Vanderbilt-LSU postgame quotes

Jan. 2, 2016

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Vanderbilt Head Coach Kevin Stallings

Opening Statement:
“We got outplayed, outfought. We’re disappointed. We had guys in this game who didn’t show up to play. I’ve tried just about everything I know and it hasn’t worked yet… That was a really disappointing effort on our part, a disappointing defensive effort. It’s my responsibility to get it fixed.”

On Vanderbilt’s Struggles Getting Offensive Rebounds:

“We’re not a good offensive rebounding team. We have a couple of guys who will get offensive rebounds, but they didn’t get them tonight. Foul trouble early had something to do with that because you’re hesitant to be aggressive on the boards when you’re strapped with fouls.”

On Vanderbilt’s Shooting:

“It’s a joke to look at our three-point shooting. When the game was on, we didn’t make them. Our shooters’ job is to make shots… I thought Wade [Baldwin] was the only guy on our team that played the game the way it needed to be played to win.”

On LSU’s Defense:

“A lot of the problems came because of foul trouble. Our bench wasn’t great and we had to put in some makeshift lineups and had to go to some secondary offensive stuff. As soon as Jeff [Roberson] and Damian [Jones] got into foul trouble, we were just holding on.”

On Vanderbilt’s Performance:

“There weren’t enough guys that did what we needed them to do I can count one.”

On Guarding LSU’s Ben Simmons:

“It didn’t matter what we did because we didn’t do it well enough or hard enough… When you don’t go at it with the level of intensity and passion that you need to go after it with, it doesn’t matter what you do.”

On Correcting LSU’s 40 Points in the Paint:

“Play harder, play with more awareness. Play with more intensity.”

Vanderbilt SO Guard Wade Baldwin IV:

On LSU’s intensity:

“I think they came to play and we didn’t and that’s pretty much all I can say… whatever Coach Stallings said, I’m sure he said it very vividly on how he felt and we all agree with what he has to say.”

On rebounding struggles:

“I didn’t rebound well at all. I didn’t even get a rebound so that’s on me. As a team, we let way too many loose balls and offensive rebounds get to their hands in critical moments of the game where we were trying to get momentum and those are momentum killers. You’re not going to win games like that.”

On Simmons now versus high school:

“I remember we played my senior year, he was a junior. A lot of the stuff ran through DeAngelo Russell and he was the low, close guy. Coming through his senior year, he came out and in New Jersey and the coach turned him into a point guard and I really think that helped out his game. He utilizes every tool he has in his college game and he’s been very dominant so far and he’s a very good player.”

On knowing there’s time to improve before March:

“We’re far from done. Change needs to obviously happen. A lot of people projected us this season to go far and we’re an 8-5 team right now. There can definitely be a turnaround, I can assure that. Our coaching staff will work their tails off night in and night out and we have full belief they’re going to do their job. Like I said last year, to me, these are the best coaches in America.”

Vanderbilt SO Forward Jeff Roberson:

On the expectation of facing Simmons:

“We knew what to expect but I know it put the team in a tough position getting into foul trouble early and it was kinda battling a lot of foul trouble from there and it just kind of made it easy on him because he had 19 free throws. We just gotta be better to stop.”

“He’s a good player and draws a lot of attention. When you focus all on him, he kicks it out so there’s a reason he is who he is, because he’s good.”

On slow starts to the second half this season:

“We usually can tell the first few minutes of the second half this year have been a real struggle for us. We just haven’t been able to get stops coming out of the gate and then it’s been an uphill climb trying to get everything back that we lost.”

LSU Head Coach Johnny Jones

On Simmons having the ball in his hands down the stretch especially as the game wore on:

“I thought he did a great job of spacing the floor and any time we were able to set screens we were able to attack as they were switching at the time. He’s excellent at being poised and getting the ball to the right guys. Not so much him scoring but making the right decisions with it out there on the floor. So, that and them going with a small lineup. So, we just wanted to take advantage and be patient down the stretch, and I thought he did a good job of doing that.”

On Simmons not scoring till around the seven minute mark in the first half:

“We just a lot of times allow our guys just to be in the flow of the game, and Ben’s been very fortunate that he’s been surrounded by some guys that can really shoot and really score. The good thing is that he trusts them and as the game plays out ,like it did tonight, he’s able to take advantage of the opportunities presented to him. I thought his teammates did a good job of scoring early, making plays and I don’t think he had to force anything. When the floor opened up and the opportunity presented itself I thought he took advantage of it.”

