home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


March 9, 2015

Nina Davis

Niya Johnson

Kim Mulkey

Alexis Prince


Baylor – 75
Texas - 64

MODERATOR:  We're now joined by the winners of the Big 12 championship this year, and also the tournament, the Baylor Bears, Coach Kim Mulkey, Alexis Prince, Nina Davis and Niya Johnson.
Coach, I'm going to give you one more opportunity this year, would you like to make an opening statement?
MODERATOR:  We'll take questions for our student-athletes first.

Q.  Nina, in the regular season both of the big players, but particularly Kelsey Lang, gave y'all problems.  What did y'all do to adjust to that and how did you contain them?
NINA DAVIS:  We just focused on her more, every time she got the ball, we just tried to heals down, kind of double-team her and then get back out to the guards.  Like you said, the two players that killed us in previous games, and we just didn't want that to happen again.

Q.  For Nina, and then Niya, looked like it was a somewhat understated celebration out there, I was just wondering why that was, are you looking forward to bigger and better things or what were your emotions?
NINA DAVIS:  I'm not sure what you mean when you say understated.  We're excited.  Yes, this is the fifth year in a row but we don't have five rings.  This is only like our second one of the season, so this is definitely an exciting time.  Of course you're looking forward to the NCAA Tournament but we're never overlooking winning the championship, and I feel we was pretty much excited today.
NIYA JOHNSON:  I just thought we all were excited after the game, we were looking forward to this championship tonight, playing hard on the court and I just thought we were very excited and it showed after the game.

Q.  Nina, your second straight Most Outstanding Player Award.  Is there something about this tournament that just works for you, appeals to you; what is it?
NINA DAVIS:  It's just that part of the year, it's March Madness and exciting part of the year.  I love big games, I love the spotlight, and they say big players step up in big games.  That's a quote I always tried to lean on.

Q.  Niya, shot selection in particular looked really good tonight particularly in the second half.  What was the key there?  And talk about the perimeter shooting and Alexis and Imani, what you got from them.
NIYA JOHNSON:  In previous practice and games we try to focus on ball reversal, having much more ball reversal and shifting the defense, and I thought we did pretty well in the second half by having them shift and making good shots and knowing when to shoot and when to not.  I thought Kristy, Alexis Prince and Imani shot very well from the perimeter, and also attacking.

Q.  Alexis, talk about the second half for you, you seemed to have a lot more energy.  You had energy the whole game, but the second half you made some plays, you had that steal that turned into a 3-pointer, just talk about how things were different for you after half-time.
ALEXIS PRINCE:  Just wanted to provide a spark and get off to a better start than I did the start of the game.

Q.  Niya, you don't get tired of confetti and putting hats on backwards and cutting down nets and all that kind of stuff, right?
NIYA JOHNSON:  Oh, no, and I don't take it for granted either.  We won like, what, five in a row, and we just want to keep it going.  We don't want to be the team that fail the fans, the team and the coaches as well.

Q.  Nina, I know you guys said after you wrapped up the regular season title you were going to enjoy it for about the rest of the night, and then that's in the past and you're moving on.  How long are you going to enjoy this one?
NINA DAVIS:  We have a little bit more time to enjoy this one.  The next one is not until the 20th.  We're on spring break so we get a little break so we have more time to enjoy this one, but we're going to get back to business.  And after selection Monday we'll know who we play, and it's back in the gym we go.

Q.  Niya, how important was Texas when Sune went out with foul trouble, they cut it down to two points and kind of made it a game, but you guys kind of came out in the second half and like, okay, it's over.  How important was it for you guys to kind of reestablish things there in the beginning of the second half and kind of take their hope away?
NIYA JOHNSON:  Well, first off, I thought KK came in and took care of her job.  She did very well scoring off the block and I thought she did very well, defending Lang and Imani Stafford.  And then Sune came in and she apologized, hey, I'm sorry guys.  She knew how valuable she was to the team.  And we all said it's okay, just come back and play smart. She's just a huge valuable player to this team, just because of her presence.

