Post-Mississippi St. Game Quotes

March 5, 2008

Recap | Box Score | Notes

Vanderbilt Head Coach Kevin Stallings:

On the game:
“It was a pretty good game. I’m really happy for my team and I’m really proud of their effort and their willingness to stay with it. I am really, really, really proud of my seniors who have meant so much not only to this basketball program but in my opinion to this community, to this university and certainly to our coaching staff and to me personally.”

On Mississippi State:
“They’re a hard team to play. They’re very difficult in terms of their length and their athleticism and they have scorers from all over the floor. I felt like this was going to be as difficult a matchup as we would face despite the fact we were going to be on our home court.”

On Shan Foster’s 42-point performance:
“It took Shan a while to get going but once he did that was about as special a performance as I’ve ever seen. I couldn’t be happier for him as an individual and I couldn’t be happier for a group of guys. We were up against it whatever you want to say all night. We could never get control of it.”

On comparing this performance to other performances he has witnessed:
“Shan was just incredible tonight. I can’t really put it into words. I saw the guy (Matt Freije) who’s scoring record that he broke. One night I think he (Freije) scored all but two of our points in a half and brought us back for a come-from-behind victory. That was pretty amazing, but not quite as amazing as this. This was just on another level. Lord have mercy, that was amazing. I’m glad I spent all that time teaching him how to shoot.”

Vanderbilt Players:

Forward Shan Foster:

On his career-high 42-point performance:
“I would describe it by saying `I look to hills for whence cometh my help and my help cometh from the Lord’. I really did not want to lose my last game in Memorial Gym and I was willing to do whatever it took to make sure that that didn’t happen. My teammates did a great job of finding me when I was open and God took care of the rest. Some of those shots amazed me. I was deep on a lot of those. I put it up there and the Lord took care of the rest; that’s the only way I can describe it.”

On being able to win his final game at home:
“After the game, I went over and hugged my mom and my grandmother and they were all crying and that’s when it hit me that this was my last game here. The fans have been unbelievable. From day one they took me in as family, as a part of them and it means so much to me. My coaching staff, my teammates, just being a part of this. This is a true college experience and I have enjoyed every bit of it. That’s why you see tears out of my eyes. They’re not tears of sadness, they’re tears of joy. I’ve been able to have the greatest college experience that I can imagine.”

On making nine straight three-pointers:
“I think this is the first game that I hit nine threes and to hit nine in a row — that blows my mind. There’s a big difference between hitting nine in a row in shooting practice with Red (Alex Gordon) when we challenge each other and hitting nine in a row when the other team is trying to put everything in them to stop you from shooting the ball – from 35 feet. That amazed me.”

Guard Alex Gordon:

On Shan Foster’s performance:
“Over the last four years Shan has made big shots for our team and we always think he’s in a groove. We always try to run plays for him. But tonight, I’m kind of like Coach Stallings, I really can’t put the words to the performance. I’ve never seen somebody shoot so deep and be so poised at the same time. He was just a warrior tonight. That was perfection. That performance was perfection. He did what ever it took for us to win.”

On his emotions throughout the game:
“It was very emotional. I’m not the type of guy to cry, but seeing Ross and Shan cry and hugging my people at the end, walking on the court and having the fans cheer for me. It kind of hit me that this was my last time playing at Memorial Gymnasium and I couldn’t hold my emotions back. It was just amazing. Tonight was amazing.”

On where Shan Foster’s performance ranks:
“We were amazed because it wasn’t like we were drawing up plays for him. He would get the ball when you least expect and just take two dribbles and shoot from 35 feet. I can’t even put words together right now. He was amazing. That was the most amazing game I’ve ever been a part of with one of my teammate’s performance in my career playing basketball. That was crazy. Just give him the ball, let him step pass half-court and let him shoot. All I know was at the end of the game I was kind of open and I could have shot it. He threw it to me and I just waited to throw it back to him. That was a great performance.”

Mississippi State Head Coach Rick Stansbury:

On the game:
“There isn’t a whole lot to say except this: (Shan) Foster beat us. You can’t say anything else about it. It wasn’t anything they did, absolutely nothing. He jumped up in stressful situations. He just jumped up and made shots. Give him credit. There is absolutely nothing I would have done differently. There is nothing we could have done. He made 30-footers with someone in his face.”

On where Shan Foster’s performance ranks among ones he’s seen:
“It was awfully good. It was such a huge game. He had a monster game. He made 9-of-9 (three-pointers) in the second half. He steps up with the game on the line at the end of regulation and sinks a 35-footer. He steps up at the end of overtime – 30-footer. He’s a great player. It’s a heck of a way to go out on Senior Night.”

On what they could have done defensively on Foster:
“Back off of him. Let him shoot with no one in his face. You can analyze the game and break it down anyway you want, but Foster beat us. He just jumped up and made shots.”

On what he told his team after the game:
“I told them the same thing as I did before the game. To make sure we walked out of here with our heads up high win or lose. I can promise you that we can walk out of that locker room with our heads held up. I couldn’t have been more proud than the way our guys performed against a heck of a Vanderbilt basketball team. Our team was awfully good. We just didn’t win the basketball game.”

Mississippi State Players:

Guard Jamont Gordon:

On his look at the end of regulation:
“It was drawn up for me to get the shot. I got a good look at the basket, the look I wanted. It just didn’t go down. I thought I made it. I sure wish I did.”

On Shan Foster’s 42-point performance:
“Just unbelievable. He hit some shots, and just got in his rhythm. We contested all his shots, but there’s not much you can do about that.”

“We play against each other quite a bit in the summer when I’m home, but I’ve seen him do it before. What can you say, he just put on a show. Both teams put on a show.”

On Mississippi State’s effort in the game:
“We gave it all we’ve got, that’s all. Our team fought their tails off out there.”

On returning to his hometown to play Vanderbilt:
“It’s always fun. I had a lot of fun. I always do when I come back. It’s great to come home and get a chance to play in front of the family (and friends). It’s a great environment for basketball.”

Guard Barry Stewart:

On the end of the game:
“We missed the free throw and just wanted to contest the shooters, especially Foster. We were playing Foster, he got the ball and we forced him to give it back up. Somehow, he got it back in his hands. The rest is what it is.”

“It’s just a tough way to lose, but give them credit. Give their guy (Foster) some credit. He made the shot. He made a bunch of shots.

On the difficulty of such a loss:
“This is going to test our team. It’s a very, very tough feeling right now. But we’re going to bounce back, I promise you that.”