Feb. 4, 2012
TENNESSEE HEAD COACH Cuonzo Martin
"First, I'd like to say it was a great crowd tonight, probably one of the best all year. I thought they had great energy, really got us over the hump. I have to give credit. I thought they did a tremendous job of representing tonight. We really needed that. I thought it really helped us down the stretch.
"I thought we did a good job shooting the ball, making some shots. We got off to a slow start defensively. Didn't do a very good job of challenging the three-point shot. We've worked on it since league play. They actually did a good job of making shots tonight, so give those guys credit.
"We did a good job of getting to the free-throw line as a team. I think when Jerrone (Maymon) is making those free throws, he's really hard to defend. it really helps us out in so many areas. I though Skylar (McBee) did a good job of running the team early. We got the W."
(On decision to start Skylar McBee instead of Trae Golden)
"I just felt like Trae needed to work hard on both ends of the floor and really lead us as a point guard. Not necessarily in production or points, but just his approach and intensity level on the defensive side of the ball and really taking pride in it."
(On guards providing offense on the perimeter with Georgia double teaming inside)
"I thought they did a good job of making shots. I thought what was more impressive was our big guys accepting the double team and not turning the ball over because it's not an easy thing to do. Like UT Chattanooga, you get doubled the whole night it's hard to get into the flow as a big guy. Now, from a guard standpoint, it can be fun to be able to make shots and get in the lane and make stuff happen. I thought our big guys did a good job embracing that double team and finding open guys."
(On lineup changes and if he was sending a message by not starting Golden)
"I never really try to give a message. Like Cam Tatum, for example, has really struggled with his shot. But if he plays hard and approaches the game the right way and continues to work on his game, I have no problems with that. Because as a coach, you ask guy to work hard and if it's not falling, you're not going to take the guy out unless somebody's playing really well at that position. I think Trae's case is really (about) approaching the game at a high level from a work ethic standpoint more than anything."
(On Jordan McRae's night and making baskets late in the shot clock)
"He's done a good job. He's getting better, but he's also putting the time in the gym and that's why you see those results. It's no magic trick. You put the time in the gym and the results will eventually follow."
(On cutting down turnovers)
"In order to be successful as a team, you can't turn the ball over because you don't give yourself a chance to win. Late in that first half, with a minute left, I thought we had a couple turnovers when we could have gone up 4, 5, or 6 points. We turned it over. There's a fine line. You have to be aggressive, but you also have to take care of the ball."
(On Georgia's quick scoring bursts to start the first and second halves)
"I talked to Mark (Fox), it's probably the best job they've done as far as shooting the ball, so give those guys credit for making shots. I thought we did a poor job of contesting and challenging 3-point shooters. In the second half, a couple turnovers gave those guys an easy look at the other end."
(On Jarnell Stokes' performance and time on court)
"I think the key for him is learning from the defensive side what's expected. You see some of the schemes, they were going about things in a different way, stuff he wasn't familiar with. I don't think it's lack of production by any means. We have to do a better job putting him positions and making him see things in practice. You're talking about four months behind. He's doing a great job. It's not going to happen overnight. Our guys who have been here struggled up into SEC play defending at that level. More than anything, to hear so many different things -- it's easy to say `do this, do that` -- but you haven't seen it yet."
SOPHOMORE GUARD Jordan McRae
(On getting into a rhythm offensively)
"If I hit one shot, I feel like I can hit the next one. If I hit the next one, I feel like I can hit the third one. That's just what kind of player I am."
(On his role game to game)
"I'm just trying to stay positive and keep playing with confidence. Even this game, I'm going to watch film tomorrow and try to figure out what I can do better. I'm just really trying to get better defensively every day and keep my offense in mind too."
(On balancing the focus between offensive and defensive improvement)
"It definitely is because you want to get shots every day. At the same time, you want to watch film on your defense and keep trying to figure out what you need to do and where you need to be at in certain spots. It's tough, but basketball and class is all we really have to do."
