Vanderbilt-Texas postgame quotes

Jan. 30, 2016

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Vanderbilt Head Coach Kevin Stallings
On if Texas forced turnovers:
In some instances they did, and it was our carelessness. When you look at the game, we turned it over 13 times, which is not a terrible night. You’d like to keep it to 12 or 11 or under. We weren’t that far off with what our goal might be for that. I think the difference was their ability to get to the foul line and that’s something that we’ve been really terrific at. We’ve out-free thrown our opponents by a large margin, especially lately. We get to the line 10 times and don’t shoot it well in the 10 times we get there, and they get to the line 26 times and shoot very well. So I think that was the difference in the game, their ability to draw fouls and capitalize and our inability to draw fouls and not capitalize. They’re very quick and have speedy quickness in their guards and they get downhill on you and draw fouls. That’s one of the things that makes them good.

On the Vanderbilt turnovers:
We turned them over for baskets, that’s the worst thing: live turnovers for baskets with careless passes. And when you throw it to them and they’re going 1-on-0 it’s hard to guard them if nobody’s back. We had lots of guys that didn’t play the way we needed them to; I thought Matt [Fisher-Davis] was really good in the second half but Damian [Jones] was better in the second half. We didn’t do enough, especially earlier in the game. We got outplayed significantly in the first half and then it made it too much of an uphill climb for us in the second half. We had some chances, we cut close and then we would foul and, again, they shoot 20 free throws in the second half, which wasn’t a good recipe for winning.

On playing a different conference:
I think that it’s a good opportunity for different programs, better for some than others. So we didn’t take advantage of the opportunity. We’re disappointed about that, and certainly Texas–I thought Texas played well on both ends and they were very disruptive to us in the first half and then in the second half we didn’t guard them as well. Just disappointing from our standpoint, but we got a lot of ball left.

Vanderbilt Sophomore Guard Matthew Fisher-Davis
On the lack of threes in the first half:
[It surprised me] a little bit. We got a lot of open shots and couldn’t knock them down.

On the turnovers:
I felt like a lot of them were unforced. Our guys got sped up mentally and were kind of careless with the ball.

Texas Head Coach Shaka Smart
On the energy of the team for the early game:
Yeah we made a big deal out of that. That was a huge point of emphasis. I think any time you play an early game, it’s just different. You’re used to playing at night, you’re used to practicing in the afternoon. It’s really important to come out with a level of energy and I appreciate our guys’ maturity in responding to that, because we asked them last night. We needed to win breakfast. We needed to come in and I told the guys that it was under our control whether we do that or not. I thought they did a nice job of just coming in with a level of excitement and energy. Either you get to play, or you’ve got to play. One or the other.

On the intensity of the game today despite being a non-conference opponent:
Well it’s different to play a non-conference game. But, it’s kind of nice to have a little bit of a break from the league. It’s not much of one, because we play again in a couple days, but our guys did a nice job of approaching this like they would any other game. We didn’t talk a whole lot about it being a non-league game. We didn’t talk a lot about the ‘Big 12 SEC Challenge’. We let everyone else worry about that. We just wanted to win the game and move forward and get better.

On encouraging the guards to play aggressively:
What happened was, just schematically, Vanderbilt decided to switch pick and roll. So if you have a bigger guy guarding you–and they certainly have some really big guys–we wanted to try to get in the paint, draw some help and then make a pass from there. We made some really good passes, but we didn’t shoot the ball particularly well. I thought we got quite a few good looks. We got to the foul line, which is good.

On how much of Kerwin Roach’s potential was seen tonight:
He’s coming. He’s making progress. I’m real excited about him, because he’s always worked ever since he got here, at his game. I think he’s aware there are certain areas that he needs to continue to grow in and he’s okay with that. I think sometimes we need to get up really close to some of the areas we need to improve instead of getting away from them, and he’s really good at that. He’s understanding, ‘hey I want to work on this, I want to work on that.’ Over these past three or four games, he’s had the combination that I love to see out there. He’s had a clear head, just a great look on his face and is also playing with confidence. You put those two things together with his talent and what he’s improved and worked on, that’s a recipe for him doing really well.

Texas Junior Guard Isaiah Taylor
On the feeling of playing an SEC team:
I think this was a fun game for us today. We played at Kentucky last year and lost that game, so we had to get this one back for Texas and the Big 12. I think as a whole, the Big 12 prides itself in being the best conference in the country. Today is one of the days where we proved that.

On the mindset of the guards headed into today:
Today we just wanted to be aggressive and run an attack. Coach told us not to get bummed out and to stay positive. They’re going to make some shots; they have some skilled players. They had some tough shots in the second half. Being on this team, the camaraderie, everybody stayed positive, and we were able to get some buckets on our end too.

On how close Coach Smart is to installing his system:
I think as the season has been going along we have been getting a lot better at pressing and being aggressive, getting people where we want them, speeding things up in the press, and getting some turnovers. That’s just something we focus on in practice every day and are getting better at every day.

On Prince Ibeh:
Prince has been great for us. He’s been our defensive anchor. He is someone we can depend on for guarding his assignments and other players. I think he did a good job today.

Texas Freshman Guard Kerwin Roach, Jr.
On playing the passing lanes:
We did a really good job scouting, and I just recognized the plays they were running. I told myself, “I can get through some of these.”

On finishing the fast break dunks:
I just wanted two points.

On the team energy for the morning game:
They told us to come in ready to play with energy at breakfast time, so that’s what we did. It definitely translated to the court.

Texas Senior Center Prince Ibeh
On his free throw shooting improvement:
I’ve been focusing more, and it’s been translating over to the games.

On his playing time even with fouls:
I would just say he trusts me more to choose the right aggressiveness level and play smart. That’s just what I focus on when I’m in that situation.

On having the first possession shot:
It’s not a design. We’re just looking for the first opportunity, what our offense runs, and what we are going to go with.