Vanderbilt - Illinois-Springfield postgame quotes

Nov. 6, 2014

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Vanderbilt Head Coach Kevin Stallings

Opening Comments:
“It was a lot of what I expected. There was a lot of good tonight… I’m happy with our guards… There was some good play and some bad play. That’s what you get in these types of games. It would not have surprised me if this game went down to the wire. You never know what you’re going to get when you put these young kids out there for the first time. We did a great job of taking care of the ball… We thought there would be turnovers, but then you see we had 18 assists and four turnovers, which means we took good care of the ball.”

On Vanderbilt Guard Shelton Mitchell:
“[Shelton] Mitchell was the star of the game. It’s amazing how fun offense is when you have good point guard play.”

“Go find another freshman in the country that [could put up the stats he did]. He did all of it on 12 shots. He’s very steady. I like the pace he plays at because he can play fast and stay under control. That’s a gift. I think he and Wade [Baldwin] have the ability to play fast and control the ball.”

On Vanderbilt Guard Riley LaChance:
“Riley shot the ball well. It’s what we’ve come to see.”

On Exhibition Games:
“You usually can’t win. If it’s a close game, you get those questions like, `Oh, why did you only win by three?’ If you win big, you’re supposed to. When our three freshmen have 11 assists and one turnover, that’s amazing.”

On the Importance of Playing in Front of Fans:
“The first time you put that game uniform on you get a few jitters… It’s different with people in the stands. I thought it was good to trot them out there a couple of times [this year in exhibition games].”

On Vanderbilt’s Offensive Cuts:
“Offensively, we’re different than we have been the last couple of years. There’s more of an emphasis on cutting. I want us to cut hard. It’s something we work on every day.”

On Vanderbilt’s Backcourt Defense:
“I would give it a passing grade tonight. They did a better job in the first half than in the second half… They try to do the things we ask them to do. We have a lot to build on. We have a lot to learn from.”

Vanderbilt Guard Riley LaChance
On shooting early to set the tone of his first game:
“I wasn’t necessarily eager to shoot, I was just trying to be aggressive. I know that if I try to be aggressive, that opens up some lanes. It really all started with Shelton and our point guards pushing the ball down the floor. They push it really well and got me open shots; I had the easy part– they make great plays for me, they set great screens for me. We executed solidly on offense.”

On feeling jitters during tonight’s game:
“I don’t know if it was necessarily jitters, but we were all really excited to play. We’ve had a really good preseason and a really good offseason. We were all really excited to get out there, and I think that showed with the start we had.”

On playing with Damien Jones:
“I definitely haven’t played with someone of his caliber at that position. The defense was so concentrated on him that it opened driving lanes, it opened up opportunities for all of us guards. I think he did a good job of not forcing anything and playing within himself. I mean he’s the best player on our team and having him down there is definitely really nice.”

On having played his first college game:
“It’s nice to have finally played in front of the fans and finally be able to play a different opponent rather than just your teammates everyday. It was definitely nice to get out there for the first time, and from here we’re just looking to get better. Looking to improve on the mistakes we made, and we’ll see where we go.”

Vanderbilt Guard Shelton Mitchell
On Coach Stallings’ comment about Shelton being “one of the top point guards that’s played here in years:”
“I just want to get better everyday. I don’t really pay attention to any of that; I just try to play above my age and try to get better everyday.”

On scoring twenty-one points in his first game and his role in scoring points in games:
“I don’t like to just score. I like passing more than I like scoring, and definitely rebounding just because if I get the rebound I can push it faster and I don’t have to worry about it being given to me.”

On the difference between playing in front of the fans and playing in practice:
“I definitely felt a difference. The fans give you excitement, especially being able to play our first exhibition game in front of a crowd instead of just the coaches. So it actually gave me some excitement but it also makes you a little nervous because you haven’t played a game in a while. But it was fine.”

On feeling pressure to score as much points as they did tonight in future games:
“I wouldn’t necessarily say we’re expected to just score, I think it’s really anything to just win. Some nights it might be scoring, some nights it might be defense, rebounding, but we know we’ve got to play a big role. I think we’re all excited for that; we’re excited to play a big role and be able to lead the team. Nothing really serious.”