Q.  Nina, does it ever surprise you how efficient offensively this team is and efficient you are?  I mean, 75 percent to start the game from the field, and especially during tournament time, do you ever look back and kind of go, we just hit a lot of shots and didn't take as many as it took?
NINA DAVIS:  It doesn't surprise me.  We pretty much -- we're a young team but we have a lot of depth, we have a lot of talent on this team.  We pretty much -- nobody knows yourself better than you, and we pretty much know each other as a team, so when my teammates are making shots and when they're on, it doesn't surprise me that they're going.  We're just trusting each other, we believe in our talents and we know how far we can go.

Q.  Nina, how far has this team come from the beginning of the season?
NINA DAVIS:  We have came a long way since our first loss against Kentucky.  We've just grown, and you can tell from offense to defensively we've just really grown as a team.  We've been through a lot of games when we were down.  There were games we were up and we lost the lead.  As you can see today, we had a lead and we lost it, and then we had it again and we lost it again, but finally we was just able to grow up and we matured and it's just showing every day.
MODERATOR:  Okay, ladies, congratulations on a great season.  Good luck in the NCAAs.
Questions for Coach Mulkey.

Q.  Kim, the shot selection all night, were you getting exactly what you wanted?
COACH MULKEY:  I thought all but a few times when they made a run we were taking quick shots.  I thought what we did, and we've done a lot and we're pretty good at it, is we share the basketball and we make sure we have ball reversal.  We're going to make people guard you for the entire shot clock.  And when we didn't and we missed shots, they would go down and make a shot or two, but just patience offensively.  I thought when they went to their 2-3 zone we might have been too patient.  I thought we rushed shots at the end because the shot clock was winding down.  But I thought we hit some big 3s against their zone.  I thought Alexis hit a big 3, I put Kristy Wallace in there and ran a play for her and she hit a big 3.

Q.  Kim, in a conference as competitive as the Big 12, what does five consecutive tournament championships mean?
COACH MULKEY:  I don't know.  You tell me.  It means we're pretty good.  It means that our name goes in a book.  I don't know that anybody's ever done that, men or women, in the Big 12, have they?  I don't know, Wendell, help me here.  It means that women's basketball's bigtime at Baylor.
(No microphone.)
COACH MULKEY:  There you go, well, he signs my paycheck, so get his quote.  My AD says we're a dynasty.

Q.  Nina only scored two in the second half.  I don't know if that was something their defense did, but the way that everybody else stepped up.  Y'all still scored 35 with her only scoring 2.
COACH MULKEY:  I thought Nina had some good looks.  It's amazing to me how that kid can get a shot off of these bigger players.  How do they go in?  How does she get them off?  How do you describe her?  I would not have known that until I saw the stat sheet, Jerry, that she only scored 2, but obviously she's not in there just for her scoring.  She's just a -- she's a player that just settles us but we're not the Nina Davis show.  We've got a lot of kids that have some talent out there.  You know, when you walk in a gym and you look at us, you don't just go, wow, but when you sit and watch them play, you go that's the way the game should be played, everybody touches the ball, everybody has a role to play, everybody does it right.  And what we lack is just being a great defensive team all at the same time.  Getting better.  I thought we showed more signs of being better today than we have in some games, but that will come with time.

Q.  You've mentioned this team has surprised you, amazed you.  Back last fall what were you expecting from this group?
COACH MULKEY:  I don't know.  I expected them to finish in the upper echelon of the Big 12.  I expected them to make the NCAA Tournament.  I expected them to be ranked, but I couldn't put a number on it because you had too many kids whose roles were going to change, and I had to let them tell me by their play.  You tell me what's fair.  And as they played and they played and they played, I think they set their own parameters.  I think they set their own identity and I just couldn't -- it's a team I couldn't do that.  I knew what I had in Nina, I knew what I had in Niya, but everybody else's roles of everybody else's role -- Sune, I knew, but the roles of everybody else, Imani and Prince, was she going to be healthy, were any of the freshman going to help you.  Sune started the season hurt, Kristina Higgins starts 13 games, probably is our most improved player.  Yet late in the year, Sune takes over, that senior leadership starts coming out in her.  Then you have KK, who is just like a deer running in the forest.  We just had to put all of it together.
I've played a lot of players, I've played a lot more players this year than I ever have in 15 years because they're basically demanding that from me.  They want to play and they're doing things to get out on the floor.  I thought the Baylor fans were outstanding today.  It's just so good when you walk in an arena; not just at home, but when you go to a neutral site, and your Baylor fans are dominant.  Then I thought Sune, being a senior, she played like a senior.

