When asked if she feared a sophomore slump, A'dia Mathies smiled a wide smile.
"A what?" she asked.
When the question was repeated, she smiled again.
It wasn't the psychology major playing a mind game; it just hadn't crossed her mind.
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The Kentucky sophomore and reigning Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Year doesn't believe in sophomore slumps.
Her coach doesn't believe in the sophomore slump, either, at least not in Mathies' case.
"Maya Moore didn't have a sophomore slump and Tamika Catchings didn't have a sophomore slump and Chamique Holdsclaw didn't have a sophomore slump," UK Coach Matthew Mitchell said. "A'dia is that level of player in my mind. She's one of the supremely talented basketball players in this country."
Mathies wasn't as heralded out of her Iroquois High School (rated the 65th best player in the nation) as the aforementioned players, but Mitchell believes she will be talked about with those stars one day.
She certainly showed signs of stardom last season.
In her first-ever NCAA Tournament game in her hometown, she scored a school-record 32 points, including 18 in the second half.
To get UK to the SEC title game, she scored 25 points against Mississippi State.
In six post-season games, she averaged 17.2 points.
But it's not really about points for Mathies, who averaged 13.6 of those. The 5-foot-9 guard also averaged 4.8 rebounds, 2.6 steals and 2.4 assists, playing a team-high 32 minutes a game last season.
"The things she does on the court, I wish I could do those things when I was a freshman," senior SEC Player of the Year Victoria Dunlap said of her teammate. "As a freshman, I didn't think like her at all. She's a great athlete, a great basketball player."
Mathies did a lot as a freshman. She was UK's first Freshman All-American since the great Valerie Still in 1980.
Mathies ranked among UK's all-time leaders in 10 different freshman statistical categories, including first in steals (93) and second in points (491).
"A'dia Mathies is unbelievable," Mitchell said when asked about her at the team's annual media day. "A'dia Mathies is out of this world."
But from Mathies' point of view, she can be a much better basketball player. She makes a lengthy list of what she hopes to improve.
"I can get a whole lot better," Mathies said. "You can always get quicker. You can always shoot better, shoot free throws better, play defense better, be more vocal."
It's the vocal part that's new for Mathies, the youngest of three kids in her family. She never really had to be a leader, even on her high school team, where she played with her older sister Asia.
Knowing these things about her made helping Mathies grow last season easier, Mitchell said.
"She's sort of a quiet, shy kid," he said. "We didn't just jump down her throat the first day. We tried to bring her along slowly."
When asked how Mathies made the step to SEC Freshman of the Year by the end of last year, Mitchell declined to take much credit.
"It's hard to say exactly what happened," he said. "More than anything, she just probably found some confidence in herself that she could be good."
Mathies expects that confidence to carry over this season.
"Just knowing what I was able to do last year gives me some confidence about what's possible for me this year," said Mathies, who started all 36 games and scored in double figures in 26 of them. "I'm just going to try to go out there and do what I did last year, but even better."
If her numbers are better, does that mean there might be a race for SEC Player of the Year on UK's team?
Dunlap thinks it's possible.
"She's that good," said Dunlap, adding that she'd like to see it happen.
"That would be fun," she said. "That would be a great little battle in practice."