March 6, 2004
TENNESSEE HEAD COACH Buzz Peterson
"I was worried late in the game because South Carolina had the momentum going for it. This was a game where Brandon Crump got us off to a good start, and Scooter McFadgon finished it for us.
"I'm positive and excited about where our ball team is right now. Why are we clicking? Dane Bradshaw has really helped out by being pretty conservative, and getting the ball to where we need it. Bradshaw gave us what we wanted in the way of ball-handling.
"In those last 12 seconds, we needed to get the ball to the right man, and McFadgon did what we wanted him to do. On that steal South Carolina had late in the game, our guards just weren't cutting well enough.
"I'm excited about going to Atlanta right now; I like the way we're playing offensively. Really, we're executing at both ends of the floor. Atlanta is a neutral site, and we need to go down there and play with confidence. I wish somebody would explain to me why we play so well at home, and play poorly on the road.
"South Carolina is deserving of an NCAA Tournament bid, in my opinion. Twenty-one victories should get them in
"C.J. Watson played one heck of a game, getting the ball to the right people, and doing a good job leading the club. When South Carolina made its run, I called a timeout, and I told them we had played too well all throughout the game to lose it now."
SOUTH CAROLINA HEAD COACH DAVE ODOM
"We had some spark early, but we didn't make the shots. It took a lot out of us. Tennessee defended us well, and kept us off-stride. Their big guys used our small guys inside.
"I was frustrated we didn't hold our composure better at the end of the half. We wanted to get the lead into the low single digits. At halftime, we talked about poise, composure, and energy. And we did that in the second half. From the opening possession of the second half, we were more alive.
"It was a half of missed opportunities. We'd get close, and then turn the ball over. There were the same one or two guys who turned it over. We have to get the ball into the right guys' hands.
"I thought Terence Kinsey had a good day. He'd been struggling, but he played well. I thought Kerbrell Brown battled.
"We didn't shoot well, 19-of-51, while Tennessee shot 55 percent, and that tells the story. One of our problems today in the first half was that we were in the zone defense three times, held them, and then we gave up an offensive rebound.
"They came back and twice hit 3-pointers, one was a leaner by Dane Bradshaw. You have to get the rebound in those situations, and we didn't do it. When you look back at the game, those are key plays.
"I'm not worried about who we play, or what time we play in the
SEC Tournament, I'm worried about us. We need to play the best basketball
we can play. Overall, we played pretty well defensively, but offensively, we
were out of sync."