Vanderbilt-Longwood quotes

Dec. 19, 2011

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Vanderbilt vs Longwood
December 19, 2011
Memorial Gymnasium

Vanderbilt Head Coach Kevin Stallings

Opening Comments:
“I certainly liked most aspects of our play. Our enthusiasm and our energy were a lot better… Our defense in the second half – I didn’t like some of the breakdowns. That’s two games in a row we’ve been burned for threes. We play a team on Wednesday [ Lafayette] that’s outstanding at shooting threes… We rebounded well. We seemed to play for 40 minutes.”

On Vanderbilt’s Jeffrey Taylor:
“Jeff is hard on himself and has started being nicer to himself. He’s been unbelievable for the last two to three games. He’s been getting to the rim, he’s been making perimeter shots, and he’s been doing it in all aspects of the game. He’s been dominant on the defensive end… He missed our shoot-around because he was sick.”

On Jeffrey Taylor’s Knee Wrap:
“He hasn’t missed any practice. Injuries don’t slow him down. It’s like he can ignore them and keep going.”

On the Significance of the Win:
“We needed it because of a lot of things. We needed it for our confidence. I’ve only had one other year in coaching that has been this [filled with] injuries and prolonged things and sickness. We just have to keep fighting.”

On the Health of Vanderbilt’s Festus Ezeli:
“Good question. He looked better today and yesterday than before the Davidson game. If he doesn’t feel like he can play, then that’s what we’ll go with… We’re just going to stick with the guys we have… When Festus feels like coming back, he’ll come back.”

Vanderbilt Player quotes:

Jeffery Taylor, John Jenkins:

On being able to play without distractions of exams, etc.
JJ: It definitely helps a lot at this point, after the Indiana State loss, getting the taste out of our mouths and just being out there, kind of like a redemption game almost. Finals, we were really stressed out, but it wasn’t an excuse at all for us. We had some pretty good practices leading into Indiana State so we just wanted to come out here and go full force tonight.

On being ill:
JT: I don’t know if I had the flu or if I ate some bad food last night, but yeah, I was throwing up pretty much all night and today. It happens. I’ll get over it the best I can. It’s strange how you kind of focus on different things throughout the game and did well today.

Last 3 performances:
JT: I’ve just been in a pretty good groove lately, shots just feel like they’re going in. I think it’s just an attribute to the work you put in in the off season. I’ve just kind of been strong. I’ve just been trying, throughout this whole stretch, staying consistently aggressive. I feel like in the past I would be aggressive and then fade away and then I’ll come back. I’ve just been trying to stay consistently aggressive every time I’m on the court and it’s been working.

On finishing strong Wednesday and facing Marquette after the break:
JJ: We definitely need to finish out strong next game, and go into Christmas break feeling good about ourselves because Marquette’s a really tough team, and we know that from last year.

Longwood Head Coach Mike Gillian

On Tough Timing Playing at Memorial After Vanderbilt Had a Home Loss:
“You might say that, but we’ve been in that situation many times in the past eight years. They are all college kids playing and the motivations are always something different. After a loss, especially when a team is used to success, you could say that might have been a factor. The bottom line is you can say there is a good team here. Even when you factor in [Vanderbilt’s] losses at the end of the season, those are all going to be NCAA tournament teams and those teams are preparing for that.”

On Difficulty in Stopping Vanderbilt’s Jeffery Taylor:
“[Jeffery Taylor] understands what is important to the game. He doesn’t force plays, but he can force his will on the game… He is mature physically; he’s mentally into the game. Even when you have guys that have played together for a long time, like him and [John] Jenkins, those roles are going to change. I can tell you that [Taylor] right now is the one driving the bus. He is really, really good… Since I started coaching at Longwood, we’ve kept a list of the best players we’ve played against. There are about 40 names on that list; most have played in the NBA. I’ll bet you Taylor is on that list.”

On the Importance of Three-Point Shooting for Longwood’s Game:
“It is something we do. We were 10-for-20 tonight. We can shoot a high percentage of three-point shots. We need to do that to be successful and we can to that against anyone…We have a number of guys that can make that shot.”