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March 9, 2019

Kim Mulkey

Kalani Brown

NaLyssa Smith

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Baylor 100, Texas Tech 61

THE MODERATOR: We're now joined by our Baylor Bears, head coach, Kim Mulkey and her student athletes, NaLyssa Smith and Kalani Brown. Coach, your thoughts about the game?


THE MODERATOR: I thought so.

Q. Kalani, seven players in double figures for you guys. I think it was a Big 12 Tournament record. What does that say about your team?
KALANI BROWN: Our bench is really deep. We have numbers and we can put different combinations in players for different styles of play which I think will help us in the NCAA Tourney going forward. Today our bench did it for us and was able to get the starters off to rest and as long as we can keep playing like that we can go really far.

Q. NaLyssa, going on what Kalani said about the bench you outscored them 52-0. You guys outscored them on the bench. Talk about the performance of you guys because whenever somebody from the bench comes in and a starter goes out, you guys don't lose any rhythm or anything at all.
NALYSSA SMITH: It just shows that we're always ready on the bench, so when our name is called it just shows that when we go in we gotta do what we can do and we've got to rest our starters for bigger and better things down the road and we have to handle business so they don't cut the lead.

Q. NaLyssa, relaying off that, the fact the starters didn't play at all in the fourth quarter and you guys still outscored them, 28-17 was that a pride thing, not to let them cut into the lead?
NALYSSA SMITH: For sure, because when we played with them the first time they cut the lead and we didn't hear the end of it that time, so we had to make sure we maintained that lead and make sure they didn't cut into it.

Q. NaLyssa, talk about you're a freshman here on the team. What have you learned from Kalani during the season? Is she your big sister? Talk to me about the chemistry between you guys.
NALYSSA SMITH: I've learned a lot from Kalani. She is my mom on the team. She makes sure I'm doing everything right on and off the court. You see how far she is getting so I just want to walk in her footsteps, and do what she has done.

Q. For either of the players, can you try to describe what it's like, the feeling when you get on one of those runs that just -- like a tidal wave of points off turnovers or whatever. What's that feel like on the court?
KALANI BROWN: To me, it just feels like you're having fun when everybody is scoring and everybody is getting to play. You don't lose no energy. We come out with a lot of energy. You just want to come out and have fun. When you stop having fun you stop playing.

NALYSSA SMITH: It's just very fun everybody getting to score and everybody doing what they love.

Q. Kalani, in a tournament like this where you have three games in three days. How beneficial would it be for you to sit out the fourth quarter and only play 17 minutes?
KALANI BROWN: It's definitely beneficial for me to sit out and all the starters. The fact that our bench took care of business today shows a lot about them and us as a team and I'm very proud of our bench today, especially the younger ones.

Q. Kalani, Tech scored 104 yesterday and Brewer had 40 and you guys were able to shut 'em down and shut her down. Obviously, that defense is something that Kim stresses all the time. But is that something you guys will point to as well?
KALANI BROWN: Absolutely. We have the two-time Defensive Player of the Year. We take pride in our defense. Coach rides us about it all the time. Just performing, basically.

THE MODERATOR: Ladies, congratulations.

Q. Kim, I guess the bench, what they were able to do today and particularly in that fourth quarter like NaLyssa talked about. They kind of came back on you in the fourth quarter there, what the bench was able to do today?
KIM MULKEY: I hate using the word "bench" because those kids could start for us. They're all that good. It's just y'all don't get to see them. They're freshmen and when you saw today is the future here. I'm so happy for NaLyssa Smith and those kids that finally just could relax and play a lot of minutes and valuable minutes and didn't look at the scoreboard, not mop up minutes. When you play this many games and you're trying to play for bigger things down the road as much rest as you can give the ones who get the most minutes it's beneficial.

It wasn't that they just relieved them of playing time. It's what they did when they got that playing time. They were so productive.

Q. Kim, DiDi is mostly known for her defense and being the all-stopper. But 7 assists today and I think you had a tournament record, 32, for the game. Just her passing, is that something that's underrated?
KIM MULKEY: I think all our kids are underrated, if you want to know the truth. But we have an hell of a team, don't we? When you have seven kids scoring double figures and really I guess I could have given Queen a few more minutes and a couple more shots and we would have had eight. That's what wins championships, your defense first and then sharing the basketball. We lead the country and if we don't we're there at the top in assist-to-turnover ratio. We're going to share the wealth and guard you on both ends of the floor.

I'm not surprised, DiDi pretty much can do it all. She can defend you. She has length on the perimeter. She can play point and has on some sets that we have. She never gets tired.

