Jan. 17, 2009
Tennessee Head Coach Bruce Pearl: "You look at the stat sheet, and you come to the conclusion that we should not have had to come in for a three-point landing. We hit 59 per cent of our shots, which is the best since Chattanooga.
"We did have too many turnovers, which is unusual because normally, pressure makes us a better team. It speaks volumes for Brian Williams that he filled in as well for Wayne Chism as he did. Williams has been coming on. It is significant that he did such a good job in this game.
"South Carolina is a confident, veteran team that came into this game with only three losses. It was good to see Scotty Hopson play so aggressively, get to the rim, and make some good plays. Hopson's attitude has been consistently good; he has a quiet confidence about him. Adversity does not build character; it reveals it. Hopson has been consistent with his attitude and his focus. If he keeps playing as well as he has, he will see more playing time.
"Josh Tabb had a terrific first half. He turned the ball over a couple of times, and that really bothered him, but he played very well. Our guys really tried. It is awfully hard to press Devan Downey. I did not like the assist versus turnover ratio. But South Carolina is leading the SEC in forcing turnovers. They opened the court up, and we took advantage of it."
South Carolina Head Coach Darrin Horn: "We knew they would be ready to play. They lost their last two at home, and coming off of a league loss. You know the two things we had to do to get off to a good start, which was to keep them from scoring in transition, and to keep them off the glass, we did not do, and then we struggled offensively. That seemed to snowball to the defensive end. We have got to learn to play through that.
"Our kids fought hard without question and they gave great efforts in the second half, and they played with the kind of mentality that we want, but we have got to learn to come out with good effort from the get-go, especially on the road in league play.
"I thought individually, Dominique Archie, Devan Downey, and Zam Fredrick really stepped up in the second half, especially played the way we needed them to play. We have just got to learn to do it collectively as a team from the start."
- Tennessee has now won eight of 10 games vs. South Carolina under Bruce Pearl, including the last four in a row.
- Bruce Pearl is now 3-0 all-time vs. Darrin Horn.
- Scotty Hopson's 19 points were a career-high, topping his previous best of 17 vs. Chattanooga in the 2008-09 season opener.
- Tennessee's bench outscored South Carolina's 28-10. The Vols have outscored the opponent's bench in 15 of 16 games this season.
- Tennessee's 58.5 shooting percentage is its highest since shooting 58.9 percent vs. Chattanooga