Vanderbilt-Yale postgame quotes

Jan. 3, 2015

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Vanderbilt Head Coach Kevin Stallings
Opening Comments:
“We feel good to come out on the winning end of that game. I told anyone who would listen, including my team and my family, that we were getting ready to play one hell of a team. [Yale is] a veteran team with toughness and experience. They have a great commitment to the system. They are well coached. It took all of the energy we had to get this done. We are happy to get the victory. I give my guys a lot of credit. When we were down 12 and things weren’t looking so hot, they dug it in and made some runs.

“In the second half, the zone was good for us. They were having their way with us in the second half. That’s a curious time for us to go to the zone, but it felt like we had to do something. We stuck with it as long as we could. It was a gutty effort on our players’ part. Those five guys that finished the game and played the two overtimes, they showed a ton of toughness… We had a lot of guys play a lot of minutes, but they’ll come back tomorrow ready to practice.”

On Regrouping After the First Overtime:
“You have to play on. It’s always about the next play. It’s not about the previous play… Our guys came over and they were ready to play another overtime. What a great crowd too. The crowd was fantastic. They helped us and energized us when we were coming back.”

On Not Subbing Down the Stretch:
“We had our best five guys [today] in the game… Your challenge is to find who the best five guys are each day. Today, those were our best five. I kept asking if they were tired and wanted a break and they kept saying no.”

On the Disparity Between Shelton Mitchell’s and Wade Baldwin’s Minutes:
“Wade has been outstanding for us. His consistency in games has been remarkable for us. Today, he just didn’t have a good look. I was trying to find the better one of the two for a while. Shelton looked good in the second half. He was a big part of why we came back.”

On Going 9-10 from the Line in the Second Overtime:
“I don’t know if you should be surprised by that. Aside from the first game or two, we have been consistent from the foul line.”

On Heading into SEC Play:
“The happiest team in the country right now is Auburn because we just played two overtimes. I always say this is when the fun begins. I’m sure we’ll have a rowdy crowd too. We’re looking forward to conference play. You find out a lot about yourself in conference play.”

Vanderbilt Freshman PG Shelton Mitchell
On what it took to come back and win in double overtime:
“We just knew we had to stay together. We knew we had to play better defense since they were getting basically any shot they wanted. We basically just had to stay together and luckily we got the win.”

On his game tying lay-up at the end of regulation:
“I just knew to attack, really. I knew they weren’t helping off of Riley [LaChance] and Matthew [Fisher-Davis], so I knew that meant more open lanes for me.”

On going into the last possession of regulation without calling a timeout:
“[Coach Stallings] called a play, the play didn’t really break down and he didn’t call a timeout so I knew I just had to keep playing.”

On a bad stretch of basketball in the first half:
“To be honest, I thought we were getting great shots, some of the shots just weren’t falling. The shots we normally make, open threes, just weren’t falling. [The issue] was on the defensive end, really. If you have energy on the defensive end, that creates energy on the offensive end, also.”

On the crowd noise willing the team to victory:
“It probably had a lot [of effect], because our fans were really into it and it gave you a little extra motivation, you don’t want to let them down. You just want to fight every play.”

On fatigue in the double overtime win:
“You can’t really worry about being tired. Everyone is so caught up in winning the game, that no one was really worried about being tired.”

On driving for big baskets as a point guard:
“I’m confident in myself, really. I know that, if someone comes up I’m passing, and that if no one comes up, I have a layup. I wouldn’t call it gutsy, just being confident and knowing that I have the ability to attack.”

Vanderbilt Sophomore C Damian Jones
On being double teamed on offense:
“They tried to make it tough, and came with the double team starting more in the second half. I just created opportunities for my teammates to get open for threes.”

On the free throw battle:
“It came down to the final minutes. If we had kept making our free throws towards the end of the first overtime, we could’ve easily got the win then. We’ve just got to make them, and we’ll be fine.”

On the extra minutes benefiting the team moving to SEC games:
“It just builds more experience. It builds toughness, so it helps.”

On his career high four assists:
“It’s not really tough. When people come to double team me, it’s easy to find an open man for a three. It just depends on if they make the shot or not.”

On the team’s attitude down 13 points in the second half:
“We were trying to get stops, do everything right, and just play to your principles. Stop their runs.”

Head Coach Tony Henderson
On what gave Vanderbilt the edge in the second overtime:
“You know, being at home, feeding off of the crowd certainly helps. They made a couple of shots and we missed some. I don’t think there was anything that really gave them the edge, other than being at home and being comfortable.”

On managing the up and down emotions:
“That’s basketball. Basketball is up and down, emotions are going to go up. Sometimes you’re going to be up and sometimes you’re going to be down, you just have to be ready for what the game will throw at you and be ready to play. I thought we did an excellent job of doing that.”

On Vanderbilt’s switch to zone defense:
“We missed open shots, and we missed open layups, and we missed open three point shots, so I don’t know if that zone changed things. We were executing excellently in half-court man and zone. I thought we had some good looks it just didn’t go down. We had at least three layups that we missed and at least one or two of those were uncontested, and we had open three point shots that we didn’t knock down.”

Yale Junior Jack Montague
On sending his team to double-overtime:
“I had no idea how much time was left. I just got the ball and tried to throw it in there as quickly as possible. ”

On playing near his home in Brentwood:
“It was a big deal, playing in front of friends and family. It would have been better if we had gotten the win, but it was a great environment, something I just had to be patient with, and let the game come to me. Not force anything.”

On whether this game set them up for conference play:
“Absolutely. Getting to experience playing double overtime games, playing a lot of minutes, playing close games, this will really help us with only two non-conference games left I believe.”