Vanderbilt/Florida: Post-Game Quotes

Feb. 17, 2007

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Florida at Vanderbilt
Memorial Gym
Feb. 17, 2007

Vanderbilt Head Coach Kevin Stallings

"Well, that was a lot of fun. Our team played with as much resolve and competitiveness as they possibly could. Shan [Foster] and Derrick [Byars] played like they had to in order for us to beat a team like Florida. We caught them on an afternoon where they missed shots they'd normally make. We were fortunate in some respects for that. Ted [Skuchas] played great off the bench and everyone who played had to play as well as they possibly could."

On Vanderbilt's defensive effort...
"Our defense was good, our defense was active. We thought we had a good game plan when we were in Gainesville and it kind of unraveled in the second half there. We were able to keep them off their rhythm a bit and honestly, I was a bit concerned that we wouldn't be able to do that. We got on a roll, the crowd was unbelievable. This can be a difficult place to play."

On making up for the Tennessee loss...
"We were fortunate that the game at UT only counted as one, but today's win only counts as one also. You'd like for these to count as five, but they only count as one. You can't dwell on [losses.] We didn't play well last Saturday and came out and played well today."

On Vanderbilt's Leadership...
"I think it's our senior leadership. Derrick (Byars), Dan (Cage) and Ted (Skuchas) have a tough mentality and an unwillingness to back up. That's why we got beat down in Gainesville. Our three seniors have played with toughness and commitment to each other and to the team."

On Florida Head Coach Billy Donovan...
"Billy said that if his team were to lose to one team, he'd prefer that it be mine and I took that as a great compliment. He's a great guy, a great coach, a great father, and a great human being."

On Vanderbilt's NCAA Tournament hopes...
"I don't want to get into that. They have a committee who does a great job every year. They'll determine who's in and who's not."

Vanderbilt junior wing Shan Foster

"A lot of  people don't ever get the opportunity to play the No. 1 team in the country. We got the opportunity and seized the moment. It was a total team effort. That's been the story of our season. We started out 1-3, but we stayed together, and this is what can be accomplished."

"My teammates have great confidence in me, which gives me great confidence in myself. They have arguably the best frontcourt in America. Our big guys did a great job. Everybody got in there, guarded those guys and made things a little uncomfortable for them. That paid big dividends at the end."

Vanderbilt senior wing Derrick Byars

"To play Florida, you can't slack in any area. You have to play as well as you have all season. The stat line says it. When you look at it, guys did what they're supposed to do.

"This is one for the ages. Twenty years from now, I'll be able to tell my little kids this. This is special. You can't explain it."

"I consider myself a good player. If you're a good player, you show up in games like this. You rise to the occasion."

Vanderbilt junior wing Ross Neltner

"This will definitely be one to remember... for the whole team, the program and the fans."

On Byars and Foster...
"They put us on their backs down the stretch. They're our horses. We went to them and they responded."

Florida Head Coach Billy Donovan

"It has been like this all year long for us on the road. It was another great environment in here. I thought Vanderbilt played really, really well tonight. I thought the two guys that kind of carry them (Byars and Foster) played exceptionally well. They shot the ball real well.

"I thought Byars had a great second half. We probably turned the ball over a little bit too much. Our turnovers hurt us. But give Vanderbilt a lot of credit. I thought their kids played terrific. They played really, really hard. I think going on the road for us is always a challenge. They outplayed us, outperformed us and deserved to win the game."

On Vanderbilt's hot shooting from the floor:
"The difference for us was that we didn't have one of our better shooting games. But the fact that when you come on an opposing team's court and they shoot 55 percent from the field and 40 percent from the 3-point line and they make 10 three-point shots, it is going to be hard to overcome that. They did a good job of making shots, of knocking down shots."

On his team's defensive effort...
"Defensively, we had a very difficult time stopping them. But give Vanderbilt credit. Sometimes in a game like this you look at yourself and you look at things that you did wrong and you don't give your opponent enough credit. Give Vanderbilt credit. They played a great game and they played very, very well. They are a good basketball team and tonight I think they displayed that."

On the play of Derrick Byars...
"He is without question one of the better players in the league. He had a great game against South Carolina scoring 32 points and then he comes back and plays well again tonight. To me, that is the sign of a fifth-year senior and a mature kid who kept his focus."

On Vanderbilt's NCAA Tournament chances...
"I think they were an NCAA tournament team before we played them. I do have a lot of respect for their team. They have earned and deserve the right to be in the NCAA tournament, not by this win but I think if you look back at what they have done against a lot of good quality teams they really have gone on the road and beaten some good teams on the road. And they have beaten some good teams here at home."



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