VU-Delta State postgame quotes

Nov. 5, 2012

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Vanderbilt 69, Delta State 48
November 5, 2012
Memorial Gym

Vanderbilt Head Coach Kevin Stallings

Opening Comments:
“I thought our intensity from start to finish was a lot better tonight. We played with more poise and more purpose. I thought our ball screens gave [Delta State] trouble. Once Rod [Odom] got going, it sped things up for everyone. We’re not a finely-tuned, well-oiled machine yet… I thought the lead got away from us a little bit in the second half… Our defensive play was outstanding. It’s the second game in a row where we did a good job of not allowing many offensive rebounds, which will be key for us all season long.”

On Vanderbilt Center Josh Henderson:
“It was nice to have Josh back… It was a nice eight point, five rebound performance for a guy who has only been going up and down in practice for two or three days now.”

“It’s nice to have him out there. He gives us depth. He can pass the ball a little bit. He can shoot the ball a little bit. Hopefully, he’ll continue to come around and get in [playing] shape.”

On Vanderbilt Forward Rod Odom:
“Rod, when he got going, I thought we were a lot better. I don’t think we, as a team, have a large margin for error. Our older, more experienced players – Rod, Kedren [Johnson], and Josh – these are the guys who are going to have to produce. We can’t go with a bunch of zeros for guys who we’re counting on to score. We’re going to have to continue to get better at executing. We’re going to have to defend at a high level for 40 minutes because there are going to be nights when points are going to be hard to come by.”

On Vanderbilt’s Defense:
“I thought for the first nine or ten minutes of the second half, we let up a little bit. For the last eight or nine minutes, we picked it back up. That was maybe the most encouraging thing that came out of the game for me. It seemed like [Delta State] got to 40 [points] pretty quickly and then they stalled out and we defended well. This will be a season of discovery. We’ll play zone if we need to play zone. We’ll also play man.”

On What He’s Looking for Between Now and Saturday’s Home Opener:
“I’d like us to make more shots. We’re getting good shots… I want continued defensive intensity and an absolute mauling mentality when the ball goes on the boards. We have to rebound like it’s nobody’s business. It has to be a team, gang mentality.”

“We just have to keep getting better. Hopefully, we’ll look up in January, February, and March and say, `This team is much better than when we played Delta State.’ Tonight, we just played more effectively than we did on Friday night.”

On Vanderbilt Guard Dai-Jon Parker’s Availability:
“It’ll be a while.”

On Vanderbilt’s Freshmen:
“It’s been a while since I had to depend on freshmen. They’re trying. They just make freshmen mistakes. I have to try to be patient. Each of them did some things tonight. There are things they also have to be better at. We’ll keep depending on the older guys until then. Guys who will win and lose games for us are the guys who have been here.”

On Vanderbilt Guard Kedren Johnson:
“I’m a regular presence on his backside. Kedren probably does as good of a job as anyone of taking my crap the right way… I promised his dad I’d stay on his butt while he’s been here. He’s gotten so much better defensively… He’s trying to become a complete player. If he gets his butt chewed out, he doesn’t sulk and just keeps going. He tries to lead. I’d give him a really good mark right now.”

Center Josh Henderson
On getting back out on the court:
“It felt great just being out there. Just being back on the court right now, I’m just out there having fun, having a great time. I’ve been waiting awhile to play with these guys on the court, I’ve been through a lot. I was just happy to play. I’m not where I was maybe a year ago, but I felt like today went pretty well.”

On Stallings’ relationship with Kedren Johnson:
“I mean, sometimes it seems like he might be a little crazy because I think coach might go off on him. That’s just his personality. He handles it really well, the way that you just listen to what the coaches have to say because they’re just trying to help you. All of the coaches are really intense, but really knowledgeable about everything, so we’re just trying to learn from them. But also, he doesn’t seem to get really shook and that helps the team.”

Forward Rod Odom
On the banked 3 pointer:
“I didn’t expect him to switch out and he kind of just switched out and I still let it fly and it went down. I had a feeling it was going to be a good night because I kind of just let that one go and took it from there.”

Was that a momentum changer?:
“Oh yeah. Whenever you make one, it’s just good to make your first one because you don’t really have think about the next one. You just shoot them and let them fly.”

On having Josh back in the middle:
“I’d definitely say it helps us a lot because Josh is obviously big and he’s really talented. A lot of people don’t know the different things he can do. My freshmen year I’ve seen him play tremendous basketball in practice. It feels good just to see him out there as a friend and as a teammate he helps us a lot, so it’s definitely great to see him out there both on offense and defense.”

On what the team needs to work on going into the year:
“I’d say just maintaining defensive intensity because we gave up some buckets in the second half that we shouldn’t have gave up. I think if we maintain constant defensive intensity throughout the whole game, which is difficult to do, it’d help us a whole lot.”

Guard Kedren Johnson
On adapting into a leader on the team and responding to interaction with Stallings:
“Well he has joked a lot since the last game about my turnover and I just don’t take it personally. I kind of put it upon myself to help the team in any way I can, and the main thing I should do is just take care of the ball. Basically that’s it, just taking care of the ball and that’s probably what he was talking about. That’s what he has been on me about all week.”

On Josh Henderson being on the floor
“Having Josh is huge for us. Just his presence in the middle just changes shots. I seen them shoot the ball clean into his hands at one point and he just grabbed it! He’s a great passer and I feel like we’re a way better team when Josh is out there. We flow better with Josh.”