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March 23, 2019
Baylor 95, Abilene Christian 38
Q. Just talk about the start this team got off. I know you got a good start but the team as a whole and what that did to get you guys rolling.
KALANI BROWN: I thought we came out with a lot of energy and that's what I said to the team in the huddle before we came to the sideline. We got out and started running in transition and getting the ball into the post early, sharing the ball pretty much. It was a good team win.
Q. Kalani, is there anyone in the country that can guard you?
KALANI BROWN: I'm not going to --
COACH KIM MULKEY: One-on-one or double or-triple team?
KALANI BROWN: I'd like to see a one-on-one. I haven't in a while. I don't know. Maybe you have to stay tuned.
Q. Any of y'all want to chime in. A couple No. 1 seeds on the men's side that had close games until halftime. Did you see that at all, want to make sure that wasn't you guys?
KALANI BROWN: We definitely watched the games yesterday, but I don't know, I think we just hopped on them early and got them back on their heals in the first half.
DIDI RICHARDS: Definitely might be only one No. 1 team that had a close game, so that's in the back of your head when you're playing sometimes. (Giggles). We got it.
Q. Juicy, at what point, and maybe it's from the very start, does Kim say, "Don't even look at the scoreboard. Just play."
JUICY LANDRUM: I guess you could say -- 30, very always says just look at the score like it's 0-0 and just play like it's the start of the game.
Q. There were several times where you and Lauren sat on the bench and you were watching and you were watching the young players. What did you think as you watched those guys play? You get to see from a players' perspective. What did you think when you were watching?
KALANI BROWN: I was proud, for one. NaLyssa got her first double-double in the NCAA Tournament, and I was excited for her. Watching them work and not miss a beat, I mean, it don't get no better than that.
Q. Didi, Kalani just touched on it right there, but for this team to be able to rest up a little bit, knowing how many games you have coming up in these next couple weeks, how important was that?
DIDI RICHARDS: Very important, I would say, because our legs could start giving out eventually, I say, so being able to sub and keep running up the score is a good asset that we have for this team this year.
Q. Any of the players who want to answer. With as much emphasis as you guys place on defense, how rewarding was it for you to get that 20-0 start?
DIDI RICHARDS: It was really rewarding. The only part that kind of hurt was when they scored. Might have been rewarding for the first couple minutes we had it, but when they started scoring and got on a little run or whatever, it kind of hurt, but we thought we were doing pretty good.
JUICY LANDRUM: Hurrrt.
KALANI BROWN: I just thought we were having fun today doing what we do best, getting out in transition. I don't know, we were hitting on all cylinders. Keep playing like that, hey, you never know. (More giggling.)
JUICY LANDRUM: Like Didi said, always a dagger in the heart when you see the score, but just having fun out there.
Q. For all of y'all, speaking of having fun, I think the crowd got a big kick out of Lauren's swat at the inbound pass. Y'all's reaction? I think it went into the Cal team as they were watching the game.
DIDI RICHARDS: Hopefully it intimidated them a little bit (more giggling.) Kidding.
JUICY LANDRUM: Thought the ball -- I had to look up to see. It almost went into in the stands.
KALANI BROWN: I'm used to it. I just know it was high and it went somewhere, you know. She always like to cover the distance when she do that so (more giggling.)
Q. Exactly what you're looking for in a game like this, the start.
COACH KIM MULKEY: I thought the atmosphere was outstanding. I thought the crowd was great. They need to come back Monday night, 8:00 PM start from what I've been told. So that's going to hit into the Geritol time for a lot of our fans, so they need to take it, get their naps in, so that they can be back here because, guys, that was special tonight.
Yes, to answer your question. You're excited to play. We haven't played in about 12 days I think. You get nervous when you're off that long a period of time, or you're going to come out rusty. I didn't think we came out rusty.
I thought when we hit a lot of threes, nine threes, 61 rebounds, they tell me may be a record. I thought our posts ran the floor well early. I thought that being able to play a lot of players double-figure minutes will help us, hopefully, Monday night. It's a good game. It was just a good game on our part.
Q. You've said before just how much fun this team has together, and I think we got to see an example of that.
COACH KIM MULKEY: The silliness you just saw up here, they wouldn't be like that if we hadn't won, but yes, they enjoy themselves. They play extremely hard. They don't play silly. They don't play goofy. They play tough. But when the game is over, you know, they are kids at the end of the day. They think they are grown, but until they pay all their own bills, they are not grown yet.
Mr. Day, do you need that microphone? Give Mr. Day the microphone, Mr. Texas Football for everybody that doesn't know. How old are you now, Mr. Day?
COACH KIM MULKEY: Bless your heart.
Q. Did you see Cal beat North Carolina?
COACH KIM MULKEY: I did watch that.
Q. Were you impressed?
COACH KIM MULKEY: Yes. You know, Coach Hatchell for North Carolina, she's been around. She's a Naismith Hall of Famer. Won thousands of games. Been around the game a long time. In fact, you know, we played them on the way to winning our first National Championship, and then when I was an assistant coach at Louisiana Tech we lost with seven-tenths of a second on the clock and we were up two, and Charlotte Smith hit a three, so it was good to see her.
