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October 18, 2006

Kim Mulkey


PETER IRWIN: We are now ready for Baylor University. Coach would you like to make an opening comment or two?
COACH MULKEY: Not really
PETER IRWIN: You want to start with questions. That will work with me. We will get the mic people in place. We have a question on the front left.

Q. Everybody has been talking a lot about Bernice. Can you tell us a little bit about her game and what she will bring to you guys.
COACH MULKEY: Bernice Mosby obviously sat out last year, she transferred to us from Florida and Bernice was -- I don't know, you could go back and look at all the accolades she received when she came out of high school, going to Florida. She was, I think, SEC, all-freshmen team when she was there. She will only have one year in our program and it is at a much-needed time after we lost Sophia Young. Bernice plays very similar to Sophia in that she can play facing the basket and she can play with her back to the basket. Bernice will be a senior captain for us this year and sure am glad we have her.
PETER IRWIN: Got a question. We will take Tom first and then we will move across.

Q. Has the conference started with the season with as much of a stand as Oklahoma seems to be this year --
COACH MULKEY: I think we ought to just cancel it. Just cancel the whole season, huh? Is that your point?

Q. I am asking, are they casting a bigger shadow than what the favorites have in other years?
COACH MULKEY: Oklahoma is the team to beat. Oklahoma has every weapons they need to win a national championship and the rest of us are just trying to have a good night when we play them to stay in the ball game
PETER IRWIN: We will take Michelle, next.

Q. You talked about how Bernice came at a good time. Can you talk about the development of your young post players because -- right now seem like guards are maybe more the given in your program a little bit, how do you feel like a young post player are going to develop?
COACH MULKEY: They are going to develop, Michelle, because they have to play. We have Rachel Allison who got significant minutes as a freshman last year. We will just bring a lot of teaching to the two freshmen or the other three freshmen post players in Danielle Wilson and Kaitlin Oberg and Jessika Bradley. Those five, of course, Bernice, too, will be our post players and you are looking at three freshmen, a sophomore and a senior. Bernice and Rachel with the most experience will be the ones that those freshmen follow.
On the perimeter, you will have Angela Tisdale who really is our most experienced player based upon the time she spent in our program to give you some idea of just how young we are, not only do we have the six high school kids or the freshmen, you have three sophomores, you have got one junior and you have got two seniors. When I say seniors, don't think that those kids have been in our program for four years. Those seniors, one has been with me two-years and one has been with me, this is her third year. So they are really not your true seniors that you recruited out of high school.
So we really are a bunch of babies out there that are just going to have to grow and get better and mature and they will. They are very talented. Don't let me come up here and mislead you, they are very talented. At this level, you got to have some experience and that's what we don't have.
PETER IRWIN: We have a question on the right-hand side.

Q. Coach, you said Oklahoma has every weapons they need to win a national championship. Talk about some of the intangibles that you noticed the year you guys won the national championship. What had to happen?
COACH MULKEY: A lot of things. One, you have to stay away from injuries. You have to have unbelievable team chemistry, you have to have great role-players that accept their role and then along the way a little bit of luck. Beat somebody in a situation that maybe you are not supposed to beat or you are not playing well or you can overcome a difficult time in the game. So a lot of things do have to take place. If it was just based on talent alone, I think all of us would agree the most talented teams don't always win the national championships in every sport, but it is going to take more than just talent, you are absolutely right.
PETER IRWIN: We have a question on the left-hand side and then we will go to the back.

Q. The three players you lost were very important to your team the last few years. Will this team look different without those three and can you be more guard-oriented?
COACH MULKEY: I don't think we are going to be more guard-oriented. I really don't. I think if you watch us play, you are going to see probably a lot of our scoring come from the post again. It may be such that Bernice scores a lot facing the basket, depending on the development of the post freshmen player, if I can use her as a three player or not. You will see a very similar team. I don't think there is -- Sophia Young will just be head and shoulders above everybody else. But I think you will see a mixture of kids that on one night may score ten and the next night it may be somebody else scoring ten. You are not going to have the superstar player. You will have a very good player in Bernice Young -- I mean, in Bernice Mosby, but I will not make her become Sophia Young. Bernice has her own style of play and Bernice will bring a valuable scoring threat to our team this year - again, at a time where we really need it.
PETER IRWIN: We will take a question all the way on the rear flat form.

Q. Coach, you told us last week that Oklahoma is obviously the favorite, as you told us here, and that you like challenges. Do you think this year, not only with Oklahoma up top, but with Texas A&M, Gary Blair resurgence, and you right there in the mix, that this is a team that's prime for a good challenge and your youth and making their own legacy?
COACH MULKEY: Challenge is what we do every day. The challenge for this basketball team will be how quickly can we get better. Sometimes, you want it to be just a little bit faster than they are capable. Sometimes it is faster than you thought. The challenge for us in the schedule we have in nonconferences, we have to try to do it as quickly as we can. We can't wait until conference to get better. Every day we have got to get better. The thing I have noticed about this particular basketball team is their knowledge of the game is very good. I am not having to repeat myself as much as I thought I would. Correct mistakes, move on and next time you have an opportunity to do it, they are showing me that they listened to me the first time that I told them and that's a sign of being able to move at a fast pace.
PETER IRWIN: We have a question on the front left.

