March 11, 2011
#3/3 BAYLOR 86, KANSAS STATE 53
MUNICIPAL AUDITORIUM KANSAS CITY, MO.
MARCH 11, 2011 ATTENDANCE: 4,852
Q. Odyssey, defense is always a focus for you guys. First minute or so of the game you got a couple of turnovers, created a couple turnovers. You got a shot clock violation early on. What was working well for you defensively today?
Odyssey Sims: Just our intensity. We came out, was ready to play. And we knew we had to defend them.
And just as far as the shot clock goes, we knew it was going to come down to the wire and we had to defend all 30 seconds, so that's what we went out and did.
Q. Destiny, kind of talk about the game plan going inside, you and Brittney obviously seemed to really have an advantage down low.
Is that something you knew from the first game and what was the approach tonight?
Destiny Williams: I thought Kansas State had a pretty good post plays as well. I thought we had to come out strong and open the doors for perimeter and just get an early start like we did when we played our last game. And we did just that.
Q. Destiny, you were the recipient of a lot of nice passes where you were just shooting layups. Is the layup drill very key for you, because you get so many easy looks?
Destiny Williams: Well, I thought the perimeter players did a great job of looking into the post players and finding us and giving us wide-open layups. I thought there were a couple of possessions that my man lost sight of me, and Odyssey saw that and they saw that and gave me easy looks. When they double-teamed or triple-teamed B.G., she always looked in, looked out, sometimes I was open and she passed it in; sometimes I wasn't and she kicked it out.
Q. Destiny, can you talk about how maybe that relationship with you and B.G. has worked, you've all done better post-to-post passing, and how much that's developed since January?
Destiny Williams: I thought that developed a lot since January. Me and B.G. feel more comfortable on the floor with each other. I thought that B.G. could take it to the hole, jump shots, wide open. I think B.G. can pass as well and give it to me and vice versa. Me and B.G. just having a good feel for one another right now in the tournament.
Q. Odyssey, they got it to nine there in the first half and then you hit 3s on consecutive possessions. Were you feeling any kind of, okay, they're getting back in the game and we need to do something at that point?
Odyssey Sims: I felt like we kind of didn't play as good of defense as we should have. They obviously had great range outside. And we didn't defend. We didn't have our hands up. When they cut it to nine, we knew that we had to defend and put our hands up and defend all of the floor because they're really great shooters.
Q. Odyssey, and then Destiny, if you could comment on this. Odyssey, you had a lot on your shoulders since you came into Baylor. In what ways do you think you've grown and improved the most? And, Destiny, could you comment on the way she's been able to perform as a freshman this season?
Odyssey Sims: First coming in I had a lot of turnovers. My assist-to-turnover ratio wasn't good. It's still getting better still. It isn't the best, but I'm still working on it. I'm distributing the ball better than I did at the beginning of the year. My shot has gotten better just being able to run the floor from my teammates, find B.G. when she posts up in the middle of the lane, just stuff like that.
Destiny Williams: I thought Odyssey has more intensity versus the first half of her season. She's pushing the ball more, finding open teammates, giving up the ball at the right time and then making easy shots, knocking down good shots, attacking the rim and knowing how to pass it, just making us all better.
And defensively she's given us -- she's holding down their best players, their best perimeter guards on defense. She locks down on defense and she pushes the ball to offense. I thought Odyssey comes in she doesn't play like a freshman to me. I think right now Odyssey is playing more like an upperclassman, and we need that from her.
Q. Destiny you went through a rough stretch there shooting the ball. What's the difference now? Because particularly these last few games you've really kind of come on strong.
Destiny Williams: I just feel comfortable out there. Shooters can't ever stop shooting. So it will have to fall eventually. That's what I kept doing. I just kept shooting. Teammates kept giving me the ball to shoot, telling me to shoot, and I kept shooting and find my rhythm, and that's what I did.
Q. Kim, how much did you appreciate the defensive effort today?
COACH MULKEY: Kansas State is hard to guard. You know what they do. They shoot it all over the floor. Just when you think you're in the range where they won't shoot it, they will shoot it. They challenge you to keep moving. They challenge you to stay in a defensive stance for the entire shot clock and you know that they're going to go all the way to the time that they have to throw up a shot, and they did make some of those with hands in their face.
To answer your question, you know what we do in Waco. You know what we spend time -- you know what every time-out is talked about. It's not talking about the offensive end of the floor. It's the defensive end of the floor. And for the Odysseys and the Destinies and the B.G.s, those kids come to your program as some of the best players in the country. But those kids have never had to guard anybody. And that's the biggest adjustment and also the most improvement is every day making them as efficient on the defensive end as they are on the offensive end. And a lot of great players don't want to do that.
