«

»

Epps had faith selection committee would keep UK in Lexington

Makayla Epps (Vicky Graff Photo)

Here is what Kentucky guard Makayla Epps had to say Monday night after UK found out it would host games this weekend in the NCAA Tournament. UK plays Belmont Friday at noon and then would play the Ohio State-Western Kentucky winner on Sunday if it beats Belmont.

Kentucky Senior Guard Makayla Epps

On staying home to start the tournament …

“I felt confident in what we’ve done throughout the season to bake us a pretty good cake to keep us in Lexington and I had faith in the Selection Committee that they would keep us in Lexington. So big shout-outs to them. But all in all, seeing that the Lexington Region was last we all felt a little sick in our stomach, especially when it started out as Connecticut and stuff like that. But just to end up in Lexington and get another chance, another opportunity to play in Memorial for one game guaranteed, it’s a really good feeling for me.”

 

On how much the SEC prepared them for the NCAA Tournament …

“I felt like we showed tremendous growth from the first time we played South Carolina and even the second time we played them to the last time we played them. We went out there, left it all on the line, held nothing back, gave them our best shot and fell short, but I feel like that’s just motivation. As long as we keep that momentum going throughout the NCAA Tournament, I feel like we’re going to be a tough team to out.”

 

On Linnae Harper and Kyvin Goodin-Rogers playing in Lexington …

“They’re texting me right now. They’re both really excited. I’ve seen Kyvin a couple times since her big move, but I haven’t seen Linnae. So real thrilled to see them both, but it’s all business whoever I’m going to have to see potentially.”

 

On UK’s region …

“Notre Dame’s in there. I’ve never had the opportunity to play them. I’ve watched them play other teams. Never played Ohio State, tough team. Haven’t played Western. A lot of teams in this bracket I haven’t played yet, besides watching them on TV. They’re really good teams. I feel like our bracket’s really strong, so I feel like it’s going to be fun.”

 

On what about this team has gotten them to this point …

“This team, personally, I just feel like there’s a lot of togetherness. There’s no egos, there’s no bickering, no off the court issues. Nothing like that. We don’t have to have team meetings or address attitude problems or anything like that. Everybody shows up on time. They work hard. We work for each other and we’re real together and I feel like that’s really been beneficial for us.”

 

On whether the pressure is off this year …

“I don’t really think there’s so much pressure, but of course you can’t predict the future or what you’re going to do in games. Of course we would like to get back to Rupp, being as how we ended off last year. People like me, Maci (Morris), Evelyn (Akhator), Alyssa (Rice), Taylor (Murray), we all played in that game last year so we want to try to advance farther and get to that Elite Eight spot. We’re just going to take it one game at a time, start off in Memorial and hopefully get the chance to play in Rupp.”

 

On whether there’s a bitter taste when she thinks about getting knocked out of the tournament …

“Definitely a little bitter, but I’m going to be honest: If I go out playing my last game in a Kentucky jersey, I’d rather being playing in Lexington on one of my courts than be anywhere else in the country. Unless it’s in the Final Four. Yeah, Dallas. Dallas.”

Leave a Reply