Vanderbilt-Penn postgame quotes (12/22/14)

Dec. 22, 2014

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Vanderbilt Head Coach Kevin Stallings

Opening Comments:

“I thought we responded well in a game that’s often overlooked. You have guys thinking about Christmas turkey… You get that all the time. Teams lose games like this they probably shouldn’t lose. I thought our defensive intensity for the first 15 minutes of the second half was outstanding… James [Siakam] gave us energy. Wade [Baldwin] played well off the bench. Damian [Jones] played well inside… Our only blemish was ball control in the first half. Nevertheless, I am played with our overall play.”

On Starting James Siakam:

“I thought Luke [Kornet] hasn’t been doing so much recently and James has been playing well. Just because you like a [starting] combination better doesn’t mean you should overlook play.”

“James is an energetic guy. He plays hard and gives us a lot of offensive boards. We had 10 offensive rebounds and he had four. He’s very physical and a fantastic offensive rebounder.”

On Vanderbilt’s Ball Care:

“I tried to coach in the Christmas spirit tonight. We talked about it at halftime. I didn’t get very upset about it. The guys who had a lot of turnovers know they had a lot of turnovers. It’s nice to win a game like this when Riley [LaChance] doesn’t have a great game.”

On His 300th Win:

“The players told me after the game. I know I always say this, but I really didn’t know. I think Joe Fisher had mentioned it. I’m proud of it. I’m proud to have been here long enough to win that number of games and appreciate the players and the people I’ve had a chance to coach.”

On Vanderbilt’s 8-3 Record:

“8-3 is a good place to be. We’ll take it and we’ll build on it. We have to play with more physicality. In two of the three games we’ve lost, we lost because of our physicality. We have a good group of really nice kids. We have to put them in more hard contact drills in practice to increase our physicality. Our #1 challenge is to get more physical. Physicality leads to rebounding.”

Senior Forward James Siakam

On getting his first start on the year:

“For me it’s just another role on the team. Whatever the coach gives you, you just go out there and do the best you can to help the team. That’s kind of what I tried to do today.”

On scoring the first six points of the game:

“It’s just like any other day really. You get open. You got great guards who find you. You just go out there and play. There really is no special recipe for that.”

On being around for Stallings’ 300th win at Vanderbilt:

“I think he (Coach Stallings) is a competitor, and for him that’s all that matters. Winning games. I don’t think he even knew about that. So, for him it’s just really about winning. It’s about winning the fight every game, and for us it’s just following the script. Whatever he designs for us to do every night that’s what we do. We are not really too worried about how many wins he gets really. Whether it’s his 300th or anything like that. We just go out there and play, and try to win every game.”

“For him it’s not about the title. It’s about getting the job done no matter what it takes.”

On what the team needs to improve on heading into conference play:

“We definitely need to take care of the ball better, and as a team we need to be consistent especially on the defensive end, and especially in the second half. I think sometimes we get comfortable especially when we are up in the first half, and the second half is a little sluggish. I think as a whole we know that and when we come back from Christmas that’s pretty much what we are going to do, and winning on the road. That is going to be a very key point there. “

Freshman Guard Wade Baldwin IV

On approach of coming off the bench:

“It’s whatever Coach Stallings wants me to do. I just go out there and try to do everything that he asks me to do, and do it to the best of my ability whether it’s starting or coming off the bench. Coming off the bench today it helped our team. We had a big win today so I can’t complain”

On if the amount of turnovers was due to being “careless”:

“At times, but for the season so far our guards have been very good controlling the ball. We have little mistakes here and there, but you can’t whine about every turnover.”

On the depth of the team:
“Oh yeah we have a great team. I mean we have guys coming off the bench. Myself, Matthew Fisher-Davis, James (Siakam) for the most part comes off the bench now, and Luke (Kornet). So, everybody is contributing as well as they can and it’s clicking.”

On if he is ready for Christmas break:

“I actually don’t want to go home. I love playing, I love being around here, and I love the system he has. I’m just enjoying myself.”

On being such a young team did he think they would be where they are as a team now:

“I thought we would do better for sure. There’s games that we should have won for sure, and I know we didn’t.”

On team’s mood coming off the Georgia Tech loss:

“We were furious after the Georgia Tech loss with the lead that we had. In our first real road game there is no excuse for that. We came out here today with physicality and with high energy. Because those were the things the coaches were looking for. So, we felt like we owed it to them and that we let them down the last game, and we came out and showed it today with a big win.”