Vanderbilt-Trevecca postgame quotes

Nov. 16, 2014

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Vanderbilt 83 Trevecca 56
November 16, 2014
Nashville, Tenn. – Memorial Gym

Vanderbilt head coach Kevin Stallings
Opening statement:“I’ll have to go back and watch the tape but it seemed like we played better in the second half than we did in the first–that was intended to be funny. Probably what you would expect. There’s going to be some inconsistencies with us but, as a coach, I honestly feel like that’s a reflection on me. I would like to think, in my more rational moments, that I would know that part of that is having a team as young as our team is. 3-for-12 in the first half from the foul line and 18-for-23 in the second half, that just tells you all you need to know. As a coach, at least for me, I like to know what to expect and I don’t quite know what to expect yet, or as much as I would like to know. I do know that I’ve got really nice kids that want to do what we ask. I thought, in the first half, we played a little individualistic which, honestly, is the first time I’ve seen that. I was kind of glad the way the last ten minutes of the first half unfolded. That’s why I didn’t call a timeout. I was actually hoping Trevecca would get the lead. I wanted our guys to bear the fruits of their labor during that time. I just thought we got a little “me-oriented” and it was shocking to me because I hadn’t seen it. It’ll be great when we watch the film to show them what happens when you get the “I” letter in the equation. I thought we rectified that at halftime, thought we got it solved and were much better moving the ball and taking fewer bad shots. We didn’t shoot great. We had a bunch of really good looks, especially from three, and we didn’t make them. I’m confident that those will go in. I thought our defensive intensity and our energy were better in the second half. We had some individuals play well and had some individuals not play well. We’re glad to get the first one behind us.”
On Wade Baldwin starting the second half over Riley LaChance:“That was just a reflection on my feelings of how Riley played in the first half. Riley has earned the starting position from the start of practice until today, and I didn’t care for his play in the first half. If we hadn’t had foul problems, he wouldn’t have played as much as he did in the first half. Last year, the bench was not my friend. I didn’t have a long enough squad in terms of numbers to utilize the bench to get my points across. This year it’s a little bit longer. So if we don’t guard the ball or we don’t run plays right or we don’t block out, take charges, and dive on loose balls, then I’m always looking for extra help from the bench. I need help coaching.”

On some selfish play in the first half:“Probably because it was the first game. Some of the guys’ parents are here. They were fired up and, all of a sudden, we start thinking about things that aren’t really a part of our winning formula. I’ve got to stop it as soon as I see it. These guys, they don’t fight me on things, but they need to know I’m serious about it. I don’t think it was intentional, I think it was a loss of focus on how we need to play.”

On Damian Jones matching up and playing well in non-conference games:“It’s important that he try to play that way all the time. We need him to be a guy that can lead us and his play inspires confidence throughout the rest of our team. His play today did that. Let’s see it happen against guys that look more like him, play more like him, and are more his level of ability. He’s done it in the past some. We’re after him a little bit for consistency. We want consistency out of him. He played a lot of ball last year, he’s a very talented guy. He blocked four shots [today], that’s more activity on the defensive end than in two exhibition games. We’re starting to get there a little bit. Our guys did a good job of getting him the ball, though. He got in good position and was effective with the ball today.”
On how Jones inspires teammates through his play:“I think that they look at him and expect him to be our best player. Damian’s a guy that likes it more in the background. He’s not one that wants to be out in front. He wants the ball, but it’s a little outside his personality to need to be the ring leader. From a productivity standpoint, he needs to be the ring leader.”

On facing a local opponent in Trevecca Nazarene:“It was circumstantial, certainly, the way the game came together. They wanted to play it and I thought their kids played hard. I thought they did a really great job of subbing and keeping the guys fresh. I know they’ve got a crazy start here with their schedule but I never thought they looked tired. Good for them. I believe we’ve played everybody that has a Tennessee address, or at least it feels like we have. Our first three games this year, they don’t have to leave town.”

Vanderbilt sophomore Luke Kornet

On freshmen play helping with the double-double:
“I think our freshmen guards have done a good job of just stepping into the game. I think we can bring it every day…We don’t have to worry about the little things because it’s just habit by now.”

On being comfortable under the basket:
“I’m a lot more comfortable this year than last. Last year I came in and was just so skinny and not used to this physicality at all. I’ve had a year playing against SEC guys and it’s gotten me adjusted as to how to work out down there.”

On the team’s morale in the first half:
“We just kind of stopped playing basketball the way we were accustomed to and the way we were practicing. We stopped executing and started making those extra passes. We had to regroup and remember how to play basketball.”

Vanderbilt sophomore Damian Jones

On adjustments made for the second half:
“We came out with more intensity, made more free throws, just got out there more. We had to put effort on how we played on defense, on the offensive glass and stuff. We just didn’t do well the first half so we had to turn it around.”

On learning to be assertive:
“I need to make that adjustment and see. You know you have to guard and perform well. It’s not going to be easy. You’ve have to go out there and guard without mercy.”

Trevecca Coach Sam Harris

On the second half:
“It became a little more physical than anything. It was what we kind of expected. It’s our third game in three days and our kids gave a great effort in the first half. I thought our execution was better in the first half. We talked about becoming more physical in the second half and getting quicker ball rotation offensively. And when we couldn’t score, they got some breakaways and they made the spread get big quick.”

On preparing for Damian Jones:
“Making him shoot over the top and quit getting lay-ups and dunks, that’s what we were trying to do. We lost our 6’9″ kid last night to shoulder separation, so it makes for bad match ups. But the guys we have on the floor and the strength of our team this year are going to be interchangeable parts with our perimeter players. I thought [Matt] Gamberoni did a nice job in the first half being physical, but it takes its toll after a while.”

On Trevecca’s busy schedule and substituting:
“Well one of our better guards is out until Christmas time with a cracked sternum. That hurts us a little bit on the perimeter in terms of shooting the ball. But, no, we are planning on playing 8-10 kids all year.”

On managing four games in four days:
“Well we pushed them really hard in the preseason. That was our goal. We had our conference challenge set-up, and then we had Alabama-Huntsville. Since we’ve been going through the NCAA process, Alabama-Huntsville has been willing to play us home and away. So we had those games set up. And then early summer, Belmont called. We said well that’s kind of close and it kind of fits, so that’s okay. And then in the first part of August, Vandy called and said they had an opening. So it wasn’t like we set it up to come this way, it was just the great opportunities. I think that is the reason why we decided to go NCAA, to provide our kids with these opportunities. These are great educational and learning opportunities for our guys. We can’t afford to bypass such great opportunities, especially an SEC team, but any of the teams locally that would give us an opportunity.”

On the chemistry of this year’s team compared to the past:
“Work ethic and attitude [is different]. The team chemistry is really good. We did shuffle some card between last year’s team and this year’s team. I try to do a better job with communicating with our kids. We have team breakfast once a week and team meetings once a week outside of basketball just to talk about how to be successful as a person. Our guys are grasping it, particularly some of the new guys, Jalen Palm and Percy Blade who have been at the Division 1 level. They understand what type of effort it is going to take for us to be good. I am looking forward to seeing what we can do.”

On what the team can come away with today:
“I think the style of play you saw us execute in the first half is how we want to play. We had a couple of up-tempo transition opportunities that we missed wide open looks on. I think those are going to be good shots for us over the course of the season. I think we missed three 3’s in a row with a chance to take the lead. But it is early in the year, and eventually we will have people who will knock those down.”