Nov. 12, 2013
Vanderbilt 86, Geogia State 80
November 12, 2013
Vanderbilt head coach Kevin Stallings
"I'm happy with my team in a lot of ways... Georgia State can really score. I'm pleased with the victory. I'm pleased with our poise down the stretch. We handled the ball well and Rod [Odom] had some really big shots for us. We executed the way I think we're able to execute at the end of the game. The first [game] is always tough because you aren't sure how your guys are going to react. We knew they were a good offensive team."
On Vanderbilt Center Damian Jones:
"Damian played really well for us. That's how he played for us all fall and leading up to the season... It was nice to see him play like he did... He's a different guy than we've had. Damian - if you throw it up there, he'll get it, and he has good hands. We've run a lot of plays in practice - literally every time we throw it to him with a lob, we dunk it. Some guys just can't miss."
On Georgia State's Zone Defense:
"It's an odd game because they play 40 minutes of zone and do it every game. You know it coming in. There aren't many 40-minute zone games you play. It's an unusual first night."
On Vanderbilt's Resolve:
"I'm not surprised about it. Aside from two or three things, I know what we have. There are a few things that haven't been proven to me for us to be as good as we can be. We were fortunate to go on a trip this summer... I'm pretty sure of what we have. Now it's a matter of being as good as we can be."
Vanderbilt forward Rod Odom
On the change of the roster and their dynamics of the game tonight:
Tonight definitely helped us learn more about each other as a team; it's going to help us in the future. We lost a lot of close games last season so I think opening up the season with close games like these and winning is definitely going to help us gain confidence for games in the future.
On his role of taking the big shots in the future:
I feel like everybody took good shots today. I think the biggest thing today for me was taking the right shots, and the shots I took were the right shots. But that could be anyone on the team. I have faith in all my teammates. They had no apprehension in shooting the big shots, even if they were in foul trouble. Those shots are going to come from all of us this year.
On Damian Jone's performance in his first college game:
I wasn't very surprised of his performance tonight. That's what we expect out of him, night in night out. He's a very special player. Big time players make big plays and that's what we expect him to do this year. We're looking forward to seeing him do a lot more this season.
On the new rules in college basketball (less pushing, shoving, grabbing, etc.):
I mean, I'm a real physical guy so I like the rules the other way. But you adapt to changes so that's what we do, we adapt to changes. In that way, it's not really a big deal.
Vanderbilt center Damian Jones
On his success in his first college game:
"I just played my game and didn't play nervous."
On hitting the 13 foot jumper with 2 minutes in the game to snap the tie:
It was a wide open shot so I just took it. I didn't really have any nerves when I took that shot so that helped.
On how his first dunk helped him in the game:
It makes you feel good, like you can just dominate your competition. It gives you confidence.
On coming back from the exhibition game where he fouled out:
I just evaluated myself and prepared myself for practice the next day.
On his expectations of the game today:
I kinda expected my performance to be the way it was tonight, to come out and do stuff. I just had to mentally prepare myself.
Georgia State head coach Ron Hunter
On the game...
"I thought it was a very good college basketball game. I'm proud of our kids and I told them I thought we would have a chance to win, but if they played great it would be hard to win and they played great."
"We just couldn't finish at the end, but I'm proud of our guys. We lost to, in my opinion, what I think is the best team on our schedule."
On how few players he played...
"I knew going in that I couldn't get 8 or 9 deep coming in at Vanderbilt. I knew I was going to play my starting five. I kept looking at Ryan, and he was tired. I thought there would be a moment where we would turn up, and we did."
"We wanted to catch them off guard and let them think we were just going to keep falling back."
On what they will work on...
"We're just going to keep doing what we're doing. We have to shoot the ball better, but I'm happy."
On RJ Hunter...
"One thing I've learned about good players is that you have to give them a little freedom."
"RJ and Ryan are our best players, and we're only going to go as far as they go."
"He did a lot of pushing and shoving around, his strength really showed."
Georgia State guard Ryan Harrow
On facing Vandy, for the fourth time ...
"I think this is the best I've played against these guys in the four games against them. I had some mental mistakes late in the game that I think ended up hurting us. Those guys have been playing together for a long time, we really just started. We have a long season ahead of us, once we get some games under our belt, I think we can cut out some of those mental lapses and be a really good team."
On facing an SEC team to start the season ...
"We all know how my last game against Vanderbilt was, so my competitive juices were going since I saw this game on our schedule. I kept telling our guys how bad I wanted to win this game. I'm not really a big talker, usually. It hurts to lose a game like this, but it's good to see that we can hold our own against a team like this. Like I said before, it is still early in the year, there are a lot of games ahead for us."