Opening Comments: “It was a fun game if you like offense. It was hard-fought and its just what you’d expect from an SEC game. To show you how astute I am, I told Joe Fisher yesterday that I thought it would be a low-scoring game. I was proud of our players effort and I thought they played real hard. We executed against their zone and their press. We were a force inside and, obviously, our ability to get the ball inside and draw some fouls was good. Both teams played really well, particularly offensively. We’re happy to win.
There was a sense at halftime that they were playing the same way as last year, but last year they were up by 23 [points]. It was just a high-scoring game. A bunch of guys made shots and Andre Walker had a big game. He really impacted this game and he played well.
On Andre Walker: He’s to us what [Dan] Werner is to Florida. His offense is secondary and he’s really big on getting us the ball. He’s a glue guy. He’s an excellent defender and rebounder and a really good passer. He was really, really good today, as were A.J. [Ogilvy] and Jermaine [Beal]. For Jermaine to only have two turnovers and play as much as he did, that was really huge for us.
On the Game’s Opening Minutes: It was a good thing that we were making some shots and getting the ball where we needed it. We were hoping they would miss their first few shots, but of course it couldn’t be that way. Florida just played great. We played man and they scored against it. We played zone and they scored against it. I don’t think either team found a defense that was entirely successful. It was an interesting game and I did not expect it, but I’ll take it.
On Vanderbilt’s Inside Presence: We want to get A.J. [Ogilvy] the ball and, over the years, Florida has done a great job taking him out of the game. This time around, we did a little better job of getting A.J. the ball inside. He ran the floor and I wanted our big guys to get up and down the floor. We came out in the second half making sure we threw the ball inside. They were having foul trouble and that helped us out today.
On Vanderbilt’s Defense: Obviously, we have been playing well defensively, but [Florida] got their heads right to begin with. Once one or two guys started making shots, everyone else feels like they’re going to make them too. Dan [Werner] hadn’t made a three in six games and he made two today. They’re a good team. I like their team.
On A.J. Ogilvy’s Success Raising Vanderbilt’s Confidence Level: It raises the confidence level of everyone, but when your marquee guys start to play big, it gets everyone going. Our big guys were getting loose and I think both teams were playing with confidence offensively.
On second half: “We started off with Andre having a few good possessions. I had a couple easy scores to get going. We were just more loose and comfortable in the second half.”
On Florida’s foul trouble: “We just had more of an aggressive mindset in the second half. We all worked to get stops and pick up rebounds.”
On going to the NBA this summer: “I looked into it briefly, but I was here all summer working out and I was ready to come back. I needed to work on my body and work on my game and just get better.”
On hitting inside: “I went out there with a more aggressive mentality. My foot is feeling great and I think we’re a lot more successful and they were able to get me the ball and putting it inside worked for us. It’s important for us to hold home court in this league. We’ve talked about protecting our house and it was huge for us to hold Florida off.”
On rebounding and passing the ball off: “Coach just told me to be more aggressive. I love to pass the ball, so I worked to get everyone the ball. I feel like I played well, but I like seeing other people getting dunks and getting highlights and Beal getting 3-pointers. It was a good game.”
On redshirt year: “I just learned a lot of little things about the game, like positioning and rebounding. I just don’t want to take anything for granted.”
On second half defense: “In the second half, they were still making shots, but we were able to stop shots and get rebounds.”
On passing the ball off: “Our game plan is always inside out and we were able to look inside and get out to the perimeter.”
On Andre Walker: “I think Andre was the man today. Every time I got trapped, he was really there to bail me out.”
On Florida’s Kenny Boynton: “Boynton was tough to guard today. For his first SEC game as a freshman, he played really well. Florida is a great team and we didn’t expect any less from him or from his team.”
Difference in offense from first to second half: “In the first half, we were kind of running and gunning and in the second half, we were able to get everyone going inside. It feels good to win this year after what Florida did last year. As a team, everyone is more patient and we’re looking for each other. Whoever is open is getting the ball and getting going. John came in and made two 3-pointers in 30 seconds and after that, we were all able to get it going. I’m not surprised with John anymore, he’s proven himself to this team and to our fans.”
Florida Head Coach Billy Donovan
Opening Statement: “I think we shot the ball a lot better today than we have in previous games. I don’t think our shooting was a problem for us today, but the biggest difference in the game was their points off turnovers and the amount of points they scored around the basket and in the lane. Our front court was in foul trouble most of the game and we ended up having to play a small lineup. I was concerned about defending their three-point shooting with Tinsley, Jenkins, and Beal. I thought for the most part we did a good job of defending the three, but they had far too many easy baskets against us. One noticeable thing about Vanderbilt is their assist to turnover ratio. I think they did a terrific job of handling and passing the ball together. ”
On foul trouble: “We fouled too much. We got to the free-throw line twenty-one times and they got there thirty-three, and of course we had to foul at the end in order to extend the game. I really thought the fouling hurt us, not only because it allowed their players to get to the line, but it also put our players on the bench. It was a lot easier for Vanderbilt around the basket in the first and second halves. ”
On Vanderbilt’s three point performance: “They ended up taking twenty-one threes and I was worried about that especially in this building. I’ve been here long enough to know that you can come in here and they can make ten to eighteen threes on you and blow the game open. I’ve always felt like you have to do a good job of defending the three-point line against Vanderbilt. I thought we got off to a terrible start of defending the three-point line, but luckily we made some threes to keep them from opening up the game.”
On game-planning for Jenkins: “To be honest, Tinsley is more dangerous than Jenkins because he has not shot the ball well. Jenkins is one of those guys that you expect to make a couple of threes coming into the game but Tinsley is the guy that we had to worry about falling asleep on because he could have gotten hot at any time. Jenkins is a very good freshman but Tinsley’s three percentage was more dangerous in my opinion.”