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 22, 2019

Kim Mulkey

Waco, Texas

THE MODERATOR: Would you like to make an opening statement?

COACH KIM MULKEY: Tell them what you think, Rick.

THE MODERATOR: Let's go to questions.

COACH KIM MULKEY: This thing's high. Okay. Y'all want me to sink for you? (Singing).

Q. How important to have these first two games here in Waco?
COACH KIM MULKEY: It's always important to play on your home floor and we've been very fortunate through the years to do well during the season, and receive a high bid from the NCAA where we can host. The fans have always shown up and I anticipate another good weekend of women's basketball here in Waco in the Ferrell Center.

Q. Seeing what Julie has done with ACU, what have you seen from this program as she continues to try and build it?
COACH KIM MULKEY: First of all, I love that woman. She stands for all the things I stand for, and she works hard. She's a family woman. Her kids play hard for her. She's at a school that I hope appreciates what she represents and what those kids represent, and I'm just looking forward to hugging her neck.

Q. You've tried playing off-site. Do you like this? Do you feel like the game needs this right now?
COACH KIM MULKEY: I think -- well, I don't think. I know why they tried it on the neutral courts. You would like to be, like it is for the men. But it doesn't do the women's game any good to be televised and there's no one in the stands.

In order for there to be people in the stands, usually have to go to the top seeds and those fans will show up. I know that it was discussed that that's such a home-court advantage. I get it. But the game -- our game is different than the men's, and you can't compare neutral courts and expect fans to travel thousands of Miles or even go thousands of miles away, and just the general basketball, women's basketball fans show up. It's been proven there's too many empty gyms. Too many empty seats.

Q. What did ACU do well to get here and win their so you believe land tournament?
COACH KIM MULKEY: Well, they shot a lot of threes and made them. They will play kind of a four-out, one-in motion type of offense. They have played man. I'm sure with the size difference between us and them, we anticipate seeing some zone. They just played well and shot it well.

Q. When you go into game like this, you're in the NCAA Tournament, prohibitive favorite at home. What is your message to the players and how do you approach a game like this?
COACH KIM MULKEY: Well, it's the first of hopefully six. I break it down that way. This is the last part of our season, and I asked them, how many games do you have to win to win a National Championship. How many do you have to win to get to a final four.

None of that matters if you don't win the next one, and we talk about the next game. We approach every game, and the kids can tell you this: We don't miss a scouting report. We spend the same amount of time in the film room, and the only thing that's different right now, I wish that we didn't have such a long break. You know, I wish that -- you know, the men got it right. They get done. They start playing.

It's just a long break right here, and you get antsy and anxious and you have to fill motivational moments through the course of the long week before you actually play your first NCAA game.

Q. Two questions. First, when you talk about them shooting a lot of threes and making a lot of threes, does it kind of give you some confidence that you guys are pretty battle tested at defending that?
COACH KIM MULKEY: When the season's over, I'm going to go back and I'm going to just look and go, who shot the most against us, because the numbers are astronomical. Teams that don't even shoot that many threes shoot a lot of threes against us.

We prepare for that. I think our field goal percentage defense from the three is much better than it used to be because we see it so much now. So it won't be anything we haven't seen, Chad.

Q. And then the long break that you talked about, you that's been a routine for a little while now. Do you get used to it? Do you get kind of -- kind of a schedule in your mind of the way things need to happen during that break?
COACH KIM MULKEY: Well, you're used to it. You know you've got to give them some time off to get their legs back under them, but you can't go in there and do the scouting report on the first day or the second day. You work on yourself. You work on yourself those first few days, and then toward the end of the week, you start working on who you play next.

We don't even look past the first opponent. It's not like we give a scouting report today on Abilene Christian and then tomorrow we'll give one on North Carolina and then one on Cal. That's so much. That's so much. Focus on the next game. We will watch the earlier game and then we will get to work if we beat Abilene Christian. We'll get to work on our next opponent.

Now, the coaches are in the film room all the time. One is assigned this team, one is assigned this team and we flip flop and we talk. The coaches are ready but you don't throw all that at a team.

Now, during the course of the week, I may work on the things I've seen each of the teams do, but I won't let the team know what we're working on it for, just so that we are doing things without them really knowing it.

