Feb. 18, 2009
Tennessee Head Coach Bruce Pearl
"(The loss is) a little disappointing for us. Ole Miss played very well, especially their freshmen (Murphy) Holloway and (Terrico) White. They were terrific. We really struggled throughout with our intensity. Second chance points hurt us again and the 50-50 balls, Ole Miss chased too many of them down. I don't think we showed poise. We let ourselves get rattled which at this point in the season, there is not excuse for it."
On Ole Miss' defense:
"They did a good job of going from man to zone. (Tyler Smith) is still scoring about his average. Wayne (Chism) got some baskets, a couple of them were late. We just didn't get help elsewhere. J.P. (Prince) was off his game. He got into some foul trouble and took that hit early in the second half, which I think really hurt us. I thought the start to the second half was really key. They came out and scored at will right off the bat in a close ballgame. It was a two-point ballgame at half and they pushed it up to 10 right away. I thought that was something that we were just never able to overcome."
On his team's poor shooting:
"We didn't shoot it as well. Part of it was that some of our shots were late. I'm more concerned about shooting 11-of-24 from the foul line. It was a lack of focus. We didn't shoot free throws good at home in the Vanderbilt loss. We worked hard this week on free throws. It is a mental and physical toughness that this team has lacked all season long."
Ole Miss Head Coach Andy Kennedy
On the play of Murphy Holloway...
"He had a great night. He's getting better and better. He's really active. He's starting to get an understanding of what we're trying to do. His ability has never been questioned. He's shown that from day one. He's getting a little more comfortable. His confidence is good. He's beginning to make plays at this level--thank goodness for that."
On the effort plays...
"We have to make those plays to beat a team the caliber of Tennessee. We call them 50-50 balls. We've got to get the 50-50 balls. We've got to get on the floor and come up with loose balls. We had a good extra effort. I thought a couple of times in the second half when we got a little separation, they made a run, we missed some shots, but we had a lot of big, offensive rebounds. We were plus-14 on the glass, and that gives you more opportunities. We got the possessions we needed."
On the win...
"We're just trying to keep getting better. I don't know what is left in these guys. I know we had a good performance tonight against a quality team. I still think we have a lot of areas that we can improve. We left a lot of plays on the floor, so that tells me that this team can still improve. If it does, then hopefully, we can get some more [wins]."
On closing the game out...
"When you're at home, you play a little more confidently. The same shots that we missed [at LSU], we made 53 percent tonight in the second half. I can't remember the last time we shot 50 percent in a half. When we make half of our shots, we're pretty good."