Vanderbilt-Miss. State postgame quotes

Jan. 21, 2012

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Vanderbilt Head Coach Kevin Stallings

Opening Comments:

"Congratulations to  Mississippi State. They played well in the second half and overtime. Our defensive effort in the second half, especially at the start of the second half, was brutal, so we got what we deserved. We fell in love with the three-point shot. I'm not sure if we thought it was going to be easy or something... We shouldn't have to learn that lesson."

On Mississippi State's Renardo Sidney's Second Half Play:

"He got them off to a great start and made a couple of plays. The kid that hit five threes [Jalen Steele] was a different problem."

On the Free Throw Differential:

"We got beat at the foul line. We took jump shots and they got to the line."

On Vanderbilt's Defense:

"Our defense has been good and was tonight in the first half. We did a good job in the last three or four minutes [of the second half] and got the thing to OT. We're a good team when we defend well and we'll beat a lot of people when we defend well."

Vanderbilt Player Quotes 

John Jenkins

On the final play of the game:

"We do situations a lot and we've done that play before. I thought it was going in when I shot it. I didn't know how much time I had when I got the ball, so I kind of just guessed. I probably could have landed and shot it, but in the heat of the moment I just shot the ball."

On going into the Tennessee game coming off the loss to Mississippi State:

"Each time we play Tennessee it's a tough game, so we just have to go out there and give it our all. [We] have to put this one behind us, it's over with now, so just move on to the next one."

Festus Ezeli

On the last shot of regulation play:

"Now that I think about it, I kind of didn't know how long one second was when I caught the ball, so I just caught it and threw it up there. I should have taken a better shot than that."

On the performance of Vanderbilt players coming off the bench:

"When the get in the game they just have to play. I thought they played well for us, the bench. I thought they came in and they helped defensively and stuff, but I don't know. I don't think there's a problem with the bench they just had a problem feelin it tonight."

Lance Goulbourne

On the first 5-minutes of the second half:

"We had a let-down. That's all there is to it. We didn't have the same mindset that we had in the first half. We let the game go. They scored 18 points in 4 minutes, which is a complete let down."

On his stellar shooting performance from behind the arc:

"I'm a good shooter. I just haven't been shooting very much, so when I get the ball the guys play off me, but I'm going to have to make those shots when I get the ball and make them pay."

Mississippi State Head Coach Rick Stansbury 

Opening Comments: 

"Vanderbilt is a tremendous basketball team. I've been coming up here for 22 years and this is one of the best defensive basketball teams they have had up here in that stretch. Vanderbilt has always been able to shoot, but has never defended like they are this year. To do what they did Thursday night [against Alabama] was incredible. That makes me incredibly proud of my guys to be able to come in here and ride the waves and get a win." 

On the Difference in the Second Half:

"[Renardo] Sidney had two fouls off the bat to start the game and we were short-handed from there. We were down 11 at the half. I thought we had played hard and we played well. The difference was they made shots. I didn't know if they would keep it up in the second half, but I knew we could make more shots."

On the Difference in Foul Shots:

"I think it's the first time this has happened here. They only shot nine, made five. We shot 21... You have to create fouls."

On the Win:

"I have to give Vanderbilt credit. They shot the cover off of it. To go 14-of-27 on three-pointers; they shot 50% and we still found a way to win." 

On Being the Underdog Against Vanderbilt:

"That's why I tell my guys that it is about 16 games. It's not about who is the best for one or two games. It is who can ride the wave. Vanderbilt came in on a peak after their win. We could have come into this game in a valley, but we came into this game even-keel. Our defense came in pretty good, they played hard. You can't really stop Vanderbilt, but our ability to defend them won the game for us."

On How Vanderbilt's Defense Has Improved:

"They have athletes at three and four in [Lance] Goulbourne and [Jeffrey] Taylor. They have a center in [Festus] Ezeli; there is not a stronger, bigger player in the conference. All of Vanderbilt's perimeter guys, [Brad] Tinsley and [John] Jenkins, are great. Five of the six of their top players are seniors. That makes a difference. Goulbourne is the difference in this team this year. He is one of the best in the country."

On Improvements in the Second Half:

"At the half, we had two assists and seven turnovers. In the second half, we had 10 assists and three turnovers against the best defensive team in the league...In the second half, we were able to shoot better and take care of the ball better."

Mississippi State Player Quotes

#0 Jalen Steele 

On his four straight three-pointers:

"I just knew that we needed buckets at any cost.  At the beginning of the game I was feeling it.  Coach said to just go out there and keep shooting it. I kept my confidence and kept going out there to shoot it."

On the feeling at halftime:

"We weren't down too many points. We didn't look at it like it was a big margin. We just went out there, stayed confident, and stayed together.  We knew that we were going to come back, and eventually make this game a tough game for Vanderbilt, and that's what we did."

On hitting a few shots early:

"It's a huge momentum builder for us, so we keep making shots, the momentum keeps gathering for us, and we win this game."

On responding strong in overtime:

"We didn't get our heads down.  We kept our confidence, and we knew that if we kept fighting and stayed together, then we were going to pull out this win on the road."

#3 Dee Bost

On the go ahead backdoor basket:

"Coach designed that play in the huddle. We hadn't run it all year. He designed it because they were overplaying me.  They had a taller guy guarding me, and we set it up perfectly so when I back-doored, I had a wide open layup."

On the different Sidney made in second half:

"He made a huge difference. From the stats it might not look like he had a huge game, but he had a huge game on the defensive end, and that's what we needed. He shut Festus Ezeli down in the second half, and even though his stats don't look like they're supposed to look, he always comes through when we need him."

On the feel at halftime:

"Coach told us that they weren't going to shoot like that in the second half. They hit almost everything they threw up.  We knew we had to turn it up on the defensive end, so that's what we did in the second half."




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