March 27, 2009


Head Coach Kim Mulkey
On their season overcoming adversity:
“That is perseverance. I was telling my coaches, this team has wrapped itself around my heart as a coach because they win in spite of. In spite of all the things that we had happen to us.  … We just keep winning. We were a team that didn’t start the year in the top 25 in a lot of polls. We were picked fourth in the Big 12 in the preseason. We’ve done a lot of special things in spite of. I don’t know how many more we can win, but I know this. The national championship team in ’05 won 33 games and was a pretty good basketball team , and this team has already won 29.”

On how Leon Barmore joined her staff:
“One of my assistants, Jennifer Roberts, who had been with me at Baylor since I was hired, got out of the profession for medical reasons.

“Jennifer was a manager for Coach Barmore, when I was an assistant, and Coach Barmore all of her family, we all know each other. So I had called Coach and told him she was getting out and to call her and check on her. In the conversation he asked me who I was going to hire to replace  her, and I immediately said, ‘Why don’t you come?’   

“We laughed about it, and he said, ‘Are you serious?’ I said, C’mon, you’re bored, you’re miserable in the winter, you can’t golf in the winter. I said I’m in a position at Baylor where the administration will work with me. We’ll figure out a way that you can stay in Ruston during the summer and work during basketball season and be with your family.”

On the transition with Barmore joining staff:
“The thing is, I’m pretty much a hands-on coach. I do everything, and then I gain your confidence, and gain your trust and give you a little more responsibility. What was so wonderful about this, Coach Barmore, I spent 19 years of my life with him, four years as a player and 15 as a coach. So everything I do, I’ve learned from him. The same language, the same terminology … So where I have helped him and given him something to do, he has helped me be able to take a break from a practice and step back.”

On how satisfying the year has been:
The competitor in you, as a player or a coach, you’re never satisfied unless you win a national championship. But there’s over 300 and something schools, and they don’t all have that luxury. … There are 16 teams left. We know there are more talented teams left, particularly with our two post players injured. But you can’t coach guts, you can’t coach heart.”

On losing Danielle Wilson:
“When Danielle went down, I tried very hard every time I was asked to make them understand it wouldn’t make a difference. ‘Oh, they lost their leading rebounder and scorer, they’re not going to be very good.’  But if you’re familiar with our program, we put Danielle in position to be the leading scorer and rebounder. For two years she was a sub in and out of the lineup. She started maturing and she started wanting that responsibility.  And I kept telling people we could continue to win without her because of the quality of our team. … There’s not a particular player you can stop and beat Baylor.”

On Rachel Allison’s status:
“I don’t how how effective Rachel Allison will be, but she’s is adamant she wants to give it a shot. We’re going to look at her today for the first time and see if she can go.”  

 On Angel McCoughtry:
This is the most complimentary way I can say this, being from the state of Texas. She reminds me of Sheryl Swoopes when Sheryl Swoopes took Texas Tech to the national championship. She’s that type of player. Great size for a perimeter player, great shooter, great scorer, rebounder. They make all the players around them better. … And as I read her quotes, she’s on a mission. ... I thought they should have been higher than a 3 seed.”

On relationship with Jeff Walz:
“We go back a long way with battles between Western Kentucky and Louisiana Tech.”

On her health:
“My health is getting better. What happened was I was put in surgery in Lubbock between the first and second rounds to remove a kidney stone.

“To make a long story short, we don’t know what caused all the issues, but it started with the liver.”

“I feel good, I feel like I have more energy now. The first 24 hours of being scared to death are gone.”

Jessica Morrow, Sr./G/F

It’s been an interesting season with all the off-court issues and injuries. What has that been like for you?
“I feel like it’s been a blessing in disguise. It’s made us stronger. I’ve learned many life lessons this year alone with the things we’ve had to deal with. A lot of people probably don’t know or don’t care, but I feel we’ve pushed through a lot. We’ve made it through a lot, we’ve persevered through a lot. It’s made us stronger women on and off the courts.”

On defending Angel McCoughtry:
“I don’t know what the key is. She’s [Louisville’s] leading scorer and who their team plays off of. We’ve played against teams like that and we know how to play against those teams with a player that helps everyone play well around them. You can’t stop anybody that good, but with the help of my teammates, hopefully we’ll be able to defend her well.”

Jhasmin Player, Sr./G

Can you talk about the way different players have stepped up in different games?
“It speaks to the depth of this team, and one thing we are is confident in our teammates. We work out with these kids every day. We know they’re talented and it’s great to see them stepping up. It’s the right time for them to be doing what they’re doing.”

On Angel McCoughtry:
“She’s a great player, probably one of the most complete and athletic players we’ve played this season. She’s long and athletic and she’s going to rebound. When you play against great players, all you can do is try to contain them. Hopefully Jessica Morrow will do a good job of containing her. She’s an All-American and she proves that every time she steps on the court.”

Rachel Allison, Sr./F/P

Talk about how you’re feeling. Are your parents okay with you playing?
“I don’t really think it’s my parents decision at this point. It’s my senior year and I only have a few games left, and I’m going to play. Nobody can tell me differently unless coach feels I’m not going to be of any help to us on the court.”

On Coach Kim Mulkey’s illness:
“I don’t know if you saw our last game, but Coach Mulkey was in full force on the sidelines. At this point she’s doing fine. We’re still praying for her, as we will continue to until she’s fully recovered. She has put on a happy face for us and has been a good support for us. I think she’s going to be fine.”