Postgame Quotes: #3 Florida 67, Vols 58

Feb. 11, 2014

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Tennessee Head Coach Cuonzo Martin

(Opening statement)
"That was a hard fought game and one thing that we talked to our guys about, a couple things - defensively, who does the best job of defending and getting stops. Offensively, take care of the ball the best. I thought we did a great job, I don't think we had any turnovers if I'm not mistaken against the press but we end up with 15 turnovers. I thought we had careless turnovers in the first half. You can't give that type of team leeway or room to make plays or get their heads up. I thought they did a great job keeping their composure and making their plays in a timely fashion. I thought Wilbekin really controlled the tempo down the stretch of the game. Give those guys credit, they did a great job winning the game."

(On leaving Jeronne Maymon in the game)
"I didn't think about taking him out. He was playing hard. He was diving on the floor. He did a tremendous job of battling and competing. There were several times he had the rebound and he did a great job getting a jump. No, I didn't think about taking him out it was just unfortunate. He played extremely hard. Maybe take him out to get him blow but he was the one guy I really thought was battling around the rim. Jarnell was doing a good job of scoring and getting rebounds. I thought Jeronne was the one guy all over the floor and making plays."

(On the matchup with Scottie Wibekin)
"He made plays. I didn't think they did a bad job. I thought a couple times, especially in the second half, I thought he had a transition layup on Darius [Thompson] were Darius didn't do a good job defending him and keeping him in front of him. He's a good ballplayer and you think about trying to put Josh [Richardson] and Armani [Moore] on him and you're giving up some of those other areas. One of those guards has to guard [Casey] Prather or guard [Michael] Frazier on the perimeter so just a tough thing to do but that's just part of it. You've got to defend your position and we knew Wilbekin would be tough but the key was to try and control him, try and corral him and he made the plays. Shot clock down, he made the plays to win the ballgame for his team or keep his team in position."

(On playing a top five team)
"It's tough. I thought it was a tremendous environment. The fans were great but it's tough. We felt like we were ready to win the game. We felt like we did everything to prepare to win the game. Again you've got to take care of the basketball. Against a good team you can't make those type of mistakes in taking care of the basketball, in being careless with the ball. It's part of it. It's a tough thing to deal with but we've got to keep moving."

(On the decision to play Barton over Thompson)
"Yea it was part of it but I thought Antonio [Barton] did a good job attacking that ball screen and that's one of the things we've been doing more of, for him to score attacking that ball screen. I thought he did a great job reading that defense and making plays against that ball screen. I thought he did a little bit better job against Wilbekin or Hill in guarding those guys."

(On being able to answer Florida's scoring)
"It was good. You have to make plays, you have to be aggressive but more than that just telling our guys at the timeout to settle down. You've got the energy and the emotion involved. They're aggressive, they're doubling the post. We've got to make plays, read the defense and more than anything just settle down and relax and make plays because they're a good defensive team. They don't give you a lot of room so you've got to cut hard and make plays - kind of switch some things up offensively. They did a good job making the adjustments.

(On if there was a point the momentum changed at the end)
"I thought there were a couple of plays. Again, the momentum, I think we were down two, Jeronne (Maymon) missed one around the rim. I think we were down one Jeronne was doubled in the post and turned it over. Josh's (Richardson) dunk, those things are a part of the game, but from a momentum standpoint from a morale standpoint, they can take a hit. They came back down, I think (Michael) Frazier hit a three-point shot and went up four. So, it's tough."

(On if he was surprised Scottie Wilbekin's three-pointer went in)
"Not at all, that's what he does. Think about it, he called off the ball screen from his big guys, but if you watch him in scouting reports and film, that's what he does late in the shot clock. If he can get to the rim all the way to the right, he'll get right. If not he'll probe the defense, probe them and shot that pull up three-point shot."

(On the games against the league leaders being behind them)
"I just think it's one game at a time. We're off tomorrow, and then get ready to play against Mizzou at Mizzou, a very talented team, but for us it's one game at a time and that's the only thing you can control."

