Vanderbilt-Western Michigan postgame quotes

Dec. 30, 2015

Recap | Box Score | Notes | USATSI Photos media_icon_photogallery.gif

Vanderbilt head coach Kevin Stallings

Opening statement:
“I liked our look on offense tonight. I felt we, for the first time in a long time, shared the ball with purpose and really shared it on time, and I felt Wade was terrific in transition. His ability to get down and beat the defense before it got set was impressive. His passes, 10 assists and one turnover and the one turnover actually got deflected out of bounds, they called it out on him but they reached around behind him and knocked it out of bounds–for me he had no turnovers. I liked our look tonight. I thought we played with good purpose.

I like Western Michigan’s team and it’s kind of amazing that we’re both still in our same jobs. We both played each other in the 2004 NCAA Tournament so we kinda congratulated each other on that before the game.

I’m really happy with my team. We had a great week at practice. We didn’t shoot the ball particularly well but I still thought we played pretty good.”

On tonight’s three-point shots:
“I liked most of them. They play a packed in defense. They’re very, very packed in. We’re not afraid to shoot `em, and we’re going to make our fair share. Tonight, we didn’t make a great percentage for us, but I still liked our aggression. Most of the ones we took were wide open. I thought no one had a really good look, I think Toye came in the second half and gave us a huge spark and I think Josh played well in the second half. I thought Damian was very solid. I just liked our look, I liked our purpose. It was a result of what we’ve seen in practice since they came back from Christmas.”

“What team in the country has a greener light than my team? I might be a psycho in some other ways, but to shoot the ball, I would have loved to play for me, to shoot it. “

On Riley LaChance’s performance:
“We’ve been waiting on it. He didn’t have a particularly good first half but he came out in the second half. He’s been more aggressive at practice and more effective at practice, so I knew we were going to get something good out of Riley tonight because that’s what we’ve seen at practice.

On being ready for SEC play:
“I feel like we’re pretty close to where I’d like to be. We’ve still got some holes and some things we need to continue to address. I think that we’re playing pretty hard defensively, we’ve gotta rebound a little better. Offensively, we’ll continue to get better. We’ve sort of had to reinvent ourselves just a little bit without Luke and Cam and now Cam’s coming back so it gives us another good shooter in there, a guy who stretches the defense. I think we’re starting to get in a good place mentally with each other on the court.”

Western Michigan coach Steve Hawkins

Opening statement:
“You’ve gotta give a ton of credit to Vanderbilt for us to play in a game like this, we have to play very well at every spot. They’re so good at taking advantage of mistakes, but even their shots. We didn’t shoot the ball very well tonight, but we had some good open looks that we missed. When you miss shots against these guys when you have a point guard like Baldwin, they can get from one end of the floor to another, right now. You have to pay attention to every inch of the floor when you’re playing them and we just missed too many shots to stay with them.

I don’t think we did a terrible job at guarding them at the half court, but when they get to the full court, they can be really difficult to deal with and our struggles shooting the ball enabled them to do that a lot tonight.”

On his reunion with Stallings:
“It’s… sad. You know, it’s very odd, but also sad. It’s nice because it means we both kept our jobs. We were able to talk quite a while before the game. We played back in the NCAA tournament back in 2004 and I can remember before the game, we had won the MAAC tournament and we were so happy because I knew we were going to be a lower seed and…at that time we were not going to go into a game and be favored and that’s going to be nice and by the time all the knuckleheads on TV started talking, sure enough, we were favored and Kevin used that to their advantage.

We played a heck of a ball game against them in Orlando and we struck up a friendship then, and I thought there was a great respect…and we picked each other’s minds and we came back here the year after that and played a close scrimmage with them and spent the whole day together and got really good stuff out of it.

All these years later, now we haven’t seen each other until now, so we shared some war stories there and talked about how blessed we felt. I’ve been at my university for my 16th going on 17th year, 13th as a head coach and Kevin’s in his 17th season here, so yeah… it’s a little odd, again, Kevin said it’s a statement about our profession.”

Vanderbilt SO G Wade Baldwin IV

On building a lead over Western Michigan:
“I think it was the minutes that we played defense, rebounded and were about to get out and transition. I think our spark moment was obviously the two athletic plays by Joe Toye. Those kind of boosted us and drove us to play harder. Guys hit some shots, Damian (Jones) did real well down low. We’ve got a 6’6″ guy right here (Roberson) that can get ten boards and a double-double for us; those types of plays will boost energy and a lot of other things.”

If this game was the most compete of the season so far:
“I think so. According to the numbers, you could obviously say that. I think everybody was really excited to get back after going home for three days and coming off a tough loss against Purdue. Everybody wanted to prove something and prove that we’re a hard playing team and that we have the ability to score the ball.”

On Riley LaChance’s season-high performance:
“I think teams make him enemy one and two. I think that Riley has to work harder to score than he did last year, because off all the accolades and the type of player that he is. Runner-up freshman of the year; they’re not going to let one of our better offensive players to be able to go off and come off screens and be able to shoot. His role has obviously changed a little bit and it takes time to learn new roles.”

On his double-double:
“Everybody came to shoot tonight. Guys ran on the floor really well with Joe (Toye) and Nolan (Cressler) and Jeff (Roberson). Things were clicking really well and I was just trying to find those guys.”

Vanderbilt SO F Jeff Roberson
On three-point shooting:
“I feel like we’re a pretty good shooting team. So if anybody is open we tell people not to hesitate to take the open shot; that’s what we work on. WE didn’t really hit that many shots in the first half, but it kind of came around in the second half that just helped us get some separation.”

If his double-double is a sign that making position adjustments gets easier throughout the season:
“I kind of just take it day-by-day and do what I can. You can’t replace Luke (Kornet), he’s irreplaceable and does so much for the team. I just go out there and try to do what I can for the team. So I just going out there and do what I can, whether it’s offense or defense, or just bringing energy; things like that.”

Scouting LSU:
“They’re a great team. We have to be prepared for them; they have a lot of weapons. Ben (Simmons) is obviously one of the best players in the country, so we have to dig in and come up with a good game plan to get ready for them.”