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March 12, 2010

Brittney Griner

Morghan Medlock

Kim Mulkey


Oklahoma – 59
Baylor - 54

THE MODERATOR: We're now joined by the Lady Bears from Baylor, Coach Mulkey, her two student athletes, Morghan Medlock and Brittney Griner. We will take questions for our student athletes.

Q. Brittney, it had to be nice to get back on the floor. How much did you just miss being out there with your teammates?
BRITTNEY GRINER: You know, I missed being out there with my team. It felt good to be back and playing with everybody.

Q. Brittney, how long did it take you to feel back in a groove?
BRITTNEY GRINER: I would say my first block I felt like I was back in the groove.

Q. Brittney, similar question. Did you approach the game tonight same as every other game mentally, or did you try to adjust anything or just try to keep things as normal as possible?
BRITTNEY GRINER: I didn't try to change too much of my game. I just tried to come out as normal as, you know...

Q. Brittney, it looked like during introductions because I was sitting cross from you that you took a deep breath and just ran out for your introduction, were you getting out and seeing what the reaction was going to be? Were you nervous at all, or how did you feel at that point?
BRITTNEY GRINER: I don't remember taking a deep breath before I ran out. I don't remember that.

Q. Brittney, it seemed like you were more aggressive starting the second half than you were in the first half. Were you kinda holding back at all in the first half a little bit?
BRITTNEY GRINER: I wouldn't say I was holding back, but I knew I had to step it up second quarter, I had to go in and try to get a run, you know? So I was trying to help my team out.

Q. Morghan, with Melissa being out and Brittney missing the last two games, it seemed like what we saw in the best moments for you guys tonight were the way you guys will be in the NCAA, is that what you think, with Brittney back and when Melissa comes back that's how you're going to look?
MORGHAN MEDLOCK: Definitely, it will give the world a gauge what this basketball team will look like when we head back into the NCAA, but I was excited to have those two back in the lineup.

Q. Morghan, typical Baylor/OU game, I think neither team led by more than 5 points. In your estimation what was the difference down the stretch?
MORGHAN MEDLOCK: I think when you have a team with three upper classmen that have been to the Final Four they know what it takes to win at the end of the ball game. Nyeshia Stevenson executed. Danielle Robinson got her the ball, and I think overall their team -- they're older and more experienced and they executed down the end.

Q. Morghan, 18 points tonight, what's made you effective in the last couple of games?
MORGHAN MEDLOCK: I think just playing my game, going out there and playing hard and just finishing shots and taking my time and not rushing anything.

Q. Brittney perhaps you didn't hear, but there were a small smattering of boo's when you were introduced, did you hear that? What do you think of it?
BRITTNEY GRINER: I just drown it out, all I heard was cheers.
COACH MULKEY: Make sure you ask me that question.

Q. Brittney, what did you learn from the suspension and the whole incident?
COACH MULKEY: She learned she misses her team. She misses playing the game.

Q. Brittney, you had a lot of blocked shots tonight. You were cutting those drives to the basket down. Is it frustrating for you when they start pulling it out and shootin' the 3 which you can't get to as much?
BRITTNEY GRINER: Yeah, you know, it's a little frustrating when they pull it out to the 3. Guess I'm going to have to start going out to the 3-point line to start blocking shots.

Q. Morghan, you played well last year in the Big 12 Tournament, too. Is there something about this tournament that gets you motivated a little bit?
MORGHAN MEDLOCK: I would just have to say it's crunch time right now and players make plays at the end and I'm just glad I'm playing well now than not.
THE MODERATOR: Ladies, we're going to let y'all go back to the locker room. Thank you very much, and we'll now take questions for Coach.

Q. Coach, did you hear the smattering of boos? What did you think?
COACH MULKEY: I did. I was disappointed. It's a teenager that made a mistake, and she's good for the women's game, and she's human.

Q. Kim, can you talk about the decision to play Melissa? Was that want to go get her action before NCAA's?
COACH MULKEY: My intention yesterday was not to play her unless we made it to the Finals, and M.J. and the trainers spoke with me a little before midnight last night and just wanted to play sparingly couple minutes of time just to get back in the flow.
I don't like coaching like that but you have to do it if you're going to play her extended minutes next week. I thought she did some good things out there but it's difficult coaching like that and I'm sure it is playing for her as well.

Q. Kim can you assess Brittney's play on the floor? Did you see her sort of have to warm her way up into the game?
COACH MULKEY: I thought she was tentative. I thought she wasn't probably as much of a presence in the paint as she had been. I thought she was tentative.

