Feb. 10, 2007
TENNESSEE HEAD COACH Bruce Pearl: "That was a nice victory over a ranked opponent. We need to build our resume and this is one way to do it. It is great to beat Vanderbilt because they are a rival, and it is even better to beat them when they are ranked.
"They are a physical team, and sometimes we lose our cool. We need to work on that. They made a great play to win in Nashville, but we outplayed them today. We got a good start in today's game and came out in the second half to score the first bucket.
"Wayne Chism gives us an inside and outside game, as shown by his three 3-pointers, and his shots from inside. Because he has both inside and outside abilities, it makes him potentially a special player.
"We did not pressure Vanderbilt much because they are a hard team to press. Our guards' half-court defense was good whenever you can stop shooters like Vanderbilt has.
"Chris Lofton played 26 minutes today; he is good to go. He practiced well Thursday, and today he moved better than he did against LSU.
"Kevin Stallings has done a great job with Vanderbilt and they will be one of the best teams in the SEC this year when all is said and done. I told Josh Tabb this week, like I told Jordan Howell last week, he needs to take advantage of the minutes when he is on the floor. He is getting more aggressive.
"JaJuan Smith has been tremendously consistent; he plays great defense. He is becoming a better and better leader. Dane Bradshaw is continuing to play good defense, and is doing a lot well. I have talked to him about scoring more because that is what he needs to do to get more competitive for us. I want to remind everyone to paint the town orange during these next few days."
VANDERBILT HEAD COACH KEVIN STALLINGS: "We just did not play well, and they played great. That is the story of the day. They came out and hit us right away, and we did not respond as well as I thought we would. But you have to give them a lot of credit. They had answers at every turn. Their defense was good, their offense was good, and we just got outplayed today.
"We certainly lost a little bit of composure (during the opening 13-0 run). We did not make shots. We got a little rattled and they continued to play great.
"We wanted to cut into the lead after half. We tried to get it reduced, cut in half maybe by the 10-minute mark and get in striking distance. Obviously, that never happened, but that was our goal.
"It never felt like we were on top of the game. They controlled the game throughout. We needed to make a whole lot of plays but were never able to do it. There were times when we defended them well, and they still made shots. And there were times they broke us down off the dribble, and that created opportunities for them. It was quite a bit of both.
"We obviously have not had one like this all season long. It is not like this is a trend for our team. We have been a pretty competitive group all season, but we just did not play well enough to do the job today."