Feb. 23, 2009
Audio: Listen to the entire teleconference at SECsports.com
Vanderbilt basketball head coach Kevin Stallings and Georgia interim head coach Peter Herrmann fielded questions about their matchup Wednesday with the national media during Monday's SEC Teleconference. Find out what each coach had to say about the matchup.
Kevin Stallings, Vanderbilt head coach
At this point in the year, our goal is probably the same as every other team in the league, and that's just finishing as strongly as you can. We had some good stretches in our game Saturday against Florida, but no where near consistent enough to beat them on their floor. I thought they played extremely well, particularly offensively. We'll have to be a lot better than that if we're going to go in and win at Georgia on Wednesday night.
How do you focus your team when playing a 1-11 opponent in the SEC?
We had a very competitive game with Georgia when they were here. Our games with them have traditionally been very competitive. They did something that we never got to close to this year and that was beating Florida. So, they're a very capable basketball team - big and physical inside, good defensively. They're better than their record, and we know that. We certainly have an appreciation for what they've gone through this year with the coaching change and things. Our job is to ready ourselves as best we can and just play as well as we can. That's all we're going to do.
The NCAA selection committee only has four members (10 members total) with a basketball background. How do you perceive that?
I don't know that I see that as a problem. I think obviously the more people with basketball backgrounds that you can have the better. I'm not sure that if a particular person doesn't have a quote-unquote basketball background that that makes that committee person a member who's less than worthy. I don't think it's absolutely exclusive that there should be a requirement that somebody has a basketball background. However, I think a good mixture of that is very healthy for that committee and probably very necessary.
What do you think of Devan Downey (South Carolina guard) as a player and leader of his team?
Devan Downey has had a terrific year. He's a terrific player. I think about as highly of him as I do of anybody in this league. There are three or four guys who've probably separated themselves in terms of the kind of seasons they're having from the other really good players in this league. He would be one of those in my opinion.
He's a handful. He gets better as the game goes along. If he has the ball at the end of the game, you'd better try and get it out of his hands because he's going to score if you don't.
What does that show you as a coach when a player gets better as the game progresses?
He's a guy who tends to not force things early in the game. He just sort of plays, and then he picks his spots in the game. But, as the game progresses he asserts himself. He certainly has the ability to do so. He's the hardest guy to keep out of the lane and to keep from getting from point A to point B probably in our league, at least from what I've seen.
He's just a terrific player who can shoot it. He can drive it. He can pull up. He's got a great pull-up game. As silly as this may sound, he's one of the best layup shooters I've ever seen.
Peter Herrmann, Georgia interim head coach
Comments on the upcoming contest with Vanderbilt:
It's always a great game with Vanderbilt. Kevin's teams are always well coached and well disciplined. He's got a young group with A.J. Ogilvy. They've been playing better as they've gone through the year, which is normal with a Kevin Stallings coached team. They beat us 50-40 in a real struggle at Vanderbilt. We're looking forward to this game coming up here in segment on Wednesday.