Q. With this season going on, you all have been favorites in pretty much every single game. How have you been able to keep your team in that moment day by day and game by game?
COACH KIM MULKEY: Well, I don't know that we've been favorites in every game. I would say people probably chose UCONN. Who else have we played? Stanford? So I wouldn't say that we've been the favorite. We do recognize that we're one of the top teams when a season starts. We do realize that you're going to get everyone's best shot. We realize that and we embrace it. That's why those players came to Baylor but it doesn't mean that we prepare any differently. You push, you work; you know when to take off. It's just what we do. It's all we know how to do, and it's new to the freshmen. All this is new for the freshmen, so they are extremely excited, when they walk in and see a new Coca-Cola machine in the locker room, "Man, look at that." When they come off the floor and see their practice facility is now a big press room, they get excited about that, and they should.

Q. You mentioned throughout this time off that you've had to use different motivational tactics for the team. What kind of motivational tactics have you used?
COACH KIM MULKEY: Well, I sink to them a lot. I make them understand. You know, we have a lot of kids that aren't from Texas. I wanted them to know where Abilene was, so I play the music (singing) and then Sheryl Crow has a song about Abilene, doesn't she?

Y'all don't know these things. I can tell by the look on your faces, and that disappoints me because I think y'all are well-rounded media people. Go listen to those songs, and then before we leave, tell me who sang the song.

It could be an article I read in a newspaper about a totally different sport and I bring it to the locker room. It could be showing old film from the 2005 championship team, and it could be the 2012 team. It could be anything that just hits my mind and a lot of times it hit my mind after I go to sleep and I Wake up in the middle of the night and I just reach over here on a pad of paper and say, hey, show this to the kids tomorrow. Nothing planned. It's just what comes from the heart and the gut.

Q. With as many young players as you have, do you have to find a way to keep them engaged or is this team kind of self-sufficient in that way?
COACH KIM MULKEY: Not engaged. They have a very fun, unique, lively personality as a group.

What you have to do is about the middle of February, you have to realize, they are tired and their high school seasons are just about to wrap up. They don't realize, we're just about to head into postseason play, so that is something that you have to get them over the hump.

But not anything other than that. I mean, they are an exciting group, and they -- you know, they just come bubbly every day, even on their lowest moments, they are bubbly.

Q. This is one and out time. Do you expect to see -- is this the time of year where you see opposing coaches maybe try to surprise you or do something different?
COACH KIM MULKEY: Well, I don't know, unless we're going to play three-on-three halfcourt, I don't know that we -- we have been -- there's nothing else we can see. I mean, there's not a new defense that can be invented. We have seen everything imaginable. What happens this time of year is maybe someone just an unbelievable game but it won't be because of something we have not prepared for or haven't seen. Cinderella, you see Cinderella teams and you see it more on the men's side, but we've seen it all.

Q. For this team to make a deep run, for this team to win a National Championship, everybody knows about Kalani and Lauren. Is there an X-factor that will get a team to win a National Championship?
COACH KIM MULKEY: I think you should know about Kalani and Cox, but it takes more than them to win a National Championship. I think we have to have -- I think you have to have defensive stoppers, which we do. I think you have to have role players, which we do. I think you have to have mid-range jump shooters, which we do. I think you have to have a three-point threat, which we do. I think everybody has a role to play surrounding those two great post players.

You've seen those post players sometimes not play well and the perimeter players pick up the slack. So you know, you've got to stay away from injury. You've got to have a little bit of luck when it's a tight game, and you've got to have a team that's just on a roll. Just a team that's on a roll offensively. That's what it takes to win a National Championship.

Q. Brown told me she tells Kalani, "Sometimes you have to lead your people to the Promised Land." Do you see that off the court as well as on the court?
COACH KIM MULKEY: Well, Kalani's personality is she's a sweet kid and she leads differently than a lot of people, but she doesn't have to lead this team by herself. And I think she knows that. There are a lot of leaders in that locker room, either vocally, by their play on the floor and I think that's kind of what makes this team a little special is they don't try to be something they are not. They let each player lead, and everybody follows.

And gosh, it's fun to watch. Sometimes you just have a locker room and you've got, what I call, Debbie Downers in there or selfish players. This team doesn't have it, and Kalani's ma'am, you know, she's old school like I am. She's going to be harder on Kalani than I will, and she was a fun player to coach.

Q. You've played on and coached teams that were supposed to do things great or finish possibly with championships. What separates those who have accomplished it from those who may not know how to handle it?
COACH KIM MULKEY: I have, Smoke, but I've also coached teams that didn't finish it. Can I tell you, there was something that team that finished it and the up with that is didn't finish it didn't do? No, really, it was the same team. It was the same players. So I'll go back to answer it this way: Give credit to the opponent. Go back to that Cinderella comment. Sometimes teams just play out of their mind, and that's why it's such a fun time of the year, March Madness.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

ASAP sports

tech 129
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