Jan. 2, 2012
Head Coach Cuonzo Martin
"It was a hard-fought win for the guys, but more importantly, we're getting better. I think that's always a good sign. You're able to make progress and also win a game. It was a good physical team. Really good guard play. Their bigs do a really good job of diving in and ball screens.
"Thirty-nine 3-pointers. I've got to go back and watch film tonight, but of the 39, probably 35 of them were good shots. It was to be to take that shot. Sometimes it doesn't fall, but you have to be aggressive to take it.
"The way they play, you shoot a lot of threes because they double the post, so you swing the ball around the perimeter to have opportunities to score the ball. You have to take those shots.
"I thought Trae (Golden) shot it well. Skylar (McBee) had 15 at the half, I think. His threes opened it up for us a little bit. Cam (Tatum) ... played a really good game. That's the sign of a good player, in my opinion, a guy who's able to play at a high level -- rebounding, defending, 6 assists -- and he didn't shoot it well. That's a good sign because he stayed in the game mentally.
"I thought we did a good job on team defense. I think we held them to 34 percent for the game. I thought we did a good job of being consistent. They made a run, they made some shots, made a couple changes on their ball-screen offense, and we made the necessary adjustments. I thought they did a good job."
"We did a good job rebounding. We did a good job of being big, more than anything, attacking the glass and getting second opportunities. We didn't shoot the ball well in the second half, but we did a good job of giving ourselves second opportunities."
On if aggression is the key to Golden's game:
"I think so. The key is when he's aggressively scoring. Now what's good for him is to be like Cam. When the shot's not falling to still be in tune to what's going on and being very effective on both ends of the floor. Once again, like I say all the time, don't gauge yourself on how many shots and points you have. Gauge yourself on your effort."
On if it is difficult for Golden to choose to pass or shoot:
"I don't think so because I allow them to shoot the ball and score. My think is, you have to defend though. ... I don't think it's very difficult. As a point guard, you're a scorer or your not. He's built to score the ball, which is fine. Score the ball, but you have defend and you have to play hard."
On adjustments at halftime:
"The key was to really attack and be aggressive. We shot a lot of 3-pointers, but I didn't want our guys to settle for them. If they had the opportunity, they could take a shoot the ball. But we had to start putting the ball on the floor and getting in the lane, so we could get easy baskets and then pitch it to our guys to three. But I didn't want guys to settle for the three. I want those threes to be in the motion offense where we're cutting and moving. Now you got the shot clock down to 15, 14, as opposed to maybe 30 seconds on the clock."
On Jeronne Maymon not taking many shots:
"They doubled the post every time. He did a good job of getting offensive rebounds. I think he missed a couple on offensive rebounds, but way they doubled, it was the same with Kenny (Hall) and Yemi (Makanjuola) and those guys around the basket. They don't give you many looks because they double. That's why we shot a high volume of 3-point shots."
On if Golden will set the tone during the SEC season:
"You want your point guard to be aggressive. You want everybody to be aggressive. I think with him, the way we run our offense, coming off ball screens, penetrating and pitching, he has to be assertive more than anything. Whether he's shooting 5, 10 or 20 points, he has to be assertive and he has to be aggressive. That's the biggest key, as long as he's making stuff happen. If we're settling on the perimeter and just passing the ball around the perimeter, it'll be a long night for us."
Sophomore Guard Trae Golden
On tonight being a guard-oriented game
"They had great guards - Keegan Bell and Ricky Taylor - and we knew that going into the game. We just had to make sure we could do what we could to stop them. They are great shooters and (on defense) they weren't going to let me screen, so I was just trying to pull up or get to the basket."
On the team attempting 39 3-point shots
"Yeah, I heard that; Coach Martin told us. But he said as long as they were good shots we could take them, so that's what we were going to do."
On Chattanooga's defense against the post
"I guess they knew how good our posts are and they were challenging our guards. We just had to make sure we were ready to knock down shots. We had good teamwork on our 3-pointers.
"We knew they were going to do that (on the inside); we've been working on it in practice. We were just spotting up for when they did and just making sure we were ready for the kick-outs and just being ready to shoot."
On passing instead of trying to score even more
"Jordan (McRae), Skylar (McBee) and Cam (Tatum) are great scorers. I'm going to have games where I score a lot, but we have great scorers on our team. I'm just trying to pick my spots where I can score and also get them the ball."
On Chattanooga staying man-to-man on defense
"I go off our scouting report. Teams have been playing us zone a lot so I guess that's what they're going to do."
On rebounding from surgery on his nose
"It was tough the first couple of days. I was a little weak but I had my family here and they helped me out a lot. It's nothing major. I have to take medicine and I'm still recovering from it. I'll probably be 100 percent by the weekend. It's getting better.
