Vanderbilt-Florida postgame quotes

Feb. 28, 2012

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Vanderbilt Head Coach Kevin Stallings

Opening Comments:

"This was a really well played and tough game. [Florida was], for the last five or six minutes of the first half and most of the second half, I thought they were great. Our guys made tough shots for us. We got to the foul line and did a good job there for the most part. We tried the zone early... It's difficult to play against the zone when you're down. I'm happy for my seniors. They deserved to win tonight for all they've done for our program and the gentlemen they've been."

On the Last Five Minutes:

"I was impressed that we had the lead... [Florida] hit us a bit there in the second half and we bounced right back. It was a good night. It's what you want a senior night to be. We played a good team and had to work to win."

On Vanderbilt's Four-Guard Lineup:

"[Florida] had four guards [on the court] and I said, `The heck with that.' We had our standard lineup in there and so put our four best ball-handlers out there with Festus [Ezeli]. It was an interesting game. [Florida is] trying to find their deal right now and that's not an easy thing to do in a short period of time."

On Senior Night:

"Our guys really wanted to win. Our non-seniors wanted to win for our seniors, and our seniors wanted to win for the rest of the team... We played with toughness. We played with grit. We got key rebounds and played well for most of the second half."

"It's interesting because there's a perception among some people that our guys - I'm hard on them... I told them immediately following the Kentucky game that one is allowed to cry on senior night - and they obliged."

Florida Head Coach Billy Donovan

Opening thoughts:

"I thought it was great. I thought we got a lot of wide open threes. They were playing zone, and I thought Brad had a couple good ones.  Kenny had a couple good ones. The only thing I was disappointed with was with about a minute to go in the game, we took a couple of quick threes instead of trying to extend the game."

On what they did well:

"We drove it. We kicked it. I thought we got some really good looks. I thought their zone would be good for us, because we had five three point shooters out there with Erik. I think the two plays that probably hurt us the most in that stretch were probably down five Patrick gets the offensive rebound and misses close to the basket, and then Erving stole the ball, tried to drive baseline, bobbles it and gets called for a travel.  I thought those things hurt us, but also it was my fault for trying to change defenses. We got caught changing up in transition a few times, and Taylor and Jenkins torched us."

On Young's late foul:

"He tried to go back after the ball there. I don't know if it was a frustration foul. He plays emotional, and he was just trying to get the ball back."

On his feeling on his team following the game:

"I was as disappointed as I've ever been as a coach watching our guys walking off the court in Athens. I felt the total opposite here tonight. I thought we competed. I thought we played hard against a very good team. With the injuries, there needs to be a resiliency and maturity to fight through that stuff."

On Walker's spark:

"You can see your team when they have the look, and I thought we had that resiliency tonight. When Erving's locked in and really focused on playing, it charges our team up. It gives our team confidence. He gave us a lot of energy."

Vanderbilt Player Quotes

#44 Jeffery Taylor

On how determined he was to win:

"We've been down before in games like this and we were just determined not to let this one slip away. The game had a lot of significance for us [seniors], but also for us as a team, it's a really nice thing that you win going into March. I think this one will really count for us with the NCAA tournament, getting a seed. It was a good game and it was really important game for us in many different ways."

On Florida's quickness:

"They make it really tough for you because Irving Walker, he's really good at getting into the middle, refusing ball screens, and finding guys when they're open. With us it's really tough for us to cover all of those guys. They do a good job of finding each other on the perimeter for spot-up 3-point shots. I think we did a pretty solid job of either contesting the shots or taking them away tonight, and that's pretty much why we won."

On the effectiveness of the zone down the stretch:

"We figured out what they were doing. We were quick, we were moving around fast, getting into the guys that we needed to cover, and everybody just worked together. We play really well when everybody works as one and that's what we did down the stretch."

#1 Brad Tinsley

On being able to finish his last home game win:

"It was a lot of fun just playing in that type of atmosphere. It was a great way to go out, as a senior class, with a big win over a great team and we just had fun with. It was a great night."

On switching up the offense to beat the press:

"Instead of putting our 4 man back a little bit, we kind of played that guy out, to the middle, so we could give the ball handler and easier chance of to beat his man instead of dribbling right into a trap. I thought once they came and trapped, whoever had the ball did a great job of getting the ball to the middle and once it was in the middle we were able to break down the court. "

#23 John Jenkins

On how tough it was to get good looks:

"I think my guys did a great job of finding me when I was open, what little time I was [open], and when I was they would just catch me right on-point."

Florida Player Quotes

#23 Bradley Beal

On the late run in the first half and coming back:

"We were down 11 and we just kept playing basketball. We really just stayed composed and we were just making runs, because we knew we were going to make a run. That's one of those things. First they made a run first, then we thought we can make a run. We stayed composed and knew it would happen."

On where the team stands heading into a game with Kentucky:

"Our effort was terrific tonight. I believe we played a lot harder than we did at Georgia, we gave it our all, we left it all on the floor. It's just unfortunate that they really just put us away in the end. But coming into Kentucky, we just have to play with the same amount of energy and effort."

On Vanderbilt's shooting:

"There was just stupidity, sometimes we were too caught up on the ball instead of finding Jenkins or finding Taylor and guys were just knocking down threes. That was just our lack of awareness. You have to be aware on the court and know where the guys are."

On trying to defend Jenkins:

"We were just trying to keep the ball out of his hands as best we could. We knew they ran a lot of screens for him. He comes off screens like non-stop. He's like Ray Allen, he's always coming off another screen and another screen and another screen. He's a terrific shooter and he got hot tonight."

On the urgency on the court:

"They left it all out there tonight. All their seniors, they were ready to play from the tip and they played hard. I believe they really wanted it tonight."





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