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Tennessee-Auburn Postgame Quotes



Feb. 7, 2009

Recap |  Box Score

Tennessee Head Coach Bruce Pearl

Opening statement...
"I thought one of the ways that Auburn could win the game was beating us on the boards. They were one and seven and when they get out rebounded and now they are 13 and two when they out rebound their opponent. They play hard. They are very athletic. They beat us to a lot of 50/50 balls.

"We had 17 defensive rebounds and they had 14 offensive rebounds; that was basically half the times it went up. We had five defensive rebounds in the second half. It is very difficult to win the game in that situation. I thought Auburn deserved it. I thought they played hard. I thought they did a lot of good things. (Rasheem) Barrett stepped up in a huge way. I thought their front line really played well. We did not defend their front line very well at all and we got outplayed there. This is our most disappointing loss."

On why it is their most disappointing loss...
"They played very well. I like their team. I have been quoted all season as saying in all the preseason as saying Auburn would have a chance to finish in the top three teams. But every other loss we have had is a guaranteed NCAA team and Auburn right now isn't a guaranteed NCAA team.

"That is combined with the fact that we were in position to win the game. I don't know what our record is when we have the lead, but we don't lose many when we have the lead. That was disappointing."

On lacking in rebounds...
"It was both intensity and position. Auburn's athleticism, quickness, aggressiveness and their intensity beat us to the ball. And it was the way I thought they could beat us. I talked to their boosters this morning and I told them that was the one thing, because Coach Lebo has got them playing very hard. When they missed a shot, they followed a shot."

On getting into foul trouble in the first half...
"Wayne (Chism) and Tyler (Smith) had three fouls, but they didn't have any more fouls. In the first half, three fouls are a factor, but in the second half it is not. Once you get past the first TV time-out in the second half you've got 16 more minutes to play and you can't worry about fouls. If we were in foul trouble, that may have been a factor early, but not in the last 16 minutes of the game."

 

 

On defending the last inbound pass...
"I used my last timeout because they came out with a different set so I changed up. I thought we had a turnover on that sideline. We really weren't pressing and they threw that long cross court pass. I thought Wayne Chism had it, but obviously there was a scramble."

Tennessee Player Quotes

Wayne Chism, Center

On rebounding struggles...
"Long shots lead to long rebounds and that's what they shot this game. It was very tough. We have to bounce off of this and get back into our game plan. Our problem was rebounding and you can't say anything more about it. If the ball comes off long, then you have to go get it and that's the way it is. You have to defend your basket."

On the final rebound...
"I was boxing out, but the ball hit me right on the head. I was guessing that the ball was going to come off long, but the ball came off and hit me on the head. It was a tough matchup under there."

On matchup difficulties against Rasheem Barrett...
"We played good defense, but on offense, all his shots were jumpers and you've seen that. He got in the lane, but he made a lot of tough shots. You can't get mad at that so long as you contested some of them. He's just a great player who had a great night."

On loss influencing their next game...
"It's going to be easy to get back up from this one. All we have to do is keep our confidence and keep on rolling. We can't let this get us down just because they won the rebounds. You can't worry about this, it happens sometimes. No team is going to go through the SEC conference beating teams on the boards. Sometimes you're going to get out-rebounded. You have to keep going and move on."

Auburn Head Coach Jeff Lebo Quotes

Opening Statement...
"I thought it was a heck of a basketball game. It was a great game to watch if you were a fan, obviously. It was a back and forth type of game, no one could seem to stop anyone else. It made for a fun game to watch if you like offense. I thought our kids played with a lot of energy. I thought they played with a lot of enthusiasm. They played with some toughness, and we talked about not competing as hard as we needed to with Ole Miss. I thought they competed awfully hard today, and our seniors were terrific. Korvotney Barber and Rasheem Barret were unbelievable, making play after play after play. We pulled it out there at the end against a good Tennessee team, so a lot of plays were important obviously, but nothing more important than the last play. Tay Waller was really under control. I was worried that he was going to take a quick one there and jack it up, but he did a great job finding Barber. Just like he did in high school I guess, that kind of lay-up. It was a great win for our guys."

On play-calling in the last huddle...
"The hardest thing was to get the ball in bounds. That is the one thing that [Tennessee] does better than anyone in the country, so you can't give them a steady dose of anything. We kind of free-lanced to spread out and get the ball in. We wanted the high ball but it got deflected.

"What we'd done most of the game was spread them and try to beat them off the bounce, and that's what we tried to do, but the play got scrambled up there because of a deflection. Tay Waller got the ball and had to make a basketball play at that point and saw Korvotney underneath."

