VU/Nicholls State Post-Game Quotes

Dec. 16, 2006

Recap | Box Score

Vanderbilt vs. Nicholls State
December, 16, 2006
Memorial Gymnasium

Vanderbilt Head Coach Kevin Stallings

“I was happy with our defensive performance, particularly in the first half. To hold a team to four field goals in the first half is a great accomplishment. Nicholls State has had a schedule that’s one of the most brutal I’ve seen in all my time in college basketball. We took better care of the ball tonight. We wanted to challenge their shooters on the three point shot and we did. It wasn’t pretty, but it was effective.”

On Playing Time:
“Last week, we faced four games in eight days. Now we face four games in six days, with today being the first game. We spread our playing time around tonight, which was good and will make for a much fresher group in Puerto Rico. I thought everyone that got in the game played well.”

On Vanderbilt’s Defense:
“We have to be able to win from both ends of the floor. We definitely had to get better defensively to win some games. Our shooting has been a little spotty. If our defense continues to become consistent, it gives us a chance to win on nights where we don’t shoot very well. Your defense can provide stability in case you don’t shoot well.”

On Vanderbilt’s Shooting:
“I’m not concerned with our shooting. I’m surprised we played as well as we did. It’s very difficult to play games at the end of finals week. We were horrible in yesterday’s practice. Finals week takes its toll and for them to be tired and less than normal today was okay. They still gave us a great effort and did what they had to do to win. We’ve got too many guys that shoot well for me to be concerned.”

Vanderbilt Forward Shan Foster

On Finals and Yesterday’s Practice:
“It’s always hard to take exams and stay up all night studying and then get up and practice the next day. I thought we were fine tonight.”

On Improvement from the Beginning of the Year:
“We’re very confident. Our defensive intensity has picked up tremendously. Our offense will always be there for us since we have a lot of great shooters on our team. We’re very confident headed into the tournament. We struggled with dribble penetration at the beginning of the season and just harped on it and corrected it.”

Vanderbilt Forward Ross Neltner

On the First Half:
“Nicholls State’s performance in the first half must be a combination of the fact that we played good defense and them not shooting well. They had a bunch of good shooters on that team and just couldn’t knock shots down. They’ve been on the road traveling playing some tough teams, but 12 points in a half is a great defensive effort.”

On Getting Up for Basketball in San Juan:
“It’s a relief to get exams over with. We have to focus on playing basketball. We’re going down there to win a tournament. We have a 9:00am start on Tuesday, so we’re going to go down there and focus on basketball.”

Nicholls State Head Coach J.P. Piper Quotes

On adjustments his team has made:
“We made some adjustments after the Lipscomb game because teams have been doing the same thing against us – and that’s smart of them because it’s been working. We made the right adjustments but then we couldn’t make the plays. I think we missed our first eight or nine shots.”

On Vanderbilt pulling away:
“I think neither team scored the first three or four trips, but then Vanderbilt got on a run. They just stepped on our neck and never let up.”

On the play of senior Stefan Blaszczynski:
“Stefan played like a man on a mission in that second half. Our talk at halftime was basically a conversation with Stefan that he needed to lead this team. It all starts with Stefan. We didn’t get it from him in the first half but we did in the second half. We just need the other guys to feed off that.”

On improving from this game:
“We’ll go home and figure the next part of this out. We’re 1-12 and some of our guys have not lived up to their billing. So, I’m going to get the toughest guys. Give me the five toughest guys and I’ll go to war with them. I’ll take toughness any day.”