Jan. 14, 2004
TENNESSEE HEAD COACH Buzz Peterson
"It's been an interesting three of four days for this team, and at the Peterson household, after what happened in Gainesville. I had some fear coming out of there, but the great thing about the game of basketball is it gives you a chance to improve and come back.
"Vanderbilt's half-court offense was terrific. Our plan was to make them take as many 3-point shots as we could. They tried 21 of them, but luckily they didn't make very many.
"Matt Freije is a terrific player. Vanderbilt got several back-door scores, but other teams have had the same problem with them.
"As for C.J. Watson - what a game! He had 13 rebounds and 11 points, a double-double. We got a little bit careless toward the end, relaxed a little too much, and let them get back in the game. The 3-point shots by Scooter McFadgon and Jemere Hendrix were awful big. For Jereme Hendrix to hit a 3-pointer like that was nothing short of terrific. It was a vital shot at a crucial point in the game.
"One thing about Saturday, where we got beat up by Florida after beating a team (Georgia) that had beaten the then-third-ranked team in the nation (Georgia Tech). After that loss, we came back and redefined our roles. We had skull sessions, which helped our team tonight.
"We all know you have to take care of your home court. I'm happy for our guys that they were able to bounce back from last Saturday and beat a very good Vanderbilt team."
VANDERBILT HEAD COACH KEVIN STALLINGS
"Maybe we need better execution on offense. We didn't have one guy who shot it well. When you don't shoot the ball well from the perimeter, it's hard to get balance in the offense.
"We got the inside part, but couldn't shoot consistently from the perimeter. When we went to the zone defense, it helped us. We probably should have done it earlier, but we didn't. We fouled way too much. They got in the bonus way too early. You can't foul like that and expect to win.
"I've been concerned about Matt Freije's offense. I need to be helping him more than I am now. We're doing what we've been doing trying to get him in his spots. He's just pressing, just struggling. Whether it is a slump or whatever, I need to be helping him more. We have to feed off Matt Freije's play. When he makes shots, the other people have the confidence they can make shots. But when he struggles, we're all struggling. When he does struggle, other people have to step up and play better.
"We looked at this game as one of 16 in the conference. You have to play
well on the road to win; Tennessee played better than we did. They are a good
foul-shooting team. They had two guys who were 16 of 16 combined from the line.
You have to play defense with discipline. On some of the fouls, we lacked awareness
and discipline. You have to outplay an SEC team on their court to win."