Vanderbilt-Mercer postgame quotes

Dec. 21, 2009

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Postgame Quotes
Vanderbilt 99, Mercer 59
December 21, 2009

Vanderbilt Head Coach Kevin Stallings

Opening Comments:
“That was a little better. It’s amazing how things go when you shoot the ball well. Guys start feeding off it and balls start going in. I’m pleased with how we played on the defensive end. [Mercer] is a better team than that, but it got snowballing. I’ve been on the other end of that and it’s not fun. I’m proud of the way we worked as a team and guarded for 40 minutes. We took their three primary scorers and limited them below their averages.”

On Vanderbilt’s Three-Point Shooting:
“We haven’t been taking bad shots, they just haven’t gone in. I think we’re a great three-point shooting team. We have a great shooting team; they just haven’t been shooting very well.”

On John Jenkins:
“John believes he will make shots when he shoots them and so do the rest of us. He started off well. He’s gotten better and started to figure out our offense and how to make it work for him. He’s making some real strides in that area.”

On Vanderbilt’s Non-Conference Schedule:
“We knew that our first nine games were going to be as difficult as anyone in the country. Three of our first nine games were at home and there just aren’t that many high-conference teams that do that.”

On Mercer’s James Florence:
“We wanted to give a lot of help on him in certain spots. We wanted Florence to shoot three-point shots. He’s a terrific player and a terrific finisher.”

Vanderbilt guard Jermaine Beal

On offense:
“We have a good shooting team. We make shots all the time, but it was just a matter of time when we had a game where everyone hit their shots.”

On picking up momentum for break:
“I hope we can just start here and carry this over. We’re going to go home, chill and hang out, and eat good food. We have to go back to the gyms we grew up playing in and keep our touches up.”

On stepping out to a large lead:
“It was important for us to get out to a strong start and keep it going from there.”

On stopping James Florence:
“Florence is fast and quick and he’s a good player. Defending him was not just me though; it was a total team effort.”

Vanderbilt guard John Jenkins

On Vanderbilt’s shooting game:
“I feel a lot more comfortable, especially with Beal playing like he did tonight. It’s good to play off each other as a team because it keeps the momentum going.”

On three-point shot in last seconds of first half:
“I just threw it up, hoping it would go in, but that was the only 3-pointer I missed in the first half. It was good to get into a rhythm with those.”

On Confidence:
“Confidence is key. When I can get that going, I can feel a lot better about taking shots and more at ease with the perimeter.”

Mercer Head Coach Bob Hoffman

Opening Statement:
“There isn’t much to say. Vanderbilt played great and they were on target and on time. They played well together tonight and they took care of the ball for the majority of the game. They hit some threes early and we didn’t respond very well. They’re a well coached team and I wish them the best.”

On being more concerned with the outside game than inside game of Vanderbilt:
“Well I knew they were 31 or 32 percent on the year and I knew they had better shooters than that. Sometimes when you have a break like we both had over finals you can get your stroke back, and obviously they did a good job of that.”

On what Vanderbilt did on defense to take away James Florence:
“They played us really physical, not illegally their just really physical. James got into some tough positions and he’s an unbelievable player. They just did a good job of defending him. Their height bothered him tonight. He was pressing a little bit when we started to fall behind. He’s a winner and he will compete.”

On calling a number of timeouts in first half:
“I was just trying to appeal to them that we’re better than how we’re playing and that we have to go back and insure them that they could do things they didn’t look like they thought they could do. We looked like a team playing defeated instead of playing loose and going after them.”

Mercer guard James Florence

General thoughts on game:
“I’m disappointed in the overall effort of our team tonight. We played like we were intimidated on the floor during the game.”

On Vanderbilt’s rank among opponents played so far in season:
“I would say that they are comparable with Georgia Tech and Florida State. They are comparable to those teams. They were slightly above Providence.” On current state of team: “We started the season well with strong energy but have lost some confidence over time.”

On facing Vanderbilt on the road:
“This game will definitely help us in our conference season and beyond. Vanderbilt had a good crowd here tonight and anytime you can play an SEC team on the road, it’s a good challenge to prepare for.”x