"I had to take heavy medicine (when it first happened). It's just because it was so close to my brain that it hurt, but it's fine now and it's going to continue to get better. I just know when it's all healed that I will be happy."
On Wednesday's game at Memphis and what he remembered from the first game
"I remember a lot. I remember we lost, I remember I shot like 3-for-20 - the biggest thing I remember is we lost. I'm just ready to get that game back for us and I'm excited to go to Memphis. We'll be ready."
Senior guard Cameron Tatum
(On not letting early shooting struggles affect the rest of his game):
"One of the things that the coaches told me after the game was that is the mark of a veteran player, even though you didn't shoot the ball well, you found other ways to make the team better and do good things out on the floor. As long as you keep doing that and keep contributing to the team out on the floor, that's the most important thing."
(On all eight of his rebounds coming on the defensive end):
"Coach always talks about we need to end every defensive possession with a box out and chase. That doesn't just stop with covering your man, ultimately it needs to end with the ball in your hands going up the court."
(On the upcoming week against Memphis and Florida):
"We have to be mentally focused, ready to focus on everything at hand, every scout that the coaches prepare for us. We just have to be ready to take it all in and bring a business-like approach."
Sophomore forward Jordan McRae
(On scoring 12 points after a slow start):
"I just had to keep shooting. In the past, I'd stop shooting if I was off, but this team needs me to score at times, so I've got to keep looking for that. I just need to see one go through the hoop. After that, I'm good."
(On hitting key free throws late):
"I don't want to jinx myself, but I'm good with the free throws, that's not something I worry about. But it's good to have that confidence."
(On the effort down the stretch):
"That's a good team and we played well down the stretch. I think we're getting better at keeping our composure and making things happen when teams get close. We just try to keep playing and keep on pushing."
Junior guard Skylar McBee
On holding Chattanooga to 34.5% shooting for the game
We knew they could hit it from outside. We watched film on them, knew the way they played and knew they had guys that can shoot it. I thought we did a good job of forcing them to take shots they did not want to take.
On Chattanooga making 3-pointers from beyond 25 feet from the basket
That is what good players do. You know they are going to hit some like that and so you just have to keep playing good defense. There is really nothing else you can do when they hit those.
On Tennessee shooting 39 3-pointers
They were double-teaming the post, and the shots are going to be there if you get the ball out of the post and reverse it. We knew we would get some good looks, and that is why we took so many.
On his career-high 16 points including five 3-pointers
We have so many guys on team who can do good things off the dribble. Everybody can penetrate so I get the easy job of standing out there and when the defense comes to stop them, I shoot it from the outside. Thanks to those guys, I get shots.
On the four-game winning streak
It is really a confidence builder. Hopefully, we can get better every day and get ready for SEC play.
Chattanooga Head Coach John Shulman
"I'm disappointed. I'm disappointed. We didn't play very well. We weren't alert defensively.
"I think we've got a pretty good basketball team when you're disappointed after you come to Tennessee and you get beat. They shot it really, really well. Skylar (McBee) really shot it in the first half, (Trae) Golden really shot the basketball - and still it's an 8-point game with four or five minutes to play. We got the ball at the basket but we just didn't play. We just weren't very good.
"And that should tell you our team has gotten a lot better, because we were in it until the end at Tennessee and we didn't play very well. You've got some disappointed guys in there and there should be. I didn't think our effort was bad; we just didn't play very well. We've just got to continue to get better.
"We had very uncharacteristic screw-ups tonight, and that's kind of how the game started. We got layup after layup and we just couldn't - we just weren't very good.
"I appreciate the job Cuonzo's doing. They're not flash and dash but they're very solid.
"I know everybody's down on them, but I think they are a very solid, good basketball team. They make you beat them. They're tough, they're physical and they're strong."
On Tennessee's Trae Golden
"He's pretty good and he's very hard to keep out of the lane. When he's able to get in the lane, that opens up everything for everybody else.
"And Golden, when he's like that - he made his first bucket against (UNC) Asheville with like four minutes to play. I think what happened to him is he was the man (at the start of the year), but you're trying to figure out you're role. And he's not stupid; he reads the paper and listens to all this other mess and `he's shooting too much, he's shooting too much.' So he's trying to figure out what his role is, and the first time he looked comfortable in a long time was the Citadel game. I watched it and I went, `That's not good for us.' The other game, he looked like he didn't know, `Am I supposed to shoot, am I not supposed to shoot?' It's hard; it's hard playing like that."
On Tennessee's Skylar McBee
"I knew Skylar would do that to me. I understand that. He broke my heart because he was supposed to come to Chattanooga in the first place. But he's shooting from the dead corner out of a double-team. He's not supposed to shoot that. I didn't tell him he could shoot that if he even came to Chattanooga. He was very good. We were up six or seven in the first half and he kind of took over. Good for Skylar."