National Championship run and have the talent to do something similar again this year. Kentucky’s women’s team is starting to get national recognition coming off an Elite Eight appearance with a chance to have a special season this year as well. Kentucky, right now, is the epicenter of the college basketball world, which makes it a very exciting time to be a Kentucky fan.

 

Article written by Rashawn Franklin

12 Comments for Women’s Basketball Media Day Coverage



  1. Live Action
    9:08 pm October 23, 2012 Permalink

    Go LadyKats!



  2. bulldawg
    9:09 pm October 23, 2012 Permalink

    It sure is great to see UK HooPs doing well!!



  3. jpgott2
    9:13 pm October 23, 2012 Permalink

    Go Hoops! I have enjoyed watching Coach Mitchell create the monster that is Women’s Basketball.



  4. John Hunt Morgan
    9:26 pm October 23, 2012 Permalink

    The UK women have a shot this year! Btw, have you seen what those ‘gender neutral’ clowns at North Carolina announced today? They eliminated the term ‘freshman’ because it isn’t ‘gender inclusive language.’ I kid you not. http://www.campusreform.org/blog/?ID=4458
    What a bunch of idiots! Go LadyKats!



  5. Seriously
    10:09 pm October 23, 2012 Permalink

    I’m sure it’s exciting for UK to be somewhat successful but folks need to be real and quit carrying over expectations from the men’s program. Women’s basketball is going to be a snooze feat again this year with Baylor and Britney grinder continuing to dominate.

    Tennessee is a huge wild card in the SEC. No one is sure how to vote them post pat summit.



  6. katzrjamers
    12:05 am October 24, 2012 Permalink

    I’ve watched UK women’s bb off and on since the late 70’s.. once went to an exibition game & saw Anita Madden
    in cheerleader gear & leading floor cheers, Mitchell’s dances much more entertaining. I watched more Hoops last season than any year before – Enjoyed watching them almost as much as watching our men’s team. These women are athletes! If you readers haven’t seen them play, this is the year to jump on board. It may be special.



  7. Linda Taylor
    12:26 am October 24, 2012 Permalink

    5 – Seriously how do you think people are carrying over expectations from the men’s program? Our ladies won the SEC outright last year and made the Elite 8 without the services of Jen O’Neill, a McDonald’s All American who sat out with a stress fracture in her foot. We are also adding a freshman McDonald’s All American guard and a transfer that was all Pac10. We are loaded for bear and the style our team plays is anything but a snooze fest. In case you forgot, we beat TN last year. Their domination of the SEC is over. Matthew Mitchell is building a dynasty here whether you are capable of recognizing it or not. To say this team is only somewhat successful is silly. It is a program on the rise. Baylor will lose Brittney after this year. A’dia will be the only top player we will lose after this season. We have a very strong foundation for current and future success.



  8. Reading is fundamental
    6:55 am October 24, 2012 Permalink

    Read again Linda. I didn’t say UK is a snooze fest. I said women’s basketball in general will be a snooze fest because its all building up to another Baylor championship. It’s clear you don’t follow the women’s game in its entirety Linda because if you did, you’d understand despite all of those cool things you mentioned about Uk, the entire SEC is a notch below Baylor, Uconn and Stanford talent wise.

    I’m not a Ut apologist but I’d be easy on the UT assertions. People claimed UK men’s hoops was “over” many times during tubby and Gillespie years. We did beat them last year and then they walloped us in Knoxville and won the SEC tournament. UK needs the vols to be good because like UK men, if national media don’t see them near the top they don’t take the rest of the conference seriously.



  9. Head Bussa
    10:01 am October 24, 2012 Permalink

    Baylor is the overwhelming favorite, but this Kentucky women’s team is going to be pretty darn nasty. While Griner gets all the attention for her man-like size, I’m not so sure Adia isn’t as good and as talented player in the country. This is going to be a huge year for her as I think she will recognize the sense of immediacy she will need to play with it being her last season in blue and white. Coach Mitchell has occassionaly criticized Adia for being almost being too passive and too much of a team player. As a coach you sometimes want your best players to be a little selfish at certain times when the team needs you most and I expect Adia to really step up her scoring to very high levels, especially down the stretch of the late season. Adia is seriously my all-time favorite women’s player as she is from my hometown Louisville’s Iroquois High School in which she played varsity girl’s basketball from the sixth grade on and made the Sweet 16 I think like every year she played. Adia is just a stone-cold baller and is as smooth, skilled, and as exciting of a women’s player as I’ve ever seen grace the court. Coach Mitchell is totally right about Adia leading his program and being a blessing to him as a coach. If you don’t think Adia has had more impact than any other factor in Mitchell’s success at UK you don’t know basketball. I read a commenter earlier say that this team will be great next year as well because they only lose Adia. My friend, you need your head examined because this team will take a step back without Adia on the court. They may still be good, but they will need some time to be able to get back to this high of a national level without the greatest UK women’s player ever to play in Lexington!!!!!



  10. Head Bussa
    10:03 am October 24, 2012 Permalink

    ^^^Correction: I’m not so sure Adia isn’t as good and talented as any player in the country.



  11. Right...
    12:08 pm October 24, 2012 Permalink

    @ #9…you are absolutely correct about Adia being a large factor in Mitchell’s sucess. Shes also one of the best players in the country as evidenced by the accolades shes received in the pre-season. However, shes no Brittany Griner and theres nothing Adia or any other player can do about it–its just biology at work.

    Brittany’s impact on the women’s game can be echoed in the same sentence with Diana Taurausi at UConn, Candace Parker at UT, and Maya Moore at UConn. I would argue shes not nearly as athletic or on the same level with basketball IQ but her physique changes everything on the court. I mean everything… Any coach that tells you that given the opportunity to trade any player on their roster for Brittany Griner they wouldn’t is straight up lying…they would because shes that big of a deal.



  12. Duke Sucks
    1:13 pm October 24, 2012 Permalink

    Crocodile Dundee would have to check Griner before calling her a Lady.