Post-Arkansas game quotes
March 8, 2009
March 8, 2009 Memorial Gym
Kevin Stallings, Vanderbilt Head Coach
"These last games that don't have a lot riding on them are often difficult to play. We certainly lost our fair share of them. I'm proud of our effort. I didn't think that we had 100% of our energy early. I thought we were most of the way there, but not 100%. Our defense in the second half was really good. [Courtney] Fortson wore us out in the first half. Jermaine Beal stepped up in the second half and did a good job on him."
"We did a good job on the boards. To hold them to 23 points in the second half was significant. I'm happy to get back to .500 in the league. To go from 1-5 to 8-8 is quite an accomplishment."
On Where the Team is at Mentally:
"They feel good about where they're at. That's 90% of the battle. I like where we're at. Our guys have stayed together, fought hard, and played well. There hasn't been an ounce of them that's given up."
On Getting to the Foul Line:
"We've done a good job of getting to the foul line all season long. If we do that in Tampa [at the SEC Tournament], it will enhance our opportunity to win."
On Vanderbilt's NCAA Tournament Prospects:
"I don't have an opinion on that. The best case is that we're way on the outside looking in. I don't have any way of knowing."
On Vanderbilt's Bench Play:
"We were real balanced today. We've gotten good play from our bench. Lance [Goulbourne], Charles [Hinkle], and all of those guys did well today, highlighted by Festus [Ezeli's] performance. He played really well for us."
Jeffrey Taylor, guard
"Lance, AJ, and I went hard for offensive boards. People fly in there, tip balls, and I think that we just won that battle today."
On starting out 1-5 in the SEC and finishing 8-8:
"I think it says a lot about our team's character for us to come back like that. I think we're one of the best 65 teams in the country, but it all depends on who can make it to the tournament."
Jermaine Beal, guard
On the second half
: "Second half, we knew we wanted it. We wanted every shot to go in and we worked hard to make sure we won that half considering the way Arkansas ended the first half."
On Vanderbilt's freshmen:
"They have big talent and they were big time tonight. We really needed our guys to step up tonight and Brad and Jeff really did that today."
"Our team defense was good. We just made sure that every shot went into our hands, offensively and defensively."
Brad Tinsley, guard
On learning from the veterans:
"I think the older guys have been teaching us what to do and that pays dividends into the future."
On outlook going into the SEC tournament:
"We are playing our best basketball right now and I think that will be great for us coming into the tournament."
John Pelphrey, Arkansas Head Coach
"Like so many games in SEC play, I thought we struggled to sustain play. The biggest reason for that was Vanderbilt. You have to give them a lot of credit.
"It's about better reads and playing defense. We'd play good defense, and not get the ball after the first defensive stop. They'd get it, and get the conversion. Those types of plays hurt us today.
"When you shoot 18 percent from the field, it is just tough to compete, especially on the road.
"We didn't do a great job reading defense. It's across the board, Cort (Courtney Fortson) did a good job of getting to the basket, wasn't getting some calls and didn't complete some plays, but he has to do a better job of reading defense. When three guys are defending, you have to find the open man. Step (Stefan Welsh) also had one or two of those plays.
"It just compounds itself. Nobody is without fault and nobody is solely at fault. As a group, we have to read defenses better. Whether it's a post up or a drive, we have to make the right read when we get there."
Thoughts on Vanderbilt:
"I will say this, they are 8-8 now in league play and that's pretty impressive. I know what it's like to be staring at 1-5. For Coach Stallings and his team to stay together and get where they are today, they are to be commended. That is a very, very difficult hole to from out of. They should be applauded for that."
Discuss the team's second half troubles:
"We are going to struggle with our point (Fortson) having to shoot 26 times. We are going to struggle when Michael Washington only gets six points and plays basically 18 minutes because of fouls, and we only got three points out of (Michael) Sanchez's power forward spot. But yes, the foul trouble certainly hurt us.
Second half offensive struggles of point guard Courtney Fortson:
"If he has to shoot that many times, and he's not scoring 50, then somebody has got to be open. Like I said, we just have to do a better job of reading defense; not just him, but all of us.
Talk about your team's play in the latter stages of game:
"It was a 10-point game there, and I thought it was still manageable. We just needed a couple of stops and a couple of buckets to go down, and we could still challenge. That just didn't happen. For the most part, I thought we were patience and took care of the ball. We just weren't converting plays at the basket, and not finding the open guy."
Where the big non-conference wins a good measure for where your team was entering SEC play:
"I think we overachieved in our non-conference schedule. This team faced a lot of challenges and some how, some way, it found a way to win.
"I do think winning like we did in the non-conference, being 12-1 against those teams with the kind of respect they had, I don't think anybody took us lightly from that point on."
Talk about the Razorbacks attitude entering the SEC Tournament:
"Our conference schedule is now over and now we have the tournament to look forward to. For us, it's going to be a four-game deal. I can tell you we'll be excited to play. It's a wonderful feeling to be part of a tournament atmosphere like that and try to win to stay alive. There is nothing like it."
"It was frustrating to not get the result that we wanted today. We weren't able to knock shots down that we needed, but we did get good looks at the basket."
On playing in Memorial Gym:
"I liked playing here today. The court is set up like a stage and everyone is looking down at you. The shooting background was fine for all of us."
"The offense flowed through me at times today and there were some bumps but that's basketball. In the second half, I tried to get my teammates more involved in the offense."
On final SEC road record:
"It disappointing to lose every SEC road game this season. We've learned to day composed and keep an upbeat attitude through this year. I'm confident in our chances in the SEC Tournament."
"We made some runs in the second half and did a good job of gaining momentum, but we were unable to finish out the game."
On offensive struggles:
"We made Vandy play defense on us in the first half, however we rushed some shots in the second half, which caused us to get out of sync and struggle on the offensive end."
On playing in Memorial Gym:
"I liked playing on the court today. Everyone is looking at you and the gym had no effect on our shooting."
On final SEC road record:
"None of us like to lose and its been tough for us to deal with."
On SEC Tournament:
"We still have a chance to do well at the Tournament. We need to get focused and realize that we now have a clean slate. We have to get together, have good practices and unite for the Tournament."
Men's Basketball Headlines