Vanderbilt-Tennessee post game quotes

Jan. 14, 2017

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Tennessee 87 Vanderbilt 75
Post game quotes

Vanderbilt head coach Bryce Drew
Opening comments:
“It’s hard to win a game when you give up 60% shooting. Offensively, we did a lot of things, but it’s hard to win a game without stops on the defensive end.”

“In the first half, we switched it up between man-to-man and zone. In the second half, we tried to lock in on one thing and go with it. Tennessee made a lot of shots. When they weren’t able to make outside shots, their guards did a good job taking it to the rim.”

On Vanderbilt guard Matthew Fisher-Davis:
“I haven’t talked to him [about the technical foul]. Matt wants to win games. He got off to a great start in the second half too. He’s used to playing physical games. I don’t think that had any part in it.”

“It’s been difficult for Matt this year. Offensively, teams are starting to game plan for him.”

On Vanderbilt’s struggles to make defensive stops:
“It’s uncharted waters for me. My teams have been some of the best in the country defensively… If you want to be a championship team, you have to play defense.”

On Vanderbilt’s depth affecting the team’s defense:
“When you play man-to-man, you exert more energy and you foul more. We only go nine-deep and we don’t have the depth for that. Some of us playing zone is about protecting Luke [Kornet] in the middle. He’s such a good shot-blocker that we have to protect him to keep him in there.”

“Tennessee was really good tonight. They made a lot of shots and finished well at the rim. Luke [Kornet] played good defense, but they made good shots.”

On Luke Kornet’s height advantage versus Tennessee:
“Luke started to play more aggressively in the second half. Our guards did a good job of finding him in transition and were able to get it to him for a few threes. Teams that have played small this season have given us problems.”

“Tennessee made some tough shots over the top of Luke… Luke probably alters the shots he doesn’t block.”

On Vanderbilt’s mentality:
“No one is going to feel sorry for us… It’s a long season. We want to finish better than we started.”

Vanderbilt senior Luke Kornet
On the defense and if they should of done anything differently.
“They definitely did shoot the ball well. We needed to be a little more aggressive and make things uncomfortable for them. They had good shots, but I think we also left them a little too open at some parts so we got to try and close that space up.”

On the morale right now:
“Losing is not fun at all and it definitely hurts to loose games like this. But you can respond in one of two ways, you can give up or do something about it. All greatness comes with a lot of failure and I think as long as we can keep our minds set, we can respond with more intensity and more work in practice and things like that. And that’s what we are committed to do.”

On being big against a shorter team:
“Generally they can dig down on your legs and things like that. That’s probably the biggest thing, that they are allowed to get underneath you and drive you out, especially with smaller guys. And they did a pretty job of that, especially because they were switching so they were definitely working on being there. It’s their ability to get low and be there and get underneath my legs and drive me out.”

On not having a lot of fouls in the first half and how it impacted their aggression:
“I thought offensively we did pretty well. We weren’t struggling at all. We played a good game offensively. But, defensively we didn’t try to over run things and give them driving lanes so we stayed back. With how well they were shooting, we needed to close that space. With us being in a zone, I was probably a little too passive and staying back, letting them cut into the midpost and corners and they did a good job making those shots. I should of adjusted earlier and been more aggressive.”

Vanderbilt senior Nolan Cressler
On the frustration in the game:
“It’s tough and frustrating but we couldn’t seem to get over that hump. With the last couple of games against Alabama, against Kentucky, we played them close and we played them to at least be in a position to tie it at the end. It was frustrating tonight because we couldn’t seem to get over that hump. Credit to Tennessee, they played a great game tonight.”

On the difficulty with shooting three’s, one of the team’s strengths:
“I think it is definitely a point of emphasis for other teams’ defense to take our shooters away. Like Luke said, I thought we did a pretty good job on offense. We adjusted and got to the rim and we were able to get to the paint and find our shooters in the second half. But we just got to be better in terms of our defense.”

Tennessee head coach Rick Barnes
Opening statement:
“I thought it was the most poised game that we’ve played all year. What I mean by that is I thought every guy was locked in to what we needed to get done. We got off to a great start offensively. They’re such a well-coached team, they really know how to play offense and we were really working hard at trying to take away the three. They do what a well-coached team would do, they were getting themselves to the foul line. The way our guys stayed with it, I thought we, offensively, for 40 minutes were really efficient except from, I think if I can remember, about the 8-minute mark in the first half to the four-[minute mark] somewhere when we turned it over four times. So, out of six turnovers, four of them came in that span right there. Taking care of the ball was a priority and making sure we got the looks. Inside, Grant [Williams] and Admiral [Schofield] did a great job in there. The guys talked more than they had all year, I thought they were all locked in together. A really nice win for us.

On Jordan Bone’s 23 point game playing in his hometown:
“He was terrific in practice. He didn’t play well at Florida, showed spurts but really had a tough night at South Carolina. I honestly didn’t think about it until Coach said to me, ‘he didn’t play in the Gonzaga game, it’s gonna be interesting to see how he responds.’ He was good, he still has to get better defensively, but I thought he took care of the ball better. I thought he wasn’t trying to do too much over-dribbling. He was great in practice yesterday. He had a day in practice yesterday like he did tonight, shooting the ball, getting to the rim, so it carried over and he’s got to see if he can build on it now.”