And then as you watch Cal, I think Cal's coach, Coach Lindsay, she needs to just get a timeshare here in Waco because it seems like she gets sent here every year for the NCAA playoffs. It was good to see her. Last time I saw her, I brought her baby a gift.
Very good team. Size inside. Experienced players on the perimeter. Grad transfer that we are familiar with in Recee' Caldwell from Texas Tech that started her career at UCLA. They are very good.
Q. More on the characters of your team, more specifically, Richards. What is it like coaching her? What do you think her personality is like?
COACH KIM MULKEY: Well, Didi, she was kind of silly today but Didi gets it. She knows when to be serious and when to, you know, lighten up the mood in the locker room. The kids, she's just an unbelievable defensive stopper. She has length in on the perimeter. She's always active. She was great on the boards today. People think a liability is on the offensive end with Didi, but she can't come off the floor. She's not a liability. She figures out ways to stay on the floor and to beat you.
To answer your question specifically, I guess one of the things I'll write about Didi in my next book, is I'll go in the locker room as intense as I can be before practice or after practice and man, I'm just really challenging them and getting on them. In the middle of it, Didi will go, "You tell 'em, Mulkey." You know, she's got that little voice. She just cracks everybody up.
Q. What can you say about the job that Coach Goodenough has done with that ACU team in a short amount of time that they have been D1?
COACH KIM MULKEY: I would say to your administration, love her and take care of her. She is everything that's good about women's basketball. I loved her when she was at Oklahoma State. She's a family person. Those kids play hard for her. Those kids had a good year, and she's found in my opinion the place that she should stay until she retires and I just hope and pray that Abilene Christian recognizes that.
Q. In a game like this, how do you as a coach decide when it's time to sit the starters versus letting them get some rhythm?
COACH KIM MULKEY: Just a gut feeling. You know, I don't have a blueprint or a book over there I'm reading. Just knowing your kids what you might face down the road, who your top eight players are, who needs to play together, who needs to rest, who needs to gain some NCAA playoff experience, and today this game allowed us to play a ton of players and to play them early. And teach them in moments, really. You talk about being up 20-0. Well, I'm in that time-out looking at them saying, which one of your teammates is going to give up the first bucket. Challenge them so that they don't let each other down. Things like that.
Q. You know, you mentioned the rebounding margin. Their shooting percentage was probably due to size difference. When you were watching film of them, how much could you tell just from watching that film that your size was going to give them a lot of struggles?
COACH KIM MULKEY: I don't know that I look at that. I kind of subconsciously know that, no matter who we play. If they are going to bring it in there, you are going to bring it in there with twin towers. But that's not something that I look at first.
First thing I look at is match-ups, who are we going to put on which players. That's the first thing we look at because that's important.
The second thing you look at is what are you going to do -- what they do on ball screens, what are you going to do when they spread the floor and take your bigs out. Everything you look at first is on the defensive end of the floor.
And then you think about, what will you see offensively, and they did exactly what we prepared for, the 2-3 zone. We had seen on film that they do play man, but because of the size difference and because of maybe the talent level, you figured, you know what can you do to at least compete with bigs like that. And I thought that our kids prepared well. The past 12 days, we were off several days, but we expected everything that we saw today.
Q. Obviously the game dictated how much she played, but can Aquira be or develop into a serious three-point threat that can really help you in games?
COACH KIM MULKEY: Yes. Aquira came here and she was injured and she had the little surgery that set her back a good three months, and it's taken her this long to really settle in. Look at her size, same size and length as Didi. Better perimeter three-point shooter. Can she go on that floor here during the playoffs and not hurt you on the defensive end; I don't worry about the offensive end, because she'll go to the floor, leaps out of the gym, can shoot it. Can she move her feet; can she keep out of the paint, those types of things.
And she's certainly gotten better, and I thought she had a very good day keeping her feet moving and keeping people in front of her.
Q. I asked Coach Goodenough about the exchange before the game. What did you take from way from that the exchange before the game? Is that more than you normally talk to another coach?
COACH KIM MULKEY: Some of them don't like me, so I don't talk to them very much. I don't like them, either.
I just have always liked Julie. She just -- there's just some people you connect with, and I haven't seen her in a while. I connected with her when she was at Oklahoma State, and you know, there's just certain coaches you pull for, you really do.
And I've just always pulled for her. We played them several years ago and she just does a good job. I don't remember what I said to her, good to see you, how's the family, how are your kids. I hope they are taking good care of you in Abilene. I didn't sing that to her -- she probably doesn't know it, either.
Did y'all go look that up? Those people back there, do they think what is this crazy woman talking about? Go listen to the words to that song. I wasn't born in 19 -- well, I was born in 1962.
They want me to announce to y'all, today's attendance of 6,669 was the fourth largest of all 16 first-round sites. 6,669 was the fourth largest of all the 16 first-round sites.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports