Feb. 1, 2006
TENNESSEE HEAD COACH Bruce Pearl:
"I called coach Ray Mears Monday and visited with him for a while. He was doing well, and he was looking forward to getting back to see some games. I told him I wanted his permission, and his blessing, to bring out the orange jacket for the Vanderbilt and Kentucky games. He fully approved of it. I said, `if you want me to, I will just wear it for one game or the other,' but coach Mears told me I should wear it for both.
"I bring this up because the Vanderbilt program is a very good one. This is the biggest win of the year for us. The reason I say this is such a big win is Kentucky, Florida, Vanderbilt and Tennessee are all competing for the Eastern Division title. When you beat one of those three, it counts twice, a win for you and a loss for them.
"Vanderbilt is well-coached. I do not look forward to coaching against Kevin Stallings again - he does it right. We were extremely challenged in the first half and were fortunate to be down by only six points at halftime. We were badly outplayed.
"Our defense was a big factor in the second half. Major Wingate and Andre Patterson were strong under the boards in the second half. And C.J. Watson turned his game completely around. We turned down very few shots in the first half, and Vanderbilt turned down very few in the second half. Dane Bradshaw will get more rebounds than his teammates, no matter who is on the floor with him. He is the glue that makes it go. He is our team's identity.
"Chris Lofton missed on a few open looks tonight, but he and the other guards did a good job at holding Shan Foster to seven points. Vanderbilt did a good job against our pressure; however, they did have more turnovers than usual. Vanderbilt was patient in the first half and we were patient in the second half. Fatigue was a factor - those were two tired teams out there. All we did in this game was hold serve, but the schedule favors Vanderbilt down the stretch."
VANDERBILT HEAD COACH KEVIN STALLINGS:
"We shot the ball well. We out-rebounded them by 10. We have to feel good about the effort the team gave. Our guys played really hard but it was very obvious - we just could not overcome the free-throw difference.
"I felt we got some really good looks during the second half. Shan Foster particularly got some really good looks at the basket but they just did not go in. I think we were 1-of-13 in the second half from 3-point range. I know we were taking some desperation ones at the end, but I thought we had quality looks.
"I was fine with how we ran our offense and I was fine with how we played defense. I liked how we rebounded the ball. We turned it over a few more than our average. Tennessee is good at making you do that and you have to give Tennessee a lot of credit. They played a good basketball game and they are a good basketball team.
"Statistically, we are one of the lowest-fouling teams in the league. We have put a big emphasis on not fouling. Obviously, we were not able to master that today. We have been OK at it for most of our games but apparently today we were not disciplined enough."
- Dane Bradshaw recorded his third double-double of the season with 10 points and a career-high tying 12 rebounds.
- Andre Patterson fell two points shy of becoming the first Vol since Steve Hamer in 1995 to record four straight double-doubles. Patterson finished with 8 points and 11 rebounds.
- Major Wingate matched his career high with six free throws made.
- The Vols shot under 40 percent for the fourth time this season, but they are 3-1 in those games. UT wins came against Murray State, Lipscomb and Vanderbilt. The loss came at Memphis.
- The four 3-pointers made was a season low (Previous vs. Lipscomb).