Jan. 9, 2008
Vanderbilt Head Coach Kevin Stallings:
"That was the best I've seen South Carolina play. I've seen a lot of their games on tape and that's the best they've played. I thought defensively we did a really good job. You look up and you see that some of their guys had 22 and 21 points, but they took 23 and 20 shots to get there. I thought we did a great job of keeping them off the foul line and then getting there ourselves in the second half. I'm proud of our team. We survived."
On getting the ball inside:
"That was the talk of the last two days. That was the talk of practice. That was the talk of halftime. I wrote up on the board at halftime to take care of the ball and get it inside."
On Vanderbilt's play at the end of games:
"Our team has a lot of confidence and a lot of poise. Our team believes in itself. Our coaching staff believes in them greatly. They're confident in close games. That's a great quality to have and not every team has that."
On South Carolina's play:
"They played their zone better tonight. I talked to Dave (Odom) after the game and he said it's the best they've played. It's a compliment because that means we're taking everyone's best shot. It means we have our program up where we need it to be."
Forward Shan Foster:
"South Carolina did a great job of covering me and their defensive scheme was great and they executed well, but we have great teammates on this team who step up in times of struggle. Tonight we didn't knock down our shots like we did in the past but stepped up on defense. Andrew (Ogilvy) played great and we were able to get the win."
On senior leadership:
"We have a lot of young guys on this team that really don't know what to expect in SEC play and you know it was up to us seniors to really step up and show the way."
On finishing games:
"It's basically just confidence. We are very confident in those situations. Coach does a great job putting together a defensive and offensive scheme to put us in position to win games, and we go out and execute."
On playing at Kentucky:
"We feel confident. We know they are going to be well prepared and they are going to be fired up. Their 20,000 fans our going to be fired up and ready to help get those guys going. It's going to be a great game."
Guard Alex Gordon:
On finishing games:
"Our first two years me and Shan saw us lose a lot of close games down the stretch. And our coach, our leaders, our seniors and juniors we wanted to be able to win those games down the stretch so we had to be mentally tough."
On hitting a big three with less then two minutes to go:
"I thought the play before that Shan missed a shot, and I said to myself I need to step up. I said if I get that ball I am going to shot it. I mean, Shan Foster, the best shooter in the SEC, maybe the best shooter in the country, missed that shot and I wanted to step up and help out or team."
Guard Jermaine Beal:
On the struggles getting the ball inside:
"The whole game they were pressing us up on top. So for a while we were having a hard time getting the ball inside but at the end we figured it out."
South Carolina Head Coach Dave Odom:
"I thought both teams played extremely hard and I thought they both played very well. It looked like the opening conference game of the season in which there was a lot at stake. I think both teams went after it as though it was the last game and it meant the conference championship. I was certainly pleased with the preparation that our players put in and I'm certainly pleased with the way they executed for the most part."
On the discrepancy in free throws:
"Statistically, they got us pretty good on the boards and certainly at the free-throw line. (Vanderbilt) shot a number of free throws in the second half and we had four for the night, so it was a huge difference. A lot of that is that they do go inside and you are going to foul them more, but we've got to figure out a way to get inside and get some fouls ourselves because we do shoot free throws pretty well, as do they."
On Dwayne Day's defense on Shan Foster:
"Really the guy that I thought really gave us a sensational game on both ends of the court was Dwayne Day. Dwayne, for the most part, was responsible for guarding Shan Foster, who I think is the best shooter in college basketball and certainly the hardest to guard. They know how to get him open. Their schemes are good. I thought Dwayne really, really worked hard. I do in no way think that we stopped (Foster). He may just not have had a great shooting night or whatever, but we did do a good job on him. Our idea was to try to keep the ball out of his hand, and when he did catch the basketball, making sure that we had somebody on him."
On Vanderbilt's team:
"I think Kevin Stallings has the makings of his best team. That is yet to be scene and I know he'll tell you that. It's not necessarily because they are 16-0. His team plays very good basketball. They play team basketball. They are very fun to watch on tape when you don't have to play them. He and his staff have done a marvelous job with this team."