Q. Speaking sort of to that, Kim, the way you guys have been able to rebound and the way that it's spread throughout your team. They didn't have Childs today, but still you almost -- well, you more than doubled them up.
COACH MULKEY: We beat a good time without Childs. So don't let that be your article that he we beat them without Childs. The article needs to be we beat a very good basketball team with or without Childs.
But if you look at our 3 spot, which is Melissa Jones, and if you look at Destiny Williams and even Brooklyn Pope, you look at their rebounding, and don't look at Griner, that's some solid numbers right there. And those are the numbers you have to have to contend for not just a Big 12 tourney championship, but a national championship.
And I just think that the challenge to them every day in practice is get more offensive boards, get every defensive rebound you can get, and make sure you guard people. And when that game's over, you're going to win a lot of basketball games.
Q. The defense was pretty solid and only five team fouls. Do you think you've ever had a team that played an entire game against a team like Kansas State and not fouled?
COACH MULKEY: I don't know. That is very low. And you'd have to ask our media relations person, Julie Bennett, and those guys. But you have to look at the styles of play. We're very quick.
I would think that it would be safe, without offending anybody, that we're probably quicker on the perimeter than Kansas State, and we move and get through screens probably quicker before they can be set.
And defensively if you're in the right position and you're not fouling and you're not reaching and they make shots in your face, then don't foul them. Back in the day when I played, it was never foul a jump shooter. Never foul a jump shooter. Never foul a 3-point shooter. If they make it with a hand in their face, you pat them on the rear and say nice shot.
We just played good basketball. Part of that, too, is Griner allows you to get beat sometimes off the drive and she's there to clean it up for you. But I thought our quickness and our athleticism, we didn't get sucked in or baited to watching the ball, and they reversed the ball real quick and get 3s. We really did a nice job of not allowing Chambers to just go off on you.
Q. It seems like players were a lot less willing to just throw it up there with Griner in the paint this year, a lot fewer blocks. How has Griner had to kind of adjust her defense considering they're not just throwing it up there and getting ten blocks a night?
COACH MULKEY: Well, Kansas State's style is not that anyway. You know when you play Kansas State, Iowa State, their styles of play, they're not coming into the paint a whole lot. There's not opportunities for her to get blocks. But I can't say it enough, Brittney Griner, I don't care what style you have, I don't care what great post players you have, she makes you change your game plan because she's just so big in there and she alters shots.
We need to start keeping a stat on the number of shots and the number of people that don't want to go in there and they have a layup. I would love somebody to just follow her the next two years and say your job is to keep up with nothing but, gosh, if [Brittney] wasn't there, would they have gone in for a layup right there, if Brittney wasn't there would they have kicked it back out.
She's a phenom. She's above the rim. Help me here. If there's an adjective I haven't used, introduce me to a new one.
And she's only going to get better. You haven't even seen the best from her yet.
Q. Can you talk about the complement that Destiny gives you at the other side and how important that is with so much attention on Brittney, particularly how she's played at this tournament?
COACH MULKEY: Well, you know, Destiny wasn't eligible until after the Tennessee game. So we played Tennessee without Destiny. And we had Brooklyn Pope in there. And Brooklyn Pope was a McDonald's All-American. And Destiny is a McDonald's All-American, two totally different style of four players that are complementary to Griner. Brooklyn is probably the better passer in feeding her from high low.
Brooklyn leaps out of the gym. Brooklyn does all those athletic things. Destiny is the better finesse shooter, better shooter and her rebounds will be done quietly. Brooklyn's will be done with a ah, she leaps out of the gym.
But when the game is over, one has seven rebounds, one has seven rebounds. That's when you just go keep them healthy, keep teaching them. They're sophomores. Keep getting better. They just complement each other well.
I have thought about, and may do this in the future, running a triple post offense. Boy, that would be scary to guard, have them all three in there at the same time. Because truthfully Destiny can go to the 3 and we lose Melissa Jones. So all summer, whenever that is, I may sit around and think: Might be something to that.
Q. Same thing I asked Odyssey, when they got it to nine, your thoughts -- and I know you were probably nervous the entire game, but was that the one time when you were a little bit worried that they had any kind of chance?
COACH MULKEY: No, I still felt they were in control. I thought we had subbed a lot of kids at that moment. I think the three that were in the game off the bench, I shouldn't have put them in that position, do them one at a time, get them in, get them out, and let them have some continuity with the starting group that had been on the floor for a while.
