By LARRY VAUGHT
Kentucky women’s basketball coach Matthew Mitchell says it took a “Herculean effort” by everyone at UK to transform to a virtual campus because of COVID-19.
“I have been so impressed with everyone for keeping our academics going,” Mitchell said.
Mitchell said his team had 14 players with 14 different areas of studies. Some needed courses to graduate, some need to make progress in their major.
“We have worked really hard to keep everyone going and the players and academic folks have done a phenomenal job,” the UK coach said.
For Mitchell and his staff, March is normally a busy recruiting time — but not this year. Or at least not for in-person recruiting.
“In March you are trying to normally juggle NCAA Tournament play and making visits,” Mitchell said. “Instead, we went to in-person virtual visits. We have really worked hard on the recruiting front in every way that we can.
“Then on top of that we are trying to get ready for next season without knowing what the future holds. All we can do is just stay engaged with our players and try to hold on to as much normalcy as we can. When we emerge from all this it is certainly going to be a different world. We just have to adjust and see what we can learn from all this.”
Mitchell said while many might assume him and his staff have had idle time, he said it has been just the opposite and they may actually have been busier than normal.
“If this had happened in May or August, maybe it would not have been quite as intense for us,” Mitchell said. “We are working as hard or harder right now trying to pull all these things together. There just has not been a lot of time for us to sit idle.”
Mitchell said this month after graduation may give his staff time to relax because that’s when players normally go home to “decompress” after finishing finals.
“It has just been a very trying time for everyone but you just do what you have to do. Nobody knows what is going to happen, so you just do the best you can,” Mitchell said.