Feb. 6, 2007
TENNESSEE HEAD COACH Bruce Pearl: "Twenty turnovers by LSU, and 15 steals by us - we played aggressively. We had our nine-man rotation and got some helter-skelter situations. Wayne Chism and Duke Crews did a tremendous job in holding Glen Davis to 2 for 10 from the field. Our defense was okay.
"There has been a lot of mental preparation. I can live with a 9 p.m. tip-off, and having one less day to prepare as long as the game is on ESPN, and the country is watching. That was the SEC champion out there. They are talented, and when they get it together they will be very good. That was a team picked to lead the league, and it has five or six NBA-caliber players.
"Just having Chris Lofton out there, and him making those three free-throws to start the game was big. That is what allowed us to have a nine-man rotation. I hope Lofton can continue to move better and to play better. Jordan Howell made some vital shots.
"We tried to make the game a little bit sloppy as a way to help us. It was good to see Ramar Smith at the free-throw line. That is what point guards do. Dane Bradshaw settles our team down, and JaJuan Smith is a calming influence. He has really stepped up his game. He also did a good job in putting ball pressure on Garrett Temple.
"It was a good team effort. Ryan Childress played with intensity and with very good production in the first half. It was another great crowd, and I am excited about the large crowd we should have for Saturday's game against Vanderbilt at 1 p.m. Vanderbilt is a good team, and they have been off all week, and they will come in here prepared.
"We also want to remind everybody to help paint the town orange during the next week for our and Pat's games against Kentucky."
GUARD Chris Lofton: "It was great to be out there with my teammates. I was limited, but I played okay. I couldn't drive or push off on my ankle. It is going to hurt but at this point in the season, you have to play. I will not be 100 percent Saturday, but I will be ready to go. We have seven opportunities left and we have to take advantage of them."
LSU HEAD COACH JOHN BRADY: "I think the difference in the game was the stretch where we gave up three consecutive offensive rebounds, they score, and they get two offensive rebounds and score again. We made them miss, but we could not cover the loose ball, get the rebound and keep them from scoring. And then Jordan Howell hits a 3-point shot with five seconds left on the shot clock. Even that was a result of an offensive rebound.
"It gets back to critical plays at critical times for this team. Glen Davis probably got a little impatient at times and took a couple of ill-advised shots. But we were able to score without him.
"We hold them to 38 percent shooting at their place, 23 percent from 3-point range, we out-rebound them by nine - I do not know. We get more rebounds than they do, but the ones they got were at critical moments in the game that allowed them to score. That is really kind of where it is.
"It is just disappointing and difficult not to be able to convert and make plays at critical moments to win games like this. I do not fault the rebounding effort and I do not fault the defensive effort because the stats bear it out. I just fought the decision-making at crucial moments, getting the rebound or making the opportune shot. We missed better shots down the stretch than the 3-pointer their guy made, and it is not like that guy is Pete Maravich running around out there."