Q. Coach, what was your defense game plan knowing that Brewer scored 40 last night and Carr was the Big 12 Freshman of the Year?
KIM MULKEY: Nothing any different. We played those guys twice and we didn't go in there and change anything that we do defensively. Just make sure you have your match-ups, who is guarding who is very important to me. I thought DiDi being on the point guard because DeGrate is not playing as much for them, and DiDi being on the point guard, Carr was important and Lauren Cox being on Brewer. Those are our best two defense players and we need to make sure they're on our best office players.

Q. You were named Coach of the Year for the Big 12 seven times. Congratulations. Talk to me about your coaching style and how important it is for you to be out there to have that chemistry with your players to make it this far?
KIM MULKEY: Well, I'm very mild. I'm very meek. I'm very passive, and they want to play for a coach that's like that. No, I don't know. (Laughter.) April fool, huh? Listen, I put those tennis shoes on many years ago and played for some of the most intense coaches, Pat Summitt and Leon Barmore. They know that every ounce of energy I have during a game they're going to get out of me and I want it out of them. They know that behind the scenes, Coach is real, Coach is funny, quick-witted, say things in timeouts that makes them want to bust out laughing. But that's not what the public needs to see and not what the public does see. I really don't care. All I care about are those kids in that locker room. I care about my family and I care about my kids and I care about my coaches and that I represent Baylor in a way that makes them proud. I hate losing and I want them to hate losing. I don't want to coach a kid where losing is okay. They don't come to Baylor to win individual awards. They come to Baylor to win championships. All those kids are excited right now because they all have a Big 12 Championship ring. That's what they come to Baylor for, to play for bigger things than just an individual award.

Q. A little take-off on that. You said that you thought some of your players were underrated. Is it just because you spread is out so much that it's virtually impossible if someone's not going to play 20 minutes, for example, that you're going to lose an MVP, for example?
KIM MULKEY: Rick, it's a good question and I'm going to try to explain this in a way -- first of all, all the kids who won individual awards, congratulations to them. It's just hard for me to accept that an individual award a kid that shoots 15 and 20 times a game for her team, she needs to do that. I can't fault any kid that does that. But if you're playing on a team, the team that spreads the wealth the most is usually the team that's going to win championships. So why do we not reward those great players that could go to those other schools and shoot it 30 times a game, but they choose to come to a team where it's about the team and about championships. Why don't we reward those kids? I struggle with that. When I was a player out of high school I signed at Louisiana Tech they made it to their first Final Four and they had five returning starters and everybody was like you're nuts to go there. You're going to be a junior before you play. So go to another school and average forty minutes a game and 15-20 shots a game. Well, is it about stats, really? Is that what it's about? Do you think I could get Kalani Brown 30 shots a game? I don't know. She is doubled and tripled team, but what Kalani Brown does is makes everybody around her better, because she draws all that attention. So I struggle with -- I don't know why we send out stats when we vote on awards. If you've played people you should remember who hurt you. If you are recruiting you should know, gosh, I would love to have that kid on my team. That's what I struggle with, but that doesn't take way from people who win those awards. Why did I get Coach of the Year? Why did I get Coach of the Year? Because I coach a great team. But yet we can't reward those kids? I would take my Coach of the Year any day and give it to 'em, because I am only as good as those kids. I hope I've explained it. It's not to take away and say somebody is not deserving of it, every year it's in the NBA, it's the same thing. Who puts up the most shots. You may be the most valuable player for your team, without a doubt, but are you the best player in the league? That's what I struggle with. Everybody has an opinion, Rick. It's like politics, right? We all have an opinion. The one thing I do wish that we would do is put our name on the ballots. We did that last year. I'm not afraid to tell anybody who I vote for. I just wish that we would put our name on the ballots when we vote at the end of the year. Why not? Y'all do it when you do polls, don't you? Sign your name. Who voted? I love these kids and what I love the most is they chose to come to Baylor and share the wealth and they didn't say, oh, I'm going somewhere elsewhere I can average this or be this or be this or be that. That's what you known you've got some unselfish kids. What a fun group to coach.

Q. Coach, I saw you had words for Coach Stollings after the game. What did you say to her knowing that this is her first season in the Big 12?
KIM MULKEY: I don't remember if I said it, but she had two quick hitters that she ran yesterday and I might use them for the playoffs. I said I might make a call to you. She wished us well in the playoffs and thanked me for representing the Big 12 the way we have. I told her how hard her kids are playing, what a tremendous turnaround. It may not show in the wins and losses, but watching the growth of some of those players from last year to this year, complimenting her on things she is doing from a distance as a competitor, as a coach on the opposite end of the floor.

THE MODERATOR: Thanks, Coach.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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