On his impressions of his teams first half defensive efforts:

“I thought our guys did a tremendous job of communicating. This is one of the higher and more efficient basketball teams in the country. They’re excellent in terms of their ability to score be it the three and Jones is obviously a tough match-up inside. But I thought our guys did a good job of staying connected. We switched at times, stayed down and took away driving lanes and made it tough to catch for their shooters. Again I thought we did a good job of trying to force Jones to at least think about what he was doing. Because we came down and trapped him early. So, I thought it kind of took them a little bit out of their flow, but at the same time we were excited that we were able to hold them to 30 something percent shooting there in the first half and that was huge for us.”

On if he was surprised at Simmons performance tonight on this stage:

“Especially in this environment, not so much surprised but I know that is what he is capable of doing, but to do that on your first night out in this type of environment here says a lot about him. Certainly not surprised about his play and not a lot surprises me about him being around him long enough now.”

On what the turning point was for their team after holding a 51-50 lead in the second half and then really taking control of the game:

“I thought two things. One, on the defensive end our guys continued to grind. They made their run and good teams are going to do that and we expected Vanderbilt too. But I thought our guys did a great job of responding well to it. We did not panic under the pressure. We made extra passes and we executed on the offensive end of the floor and that’s what was needed. I thought that was huge for us because their fans got into it, they made their run and we were able to sustain that.”

On seeing on the stat sheet the disparity of rebounding between the teams:

“I thought it was good for us. One of our focuses coming into tonight was to try and win the war on the boards. Tonight we were able to do that and I thought that gave us a great opportunity. We got some second chance opportunities that were big and winning in the paint was huge for us. But to get 11 offensive rebounds was really good for us especially shooting 46 percent from the field. I thought that as a group we did a lot better job on the glass against a good rebounding team.”

LSU FR Forward Ben Simmons

On his ability to get to the foul line a lot tonight:

“Just being aggressive. I knew the bigs couldn’t guard me. So, being consistent and starting from the first half to the second half.”

On the way the whole team played defense tonight especially in the first half:

I think just communication. Everyone talking on defense and then being a aggressive team from the jump. You know, playing with a chip on our shoulder.”

On where his confidence and mentality that Vanderbilt couldn’t stop him tonight came from:

“That’s just my mentality with everybody. It doesn’t matter who it is.”

On if coming into his first SEC game he felt pressure to prove the hype surrounding him was for real:

“I’m just going to play my game. I’m not really worried about what everyone says about what I could be. I know what I could be and who I can be as a player. So, I’m going to do that.”

On Hornsby getting going offensively in the second half:

“That’s big. Every time he’s on the court I’m looking for him. I’m trying to bring him higher actually so he’s more available to me. You know, they slack off of him because he is a great shooter and that opens up a lot of space for me.”

LSU SR Guard Keith Hornsby

On the way the whole team played defense tonight especially in the first half:

“I think he (Simmons) touched on playing with a chip on our shoulder. We came out with a different type of energy, and we really prepared for this game better than I think the other ones. We took in the scouting report incredibly well and it showed out in the first half.”

On what they saw on the scouting report to be prepared for tonight’s match-up:

“They just have a great team. You know, they have shooters everywhere and they have big guys down low. We knew we couldn’t get caught up in all the movement they had on the offense. We had to really communicate and switch a lot, and that really tests a unit defensively. I think we did a better job of that as the game went on.”

On if anything they talked about in their team meeting this week translated to the floor tonight:

“I mean, it wasn’t just stuffed discussed in the meeting. I mean, we talk about this stuff among teammates and when we are in the locker room. We just approached this game differently. We had a better edge about ourselves when we touched the floor, and we needed that. I’m just happy that we did it and we need to sustain that coming into the next 17 games in conference.”

On having only five points at halftime if he felt like he had to be more assertive in the second half:

“You know, I didn’t want to force anything. We had a good thing going. I just want to take advantage of opportunities when they come to me, and I did that. Especially in the second half. You know, just take it as it comes but certainly be more aggressive than timid.”