Q.  Following up on that, you said it wasn't the Nina Davis show but Sune's play, particularly when she went out with two fouls, you guys were up 12.  How important was her being out and then the second half her not getting in foul trouble at all and being able to play?
COACH MULKEY:  She's the one that has the most experience in the paint and she's, as I've said many times, is super intelligent and what she can't do physically, she gets to the spots because she anticipates.  She is a big body and when she's on that floor, we are so much better.  And when she picked up the second foul, I rotated about three post in there and gave all of them a shot and I thought they did fine, I thought they did fine.

Q.  I was with you on February 11th when the NCAA came out with their pre-seed list and Baylor kind of got snubbed.  On that particular day you had the No. 1 RPI in the country but you were left off their prospective No. 1 seed line.  Since then you've only lost one game, one more game, you've won your conference championship and you won it as decisively as Tennessee lost their conference championship.  Could you make the case for No. 1 seed for Baylor, please?
COACH MULKEY:  Well, I can always make the case, but I'm like a fine wine, I get better with age.  What difference does it make what I think?  I have learned that each year a committee is a group of individuals and it's their job to do it regardless of how I feel.  I've expressed myself many years on what I think is right and wrong, and I guess I'm like a fine wine, I've just realized keep your mouth shut, it doesn't do any good, it probably pisses them off.

Q.  You said yesterday that your expectation is to win these championships.  Does that take away from the excitement of doing it at all when you feel this is how business is supposed to be?
COACH MULKEY:  I think it does for some people, I do.  I visibly have seen it.  I think it does and it bothers me.  It doesn't -- you have to remember that there are a lot of kids in that locker room, this is their first.  It's kind of like having children, your first child comes into the world, man, we just -- we're out of our mind.  And then the second one comes along and the third one comes along and we get a little bit, you know, lazier.  I don't want to be around people like that.  I want everybody to be as excited today as they were the very first one we won.  And it's work to do it and we're doing our part in that locker room and I want everybody around me to continue to do their part.

Q.  You just talked about that going into the season you didn't know what to expect from this group, now you're headed to the tournament.  What do you expect from here on out?
COACH MULKEY:  I expect to host the first- and second-round games at Baylor, I expect a great Baylor crowd, and let's see how far we can take this thing.

Q.  Coach, you've mentioned several times throughout this season how happy you are with your team's effort.  It kind of shows today out-rebounding a team 38-31 when they played two post players for most of the game.  How proud are you of their effort again especially on the rebounding end, but going forward into the tournament?
COACH MULKEY:  I can list a dozen things to tell you how proud I am.  We weren't picked to win the league, we won it.  Wow.  You look at my team, I don't have 6-7 and 6-5 out there.  We've got to figure out how to do the dirty work and win.  They do it, they buy into it.  Everybody wants a shot at us.  I think two Texas players have been waiting for this, right?  We're going to beat them today and we wanted another shot at them.  Well, be careful what you wish for.  So I can -- the list goes on and on and on.  I thought it was great that I substituted with a minute nineteen to go because I learned from two of the best in the business to call off the dogs.  I learned from Leon Barmore and I learned from Pat Summit and I gave everybody an opportunity to play.  So I didn't like the game ended with them pressing with starters on the floor, but that's her prerogative and that's her team to do that.  Just proud of all of them.

Q.  How log-jammed the conference finished and with all the teams above 500, how many teams do you think should make the NCAAs from the Big 12, and any of those bubble teams, which do you think deserves --
COACH MULKEY:  Well, I always believed the regular season is more important than the tournament.  Sixteen, 19, 18 games, an 18-game season means more than coming and playing good for three days.  That's why I've never understood why we put so much emphasis on who wins the tournament and they get to get in.  Because they got hot for three days?  I would start one through five, I would take the first three that won, that puts TCU in because they were third in the league, and then four and five, take those fives.  And then if you want six, take somebody who played well in the tournament and at the end of the year.  I don't put a big emphasis on the tournament being more important than what you do over the long haul.
MODERATOR:  Okay, Coach.  Thank you very much, congratulations.
COACH MULKEY:  Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297