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Matthew Mitchell appreciates help and support that John Calipari has given him and UK women

By LARRY VAUGHT

Kentucky women’s coach Matthew Mitchell is a lot like Calipari when it comes to touting his team and at the same time stressing the value of team chemistry and hard work. Remember, Mitchell now has five McDonald’s All-Americans on his team. A few years ago that seemed as far fetched as having the UK football team sign 10 five-star players in one recruiting class. But the UK women’s team has won so much under Mitchell that the nation’s best players now want to play for him — and more will be on the way next year.

Why not? He’s charismatic — didn’t you see his Big Blue Madness dance again this year — and knows how to entertain. He’s also not overwhelmed by the shadow of Calipari or the men’s team.

Mitchell was asked Tuesday about his relationship with Calipari. He gave a great answer.

“I think my relationship with Cal has helped him tremendously. He won the national championship last year and I’ve been working with him extensively on, really, every phase of the game and mainly on his public relations skills,” Mitchell said with a straight face. “The guy has had trouble in that area, so I feel good that I’ve been able to bring him along to where there is interest in that program now and maybe I can devote more time to our team and see if we can get to a Final Four.”

Finally, Mitchell laughed and thanked media members for laughing, too. Then he turned serious.

“There are a few things I would like to say about John. One is his wisdom and experience helps me tremendously, and I guess I need to start with just his willingness to help me, and his availability and his encouragement,” Mitchell said. “Those are all functions of him making himself available to me, and from what I can tell anybody on campus that needs his help, he will do that.

“That says something about the kind of person he is. In particular with our relationship, it is so helpful to be able to walk across the hall as a young coach and go to somebody with experience who has done something that we’re attempting to do, take a program that didn’t have a lot of tradition and people didn’t expect those things and trying to move into that spot where we are now where people do expect good things from us.  His wisdom and his willingness to share that is powerful, and then he’s just done some things back when we were really trying to get it going.”

Mitchell noted how Calipari asked ESPN College GameDay to put him and the women’s team last year to give the program more exposure. “Just his support is meaningful to me and I appreciate him greatly and I’m confident he appreciates me, too, and all the good work I’ve done for him. He’s been a good guy,” Mitchell said.

However, as good as Calipari has been following Billy Gillispie, Mitchell may actually have done an even better job the last three years taking the UK women’s program to elite status and making Final Four talk seem realistic rather than a fantasy.

Permanent link to this article: http://vaughtsviews.com/matthew-mitchell-appreciates-help-and-support-that-john-calipari-has-given-him-and-uk-women/

3 comments

  1. Juan4UK

    I tend to be long winded sometimes, so I’ll try to keep on point.
    I started keeping an eye on UKHoops during Demoss time here. Was excited, then she left. But I kept an eye on them.
    Hopes up and down for a while. Then finally when Mitchell got here, I started not only paying attention to the Box Scores, but watching the games online, sometimes.
    Success is key usually, and I’m no different. Because of Mitchell’s teams and his personality, I watch when they come on TV, the whole game most of the time, and if not the whole game, I try to have the game on in the bedroom and check up on it in snatches. If for no other reason then to help Hoops ratings for UK games, if they get monitored on non-neilson sets.
    But he is producing some exciting, successfull teams and I am not ashamed to be late on the bus. These girls work their butts off and play hard. What more could you want as a basketball fans.
    Here’s to hoping they get to the FF this year, and hopefully, a Championship!!

  2. UKFAN197TONE

    I’ve said it once and I’ll continue to say it. I LOVE THIS GUY. I love the way he coaches, the passion he has for UK and the love he has for his players. His teams are uhh, excuse the french…B**** to the Wall, every game. They may not be the biggest, tallest, fastest, but they will keep hustling.

    He has the best coaches show in sports; not that I watch any other teams regularly mind you. One can tell the players love him and he’s downright GREAT for the University of Kentucky. I’m glad he and the staff got that contract situation handled as well.

    With Coach Summitt no longer HC at UT, I think (hope) that UK could be the dominant team in the SEC…save injuries. I can’t wait to watch this team play this year and UK continues to get the respect that they all deserve. Big game against Baylor this year…that should be a good game to watch.

    1. larryvaught

      hard not to love Matthew Mitchell

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