Vanderbilt 69, Miami Ohio 62

Jan. 2, 2012

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Vanderbilt Head Coach Kevin Stallings

Opening Comments:

“We did the things we wanted to do except for defend in the second half and take away [Brian] Sullivan’s threes. But, we didn’t think they could beat us if we took [Julian] Mavunga [away]. We did a good job on him and held him to five or six points below his average.”

On Miami’s Brian Sullivan:
“Sullivan’s game should be attributed to me and the scouting report. We were really out to [stop] Mavunga”

“He made the first two or three or four [threes] and at one point had 12 of their first 18 points. You let him get started and sometimes it’s hard to take him off of it.”

On Miami’s Schedule:
“If you look at [Miami’s] schedule, they lost by six at Xavier and by seven or nine at Cincinnati. Ohio State got away from them at the end, but it was a six- or seven-point game six or seven minutes into the second half. I expected it would be a closer game. Their tempo slows you down.”

On the Upcoming SEC Schedule:
“We have a pattern in games where our first half defense is good and our second half defense is not as good… We have to do a better job of defending in the second half of games.”

On How Vanderbilt Defended Julian Mavunga:
“Lance [Goulbourne] was the best guy we had to put on him. I thought [Goulbourne] did a good job of being in position. I’m pleased with him and the job he did. I would have bet on victory if you told me we’d hold him to 14 points.”

On the Win Following the Strong Showing at Marquette:
“I’m happy we won… I thought we played better defensively, particularly in the second half. We have a long ways to go. We did some good things tonight. I didn’t think this would be an easy game… I was pleased we were able to come in after a good victory at Marquette and do what we had to do to get another victory.”

Miami (Ohio) Head Coach Charlie Coles

Opening Comments:
“Too much [John] Jenkins; too much Jenkins. I can’t believe that. I was more worried about [Jeffrey] Taylor. I felt with his athleticism, he would hurt us more. Taylor didn’t capitalize on a lot of gimmies that he’ll get next time. Jenkins is fantastic. Maybe I can have someone ride back with us – I’ll fly you back, and you can tell our guys who Jenkins is. When the coach screams, ‘Jenkins,’ you should probably cover him. I didn’t think our players knew who he was – that he is shooting 44%, averages 20 points a game, and is all-SEC. Apparently, we didn’t tell our guys that. We don’t do a scouting report.”

On Brian Sullivan’s Play:
“I have been asking someone to make shots all year. I watched Indiana State and Cleveland State come in and beat Vandy. They were able to get some shots. Fortunately, Sullivan got shots whenever we needed shots… [Sullivan] always came through. It’s the first time we had that since the Dayton game.”

On The Team’s Performance:
“It is one of the better games we’ve played. After a loss, I don’t like to talk about the good things we did until a few days after, not that night. We made mistakes and we could have won that game. I don’t want them to think they are getting better and doing a great job until we’ve talked about the mistakes.”

On Vanderbilt’s Defense of Julian Mavunga:
“No one has been better. Vanderbilt did a great job. I didn’t think [Vanderbilt] would give him that much attention. I thought they would play [Festus] Ezeli more like 30 minutes, not 20. If Ezeli had been down there more, I think they would have played more one-on-one. I think Julian [Mavunga] did a great job shooting at 7-for-11, but he killed us with turnovers. He had six. With a double team, I allow three.”

Thoughts on a Horse Game Between John Jenkins and Brian Sullivan:
“I don’t think that game would end until tomorrow. They both shot well. It was a very good game to play in. I like the way our guys compete. They didn’t always play smart, but they played hard.”

On Playing in Memorial Gymnasium:
“I have been here two times. I played here in 1964… I forget the final score, but they beat us. I enjoyed playing here. If you haven’t coached [at Memorial], at the end of the floor, everyone should… I think Coach [Mike Krzyzewski] should have to play here. Make him stay down at the end of the court. He’s used to crouching down in the middle of the floor and be in the game… I don’t think our kids get the way the layout is here, but this court should be here forever.”

Vanderbilt Player Quotes:

#23 John Jenkins:

On 3-point shooting battle with Brian Sullivan:
Jenkins: “He beat me at it, he had eight. He was lights out, it was crazy. He did a great job of getting open, and he hit some crazy deep shots, so he’s a great player. We didn’t know he could shoot that good–we knew he could shoot–but what he did out there was more than we thought so we had to make some adjustments. He beat us into space and throwing it down. He just hit deep shots, shots we didn’t think he would shoot, he’d just pull up.”

On coming into this game off a win over Marquette:
Jenkins: “This could have been seen as a trap game, I guess. We beat a good team at their house the other night, so everyone’s probably thinking, ‘well how are they going to respond?’ I think we responded really well. Not our best effort but we did get the win.”

On the tempo of the game:
“We talked about it quite a bit with Coach. When they took time off the clock a lot, we had a lot of shot clock violations. It might be good defense or them just holding the ball, I don’t know, probably a mixture of both, but it’s something we talked about a lot.”

#3 Festus Ezeli

On Ezeli’s knee and breaking the all-time record for blocks at Vandy:
“I mean, it feels good right now, just working on getting my game back together. I’m still a little behind on the offensive game as you can tell a little bit, but it’s coming, I’m feeling good. The shot block, that feels great. I want to protect the paint, and so it feels good to come out there and help my teammates out. That’s what that signifies. Someone mentioned it to me at the start of the season but I wasn’t keeping track, I didn’t know it was that close today.”

On what’s making them a better team this season:
“I think we’re just more committed to defense now, committed to just taking care of the process in practice, we’ve been doing a lot better job of that. Just coming out and playing hard in practice and trying to get better every day. We’re a good team and we know it, we just have to come out and prove it every day.”

On starting fresh after the holiday break:
“After Christmas break we just came back rejuvenated. We had to let go of the first half of the season. That was really what we did. I think with the injuries and all the stuff we had, we did an okay job of handling all that stuff, I think we can do better than that. So we just brushed if off and said you know, we’re going to start a new season and play how we’re supposed to play.”

Miami (Ohio) Player Quotes

#14 Brian Sullivan

On his hot shooting:
“Coming in we knew that Julian had been playing well, especially against the big teams, so they were going to have to focus on him. I knew I was going to get some open looks at the beginning. They were going under ball screens, and once I got a couple down, as a shooter that’s when it’s fun. Every shot you take, you know it’s going in.”

On what Vanderbilt did to pull out the victory:
“They made some adjustments even before halftime. They stopped going under the ball screens, and applied a little more pressure. Their game plan on Julian – he was pretty successful, but at the same time, Julian’s an animal one-on-one – so they did essentially slow him down.”

#4 Julian Muvunga

On his success against the Dores:
“I really worked to get position at times, but I was trying to be a threat inside and outside. They definitely doubled a lot when I caught the ball, so I had to be patient and find shooters out on the three-point line. Today was a game that we really had to play together, and I think we did a decent job of that. We played hard, but at times we didn’t play smart.”

On what to take out of this game moving forward:
“I’m a senior and I don’t really believe in moral victories. It’s just what it is. It’s a game that we lost, but it’s a game that we all played better in. I told everyone in the huddle that we can’t take any steps backward. We did a good job of playing hard and competing, but we know that there have been other times this season where we didn’t come back from a good performance and compete the next game. It has to be a collective effort as we move forward, and try to improve as we start conference play.”