Mitchell: Cats must value defense

What did coach Matthew Mitchell think of his team’s defense in Sunday’s win over Samford? Let him explain:

“You just have to be highly organized, and you have to do a good job of motivating them to getting that done. You just demand it. You hold them accountable. If it’s not happening, you just have to make the consequences more severe so that it’s in their best interest to do it,” said Mitchell.

“I think what’s different for us this year is finding out what we could do, and that’s taken more time so we’re a little bit behind. That’s alright, because again, we’ve got a group that I believe has the goods to do it. There’s just been so many things that we’ve been trying to work on and bring people up to speed. I do feel like we’ve got an identity.

“Today showed me a lot of what they can do when they’re locked in, focused and hustling. You’re not going to guard anybody who throws that much at you for 30 seconds the way Samford did. So, the first half shows you what we’re capable of doing. But we as coaches have to be highly organized and understand what we’re capable of doing, and make sure they have enough reps so that they’re comfortable doing it. I’m confident that part is on me.

“I’ve got to make situations in practice where they understand how much we value defense, and not give them false hope that offense will bail you out. You’ve got to stay in front of the ball.”

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