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Kentucky’s Barnhart says Mitchell can fix women’s basketball mess

Matthew Mitchell: We have to do better

Kentucky women's basketball coach Matthew Mitchell talks about the recent player defections and staff changes that have plagued his program.
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Kentucky women's basketball coach Matthew Mitchell talks about the recent player defections and staff changes that have plagued his program.

While there are still some things that Kentucky’s athletics director would like to see fixed within the women’s basketball program, Mitch Barnhart said he’s confident in Matthew Mitchell and the direction the program is going.

Barnhart’s comments to the Herald-Leader on Thursday afternoon come during a turbulent time for the program, which has included the exits of all three assistant coaches under Mitchell in the last two weeks as well as the transfers of five players this season with the dismissal of another.

“To say it’s not going in the right direction wouldn’t be accurate or fair,” Barnhart said. “The question is: On the journey can we find our way back on the path we want to get on in terms of a little more clear direction? We’re not that far off.”

There will be no internal investigation of the departures like the one being done at Duke University, Barnhart said.

The athletic director said stability is key, but he thinks that Mitchell, whom he called “an ambassador for the university” will get the program back on the right track.

“Matthew does a really good job of self-correction, whether that’s in-season adjustments, in-game adjustments, in-life adjustments,” Barnhart said.

There will be a full update to this story on Kentucky.com later today. Check back for details.

Kentucky women's basketball coach Matthew Mitchell talks about the recent player defections and staff changes that have plagued his program.

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