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Crowd can be “big part of a big win” so Matthew Mitchell hoping for big crowd against No. 1 South Carolina

Matthew Mitchell pleaded Friday for UK fans to fill Memorial Coliseum Sunday to help the Cats against No. 1 South Carolina. (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

A week ago Kentucky had a boisterous crowd at Memorial Coliseum when it upset No. 5 Mississippi State. Now Kentucky coach Matthew Mitchell is hoping for the same thing again Sunday when the Wildcats host No. 1 South Carolina.

“I thought last Sunday verss Mississippi State, which was a big game for us and we needed a win, same thing this Sunday because we need every win we can get and this obviously would be helpful in so many ways in the conference race and national landscape,” Mitchell said Friday.

“I thought the energy in the Coliseum was very helpful and extremely powerful last Sunday. I am telling you, in a game like this we want to play as hard as you can and when you have a big crowd behind you that enables you to fuel your enthusiasm.

“They can be a big part of a big win and can help us in a very significant way and we would really like for a big crowd to come out Sunday afternoon. It will be a good game.”

What makes South Carolina so good?

“They are very deep, really deep. Aliyah Boston is playing at a really high level and she is hard to match up with but she is just one of many really big, physical, skilled, athletic post presences they have. When they go to their bench they come with just tremendous size and athleticism to replace Boston, who is one of the best post players in the league. I think their post players coming off the bench are some of the best too,” Mitchell said.

“Their guards have this great combination of athleticism and speed and skill. They shoot the ball well. You try to find the weaknesses in the team – they are shooting the 3 really well and can shoot mid-range jumpers or get to the rim – they are just a complete team. And Dawn (Staley)  has them playing extremely hard. If you are really talented and play really hard, it is a lethal combination.

“I think the situation differs from last year to this year. Boston has really taken them to a different level and then some of their young post players have really developed over the last year and their returners are playing great. Mikiah Herbert Harrigan is really dynamic and can block shots and effect the game. Ty Harris is one of the best point guards in the league and does a great job running them team and their freshman guards are really dynamic. So they are really talented and a tough team.”

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