(On if he thought about going to 1-3-1 zone earlier in the game)
"I thought, not necessarily thought about going to it earlier in the game. We didn't have a time table of when we would go to it, but I thought we did a better job in the first half in defending. That was the case. We talked about it as assistants, in the first half, that we didn't settle down. We did a good job of defending with our man, settled down, and in the second half I thought they had a flow and a rhythm, so we made an adjustment. It was better for Darius (Thompson) too to play the 1-3-1."

(On teams cutting the lead down at halftime)
"Well, I've got to see in particularly each game. Different things happen, whether you miss shots or they make a play. We didn't do a very good job those last nine seconds we missed a one and one, and they came down and Wilbekin made the jump shot, the pull up around the rim. So, we didn't do a good job of keeping them in front of us and keeping them out of the lane."

(On Florida having several offensive rebounds)
"That's the thing, I just talked to the guys about. They won where we do best, offensive rebounding, battling on the glass. They got big rebounds. I thought we did a good job from a field goal percentage stand point, but again, they made big rebounds, I mean got big rebounds, and then we had fifteen turnovers. Just the way we turned it over. Sometimes you'll have turnovers, but I think just the way we turned it over in some ways weren't characteristic."

(On how good that Florida team is)
"Probably the best Florida team since I've been here. As a team, I would put them with a team similar to the team, Kentucky team with Anthony Davis. You don't have the caliber guy of Anthony Davis, but very similar with their defense and approach. They probably don't have the big name so to speak, as far as first round draft picks and all of that, but they've got very talented players. They do a tremendous job of playing together and feeding off of each other."

(On Florida cutting the lead down at halftime)
"Yeah, especially to go up seven or eight at the half, but again those turnovers, the costly turnovers, the way we turned the ball over is just tough. Against a good team, you can't do that. Whether you're at home or on the road, you've got to take care of the ball."

Tennessee Senior Guard Jordan McRae

(On the outcome of the game)
"It was tough. Everybody played hard out there. It was a hard fought loss."

(On the feeling out on the court)
"The crowd tonight definitely did a great job for us. I think both halves we came out flat that is what a team like Florida causes you to do."

(On the Vols defense)
"We turned it over a lot. Our turnovers more or less were forced turnovers. You can't do that against the number three team in the country."

(On not being able to score after a good defensive play)
"We just have to execute our offense. Like I said we turned the ball over a lot towards the end. That was tough for us."

(On effectiveness of the zone defense against Florida)
"It was. I think we kind of threw them off guard a little bit with it."

(On what makes Florida a good team)
"There just a team that is together. They are really well coached. I think Scottie Wilbekin does a great job just leading everybody."

(On the value of Scottie Wilbekin's late in the game 3-pointer)
"Josh (Richardson) played good defense but that is the kind of player that he (Wilbekin) is. He is a leader for their team. He hits big shots when they need it the most."

Tennessee Junior Forward Jarnell Stokes

(On Florida's defense)
"For me personally I go through double teams everyday, but there is no double team like the one they were able to do today and last game. I felt like there was no one open, but I had two guys on me."

(On how Florida does the double team with no open looks)
"I have no idea. That is something I would like to look at when watching film. They forced me to make plays out the double team. Sometimes I held on to the ball too long. I felt like sometimes I should have taken the quick jump shot, but that is Florida defense."

(On Florida winning the offensive rebounds in the last few minutes of the game)
"I definitely wish I could take that play back. I know two of the rebounds I left up to my guy to grab it. I saw him with the lead and going for the rebound. I just have to take it up on my own hands to go and get those rebounds. I wish I could take that back."

(On Florida having 18 offense rebounds versus Tennessee's nine)
"It surprises me a lot. They were able to tip the ball in the air even when they couldn't get the rebound. Sometimes I felt like it was lot of over the back that maybe should have been called, but I have to put this game past me. Any team that is able to tip the ball in the air, advantages goes to them."

(On the value of Scottie Wilbekin to Florida)
"The way he executed down the stretch. In the first half he really didn't hurt us but in the last five minutes he hit a three. Then he made all his free throws. That hurt us."

