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Listen to Matthew Mitchell’s interview on KSR

mitchell

Matthew Mitchell came on KSR this morning to address the turmoil surrounding the UK Hoops program and, well, it was awkward. First of all, kudos to Mitchell for agreeing to come on; however, after twenty minutes, I’m not sure we learned anything. Mitchell danced around the issues and didn’t give any clear answers to what was admittedly a very tough line of questioning. Here’s a brief recap of his appearance, along with the full clip of the interview.

Matt started by asking the obvious: after six players, two future players, and three coaches distanced themselves from the program, what the heck is going on?

“I think you have an opportunity to grow through times like this,” Mitchell said. “It definitely was a tumultuous end to what was a really enjoyable season for me on the court. The kids really played hard, showed up every day with great attitudes and worked hard on the court. We got some great results, made us very proud. I think if you put it in the context of it all happening right now, it’s really not accurate that it’s happening right now.”

Mitchell admitted that maybe the program grew too quickly after its initial success during his tenure and that that the coaching turnover in 2014 may explain some of the issues since.

“I think all of these events are really a culmination of us trying to improve the program to get better,” Mitchell said. “As Kyra [Elzy] left for Tennessee and Matt [Insell] left for Ole Miss, we’ve been trying to recreate that and it’s been hard for me and I think that’s what my responsibility is. I’ve got to do a good job of making sure we have some stability on the staff. That’s 100% on me.”

So…what are we supposed to make of the three assistants that just left?

“Well, one situation is I didn’t renew a contract and that is me deciding that the coach [Amadou] and I are not going to go forward and renew the contract, and that’s between that coach and me,” Mitchell said. “The other two coaches [Tamika Williams-Jeter and Camryn Whitaker] decided they didn’t want to be here. I explained their value and what they could do at Kentucky and they decided that wanted to be elsewhere.”

There have been rumblings on social media from former players that Mitchell is too hard on his players, which Mitchell denied has any impact on the departures.

“I do not. I have been a demanding coach, but as I said, we — every practice has been open. I have certainly grown as a coach and in my younger days — have I learned how to be a better coach? There’s no question about it. The intensity that you have as a young coach, do you learn how to be more effective with that? You do. I make no bones about being a tough coach and a coach that is intense, but I love our players. We’ve had great success here.”

When pressed, Mitchell refused to pin this on one situation or incident, instead preaching the need for stability.

“I understand that it doesn’t look good and I understand that there are things on social media that you want this all buttoned up and I understand that our entire staff left, but I can’t really deal – those are people’s lives they want to live and what I need to do now as we turn the page here and move forward is make certain we are getting closer to people who want to be in the building.”

“Ultimately, it’s all on me because I’m making the decisions to bring people here,” Mitchell said. “We need to get it better and we need to get it more right than we’ve gotten it. We have to. That’s 100% on me. I have to build a staff where we can have a level of stability going from year to year.”

“The seven players that are in that locker room right now that are on campus are absolutely the kind of people we want in that program and I’ve got to make sure I’m there for them.”

Listen below:

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

44 Comments for Listen to Matthew Mitchell’s interview on KSR



  1. Waterview1
    11:34 am April 27, 2016 Permalink

    Those were pre-scripted answers identical to answers given by politicians who can not disclose the truth. If answers were on one side of the page and questions on the other in random order there would be no way to match answers to questions.



  2. Destroyou
    11:35 am April 27, 2016 Permalink

    That “Inside Info” guy pretty much word for word nailed what MM would say.



    • Booby Petrino
      11:48 am April 27, 2016 Permalink

      That’s because he’s really Matthew Mitchell. Or maybe not. His one general paragraph was not word for word of an entire interview.



    • inside info2
      1:24 pm April 27, 2016 Permalink

      Haha, I didn’t have any real info on what he was going to say. I just know from people that have worked for him and with him that he never personally takes responsibility for anything. It is always someone else’s fault (his assistants). I knew he would say pretty much what Coach Stoops said during his last interview with KSR. They are pretty much the same person.



    • inside info2
      5:08 pm April 27, 2016 Permalink

      (I am Destroyou BTW. Haha.)



