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What’s going on with UK women’s basketball? Go to any practice next season and see

Everything seemed happy at UK's preseason photo day. However, turmoil has dominated the offseason. (Vicky Graff Photo)

Everything seemed happy at UK’s preseason photo day. However, turmoil has dominated the offseason. (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

We’ve had a week to digest what has been going on with the University of Kentucky women’s basketball program and no one has yet to come up with any real answers about what caused so many players and the entire assistant coaching staff to bail out on the winning program.

I was looking over a few of the things coach Matthew Mitchell had to say at his press conference last week and thought you might take a look at what he said when asked about if he had changed the way he coaches in recent years.

“I worked really hard to create a good environment in practice and I think those results showed on the court. I think where I have made the misstep is if people are feeling like I didn’t care about them and I didn’t serve them and didn’t serve them well enough off the court. That is where I have to take a strong look at and see where I can improve,” he said.

“There are clearly players I served well and are telling me that. Through all this tumultuous time, which is so hard on these kids it is really, really hard on them, I am so motivated to get us through this part of the storm. They have said, ‘I appreciate what you are doing and appreciate how you have coached me and I do feel connected to you and do feel like I can walk in this door and talk to you.’

“It’s the players that don’t feel that way that I have to reach out to and figure out why they don’t feel that way and I have to make the adjustment and change and be available to everyone and everyone needs to know that I am here for their benefit.”

Now pay particular attention to this. Mitchell announced that every practice his team has is open to the public. Just call the office at 859-257-6046 and you will be told what time practice starts and be allowed to attend.

“I am telling you that anybody that ever wants to come to our practice can come. We are an open book from that standpoint. There are no hidden tapes or secret practices that I am having. You can come and watch us practice any time that you want to. When our parents come in on Big Blue Madness they come to practice because I want them to see what kind of environment their daughter is in and I take every parent’s phone call and don’t duck anything,” Mitchell said.

“I am willing to work as hard as I can to improve through this situation and I know we have had some really great things happen over a nine-year period. This is a really difficult time for us and this might be hard to believe, but I am more optimistic sitting with you today. I feel better about where we are headed than I have. I really feel like I have some good things figured out and we have a good path forward.

“I’m a man of faith and believe this is a trial that is very intense and very difficult but from my perspective that is when I am learning the greatest lesson and being taught the greatest lesson and this will all work out for our benefit. We just have to do a good job here of making sure these kids understand what their pathway forward is and we are going to show them that.”

 

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