I thought our defense got us the lead. I thought our defense allowed them to cut it to nine, and then I thought our defense allowed us to extend it like we did.
|KANSAS STATE QUOTES|
COACH PATTERSON: Well, first thing that comes to mind is congratulations to Baylor. They just played a very dominating 40-minute game, I thought.
For us, I felt it was a game of two halves.
The first half we might not have been our best, but I think we were keeping the game competitive. The second 20 minutes we just failed in our ability to do that and that to me was beyond obvious. But there were phases of the game, the rebounding numbers reflect we didn't get the job done there to be competitive. Again, particularly in the second half. I thought the first 20 lining up against a team of that caliber, we had put ourselves in position to compete in the game well.
The lack of involvement offensively and defensively in terms of establishing some post hits and post game I think put a lot of pressure on our perimeters in this particular game. And I think we've established during the season we're better at that than we played today, but we never really got that on track, any kind of real even post touches that would lead to good passes that would put some pressure on the defense. So I think that was a factor for us as well.
But great game by Baylor, and a second half for us that just was not competitive at the level you have to play against a great team like Baylor.
Q. Taelor, and then for Kelsey, obviously Brittney Griner is not the only reason that Baylor scores 86 points today.
Defensively, what do you feel like you should have done to limit the rebounds, especially offense rebounds, and their shots?
TAELOR KARR: Yeah, the main thing was the rebounding. They killed us on the boards. And that's on the shoulders of all of us that played, not just the posts. We all have to get in and get a body on everybody and box out and be more physical. So that was the main thing.
And then we played the zone a lot of the time, and we didn't scramble very well. We didn't communicate, and Baylor's a great team and they'll pick you apart, expose you on the little mistakes we made. They played a great game today, and they exposed us big time.
KELSEY HILL: It's just the work phases, it's the little things. You've got to box out. You've got to hustle and scramble, like Taelor said. We didn't bring it. Baylor definitely exposed us on that, where it's not characteristic of our team to not do the little things. And we didn't do that today.
Q. Kelsey and Taelor, you guys had a pretty tough game yesterday. Did you feel like you were just kind of running out of energy in the second half?
KELSEY HILL: You know, I wouldn't say that so much. I think that we just didn't focus in mentally. Mentally brings physicality and effort. And I think we had lack of effort, doing the little toughness things, which, again, like I said aren't characteristic of us, we didn't really handle those.
TAELOR KARR: Yeah, we can't use that as an excuse of being tired or anything like that.
We've been playing all season, and we should be in great shape by now. That's definitely not an excuse. We're not going to say that at all. It's just Baylor's a great team and they flat out beat us today.
Q. Kelsey and Taelor, having Jalana suit up and start with you girls, was that a motivating boost to start the game for you guys?
KELSEY HILL: You know, absolutely. Jalana is a great player, and she's phenomenal for us. And we have won games with her and with A&M -- or without her, excuse me, we've won games without her at A&M and won games with her. And I think we're just looking forward to the upcoming games in the tournament that we have to play.
Q. Taelor, is it surprising to look at the stat sheet and see you can shoot 70 percent from the 3 and lose by that margin?
TAELOR KARR: Yeah, it's tough. They played a great game all the way around. Odyssey Sims was four for five from the 3-point line. They had people step up. It wasn't just Brittney Griner that really killed us.
We just didn't play good defense. It's the same things. The work phases, like Kelsey said, the boxing out and scrambling on defense, just giving effort. And not being there for your teammates, we didn't do that at all today.
KELSEY HILL: Absolutely. Just what Taelor said. We gave up too many easy looks and didn't hustle with our intensity level.
Q. After a loss like this, you're now going into the NCAA Tournament. As a coach, how do you get your athletes back in the mental game to where they get that confidence back and they get that positive attitude back after kind of a disappointing loss or a big loss?
COACH PATTERSON: Honestly, I don't think it will be difficult with this team. I think it's like any of us, when you come to work and you're going to do a job and you go back home you're like, man, I really didn't do well with that, whatever it is. That's the disposition I think our players walk away from this game with.
We have to be a team that brings great attention to the little things and the work phases of the game. We can't wow you with our athleticism and we can't wow you with our physical dominance. So we can stay competitive by doing things consistently and bringing accountability to those things.
And today it was -- and, again, I say it mostly in the second half, because the first half is a little bit of feeling out your opponent. You know they're good. You're still making adjustments. The second half I think it's not hard for us to walk into that locker room and know we were absolutely just dominated in that second 20 minutes emotionally, physically, with all the detail things.
