Jan. 31, 2004
TENNESSEE HEAD COACH Buzz Peterson
"It's been a long couple of weeks, and I want to commend our guys for staying positive. Back in the dressing room, I told them that I know they are tired of hearing this broken record, me saying that we'll get through this.
"We had a choice. We could be in their face these last few days, or we could be positive and build up their confidence. It's a long season, and what we need to do is take care of our home-court advantage.
"Stanley Asumnu made some big defensive efforts toward the end. We didn't play very smart at times on defense, and we were very fortunate to get out of this game with a win. Florida is a good team, and they have so many weapons that it is hard to stop them. Billy Donovan has developed a really great program at Florida.
"Before the game, I felt coming in that our team would come out with a lot of fight. McFadgon, C.J. Watson, and Brandon Crump are fighters, but they are quiet leaders. McFadgon has a bruise on his hand, but nothing is broken. He has to let us know how much he can take.
"We did a good job on the boards in this physical contest with the Gators. Our guys stayed with the game plan, but we made some mistakes that could have lost the game for us."
FLORIDA HEAD COACH BILLY DONOVAN
"You can't look at one play in this game. Anthony Roberson is a clutch player. He couldn't make all three at the end, though. There were a lot of other things that contributed to the situation. He shouldn't take responsibility. He made a great play to get fouled.
"We had a chance to tie it at the end, but didn't get a great shot. I thought Tennessee's 18 offensive rebounds hurt us. It's tough to design a play off a missed free-throw. A big guy has to rebound the ball, then get it to a guard, and he has to go 93 feet in 4.4 seconds. Lee Humphrey did a great job, but unfortunately he didn't make it.
"I don't think either team started the game with emotion or intensity. Tennessee did a good job of getting the loose balls. There was three minutes and 43 seconds left when John Winchester ran out of bounds with the ball, and Tennessee got the ball back. Then they might have gotten an offensive rebound, and maybe a 3-pointer that changed the momentum.
"Tennessee did a good job defensively. We did not do a good job offensively; we played okay. I would have liked to see us play better. We had some good looks.
"In the last few seconds, you had to foul and give yourself up, and hope someone else can step up. I'd like to have seen us deny the ball better. With the technical foul, you saw the same game I did. There was a guy on our back on the block-out. I'm not the kind of guy to get lit up. What do you think?
"If you don't play on the road, you'll have a game like this,
and some tough losses. You have to give Buzz and his team credit. Tennessee
found a way to win."