    • inside info2
      8:15 am April 28, 2016 Permalink

      no definitely not the same person. but thanks for hijacking my name



  3. joshatc
    11:53 am April 27, 2016 Permalink

    What a joke! That was painful, coach you had your chance to be a man about it and you screwed the pooch, congrats.



    • UKPROF
      12:32 pm April 27, 2016 Permalink

      I totally agree with you joshatc, it was painful to listen to and Coach Mitchell said virtually nothing. Matt did try to get him to ‘open up’ but that only made Mitchell get ‘testie’. I think Matt Jones needs to invite the UK Athletic Director to the show and see if Mitch also skirts the real issue with Coach Mitchell.



  4. kybigblue
    11:55 am April 27, 2016 Permalink

    If MM was the problem would he admit it. Unless someone close to the situation talks we will probably never know the truth. Even if someone talks many will say that person(s) had an axe to grind. We are already seeing the effect on recruitment. Unless he is a Billy G., he will probably get a chance to turn it around but can he turn it around?



  5. Smyrna_Cat
    11:55 am April 27, 2016 Permalink

    That was a complete waste of time. This doesn’t make my very confident that the Hoops program is in good shape. Terrible.



  6. the ghost of Bill Hicks
    12:05 pm April 27, 2016 Permalink

    Quick growth didn’t hurt Cal…..



    • Mc12
      12:08 pm April 27, 2016 Permalink

      It hurt Pitino’s reputation at Porcini’s.



    • the ghost of Bill Hicks
      12:37 pm April 27, 2016 Permalink

      I would say his overall quickness hurt him there…..



  7. Laker Cat 18
    12:12 pm April 27, 2016 Permalink

    Random Question: Anyone know the Shari’s Berries KSR code?



    • Owensboro80
      2:24 pm April 27, 2016 Permalink

      Google one, KSR just tries and get a % out of the promo code you use. They will delete this too, just how referrals work… aka their fanduel link over there gets a certain % everytime you play a game on that website



    • inside info2
      5:03 pm April 27, 2016 Permalink

      Owensboro80, did you know that every time you visit, click and post on this site, it puts money in Matt Jones pocket?



  8. secrick
    12:38 pm April 27, 2016 Permalink

    How about interviewing one of the coaches that left or maybe a player.



    • Smyrna_Cat
      12:40 pm April 27, 2016 Permalink

      Great idea.



    • Loother
      3:55 pm April 27, 2016 Permalink

      How about KSR gets off the dime and does some in depth investigative journalism???

      Start by interviewing, off the record if necessary, every coach and player who’s left…



    • leetome
      5:42 pm April 27, 2016 Permalink

      You’d think Barnhart would have done some exit interviews with players … And coaches.



  9. jomani
    1:10 pm April 27, 2016 Permalink

    Hate how he places blame on every other person and almost no blame on himself. Clearly the issue is Coach Mitchell himself. He may be great in front of a camera but something is different behind the scene



  10. Souf beach Lou
    1:15 pm April 27, 2016 Permalink

    To be honest I’ve never been a fan of the guy. I know he acts a fool from time to time and people enjoy that buffonery but he’s always just rubbed me the wrong way, he has a sanctimonious, holier than thou”attitude and it comes out in this interview. He is basically speaking in code trying not to give it all away but still trying to take shots. Don’t like him or his attitude



  11. 3 fan
    1:23 pm April 27, 2016 Permalink

    Serious question: Was Mitchell hung over?



  12. pithuahua
    1:47 pm April 27, 2016 Permalink

    I’m just not buying that block of commodity cheese.He is in a full battle to keep his head above water and he doesn’t know how to tread.



  13. dano72
    2:34 pm April 27, 2016 Permalink

    Knew Coach Mitchell could dance, but this was ridiculous.



  14. Sentient Third Eye
    2:42 pm April 27, 2016 Permalink

    People keep comparing Mitchell to Billy G, but that’s the wrong comparison. A better one is Hal Mumme. Like Mumme, Mitchell is great at the coaching part, but not so solid at all the other duties a coach has to be accountable for. Especially once Elzy left in 2012, the duties of coaching a major college basketball program have weighed him down. Here’s hoping her return will make things run more smoothly.