So we're going to come back very hungry and motivated by the picture of what we look like when we don't do that, particularly against a phenomenal, great, confident, well-oiled machine like Baylor. And they are a little bit extreme relative to the challenge, but I think we're better, are capable of being better.
So I don't think I'm going to have to pick their chins up off the floor or they're walking out of there with a "poor me" mentality and how do we get our confidence back at all. I think it's just today we failed at the things we need to do to keep ourselves competitive, and so you get up tomorrow and say, well, let's get back to work and this is what happens when we don't. I think we're pretty matter of fact in that regard.
Q. I want to look forward to -- can you just talk about -- I know it's an inexact science, but do you think your seeding can be affected by Jalana's situation and how do you see your team if you don't have her at full strength?
COACH PATTERSON: Well, honestly I think she should be okay. I think she should be okay. So my expectation is that she will be. It's been a lot of days. We're going to have several days before our first NCAA Tournament game.
This is a hip flexor strain. It's not even the kind of injury that should continue to present itself at a real high level. So I feel that she's going to be okay. Today she didn't feel she could go, so we didn't utilize her. But I expect to have her in the NCAA Tournament. I personally don't have any question about her.
Q. Big picture, where do you see your team fitting in the field?
COACH PATTERSON: You might not believe this, but I can't even tell you where all of the regionals are, because I'm so focused on our team and I like not looking out there. I might be the only coach on the planet that way. So we'll see.
Q. Also looking ahead, I mean, I know you just said that you're intensely focused on what K-State's doing, but what have you seen as a coach and just following basketball in general this year that maybe gives you some evidence that anything can happen, it could be anybody's tournament to win, as opposed to being the usual suspects of UConn, Tennessee, et cetera, et cetera?
COACH PATTERSON: I think in our league I would definitely say two of the usual suspects are A&M and Baylor. And anyone that doesn't regard them that way would be making a huge mistake.
I think if Oklahoma gets hot, you know. They've got a chance at a run. And then I tend to really believe in the usual suspects going into the NCAA Tournament this year.
I think Notre Dame's playing great basketball right now. It will be fun to see what happens with them. But our league in and of itself, in those early rounds of the NCAA Tournament, I think is a classic example of how wide open the early phases of this tournament are going to be in the middle rounds and in the first, you know -- those first games where you're looking at the 16 seed up to about the second or third seed, I think.
Our league is a classic example of what can happen.
But I do believe there's a little bit of real serious heavyweights that are really some giants that people would have to slay when you line up against those 1 and 2 seeds this year.
Q. Baylor's defense, you had that stretch where you managed to cut it to nine. But it almost seems like on the perimeter they're playing with six players at times. Is that because of their quickness and then they've got Griner back there as the goalie kind of?
Defensively talk about how difficult they are to get open shots against.
COACH PATTERSON: Again, if you don't establish, I think, some pressure on the rim and some post touches against Baylor, your life is just going to be so difficult every offensive possession because they're athletic, they're strong, they're physical, big bodies, great athletes. And once and if you do tend to loosen yourself for even a moment on the perimeter, with maybe a dribble drive option, you've got Brittney that's going to be that factor on your dribble drive.
And so if you aren't hot on the perimeter, if you don't create outside opportunities by virtue of going outside and taking it at her and taking it at Brooklyn or Destiny, whoever is in at that point, it's going to be a really long day for you. And that's what we found today.
But you're right, they're just big and physical. And they're able to, I think, be better every catch because they know they've got Brittney behind them.
Q. On a normal day, how important is it that your team make 3s and how much do you rely on that aspect of the game?
COACH PATTERSON: Well, we've won a lot of games this year not being great from the 3-point line. But if you're not going to be great there, you better be scoring some in the paint. And that's the whole deal. For us it's a 50/50 proposition. We're going to take any and every 3 we can get our hands on. I like shooting them quick. I like shooting them when they're open. I never want them passed up.
But when those aren't dropping down, flat out you gotta find somebody that will score in the paint. And today we didn't. And it can be a devastating result for us.
Today I thought, especially early in the second half, we had got some decent looks. And I thought there were a couple of possessions where we saw Kelsey Hill get hot. Taelor was hot the first half. I thought we had some open looks. Alina had some. Kelsey had them in the second half. If they go in, the game remains significantly more competitive.
So it can keep us in games, that shot-making, but only for so long if we don't have a little bit of balance on the inside, and we had no balance on the inside today. None. The other day we could win a game with Brandy scoring three baskets in the post, and that's enough. If Jalana's getting us 15 or 16. But we have to have at least 18, 20 points in there or we can't compete with the people at this level.