Feb. 18, 2004
TENNESSEE HEAD COACH Buzz Peterson
"It felt good; I'll tell you that. Our guys played for 40 minutes.
"Ole Miss is a pretty physical team, so we had to be physical, too. Trying to do something about Aaron Harper and Justin Reed was our No. 1 goal. Brandon Crump took over. He had one of his better games, and I loved his attitude.
"C.J. Watson had seven assists and only one turnover. He got the ball to the right people.
"I liked the effort by Scooter McFadgon to get those big 3-pointers he got against the zone. Ole Miss did a good job on him early in the game, but he stayed patient. He won't get rattled because he's a low-key guy to start with.
"Our defensive goal on Harper was to deny him any 3-point baskets. We felt we had to stop him on his 3-pointers. Crump did a good job defensively, even though Reed had a lot of points.
"We've got to win Saturday at Athens. It's open to see who can make a run in the Southeastern Conference at the end of this season. We want Saturday's game bad. We'll try our best to get a win against Georgia, which is playing well at this time."
MISSISSIPPI HEAD COACH ROD BARNES
"Tennessee is a pretty good team with a bunch of young kids. When you're young, you don't get the consistency you'd like. They shot the ball well, did a good job, and got some good looks. Tennessee's guys will grow, and they're getting better.
"We play a lot on the road like they do. The big problem is, when you're young, young kids feel more comfortable at home. The league is really balanced, with no team you'd consider great. You have to get up enough steam to win on the road. We're very inexperienced, what with a freshman point guard, a first-year offensive guard, and a juco in the pivot.
"When C.J. Watson is a senior, you can bet Tennessee will win on the road. All of a sudden, they'll have an experienced group, and experienced guys will find a way to win, getting the loose balls and not fouling.
"Scooter McFadgon had a couple of open looks, and an experienced team will make the other guys take the shots.
"We have Florida, Arkansas and Vanderbilt at home coming up, and they'll all be tough. You look at the good teams in the conference, and they have an experienced point guard; that's a real key.
"When it all shakes down, our conference will be well-represented in
the NCAA Tournament this year."