(On whether he's making progress defensively)
"I definitely feel like I'm making a lot of progress. This time last year, I would've been on the end of Coach Martin's bench. I'm just trying to keep making strides."
(On Trae Golden coming off the bench)
"I talked to him last night. I just told him to just go out and keep doing the same thing. The coaches initially didn't tell him why, but I told him me and him have to pick it up on defense and have the same energy and passion on offense. But he's fine."
(On Tennessee's balanced attack)
"I feel like we're a better team if we have multiple guys step up and make big plays for us. If we just have one guy doing it, I don't think we're as good."
SOPHOMORE GUARD Trae Golden
(On the message he received from coming off the bench)
"It told me that he felt like I wasn't playing hard enough. I just had to come in the game and give a spark off the bench. I found out yesterday in practice at the beginning when we had walkthrough."
(On adjusting to his role against Georgia)
"I didn't find it tough or anything. I just came in and tried to do whatever I saw from the bench at the beginning at the game. I just tried to come in, fill in that void and fill my way out throughout the game."
(On whether it lit a fire under him)
"It definitely lit a fire under me. It wasn't like a negative fire. I just wanted to be a help to the team in any way I could and that's what I tried to do."
(On whether he will have to work to earn his starting spot back)
"I definitely think so. I think Skylar did a great job tonight playing the point. I just have to get back to practice, work hard and get my starting position back. If it doesn't come, I'm fine with doing anything the team needs."
(On limiting turnovers)
"We definitely were thinking about that. It's starting to hurt us more when we get turnovers. I think that's something we're becoming conscious of and something we're going to continue to get better at."
Junior guard Skylar McBee
(On having four players in double figures)
"When everybody is scoring it makes it really hard to defend us. We shot the ball the well. Our bigs did a good job of accepting the double team and getting the ball out. We got some good looks, and we knocked them down."
(On Tennessee's 14-4 run midway through the second half)
"We started getting the stops. We were pressing up, getting some more ball pressure and making their shots a little bit tougher. I give Georgia credit. They did a good job of hitting shots tonight. Early, it was us not contesting shots the way needed to."
(On getting his first career start at Tennessee)
"It was a good feeling. It is an awesome thing to be from this area and get to (start). I watched guys play when I was middle school and high school. It is not really about who starts or who finishes. It is about going out there and having five guys play as a unit."
(On his role on the team)
"I am going to do whatever Coach Martin asks me to do. Anything I can do to get on the floor and help us win. That is what I am here to do. Whatever he asks me to do, I am going to do it to the best of my ability, and help our team win."
Junior forward Jeronne Maymon
(On increasing the defensive intensity in the second half)
"We knew we had to get some stops. We pride ourselves on reeling off five stops in a row. We were trying to make sure we stayed on the ball on the ball screens, hedge really hard and get our hands active.
(On the change in the starting line-up)
"Guys may just play harder when they have something to prove. We all did a real good job tonight of accepting our roles and coming out there and playing hard. I am going to give it 110 percent every time I am on the floor."
GEORGIA HEAD COACH MARK FOX
(On inside foul trouble)
"We just were in such awful foul trouble and that obviously was a huge factor in the game. We had to play a football player (Jay Rome) five minutes in the first half just to stay out of foul trouble.
"But you have to give Tennessee credit. They made some key 3-point baskets."
(On second-half shot selection)
"We need to finish a few of them but I thought offensively we had a lot of looks we were trying to get."
(On committing just five turnovers)
"To be honest with you, a couple of our turnovers were late in the first half because we had a kid out there who didn't quite know all the things we were trying to do. But we did take pretty good care of the ball and Tennessee is a good defensive team."
(On putting together a 40-minute effort)
"That's the step we need to take. We are playing much longer spurts of quality basketball but we still have a burp of two that we have to get past. On the road against a good team, you've got to play really sound.
"They made some baskets where I can't fault our defense much. They made some 3-point baskets that they probably haven't been making the last couple of weeks."