Vanderbilt-TSU postgame quotes

Nov. 23, 2014

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Vanderbilt Head Coach Kevin Stallings
Opening Comments
“We did a good job of concentrating and playing to win. We got a little loose with the ball. We had some turnovers come up that were disappointing. I am pleased with how we played for the most part. Twenty-four assists on 28 buckets – we have a team that shares the ball. Other than the turnovers, we looked a little ragged in our press offense.”

“Luke [Kornet] was outstanding. Damian [Jones] really exerted his will in the second half for the most part. Jeff [Roberson] was sick tonight and Matt [Fisher Davis’] foot was hurting him… I’m pleased that we came closer to a 40-minute game than we have before.”

On Vanderbilt’s Offense
“At halftime, our two freshmen point guards had four assists and no turnovers. [TSU] was in a lot of zone in the first half… Luke is getting better and better. It’s good to see. I like his three offensive rebounds more than anything else.”

On Vanderbilt Forward Luke Kornet
“Luke’s ability to shoot in from the perimeter is a very positive thing. People who decide to double-team have to figure out what to focus on.”

On Vanderbilt’s Offensive Pace
“We want pace. I want them to play with pace. We want to move our offense fast. That’s something we want to do.”

On Vanderbilt’s Guard Play
“Wade [Baldwin IV] has been playing well off the bench. Whenever you have a reserve guard come on and have 10 assists, that’s a good thing… I feel bad for Matt [Fisher-Davis] because his foot was hurting him and it’s not getting better as much as we want it to.”

On Vanderbilt’s Defense
“I liked it. [TSU Coach Dana Ford] needs to get some reinforcements in there. We had a physical advantage, but you still have to play the game… I thought TSU played hard. I thought our length bothered them, especially when they were down around the goal.”

On Vanderbilt’s 24 Assists
“It’s mostly the result of having unselfish players and guys who are willing to share the ball. As much as anything, these three guards are unselfish. They’re all excellent passers. They’re confident in our offense and have confidence in their games.”

On Vanderbilt’s Unselfishness
“It’s their makeup. They understand how to play. We reinforce unselfish play and taking care of the ball, but for the most part, you don’t have to do it that much with this group.”

Sophomore Forward Luke Kornet
On hot start to the game:
“I made the three’s but other that I felt like I was just finishing layups, and finishing drop offs from our guards. They were finding us against their zone, and I was just doing my part and finishing it.”

On finding a rhythm early:
“Once you just see the ball go in a couple times. It will start feeling like a little bit of a rhythm to it. That’s what happened tonight. Once I stepped out and shot the first three I just had a really good feeling it was going to go in”

On the Luke chant:
“Yeah I tried to give them a little bit more of a reason to do it”

On attention Damian controls does that give him opportunities for big games:
“Absolutely. Damian really makes the rest of our team better, and just the attention he draws. So, I think that is something I can feed off of. It’ll just open up lanes, and open up shooters and stuff like that. Having him just benefits our entire team.”

Freshman Guard Shelton Mitchell
On playing with a fast pace and the no look passes:
“Just make sure it is there. Make sure it doesn’t get tipped or anything like that. It isn’t necessarily about style points when I look away. It’s more kind of to keep the defense on their toes especially when we are moving the ball fast. It’s not really just to make a no look pass I just think it’s the right pass.”

On zone collapsing on Damian:
“Most of the time their zone was shaded towards Damian. They knew we wanted to get the ball to Damian. So, Luke was open most of the time, and he kept on finishing.”

On Luke’s hot start and great shooting night:
“Find Luke! I mean he wasn’t missing. He got his rhythm early with a lot of easy dunks. He was making threes also. It’s hard to guard someone when they are finishing inside and making open threes.”

On flow of the game, do you find the hot hand or find open man:
“Little bit of both. If you know someone’s hot you want to keep giving it to them. Especially like you said he was three for four from the three point line. Basically just finding others, but also keeping an eye on who’s hot?”

On defensive play tonight:
“We kept the ball in front of us well. When we keep the ball in front of us, and then we also have Dame (Jones) in the back blocking almost everything it’s easier to guard.”

Tennessee State coach Dana Ford
On losing momentum after the first half
“I think we got it down to six, 20 to 26 with 3:50 to go and when you’ve got a young team, the importance of finishing the half the right way is something that you’ve got to try to teach them. I think that’s where the game got out of hand a little bit. We struggled to shoot the ball from the field, and when you give a team a 14-0 run, it’s hard to come back from that, especially on the road against a bigger, and more athletic and talented team.”

On preparing for Damian Jones, given Luke Kornet’s performance
“There’s not much at our level we can do about that. I thought our guys were very active in the zone early on. I’m always telling them if we get beat, it’s going to be deep opposed to inside. I just thought Luke Kornet played a great game. He did what you’re supposed to do. He stretched the floor.”

On Vandy’s success from the perimeter
“They’ve got four guys that can shoot threes. The point guard doesn’t shoot it as much, but you still have to guard him because he will pick you apart. He’s just as responsible for some of those threes. They did a great job in stretching the zone and the big kid [Kornet] made some shots.”

On Charles Tucker’s improvement from game one
“It’s a matter of him being aggressive, not playing on what I like to call eggshells. That’s a problem with a lot of our players right now. They’re not accustomed to the level of intensity and passion that you play with at this level because they’re all brand new to this level. Cha-cha (Tucker) has been one of those guys who’s been able to learn a lot more quickly because I play him so much. Tonight he played 37 minutes. It’s almost impossible to not learn something playing that long.”