Vanderbilt-Monmouth quotes

Nov. 26, 2011

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Vanderbilt Head Coach Kevin Stallings

“My assessment of this game is that we really got out-competed, particularly in the second half. That’s disappointing, that their guys tried more than our guys did. It’s a very rare thing that you come out of a game winning and almost feeling like you lost, but that’s how I feel. We really got out-worked, out-toughed, out-played. We won because we have superior talent and superior players — size, strength, athleticism, skill. But lost the fight portion of the game tonight and that’s disappointing.”

On the return of Monmouth Head Coach King Rice, a former Stallings’ assistant:

“I’m happy for him. He’s been having a hard time getting his team to play as hard as he wants them to. I think they played a lot harder tonight, so good for him – hopefully their players are getting the message.”

On VU’s second-half lull:

“We were turning the ball over. We got up by 26 points, I think it was 71-45. We came over at a timeout after we had had a nice stretch, so we complimented them and told them that was a good four minute stretch. Then we came out and started jacking up balls and really got a little selfish; started playing to get our own points; knew that the game was probably over so we just thought we’d go out on our and do something things like that…. It didn’t work out that well it didn’t look like to me.”

Monmouth Head Coach King Rice

“First off, I want to say thanks to Coach Kevin Stallings and everybody at Vanderbilt. There’s so many people and I shouldn’t start trying to say names, but the people here have been so good to me. For Coach Stallings to play me in my first year just says a lot for what he’s about. He told me was proud of me tonight. I worked for him for 11 years and he never really, really said that. He said, ‘Your kids played hard and I’m proud of you, King. Keep doing what you’re doing.’ I want to thank him for his opportunity. He is probably the single most important person for me to get this opportunity. I can’t thank him enough. I want to thank the Vanderbilt guys – the success we had here got me an opportunity that I’ve been dreaming about for a long time.”

On the game:

“You sit there, and I know how good they [the Commodores] are, and I know that any moment they can explode on you. Dai-Jon’s [Parker] hitting three’s, and Kedron’s [Johnson] hitting three’s, and they hadn’t been doing that yet. I think they’re going to do that, but why tonight? They started pulling away from us and I’m trying to call timeout because I wanted our guys to have some confidence after this one. In the second half, when you’re playing Coach Stallings team and he puts his guys back in, you know that you’re doing the right thing. Coach really put his guys back in tonight. I take my hat off to our players. We had guys out – our seven-foot kid is out, one of my wing guys is out, one of my best players blew his knee this summer, so we’re shorthanded. We had one post player paying in the game today, and our kids really fought. That’s what Monmouth basketball is all about. That’s why Dr. McNeil asked me to come here – to bring what we did here at Vanderbilt, bring toughness…. Our kids just kept fighting, kept trying to get the W, and really got us back in the game. They show heart, their character was off the charts tonight. That’s what we’re trying to do.”

On Vanderbilt:

“They’re better. Jeff Taylor’s better. Last year he didn’t make those pull-up jumpers all the time, and this year he pulls up you just think they’re going in. Lance Goulbourne is just better. And I have to say, they don’t have Festus [Ezeli}. That changes everything. You can’t drive if Festus is in there. Then they don’t have Steve [Tchiengang]. You really can’t drive if they have Steve because Steve’s gonna make you pay for it if you come in the lane.”

Vanderbilt Players

John Jenkins:
What went wrong in the second half when the shots stopped falling:
“In the second half, we let up and let them get their heads up. We weren’t hitting a lot of our shots, and they were hitting there shots, and they had a lot of confidence going forward. We didn’t get stop it like we wanted to.”

You guys shot the ball well in the first half. Did you just feel it?
“Yes, we were just putting them up there, and we got some good looks early.”

What was it like to see King again?
“It was definitely weird. Yesterday, he was at our practice and in our locker room, and it was really good to see him, but it was also weird. I enjoyed playing against him. It was fun.”

Do they run some of the same things you do?
“Yes, it was really weird. Lot of the plays are called the same thing, and Coach told us before the game it was going to be that way. They would call them out, and we knew them. It was weird.”

Jeffery Taylor:
What was it like to see King again?
It was a great feeling. He’s part of the reason why I came to visit him. It was great to see him again.

How hard is it to keep up your desire?
You know, you can’t look at it that way. You have to look ahead a little bit, and you have to approach every game as if you’re playing North Carolina, or whoever you’re playing. You’ve got to come with the same intensity. The way you play, and the way you practice, it carries over game to game. Also, when you don’t play good defense, it leaves you with a bad feeling. I’m really disappointed in the way we played defense today, especially that stretch in the second half when we couldn’t get a stop.