On the last play helping the team confidence...
"It was huge. There is no doubt about it. It was huge game for us. Up to the Mississippi game, I thought we have done some really good things. We haven't won every time, but we've done some good things. We've been better, but we competed hard and that game was just a bad one. I told my team that 20 games of 21, they played really well. One [bad game] hopefully won't make a trend, so we battled in practice and worked hard and prepared well. We got a win, which was a big one for us."

On Tennessee's offensive rebounding...
"We were active on the glass. We spread them out to where they had to get long shots and long rebounds. Now they shot such a high percentage; they only missed 20 shots. They got four offensive rebounds of those 20 missed shots. They were the best offensive rebounding team coming in, and I just thought we did a great job with rebounding. Rasheem Barrett had an unbelievable offensive rebound at the end of the game. It was just a great effort to keep it alive. I thought that Lucas Hargrove made a terrific pass to get Tay Waller the open three to make another pass.

"Tay Waller knocked it in and if you look at a one point game, a lot of little plays that can come back. With our free throw shooting again, Barber shot the ball much better, but it wasn't great. I thought in the first half they shot the ball really well. We still shot 60% and won.

"Usually when that happens, you get a loss. We had to go small. Barber played the majority of the game at the five spot. We played Knox the first half, but Barrett was terrific for the entire game. It was unbelievable."

On Korvotney Barber's performance...
"He was unbelievable in there. This was the first time in a long time that I have seen him really demand the ball. He used his quickness inside, got angles and posted up. We got the ball to him in the right spot, eight of eight in 21 and eight is a pretty good night's work. We hadn't seen him a lot in the first half, so I felt good at the half that he shot 60%. He sat nine minutes of that half, but he was aggressive around the bucket tonight posting up."

On having a different and bigger starting lineup...
"It was fine. I think we can start eight guys and it doesn't really matter. That is not something that is a big deal"

On Rasheem Barber's performance and last offensive rebound of the game...
"We have some stunts on the free-throw line that we work on, so I will have to look at it on film. He is hard to box out when he works. He is so strong and explosive. For short periods of time he wouldn't get a ball there. I think he is getting healthier and getting more confident.

"We were playing him at two positions, but he is playing a little bit out of positions at times. But what he has at his position is an advantage over people. They have a hard time defending him, so they have to make some decisions."

Auburn Player Quotes

Korvotney Barber, F

On final play...
"We didn't know how it was going to work out at the end. It just happened to work like it did. Tay Waller was able to give me a good pass inside and I was able to make the shot."

On getting open for the final shot to win the game...
"I have no idea how I was that open, I just saw the opening and I took it. "

On teams that play man-to-man versus you...
"I like it when teams play man-to-man because I am a lot quicker than most big men in the SEC, so it makes it easier for me."

On this being a big win...
"It showed a lot of maturity coming off of the big loss to Ole Miss. We just forgot about that game and thought about tonight and we were able to knock down one of the best teams in the SEC."

Rasheem Barrett, G

On this being a big win...
"This was a very good win. Last year, Tennessee beat us pretty good.

"We just came into this game with a lot of emotion. We came out in the first half well and showed some maturity. We knew that Tennessee would throw a punch; they are a great team. We just showed perseverance and I am very glad that our team and coaching staff persevered through it. It just showed a lot of maturity. I think we showed up tonight fighting hard and came up with the win."

On being confident individually offensively...
"I shot one where I pivoted and turned around and it rolled in, I thought, "whoa tonight might be my night." I am very confident right now and like for my teammates to help get me open and pass me the ball."

"On getting the offensive rebound after Lucas Hargrove's missed free throw shot... "When I saw that ball bounce off the rim, I thought to myself, "it's do or die; we are not going to lose this game without getting another possession."

On rebounding...
"The other day in practice we did a drill called "war rebounds" and you do whatever you can to keep each other off of the glass, tackle, just whatever we have to do. And, I think that drill helped us tonight, boxing out."

Quantez Robertson, G

On finding out you weren't starting....
"I found out when I got to the gym that I wouldn't be starting; there wasn't anything that I could do about it, but I am just glad we got the win. It isn't just about me, it's about the team and that's what we did - we went out there as a team and got the victory."

On why you didn't start...
"I was late to the game. Coach benched me so that I could learn my lesson. Now, we can go into the next game and get ready in practice on Monday without that being an issue. We are supposed to be here an hour and 45 minutes before the game. I don't know how late I was, but I just know that I was too late. I don't care if I don't start; I just care about winning and helping our team get the win. I did all I could to help my team get the win."

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