Vanderbilt-Belmont postgame quotes
Dec. 4, 2010
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Watch Vanderbilt press conference with Coach Stallings and players
Vanderbilt vs Belmont
December 4, 2010
Vanderbilt Head Coach Kevin Stallings
"We were really happy to win. I thought in the second half, we played with intensity on defense. Our pressure was more of a factor and we were able to do some things better on offense... Festus [Ezeli] was terrific for us. Other than turning the ball over and a lack of half-court offense in the first half, I was pleased with how we played."
"They're good. They're really good on both ends of the court. They guarded really well. They executed offensively really well. They played with great purpose. For the first 20 minutes, they played harder than we did... If there's a better team in their league, I'd like to see it."
On Whether Vanderbilt's Players Respected Belmont:
"My team had to play really hard to get this victory. I don't want to make a living out of playing [Rick Byrd]. He's a terrific coach. I thought my team respected them because we came out of the gate playing hard. I didn't have any concerns about us not respecting them."
On Vanderbilt Center Festus Ezeli:
"He's all-in: his attitude, his personality, and the way he trusts the coaches. When he got here, it was the first organized team he'd ever been on. It's to his credit that he's become what he's become."
On Vanderbilt Forward Lance Goulbourne:
"He and Festus have been the two guys on our team who have played close to their capabilities. Lance has been huge for us all season long... He's very good defensively. He's one of our best defenders."
On his family being able to see him play:
"It was the second time, they were here my freshman year. My mom moved to California this summer and my dad he flew in from Nigeria. I'll remember this for a long time."
On his improvement from last year:
"It was just hard work, a lot of hard work this summer. We were in the gym three-four times a day. It just hurt so much, our loss to Murray State last year in the tournament and it just sparked that fire for everybody on the team and I think that's what you see out there, the results from our hard work."
On his bigger role on the team this year:
"It's good, I really like it. Last year I was just a role player it's good for me to say that my teammates depend on me more because that's why I'm here, I'm here to help them out. I just keep working and try not to let them down."
On the Festus' improvement:
"He definitely gives us a huge athletic presence inside and it helps the outside players out a lot because it takes a lot of pressure off of us in terms of scoring and rebounding."
On the first half:
"We weren't really executing on offense. We weren't cutting and screening like we usually do in practice so that's something we need to work on and get better at."
On the difference in the second half:
"Basically just getting stops on defense, it all starts with defense. When we get stops on defense we can transition and not have to play against a set defense."
Belmont Head Coach Rick Byrd
"I think our team believes they can win. Our question back is how many SEC teams are going to win [in Memorial Gym]. We don't get to play on our court too. We have played two good upper echelon SEC teams to the last minute. If either wants to play us on our court, I believe we are there. If all SEC teams had to do was play road games against strong conferences, their records would be a lot worse, but I think this game helped us believe we belong. I think Vanderbilt is a top 25 team. I voted for them when the AP called. I think we did pretty well for a relatively young A-Sun team."
On Today's Game:
"The first time they came to [Festus] Ezeli and he scored, that was our biggest fear. We were fortunate we guarded Jenkins well. To their credit, when they got open looks by guys that we have to let off of a bit, those guys made their shots. That was the difference in the second half; they made their shots, while we had silly unforced turnovers at the same time."
On Going into Halftime:
"I was a little disappointed. We are coming off five straight games where we had a 14-point lead or greater going into a half. Today, we were only up three, but we felt good. We have to come into the second half better."
On Vanderbilt Center Festus Ezeli:
"I have gotten to see Ezeli play a lot. In a year's time, he has made dramatic improvements. I think the team is better defensively and with rebounding. I am impressed with his free throws as well."
Belmont Player Quotes
#34 Mick Hedgepeth
On the play of Festus Ezeli:
"Yeah, he gave us trouble all night long. We were having a lot of trouble keeping him from getting position on us. It's hard to stop him when he gets so low, and he made his free throws tonight."
On playing SEC schools close:
"I think the start of the second half has been hurting us. I know it hurt us tonight, and it hurt us big time against Tennessee also. I think we need to come out of the gate a little better in the second half, and that would help a lot. We absolutely think we can do it. We just didn't make it happen today."
On the foul discrepancy:
"I think they were in the bonus with 15 minutes left, or even earlier, in both halves. That puts us at a big disadvantage. I think we were just trying to make stuff happen, and some calls didn't go our way, but it's just something you can do."
#32 Jordan Campbell
On the first half vs. the second half:
"I think the first half went really well. We know we can play with anybody, and in the first half we just came out and pressured them as much as we could. I feel like we had the energy coming into the locker room, but the second half, we need to fix that. The past few games we've been a first half team and in the second half we've kind of struggled. We need to work on that and get better."
On holding John Jenkins in check:
"He's tough to guard. You have to stay on his hip, but in the second half they knocked some shots down and got it going early. We couldn't catch up."
On what you take from this game:
"Especially for the younger guys, this game has given them experience as we go on. The older guys have to help them stay poised. I think that we learned a lot from this game and it will help us down the stretch."
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