SEC MEDIA DAYS: DeMoss Ready for Improved '04

Birmingham, AL - Coach DeMoss knows she's in too deep now. <br><br> After a steady growth of improvement and a top 10 recruiting class, even she can't escape the expectations in 2004.

And nobody appears to be loving it more.

"It's been a trip," Coach Mickie DeMoss said at Media Days yesterday. "I'm definitely enjoying myself."

One year after heading to the podium with tremendous fanfare, but not as much attention, Mickie DeMoss is finally getting what she deserved. And despite very little improvement in the win-loss column, the high expectations caused by a tremendous freshmen class has made believers out of the doubters.

"We had a couple of close games last year and that helps us to know that we are right on the edge of something great," said senior guard Sara Potts. "We are in the best conference in the nation and we know that we have to turn up the intensity and take it to the next level to get those wins."

And as Potts noted, those wins are especially difficult against the brutal Southeastern Conference schedule.

"Every night when we go out we know we are going to be in a dogfight and if we are not tired by the end of the night we have not played hard enough," Potts continued. "We just have to go out and continue to get better every game."

That attitude was why Coach DeMoss was brought over in the first place, after winning several titles with Tennessee under Pat Summit.

"Coach (Mickie) DeMoss has come in and immediately helped us," the newly crowned 2nd-Team All-SEC guard stated. "She has showed us what she wants and we have done it. We had some breakdowns last year but I think that has a lot to do with the learning curve."

Much like the men though, the questions abounded about the incoming freshmen class, ranked in the Top 10 of everyone's rankings.

"The freshmen class has really helped us in the off-season," Potts said. "They have a lot of intensity about them and they were really hard workers over the summer."

Coach DeMoss agreed

"They have added depth and athleticism. The returning players help them make a good transition."

The key to the season will be how Sara Elliott, Sarah Elliott, Sam Mahoney, Eleia Roddy, Sade Buley, and Chante Bowman are added to the already deep and talented roster.

"I have more rebounding power than last year," Demoss noted on Roddy and Elliott. "And we are going to need them this year."

The added guard help of Bowman, Mahoney, and Buley should make games more exciting for Kentucky fans as well.

"The tempo is going to be faster," Mickie continued. "(The Freshmen) have bought in to the system really quick. Each game we would like to improve."

Improve and move forward.

"We just have to learn to go out and play and not think so much," Potts added. "If we do that I think everything will just come natural to this team."

And if it does, the Cats hope to be dancing come March.

"Every year at least six teams go to the [NCAA] tournament," DeMoss noted. "This league is tough year in and year out. "

"We would like to strive for the NCAA tournament."

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