Vanderbilt -- Austin Peay postgame quotes

Nov. 13, 2015

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Vanderbilt head coach Kevin Stallings

Opening Statement:

“I liked our defensive intensity. Late in the first half, [Austin Peay] started to get offensive boards on us, but we corrected that. Luke [Kornet] was really effective on both ends. He’s the anchor of our defense back there and I was pleased. I thought we’d have Jeff [Roberson]. I found out during the pre-game meal that he wouldn’t be able to play. He’s had a concussion and it would have been good to have him. That pressed Luc into action a little more.”

“I thought our length gave them trouble. You could see a lot of the progress and the growth this team has had.”

On Vanderbilt’s Defense:
“We were five or six rebounds away in the first half from putting up a really low number defensively. My staff told me [Austin Peay] had 10 points off offensive rebounds in the first half… You have to not let up defensively after you build a good lead. You have to get constant defensive stops to get away from people.”

“[Austin Peay] had a stretch in the second half where they scored on five of six possessions or six of seven possessions. We’ll be reviewing that stretch in the film room tomorrow… You need to play each possession the best you can. For the most part, we did.”

On Vanderbilt Forward Jeff Roberson:
“He needs to get out and play, but he can’t until they say he’s ready. We should have him back by Monday.”

On Vanderbilt’s Offense:
“We’ve had a couple of scrimmages against two of the best teams in the country, so I’m not surprised we came out like we did. Confidence comes from knowing what to expect. This team gives me reason to believe they play hard. This team gives me reason to believe they’ll be confident… It was important to get [the first-timers] in there today. One of the best subs I made was putting Nolan [Cressler] back in at the end of the game because he hit two more buckets.”

On Vanderbilt’s Youth:
“The core of this team is sophomores and juniors. Those are the first six or seven guys. That’s still a very young team, but it’s an experienced team because they played a bunch of minutes last year. People don’t care how old or young you are. They care if you can play.”

On Vanderbilt’s Three-Point Defense:
“I really like [Austin Peay Head Coach] Dave [Loos]. They have a guy on their bench who’s important to me… I hope [Austin Peay’s struggles behind the arc] were a function of our defense because obviously I want them to have a lot of success.”

Austin Peay head coach Dave Loos

Opening Statement:
“We obviously got off to a terrible start and Vanderbilt got off to a great start. They’re a good basketball team. I think they’re as advertised- certainly in my book. They’re big, they make shots. They overwhelmed us early, I think that was a matter of their size and defense and our inability to play together. Our shot selection was pretty bad. I have to give them a lot of credit for that. I’ve never been in a game where a team had one assist. That’s what we had.

Loos on adjusting to Vanderbilt’s size:
“We were shocked early. I don’t think we learned from it. It was a disappointing thing. We were way out on the floor with ball screens trying to make it all the way to the rim. They’ve got two seven footers back there waiting on us and it wasn’t going to work. We needed to beat one guy and pull up the pitch, and we didn’t figure that out.”

Loos on the team getting used to playing together:
“We came unraveled, but I don’t want to say it was just us. I think they had a lot to do with it. The experience [of Vanderbilt] that you’re talking about was part of it. I think they got after us pretty good [on defense].”

Loos on how the team will cope with the team’s small size:
“It is what it is. We’re going to have learn to play that way. This is a process, that’s what we told the guys after the game. It’s not a one game deal. We’ve got to continue to work, we go back to work on it in the morning. I don’t think every team we play is going to be the size of Vanderbilt, so we’ve got to be realistic. It’s not going to be like this every night. If we play big people, we’ve got to play and better together. You can’t win a game with one assist.”

Loos on playing Indiana next:
“I hope that we’re better against Indiana than we were tonight. They’re a good basketball team. That’s the nature of the beast on our level. It’s painful sometimes, but we get better.”

SO G Wade Baldwin

On starting the season strong:
“It definitely brought energy to us. All of the hard work we’ve done for however many months, just coming out like that is great.”

On if they feel like they have something to prove:
“We’re taking it one game at a time. So today we did our business, and Monday it’s Gardner-Webb, and we’re going to try to do the same.”

On his improvement in the past year:
“Playing with these guys every day in the off season, working with the coaches, and just getting better overall, just doing that translates over to that and the game and it shows.”

On the improvement of the team’s defense in the offseason:
“It’s a commitment. We will find this year that people are more committed to the defensive end, and it showed strongly at times today. I would say about 90% of the game. It was a big emphasis that we had.”

JR F/C Luke Kornet

On the defense today:
“That’s been our emphasis since the end of last year, this entire offseason, just establishing ourselves as a defensive team and gaining our energy from that. Especially at the beginning of the game, it was our main focus and I was trying to do the best I could on that end.”

On the size of the team:
“I think a lot of what we did was just being connected together on defense. I’m sure our size definitely helps in terms of making some shots a little harder to get off, and that’s the great thing about having me and Damian and some of the guys off of the bench, and our guards have a lot of length too. I think using those advantages the best we can I’m sure helps, but it all starts with just our mental focus and being together, talking, and working hard. If you don’t have that your defense isn’t going to be very good.”

On the student section:
“I think it was definitely different. I think usually the first couple of games of the year it’s pretty sparse. It was pretty awesome to have everybody out there, and it shows that they are as excited about the year as we are. It showed that the people are excited to see the results of all the work we’re putting in. I’m just really excited to see the next game.”

On becoming a more traditional big man:
“It’s something I’m definitely working on. I think back to high school and freshman year, and it felt like if I didn’t shoot the ball well, I couldn’t affect the game. With the amount of shooters that we have and the way that we can move the ball, I don’t really have to hit the threes. There are times when I need to, but we can just keep moving the ball and I’m just going to keep trying to affect the game as much as I can, even if it’s on the interior.”

Austin Peay SR G Khalil Davis

On the tough game:
“We just got into the game, the first big game, and we have a new team of guys and we lost our composure. But we picked it up second half, that’s all that matters. We were just trying to work out a couple of kinks. We played a bigger team and a better team, so it was just something that we aren’t used to yet. So we just have to take this game and work from it, we can’t dwell on this game because that is just going to have a negative impact. So we have to take this game and move on from it and learn from it.”

On the team’s attitude moving forward:
“We aren’t feeling down. We already knew the risk of a big game, and we like playing big games because they let us know where we are as a team. This game just let us know that we have a lot of work to do, but we are still confident on how we are going to do in our conference. One thing I know about this team being a senior is that we have a team that is going to bounce back from this. We take this loss and we are going to learn from it. And I know the guys in there are looking up at the seniors to lead and we have to lead so everyone else can follow us.”