  15. Owensboro80
    3:43 pm April 27, 2016 Permalink

    Love how KSR keeps deleting their posts about the interview etc….



    • Mrs. Tyler Thompson
      3:44 pm April 27, 2016 Permalink

      What posts? I took the LEX live feed down because it didn’t have the interview on it anymore.



    • inside info2
      5:09 pm April 27, 2016 Permalink

      Owensboro80 is an angry little troll.



    • Loother
      10:29 pm April 27, 2016 Permalink

      inside info2 is an angry little troll…



    • inside info2
      8:17 am April 28, 2016 Permalink

      mrs. tt, someone has hijacked my user name. is there some way to take care of this?



    • Booby Petrino
      9:37 am April 28, 2016 Permalink

      lol this is awesome, inside being a tattletale and asking for help! great start to my day!



  16. rainman
    4:30 pm April 27, 2016 Permalink

    Well it appears MM is getting ready t o run for office! 20 minutes of absolutely NOTHING!



    • inside info2
      5:09 pm April 27, 2016 Permalink

      But if he said “he was going to make Kentucky great again”, he’d have the hicks in this state’s vote.



  17. ukbradstith
    4:35 pm April 27, 2016 Permalink

    But seriously, what did you think he was going to say? Or could say?



  18. leetome
    6:13 pm April 27, 2016 Permalink

    From the outside …. The big nose dive started with Azia Bishop getting suspended for the last game of the season in 20014-15.. Coach over reacted he should have suspended her the first half not the whole game. Then he over reacted with Makyla’s beer incident …he made a beer citation this big drawn out incident…..with a lot of punishment that didn’t fit the crime…… it set the tone for the season….he was really hard on Makyla could that be why Kyvin left…?

    Then MM accused Harper of being out of condition when she had been playing on one of those under a certain age USA teams over the summer..really? I wish KGR and Harper the best … I could have understood Harper leaving if Thompson hadn’t come back from that ankle as they had played together in HS or KGR not coming back after her health scare but the fall was a really weird time to leave. I have to think something is really wrong.



  19. runningunnin.454
    11:12 pm April 27, 2016 Permalink

    This is all speculation without foundation. I have followed the women’s game for many years; I just like to watch them play; and Mitchell is a great bench coach.
    Funny, many times I’ve read articles about the women’s program or a recap of one of their games on this site. Almost always, the only comment was my own. Boy, there’s a bunch of people on here now.
    See you got your tongue back from the cat! Some of you must really love misery.



    • Charleston Cat
      12:26 am April 28, 2016 Permalink

      The trolls and negative nancies need something to cling to.



    • Angelo
      1:55 am April 28, 2016 Permalink

      Without foundation? No… Speculation? Yes…



    • leetome
      7:58 am April 28, 2016 Permalink

      Maybe if we could have an investigation and hear from the AD we wouldn’t have to speculate so much as it is I am left to think something like this is going on at UK and With MM and players/coaches.Is something like this what is going on at KY? Where is AD Barnhart? I know he is out if town but come on unless his mom died he needs to be in Lexington addressing the MM fiasco.http://espn.go.com/womens-college-basketball/story/_/id/15270836



    • PuppArena
      8:26 am April 28, 2016 Permalink

      Not sure how this guy is being a troll?



    • Charleston Cat
      9:55 am April 28, 2016 Permalink

      “PuppArena”… hmm, haven’t seen you around here in the 7 years I’ve been visiting this site.

      GREAT FIRST COMMENT.



    • Charleston Cat
      10:06 am April 28, 2016 Permalink

      And I was referring to runningunnin.454’s last paragraph. Reading comprehension: again, tough for some folks.



  20. Jiminy Crickets
    10:58 am April 28, 2016 Permalink

    just reading through the lines, what I heard was coach MM had a baby and pretty much was never there, but when he was there he was a total d!c& to his assistant coaches, and blamed them for the team deficiencies. His players did not feel treated equally and also only got the “tough” coach. At the end of the day it got old and everyone left.

    The final result will be MM fired (may be next season). This will DESTROY recruiting. These coaches may not talk to public, but they will let anyone and everyone they can, know what really happen. When our seniors leave next year, and only one recruit on the books, he wont have enough players to field a team. Word is out, MM is Bobby Knight without the success