Q. Kim, seemed like that was particularly on the rebounds, too, and maybe they were just doing that good of a job blocking her out but she finished with six rebounds.
COACH MULKEY: It's her first time back in two games and it's not exactly a team that isn't very good, they're very good, big bodies in there, they have Final Four experience and she's got to work her way back into the flow just as M.J. does.

Q. Coach, Baylor finished 2 of 9, Oklahoma 6 of 12, what was the difference down the stretch?
COACH MULKEY: I think Morghan said it best. You're looking at a basketball team in the green out there, is that what color we had on tonight, black, green, I don't know what we wore, they're babies, and they're just really playing hard and they're playing off of energy and enthusiasm and they're winning ball games because they're talented, they're losing ball games -- when I say "they" I mean "we".
They're losing down the stretch against an Oklahoma team who has a senior in Nyeshia Stevenson who had 4 points in the game, and I have a freshman guarding her and you know she is going to explode at some point, you have Amanda Thompson and Danielle Robinson, and I want our kids to hurt. I want it to bother them in the locker room that they had an opportunity to win the game and you didn't execute, and they did and then you go back and show them what they did at the end of the game to win it, and when you become that junior and that senior you're going to be the team that's talented and be able to win that ball game at the end.

Q. Kim even with the loss tonight you guys are 14-3 when Brittney and Melissa both play, losses to Tennessee, Texas and OU. Is that what you tell your team? Obviously, you have to like your chances going into the NCAA.
COACH MULKEY: I do like our chances of going to the NCAA Tournament. Everybody in the Big 12 should like their chances going into the NCAA Tournament. We are a very good basketball team when we are all playing and you don't have suspensions and injuries and you're right when Melissa Jones went out we were 14-1.
It's going to be fun to coach this group through the NCAA's and it's going to be a lot more fun if I can live long enough to watch 'em the next couple of years because they are so talented and their understanding of what you have to do to win at this level. It will happen for 'em.

Q. Kim, these last 8, 10 days, can you see the value and the experience in this for you as a coach, for Brittney, can you pull whatever y'all have confined for value out of this experience?
COACH MULKEY: Are you talking about the punch?

Q. And everything that happened.
COACH MULKEY: Let me make it clear again there is no value in that in women's basketball. It was horrible. It was horrendous. It was not anything that any of us are proud of. It's not anything Brittney is proud of.

Q. (No microphone.)
COACH MULKEY: I think in life all of you need to look in the mirror. We all need to look in the mirror and ask ourselves have we made some really bad decisions? I bet we all have. I view things, Michelle, a little like you wrote in your article. I'm a mother, and when I go into that home and recruit that kid and I look at her parents in the eyes and they say "I want that kid to play for you because you run a disciplined program" that came out of Brittney Griner's father's mouth, and he expects, when she fails, for me to discipline her and not throw her on the street.
I would think if I coached your daughter you would want that, too. And Brittney Griner will learn from this, and if she doesn't, Brittney Griner will eliminate herself about we all fail in life, and she is the sweetest child in a 6' 8" body that has been -- I've been doing this since 14 years of age and I've played at all levels of basketball and I've played with some of the greatest players, and I've never been around a more gentle giant than Brittney Griner.
All I ask is that you judge Brittney Griner before the incident and you judge her after the incident. What made her so bad is it was done in a public forum and you remembered this. There is not a coach in America that has not had to discipline a kid for taking a swing at a teammate in private that none of you ever knew about, not on the men's side, not on the women's side.
It's not something any of us are proud, but you remember those of you who don't have children, don't judge kids. Don't judge 'em. Let them clean up their mess with help from adults, and if they don't clean it up, then they eliminate themselves. It was, again, a horrible, horrible thing, and she hurts because of it.

Q. Kim, you had Whitney come in there with 17 seconds left. Was there something specifically --
COACH MULKEY: Trying to get a 3-pointer to tie the ball game and we didn't get it executed, Jerry. Again, you had two juniors, a freshman, a senior and a junior that gets limited time on the floor, trying to get a 3-pointer to tie the ball game.

Q. (No microphone.)
COACH MULKEY: Sure, sure, M.J. wasn't -- she gave you some good stuff but she just needs to get in the game flow. She's been out how many months now, she's been out a while, so we've got to try to get her in the flow and injuries are part of the game. These stress reactions and fractures are just -- you don't know what the right answer is, play her or don't play her.
THE MODERATOR: Coach, thank you very much. Congratulations on a great season. Good luck in the tournament.

End of FastScripts

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