(On the frustration of executing a good defense but still coming up short)
"This reminds me a lot of the Kentucky game because we defended them and they made us pay for what we gave them. Casey Prather hit a three, the second one of the year. Chris Walker hit two threes. Scottie Wilbekin was able to hit a three to the buzzer. They made some tough shots and we didn't capitalize on transition. I think we got four turnovers in a row when we went zone. We just didn't capitalize on all of them."

Tennessee Junior Guard Josh Richardson

(On letting the game get away from them)
"It's tough, but I mean Florida is a good team and they just finished the game better than us. We just have to bounce back quick."

(On feeling a sense of urgency for the final games)
"Every game we should approach with a sense of urgency. We play Missouri on Saturday and we have to go get this win"

(On making simple turnovers)
"I mean, it happens. You can't dwell on it. In the course of the game when the heat is on small stuff like that tends to happen and just have to look forward"

(On not finishing strong late in the first half, and late in the game)
" I mean, I don't really know whats's happening at times like that, I don't really remember. We just have to sit down at the end of the clock, it's on us."

(On how Scottie Wilbekin finished the game)
" I mean, he is a great game manager and a really good point guard, and we just had a tough time containing him"

(On his missed dunk)
"I'm not going to go into details, but I just missed it"

(On the difference in the first half to the second)
"We just weren't capitalizing on our opportunities. In the first half we were hitting a lot of shots and in the second half we just slowed down."

(On not being able to build a bigger first half lead)
"Yeah, I don't really think it was on the offensive side, I think it was on the defensive side. We were giving up easy bucks and a lot of offensive rebounds , that was the biggest thing."

Florida Head Coach Billy Donovan

(On Patric Young's rebound late in the game)
"It was an incredible play, I thought, by him. He sold out, two guys were in front of him and he ran past and made an incredible save to come up with the loose basketball and they had to foul. It was an incredible play by him just effort-wise with four fouls. The end there, there was a lot of time that was taken off the clock because of our offensive rebounding. They got spread out a few times because we opened up the floor for Scottie (Wilbekin). When he got down the lane, it opened those guys up to make some plays. Those three possessions took a lot of time out of the end of the game."

(On Scottie Wilbekin)
"I thought he was great tonight all the way around, he did really, really well."

(On Tennessee's first half)
"Being in the league as long as I have, Tennessee teams have always been really talented, I knew they were going to shoot the ball well. We wanted them to shoot the ball on our terms, so to speak. I thought McRae made two really tough shots. One was not defended well by us, but it was a tough shot by him. He made some tough runners. I was really encouraged going into the half. We shot 36% from the field, they shot 62% and we were down by one. That's generally a recipe for being down 20-15 and you're in a real hole. We kind of dug ourselves out of a six-point deficit and cut it to one. I thought a lot of the shots they made in the first half, those shots didn't go down in the second half. I thought we made it a lot more difficult McRae. Some of the shots he hit in the first half just didn't go down. The difference was what we did defensively, just the numbers there."

(On why was the game as close as it was in the second half, despite the shooting discrepancy)
"Our offensive rebounding was the key. We had nine offensive rebounds in the first half and I think we were 1-9, which hurt us. We shot the ball better from the free throw line than they did, so those two things. The turnovers, I think they turned it over 10 times in the first half and that helped us, so those three things kept it close."

(On the defense in the second half)
"I think what happens is, one of the things is we didn't press a lot in the first half and the game got kind of stagnant. They're going to play Stokes and Maymon a lot of minutes and, for us, we wanted a game going up and down the floor, get into a racing game, and I thought we pressed most of the second half. We didn't turn them over, but we were disruptive in terms of flow and had them playing with a shorter shot clock. I just think that's what happens when you play a lot of minutes like that, where maybe the same shot you're making when you're amped up and excited and they don't go in later in the game."

(On his team's rebounding)
"We got to the glass. The offensive rebounding number 18 is a huge number, but it's not as huge of a number because we didn't shoot the ball very well. I thought they did a good job defending us in the game. I thought Casey Prather forced some things, lanes were clogged and closed. When they went 1-3-1 zone we had three turnovers in a row. They missed a dunk that went out of bounds, they had a couple of plays on our turnovers that didn't kill us and then Frazier made a big three, Wilbekin made a big three and the lead got up to eight there, which gave us some breathing room."





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