Jan. 26, 2010
Following a weekend upset against Missouri, Kim Mulkey spoke with members of the media Tuesday afternoon on the No. 14 Lady Bears upcoming game against No. 8 Texas A&M.
Below are Mulkey's comments on Texas A&M:
On the rivalry with Texas A&M compared to the rest of the Big 12...
"Honestly, (all Big 12 games) are rivalry games. It is just a league that is not very forgiving. It is not a league where you can quickly fix things. It's not a league where you can enjoy victories for long periods of time. I guess because the schools are close in proximity and because you have a lot of Aggie fans in Waco and because you have a lot of Baylor fans in College Station-- that probably makes (the series) a little bit more interesting. They're all that way."
On the confidence of the team in terms of shot selection...
"Those bad shots become good shots when you make them. That's what I keep telling them, `you can't miss a shot if you don't take a shot.' I think that is part of their problem. They are just hesitant to shoot the ball. They don't want to mess up. You can protect them and take blame for that as a coach but the truth of the matter is that if you are a baller, you go play. You have to remember that most of these kids have not played at this level for this period of time."
On the differences between this year's team and last year's team...
"My biggest difference from last year to this year is who to play. With this many freshmen in the lineup playing significant minutes, one will play good today and then not be good tomorrow, so, you juggle who you thought might bring it today. That's not fun as a coach because I like to have a rotation out of my players and I like to know what I'm getting out of players. You don't know what you are going to get out of some of them yet. What I do know is that you have to have your three best players bring consistency every day. We don't have that."
On the current two-game losing streak...
"It is growing pains--that is what it is. I would become worried if I didn't see effort and I didn't know that I have talent on the floor. That's where I would say that we were in trouble. I can live with losses if you are giving me effort because the things we are doing are correctable. When it will happen, what will turn it around--making some more perimeter shots for one will help. Getting Melissa Jones back would help. It's not going to happen immediately. We might win a game where we still play bad. Just keep doing what you are doing. I'm not ever going to let a team become complacent and think that they are all that and to get down. I'm going to challenge them, I'm going to get in their face and hopefully motivate them. I've got to lift them up to make them believe that they can do this quickly and do it good but at the same time be realistic and tell them-- when are you going to do your part? It will happen."
On adjusting to the college game as a freshman...
"I think the hard part for them is that reality slapped them in the face when you go out there and you realize the intensity and the pace that you have to play for 40 minutes, that has never happened to any of them. The second thing is that they have never had to guard anybody. None of them, not the best--they never had to guard anybody. I think those things are slapping them in the face but it slaps all freshman in the face."
On the current winning streak against Texas A&M...
"I don't think this team knows anything about the history of beating (Texas A&M) other than the returning players. With so many of the new players, they don't know any of that. Some of the kids know A&M because they are from Texas and they were probably recruited by A&M. They don't know the history of us beating them three times last season unless I tell them. They are so focused on what I have to do today to get better."