Vanderbilt Head Coach Kevin Stallings On team’s overall performance: “On Friday, when we threw up that terrific 33, I thought our guys played hard but we just couldn’t buy a basket and then it got in our heads and got to everybody. I thought today, the difference in the game was that we played with a lot more energy than they (UTEP) did. We asked our team to be the most energetic team in the game. When you get to this game and both teams have lost two games in a row, you’re playing to avoid last. It’s not a lot of fun, to be honest with you. Nobody wants to play in that game. I really liked the fact that our guys embraced the game because it’s when we were supposed to play. It was the next game on the schedule, and we always talk about being ready to play it. I thought we were crisper today offensively.”
“Overall it was just a better game for us and obviously there’s a big difference between 73 and 33. I’m really proud of them. It’s nobody’s desire to play in that game but it is what it is. You have to play in it and we did a much better job of coming out and embracing it than what some other people might have.”
On team’s energy during the game: “You could feel the energy at the beginning of the game. We got down 7-1 and you could still feel the energy in our team, and then we bounced back and tied it at 12. From that point on, we pretty much dominated the game.”
On how team bounced back from Friday’s loss: “I’m please for my team and happy for them. I felt terrible for them on Friday. They tried as hard as they could and nothing would go in the basket, so hopefully that’s the last game we have like that this year. I thought it was really, really important for them to come out and show themselves that we were better than what we played on Friday because there’s a fine line between confidence and doubt. If you have another subpar offensive day, it may really get in your head and you’re dealing with it for a long time. They generated some confidence from this and that will help them relax and play a little bit better next time.”
Vanderbilt Junior Forward Rod Odom On team bouncing back after Friday’s loss: “It was definitely a good bounce-back game for everybody. We were all looking to come out with a lot of energy and turn things around.”
On his trouble shooting: “I think the biggest thing with the coaches is that they’re telling me they’re behind me and they believe in me, and that’s really big for me. It helps me get through it and not worry about the last shot and just worry about the next one.”
UTEP Head Coach Tim Floyd “This basketball team needs to get home and we need to go to work. We need to practice. We need to get better and we need our home crowd. It has been a long time since we’ve been home.
“I don’t like our fight and our lack of resolve right now. We gave up 73 [points] to a team that scored 33 in their last outing. It’s unacceptable. We’re making too many mistakes, and that’s across the board in terms of our ball handling. I can’t really find many bright spots tonight other than maybe Cedrick Lang’s effort. It was better than it has been. We’re starting to get some good production from his spot, which is real encouraging.
“We’re just not valuing the ball. I’m not going to make excuses about who we don’t have and what we don’t have. We’re going to try to get this group that we’ve got better.”