Feb. 13, 2007
TENNESSEE HEAD COACH Bruce Pearl: "It was a great night for the University of Tennessee, and a great night for Tennessee basketball. Bernard King now has six in a row over Kentucky. To think that all those guys came back to campus, words cannot say how much it means to have coach Ray Mears and all of those great players here for our game.
"And we want to thank Tubby Smith for helping us celebrate tonight because you cannot have a night like this without Kentucky being here.
"For us to have 25 assists and only eight turnovers is quite an accomplishment. Both teams played good defense in the first half, but neither could stop the other one in the second half. We made some big defensive stops toward the end of the game.
"Chris Lofton was double-teamed but we were able to make some plays out of that situation. We were able to get the ball into Lofton's hands at the end, and that was our strategy partly because Lofton is more likely to get the whistle. He is an All-America. If he gets hit, we will get the whistle.
"Lofton has also increased his playing time from 21 to 26 to 30 minutes per game. Coach Tony Jones is valuable to us in keeping track of that sort of thing. Everybody but Dane Bradshaw scored. He was a huge part of our victory, with his nine assists and in causing turnovers. He absolutely cannot get a basket.
"ESPN will continue to come back if we play well. That in turn brings good players onto the campus.
"Kentucky came back because they made shots. They made tough shots. They also got the ball inside to Randolph Morris. They are a good 3-point shooting team.
"Now we need to learn to handle success and get ready for South Carolina Saturday."
KENTUCKY HEAD COACH TUBBY SMITH: "I thought we really fought hard and showed a lot of character to battle back after being down and not really playing well. Foul trouble hurt us a lot, but we had some positive things happen to us tonight.
"We have not really defended well the last few games, and we have got to find out why we are not defending better, especially in the post. The easy baskets are what hurt us in transition and they just threw the ball into the post and scored on us. We have got to find a way to win these types of games. You cannot give a team like Tennessee this many chances with the turnovers we had.
"I thought Joe Crawford shot the ball better tonight, and we did some good things inside. Ramel Bradley shot the ball well, but he just made some careless turnovers down the stretch. There at the end we were trying to keep the ball out of Chris Lofton's hands - he is one of the best free-throw shooters in the country."