On Bone playing in his hometown:
“I honestly didn’t even think about it. That’s something you’ll have to ask him. We had a few former players come out to shootaround today, talking about how this is a neat building to be in. I don’t know, again, I didn’t even think about him coming back here and being from Nashville. He had a pretty good day, he had his best day as a Volunteer, I can tell you that.”

On his team’s offense:
“They made a push back. We moved the ball well. We were wanting to attack inside out, which we did. Again, I thought [Lamonte] Turner’s three was a big one because they had started back up there to take away the middle because, obviously, we were looking to put it in there. For two small guys, undersized guys, Grant and Admiral did a great job of just taking the ball to the basket. Robert [Hubbs] got some things done in there as well. I thought our patience and our poise against the zone were really good. We worked on it some, we didn’t do much after the South Carolina game. Yesterday we talked about it and today during shootaround. They knew exactly how to simplify it, and this is what we’re looking for, you guys got to play out of it and I thought they did a good job.”

On his team playing with more energy than in previous games:
“I really like these guys. Grant, you watch us practice and you know I’m hard on them. I actually told them, Admiral made a comment to one of you guys I think, that we have more energy in practice than when we play. I said, why do you think that is? They said, they don’t know. I said, because of me. I said I’m the one that’s not gonna let you not have energy in practice, so who’s gonna be the voice for you guys during a game? That’s all we talked about, is who’s gonna be the voice. A number of them stepped up and they were terrific yesterday in practice with me enjoying it, watching them get after each other. And I told them, I said people might look at you guys during a game and think you’re getting on each other, but that’s good. I don’t care what other people think, as long as you guys are doing it in a constructive way. Tonight I thought we had great carryover with that, they were terrific during the timeouts, and I told you the only time we had that all year was at East Tennessee State and we lost it, but the past couple days we got it back and it showed tonight.”

On his team committing just six turnovers:
“A lot of it had to do with–South Carolina, they had 22 tooâ€â€turned into a defensive battle and South Carolina can do that to you because, like us, we don’t want to let people just pass the ball and move it the way they want to. I was on the guards holding the ball too much but, after watching the tape, so much of it was guys stopping moving after one cut and we did a better job of that tonight even in our man offense. We know what we want to do to get in it but teams are going to take away your first, second, third look and then what do you do from there? That’s where guys have to keep playing, we did not do that the way we needed to certainly against South Carolina and at Florida. In that game, just some of the way we turned it over was really kind of comical, to be honest.”

On his team fighting crowd noise and controlling momentum:
“I think that you expect it going in. We talk about it, we talk about how close possessions are. As bad as we were at South Carolina with 22 turnovers, it ended up being a ten point game. If you break it down as simply as you want to, you can say that’s a four possession game. We expect it. We expect when we got to another court that they’re gonna make a push, you know that, so you’re prepared for it and you do your part on the other end. Admiral, I thought, was great. He stepped out in the second half and shot a three in the corner and, as soon as he shot it he said, ‘Coach, that was not a good shot.’ That’s when you know they’re locked in. We had a shot clock violation early. I just thought we were just really focused on what we talked about we wanted to get done against zone and, when they went man, we felt like we could get our movement, that we would have a chance to drive the ball and get some isolations, get some post-ups. We did a good job in the first half when we went to some straight post-up. We turned it over twice at the post, and that was because the passer didn’t cut and the post guy didn’t have anywhere to dribble to to get a release. It was just, really, the most poised game that we’ve played all year based on what you’re saying there. When the crowd got in it, we stayed with what we wanted to do and nobody got outside themselves and tried to do too much. We moved the ball and shared the ball. It was again, like I said, the best effort all around mentally, probably physically, certainly mentally that we’ve had all year.”

Tennessee Freshman Jordan Bone
How does it feel to play this well and for it to produce a win for your team:
“Yeah, of course it feels amazing, but I want to thank my teammates and my coach. Just giving me the confidence to take those shots and hit those open shots”

On if he liked shooting in Memorial Gym, if he had shot here before:
“Yeah I have, I came to an Elite camp in high school. So, I’m used to the gym and the practice gym.”

On what it was like playing at home in front of his family and friends:
“It’s just another game. You’ve got to go out and execute.”

On the added pressure Coach Barnes has put on the guards to play well lately:
“Yeah, Coach only drives us like that because he only wants the best for us. So, we are going to get pushed like that every single day. He’s not going to let up only because he wants the best for us”

On taking the late push Vanderbilt had and finishing the game with a win on the road:
“We just had each other’s backs tonight. We were close together within the team. We just wanted to execute our stuff and just get the job done.”

Tennessee Freshman Grant Williams
On how important the good shooting night from the outside helped things in the interior:
“They (the guards) did a good job of knocking down shots tonight. Our guards took the coaches challenge and they played phenomenally. They took care of the ball and they did a good job executing the game plan.”

Key to cleaning up the Turnover margin tonight that had really been plaguing them as a team over the last few games:
“Honestly, I wish I could tell you. I wish there was a turnover book and I could read it off to you. But I don’t have any clue.”

On difference of the energy of the team tonight compared to other nights:
“We just came together. We had a talk and we just understood that we had to play for each other. We brought that energy from the get go.”

Tennessee Sophomore Admiral Schofield
On if they maybe played into the heads of the Vanderbilt players physically tonight:
“I don’t know about that. I just know as a team our mindset is to go out there and have fun and compete. To give our all for Tennessee. The biggest thing we empathized this week was swagger and having a fire and I think we played that way tonight.”