Vanderbilt-Tennessee postgame quotes

March 1, 2014

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Vanderbilt Head Coach Kevin Stallings
(Opening Statement)

"Well, we were beaten at every turn. They got off to a great start. We were never able to do anything to negate anything that they did. We didn't shoot it well, we didn't guard well, we just didn't play well and they played very well on both ends. Disappointing day for us to say the least."

(On how Vanderbilt has been getting off to slow starts)

"I certainly didn't think the game was going to be like that. I thought we would get back into it, fight our way back into it, we just never did. They were better than us the entire 40 minutes. There was never a point where you felt like we were anywhere close to controlling the game or the better team in the game or playing better in the game. They were the better team in the game for the entire 40 minutes."

(On Tennessee shooting the ball well)

"They started shooting it well. They made all those threes in the first half and we have a little bit of that lately, guys shooting 23 percent and jump up and make one or two against you. The percentages suggest that that shouldn't happen until it does. You are just in a big dilemma with them because of Stokes' presence inside and so you go down and you try to give support where you think you can and then they T-off from the outside. So when everybody starts making shots like they made today it is going to be tough for anyone to beat them. If they shoot it like that it is going to be tough for anyone."

(On what hindered them today)

"We couldn't score it inside and we couldn't score it outside. We just had nothing. Damian [Jones] couldn't get on an attack inside and we couldn't get him the ball when he was open a few times. He got pushed away from the basket a lot. We just didn't have anything, anything going all afternoon."

(On if the team wasn't focused because of the previous Florida game)

"I would like to think not, we tend to try to move on to the next game regardless of what happens before it. I thought based on our two days of practice that we were more prepared to play than what we demonstrated today."

(On what Tennessee did better today)

"They probably controlled our penetration a little bit better. They probably did a better job just covering the ball. We weren't able to turn the corner on it like we did at our place."

(On Tennessee's inside players)

"It makes a big difference because I like [Josh] Richardson is one of the most underrated players in our league. They have two physical guys inside that are most very difficult to guard, difficult to box out, and they make the game easier for everyone else. [Jordan] McRae is obviously a terrific player. They just get in that rhythm and then everybody starts making them, which is what happened today. [Antonio] Barton made the first few. I have been saying all season long that they are a really good team and I think they have a chance to do really well in the NCAA Tournament."

(On if Tennessee will make the NCAA Tournament)

"I certainly do. I have been saying that for weeks. I said that when we played them the first time. I certainly do."

(On Rod Odom)

"He didn't have a great day. Kyle [Fuller] didn't have a great day. Those two guys played great the last time we played them and neither one were quite as good today. But no of them were, we didn't have one guy that I thought played the way they needed to play in order for us to have a chance to win this game.

Tennessee Head Coach Cuonzo Martin
(Opening Statement)

"Great team effort- start to finish the guys played well, defended well. It's one of those games shots were falling, guys played at a high level, every position I thought guys did their jobs. This is one of the teams in the league when you scout them- they have so many wrinkles into their different actions, it's not an easy team to scout. You have to have a level of discipline to you and I thought our guys did a great job of taking the scouting report from start to finish on both ends of the floor into their game. You saw the results and when you're making shots like that, the way Antonio [Barton] made shots, big guys got the ball around the rim and made plays, got big rebounds. We spend a lot of time working on bigs getting the rebounds. If you don't have an easy shot, pitch it out to those guy for three and attack off the dribble. Thought we were clicking on all cylinders today, so great team effort and tremendous crowd."

(On if today's game was the best all season)

"I think one of them. Virginia was a good game. I thought we played against Ole Miss. I thought we played well at Alabama- just consistency. Sometimes it's unfortunate for young guys. They base their results and productivity on how many points they scored and their production offensively. They don't understand the value of good defense. It can take you a long way. You look at the best teams in the country, they defend at a high level consistently whether shots are falling or not."

(On Antonio Barton)

"What happens is, when you have a guy, now earlier in the season, he struggled. He wouldn't put the time into like he needed to with classes, class obligations and not just committed to the time to be a really good basketball player and a good shooter. It's probably mean about a month now- 10 o'clock every morning, like clock work, he's getting shots in with Coach Webster every day. At some point, the shots eventually have to fall for you. I think it's a combination of putting the work in, but also the confidence of a basketball player. When you see them start to fall for you, your confidence goes."

"Yes, it is. You're right about that. Was that in Hawaii? He shot it well, so it was good, so if he can consistently do that- the last two games I thought he had floor game- not just shooting the ball. I thought he did a good job probing the defense, getting assists, finding guys- his growth as a basketball player and it's never too late to get better."

(On defensive play in the second half)

"That's something we talk about every day. It's not just in each particular game. Again, that's basketball players taking it from one end to the other- taking the scouting report to the floor consistently. We just talk about having relentless focus and dedication to your craft. When we're consistent, these are some of the results. Hopefully when shots don't fall, we can still defend and play hard at this level."

(On Antonio Barton)

"Very effective. Now you have three guys on the perimeter that can make shots out there when your big guys are scoring around the rim. Those guys also, they're not making shots, they're attacking off the dribble, so I think that's one of the areas were our guards have gotten better- attacking the paint and making plays, so it helps a great deal."

(On Jordan McRae)

"I think it helps when your leading scorer, and he's a little banged up to his defense. He's not one of those guys that's going to complain about or make excuses, so that's probably one of the only reasons he didn't have the production that he normally has. But it does help when other guys can step up and you can win a game like that, it helps."

Tennessee Senior Guard Antonio Barton
(On being more comfortable in the starting line-up or not)

"It doesn't make any difference."

(On having a fun time playing today)

"I was a lot of fun. The crowd was amazing. We kind of fed off their energy. When you come out playing defense like that everything just falls into place."

(On the scoring)

"Everybody was just locked in. Practice has been competitive. We watched a lot of film. We took that last game personal. They came in and hit us in the mouth hard. We wanted to come back this game and stop that."

(On taking this momentum forward)

"The main focus is to let this game go. We played good but we can't carry this game on. It is over with. We just have to come in and lock in for the next game with the same intensity and same focus."

(On difference between now and the last game against Vanderbilt)

"Defense. We took pride in our defense. We helped each other out. We did an awesome job rotating when guys got beat. We just had each other's back."

(On coming out strong the second half as well)

"Jeronne (Maymon) the first thing he said when we walked into the locker room was we can't let up. We can't get too up. We just have to come out in the second half. We have been known to come out in the second half and let teams back into the game. We emphasized that we would come out here with the same intensity of the first half."

(On realizing your shot was really on today)

"After I hit the second one I thought okay it is starting to fall. I missed one and I came back and kept shooting. For me I just have to keep shooting the ball whether I miss two or three in a row. I just have to keep shooting."

(On importance of today's game)

"All of our games are important from here on out. The last four games we have to take it personal to the SEC tournament. We have to win out."

(On the feeling of hitting the first three of the game)

"I shot that with confidence. It kind of settled me when I saw that it went in."

(On how the team did better on the floor this game)

"Having our big men up on the ball screens and kind of sending them to one side and being there for each other. When we played them at home they got in the lane pretty easy. So we watched film and made a lot of adjustments."



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