Q. Two questions. First, usually -- it is usually two years, three years after a national championship you can start to see the impact of recruiting because of the exposure. I wonder if you could talk about how that's affected Baylor, just the places you can go now or that sort of impact.
Second, obviously, you have known Gary Blair for over two decades. Can you talk about what he has done at Texas A&M and how that team sort of reflects the way he coaches.
COACH MULKEY: We saw the impact of our national championship in recruiting in that immediate next year's recruiting class. Our freshmen this year, if you believe in poles and if you take and if you take all that to heart, was ranked as number one in the country. We saw it immediately, Michelle, and we are continuing to see it
Gary Blair was an assistant coach at Louisiana Tech when I was a player. He is a workaholic. Sometimes, I like to pick on Coach Blair. It reminds me of Dale Brown that used to coach at LSU, give them a microphone and they don't know when to hush.
Sometimes Coach Blair gets so into what he does, it is like, okay, you have said enough Coach, you are going to out-recruit her. You got her coming to A & M so hush or she will go somewhere else. He is a workaholic. I knew when they hired him that that program would make significant strides and be turned around and it has.
PETER IRWIN: We have a question on the rear right-hand side.

Q. Kim, for the first time you have been here you have had a couple changes on the coaching staff. Everyone is talking about the newcomers on the team. You have a lot of new faces to help you coach.
COACH MULKEY: That's rare in this profession. Coaches come and go. I had three coaches when I took over at Baylor that stayed with me six years. I now have Karen Aston who I hired to replace Ken Brock. Karen came to us from the University of Texas. She is an unbelievable basketball coach. The best part of her coaching is her ability to recruit. She works nonstop at recruiting. She will be in charge of post players. A lot of what I teach to our freshmen post players I am also teaching to Karen.
Or our new coach Damion McKinney is another young man that has ties to the AAU scene in the Dallas area. He is a Waco native so he is coming back home. And those two guys are learning just as the freshmen are. And I hope, as you do with everything you teach as a head coach, to be able to in a year or two to have taught them the way you want them to teach the post players, and I won't have to do as much work, but when you have a change in staff, it kind of makes you as the head coach go back and start doing the teaching yourself until they have learned and become comfortable with your system.
PETER IRWIN: Got a question on the rear.

Q. OU went 19-0 in the league last year. What are your thoughts on them getting now the Big 12 tournament in their own backyard?
COACH MULKEY: What do I think about them getting it?

Q. What are your thoughts on -- obviously it just adds to -- obviously they are a very good team and they get the Big 12 tournament in their own backyard. What are your thoughts on that whole thing?
COACH MULKEY: I think what great advantage. It would be like hosting it in Waco. If the people in Oklahoma have not seen those guys play, they need to make the effort to go see them play. They are very good. Oklahoma City is going to enjoy this tournament, they are going to obviously enjoy having a University from their home state be here to draw fans. I would just encourage them to see them play and looking forward to coming here, I have never been to Oklahoma City other than recruiting. But to play or even be a part or see the arena, so we are excited about coming.
PETER IRWIN: Another question for the Coach? Coach, they were easy on you. We have a question in the back.

Q. Kim, obviously you have been there where you have built a program up, what are your thoughts on OSU and the job that Kurt Budkey has in front of him for that program?
COACH MULKEY: Yes. When I took over at Baylor, the prior team had won seven games and I think that, as I said after we won the national championship, what we did at Baylor in five years gives hope to every program across the country that it can be done. If you have the right administration, if you have the right resources, it can be done, I think that without me even having to say a whole lot, just the fact that we won it in five years and to take that program from where it was to where it is today, just speaks to coaches across the country. And that's probably the message I would give to Kurt. Look at what we have done. It can be done anywhere
PETER IRWIN: On the front, Tom.

Q. Kim, you mentioned Bernice. What does she do well? How is she going to contribute? .
COACH MULKEY: Bernice is a 6' 1", I don't know if you want to call her a post player. She is a 6' 1" athlete that can face the basketball, take you off the dribble. She can play with her back to the basket. She is physical for her size. She is experienced having played in the S.E.C. for three years. She has got a little bit -- I don't mean this in any kind of negative way, but she has got a little nastiness to her game that maybe Sophia Young didn't have. Sophia was a very pleasant type of competitor. Bernice takes it personal. And I think we need that. We need her to teach our younger post players how hard you have to play on every play, how hard you have to practice and how intense you have to be, Bernice does that for us, Bernice learned that a little bit from Sophia on the intensity level, but her personality is a lot more -- just takes the competitiveness a little more personal.
PETER IRWIN: This will be the final question from the floor.

Q. Kim, a followup about Karen. It is rare for any assistant coach to generate headlines about when they change jobs, but Karen leaving Texas and going to another Big 12 school was a gigantic coup for you obviously. Have you noticed that on the recruiting trail already, you have one of the best recruiters in the league now on your staff?
COACH MULKEY: Yes, I have noticed it. That's not to take anything away from Coach Brock, Jennifer and Johnny who were on my staff. We worked extremely hard and let me back up, Brian, before I talk about Karen.
Sometimes you can be a great recruiter and don't have to do anything, the school recruits itself. And I think Karen would be the first to tell you at the University of Texas that school recruits itself in all sports. And she gives credit just like that, but what Karen does that makes her so special is that this is her life. She has a dog she goes home to, but this is her life. She loves communicating with young people. She is constantly on all this stuff -- all this mechanical stuff that -- the guy asked me if I had an iPod. I said I don't even own an iPod. I said that's what Karen does. She enjoys that. She has a relationship with these players. She has been around some of the legends of the game. She got her start in coaching at Baylor University so she was connected to Baylor. Sonja Hogue hired her out of high school. She went to north Texas and has been with Coach Conrad at the University of Texas. She has been around legends of the game to learn. I just -- she reenergized my battery and I know that the national championship has now opened doors for us and to have Karen come and get in those doors and be able to get recruits for us is just going to pay dividends for our program.
PETER IRWIN: Okay. Coach, thank you very much.

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