Vanderbilt-Wake Forest postgame quotes

Nov. 24, 2015

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Opening statement:
COACH STALLINGS: I thought that our guys played,again, very inspired. We got great production from ourbench again, and Damian certainly led our chargetoday, as did Wade. I felt like Wade played very wellalso. But I thought fatigue might have played a little bitof a part in that game. I thought maybe our team beinga little deeper than theirs had an impact. They made agreat run after we ran on them at the beginning. Theymade a great run to get back in the game.

Then I thought from that point forward we were able toestablish control and never really relinquish it. I wasreally proud of our team with that because they hit uswith a solid shot. They really made a nice, nice runthere in the first half to get back in the game. So justproud. I like how we’re playing.

We put them on the foul line too many times. That wascertainly a negative and something that we talkedabout. But nevertheless, I thought that we did a nicejob. We did a nice job defending and did a nice jobdefending the three-point line. So all in all it was avery, very good performance.

Q. Damian, can you just talk about what a MauiInvitational title would mean to the program andthen just you guys and for the rest of the year?

Damian Jones: I mean, it would be huge for us goinginto the season, having that under our belt. It wouldreally help our confidence going into conference play.

Q. Damian, yesterday Coach Stallings basicallysaid that you need to kind of lead the team as faras production if you guys wanted to go where youwanted to go. So what was different for you todayas opposed to the first few games this season?

Damian Jones: Stayed out of foul trouble.

Q. Jeff, how does it feel the way you guys wondecisively today and making the championshipgame? What does that mean to you?

Jeff Roberson: That’s what we expected comingin. We worked hard to get to this point. We didn’texpect anything less. We just feel like we’re a goodgroup, we work hard and we want it all to pay off.

Q. Damian, can you talk about the interior defense?You guys really made them shoot the ball not toowell. Can you just talk about the inside defense?

Damian Jones: Just playing hard, walling upwhenever the person drives. Trying not to stick ourhands out and stuff like that. Just playing soliddefense.

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Coach Stallings.COACH STALLINGS: I know your first thought is thatDamian’s going to have to stop talking so much.Q. Coach, why do you think Damian was able tostay out of foul trouble today?

COACH STALLINGS: I don’t know. Maybe it’s becauseCoach Richardson made fun of him last night, I’m notsure. We talked about running one of our plays forhim, and we wanted to get it in early in the game. AndCoach Richardson said in our team meeting you’reprobably going to have to get it in by the 18:30 markbecause he’ll be in foul trouble. I think Damian playedwith a little more discipline today.

Wake’s big guys are good players. Thomas is a load interms of a match-up because he can put the ball down,and he’s going left, and he’s going back left-handed.It’s still difficult. He draws fouls on you and he does itto everyone.

But I just think Damian staying in the game and nothaving to sit out significant time in the first half kept himin the flow and allowed him to play better.

Q. Can you talk about the defense in and out? Youforced him into 3 for 18 from three and 33% or soshooting overall?

COACH STALLINGS: Yeah, just trying to wall up andget our hands out. Thanks. No, I’m kidding. We’ve gotsome length at the goal, and I think that’s one of thethings that has really been an advantage for us startingprobably midway through the season last year.

Luke and Damian are understanding how to playtogether on the defensive end. They’re good aboutchallenging other people’s shots. We’re not alwaystrying to block our guy’s shot that we’re guarding, butwe want to challenge other people’s shots. So I thinkthat — I do think that interior defense, good interiordefense starts on the perimeter, and we did a good jobon the three-point line. Though I did think they had afew looks that, again, I don’t know if it was fatigue or wewere able to rush them a little bit.

But other than that one stretch there in the first half, Inever felt like they got into a comfortable offensiverhythm, and hopefully that had something to do withour defense.

Q. I know it’s been a long time, but you were part oftwo Final Fours at KU. I wondered if anybody’srecognized you this week? And if you do play KU,would that matter to you personally?

COACH STALLINGS: It will matter to me personally nomatter who we play (laughing). Somebody mentionedit the other night at the banquet and you had Bill andyou had Danny, and you had me. Three guys that hadbeen a part of KU’s basketball program. Now let’s seewhich guy kind of came in third in terms of their impacton the program. You’ve got Bill who has won NationalChampionships. Danny won a National Championship.One of the greatest players to ever play there, and Iwas just a lowly assistant coach.

But I was there for five great years with Roy Williamsand very proud of my time there. Wonderful place. It’sjust a wonderful place. My son was born there. He’s25 now. And we have great memories of coachingthere and Phog Allen Fieldhouse, and having lots ofsuccess.

My son was actually on the cover of one of theprograms while I was coaching there. Not the program,the media guides. He’s a little bitty shorty, and helooked really cute back then. A lot has changed sincethen. That was supposed to be funny.

But anyway, it was recognized. But, again, I recognizethe role that I played, and it was a lot less significantthan the other head coaches that are in thistournament.