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Postgame Quotes: Vols 82, Auburn 75



March 7, 2013

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Tennessee Head Coach Cuonzo Martin

On the game...
"We knew they would come out with a lot of energy and a lot of emotion. It was their senior night and they have about five seniors. For us, it was about settling down. We knew coming it would be a 40 minute basketball game. I even said to the guys before the game started that it would go down to the wire because of what's at stake. Those guys played with emotion. I read in the paper that Frankie Sullivan said he didn't want to lose this game. We knew that. It was a good thing for our guys to maintain a level of focus to win and make those free throws."

On the first half...
"I thought they were ready to play, they just gave up points. I thought Frankie did a great job as well as Josh Wallace. There were some things we tried to do on defense that didn't work, so we had to make some adjustments. I thought our guys were ready to play and they made plays."

On adjustments...
"We just needed to guard a little bit differently. We felt we needed to play a little more zone than what we played tonight. Frankie Sullivan was hot and he was rolling, so we didn't want his head up and have easy looks to where he could just catch the ball and shoot."

On the last 15 minutes...
"I thought Trae Golden and Jordan McRae did a solid job along with Josh Richardson on both ends. I thought Josh did a really good job of setting the challenge and really slowing Frankie Sullivan down, because other than that he was rolling. Josh did a good job of containing him and we went from there. They all did their job and everything else fell in line."

Tennessee Forward Jarnell Stokes

On the first half...
"It was senior night for them and they're at home. We expect them to play one of their better games. We started off kind of good on the offensive end, but on the defensive end their guards were quick and there were just a lot of breakdowns."

On his free throws...
"I don't know. When I get back to Knoxville I'll probably make about 100 before I go to bed tonight. I hope to never shoot like that again. I work on my free throws all the time and I felt like I was on a roll when I came to the free throw line these past couple of games, but tonight it just felt like it wasn't my night. I don't think I'll shoot as bad as that again."

On Auburn scoring...
"I think we should've played off a couple of those guys instead of trying to get into them. I think they have very, very quick guards, probably as quick as the LSU guards. It was hard to keep up with them. I'm just glad we got the win at the end of the day."

On Trae Golden and Jordan McRae...
"It means a lot for those guys. They were able to get to the end of the line at the end of the game and seal the deal."

Tennessee Guard Jordan McRae

On needing to take care of business... "We were just telling each other we have to turn up our energy and match theirs. It was senior night for them so they came out playing with a lot of energy. We just had to match theirs."

On what was said at halftime...
"At halftime we were just really saying that we have to go in there. We can't wait until the last five minutes to make a push."

On working for points...
"I don't think I played that well tonight. We got the win though. Trae (Golden) played a great game."

On the second half...
"We just have a lot of energetic players. Trae (Golden) did the oop to Josh (Richardson), I had a dunk, we hit 3s, Sky (McBee) was big for us. We just tried to feed off our positive energy."

On the alley-oop...
"That might be the first one since Coach Martin has been here. I know it is. We talk about it all the time. We're all athletic, but can't complete an alley-oop. This was a great time to do it."

On thinking about what's at stake...
"We definitely do. We really wanted to win this one going into Saturday. It's going to be a great atmosphere on Saturday. With a win under our belts, it makes our practice a lot smoother the next day."

Auburn Head Coach Tony Barbee

On the team's effort...
"I've never seen a stat sheet like these. Where we had four more field goals, two more three's, and a team takes 26 more foul shots than you do. Never seen that before. That's the difference in the ball game."

On Tennessee's 26 more foul shots...
"I'm not making any assumption on it, opinion on it. It's a difference in a game, it's just a difference on a stat sheet. They shoot 38 foul shots, and we shoot 12. It's the difference in the game. The difference in the number is the difference in the game."

On the seniors...
"I'm disappointed that they couldn't go out with a win in front of the home court, but those five guys represent everything that's right in college athletics., all five of them. One of them has already graduated, Frankie [Sullivan]. The other four will all graduate on time with great degrees from Auburn, and they're going to go on to be very successful in life, and represent Auburn as Auburn men in an unbelievable way. So, I'm disappointed for them, that we've had the kind of season we've had. They deserve more. They deserve to go out as winner, but I couldn't be more proud of the way these guys have contributed to this program and to this basketball family."

On Josh Wallace's performance...
"He gave everything he could to win this game. If you could transplant Josh's heart into every player in the game, you'd have some heck of a player out there. Like I said, he doesn't view himself as somebody who's his size. He thinks he's 6-foot-9" and 250 pounds when he looks in the mirror. That's how he's always played, and that kind of heart could go a long way for some other guys."

On walk-on Dylan Spencer starting...
"He was ready. He's a guy that works his tail off in practice. He's always on the scout team, pretending to be somebody on the other team, making shots and going crazy. I wasn't worried at all about starting Dylan, and him playing within himself, and him being productive in the minutes he got."

On Dylan's three pointer...
"That was a big moment. You saw the love and camaraderie this team has. When he made that three, not only did the jungle go crazy, but the bench went crazy for him. Some guys that were normal starters understood why they weren't starting, because it was Senior Night, but they could have been over there pouting or sulking because they weren't getting to start or whatever the case may be, but every one of them was jumping up and down going crazy. That just tells you how they all feel about Dylan. Not just as a teammate, but as a person."

On the situation with Chris Denson...
"His back tightened up on him. His back started to tighten up yesterday, and he tried in shoot around today, and he tried to warm up before the game, but it just locked up on him." On losing the lead they had at halftime...

"We have trouble finishing."

Frankie Sullivan 23, Senior Guard

On the loss on Senior Night...
"It was very tough. We just wanted to leave the fans with a good taste in their mouth, and I think that we did not do that this year. As seniors we fought, but the winning aspect was just disappointing."

On fouling out...
"I definitely thought he called a goal tend, but it was a charge. I do not argue with the refs. They referee the game, and we play the game. I cannot argue with that. He made the call that he felt was right the right call, and you cannot argue with that."

On how 27 fouls were called against Auburn...
"Sometimes you just have to go with the wind. The fouls were being called both ways. They were calling it real tight tonight. I felt like it was good for us to drive the ball, and that is what we were doing in the second half, but our offense did not play in our favor at the end of the game."

On playing well but Tennessee shooting 26 more foul shots...
"It is very frustrating but at the same time, it was not so much the fouls as it was the turnovers. I had seven turnovers and those easily led to them getting 14 points. You cannot win a ball game like that. If you take my seven turnovers away, we probably would have won the ball game."

On Josh Wallace...
"That guy is a fighter. He is a little lion, and I love him to death. He has become my best friend since I got here, and I am pretty sure we are going to be friends until the day we die. He puts it all out there every time he steps out on the court, and you have got to love that."

On Frankie's shots starting to fall...
"I was just being really aggressive tonight and the shots were falling for me. It was about time they did but still if you take away my 24 points I would still only have 10 because of my turnovers. I do not look at the points. I am all about the wins. I want to win. I don't care about the points."

On the season not being over just yet...
"The season is still most definitely not over. We still have to go to Mississippi State and the SEC Tournament. Everybody has been beating everybody all year. We played a great team, Tennessee, today and stuck neck and neck with them. I think we just have to go in with an aggressive mindset and just leave it all out there on the court. We do not have anything to lose except to go out fighting."

On the first few minutes of the game feeling like old times...
"It actually did. Coach kept calling plays for me, and my teammates were screaming for me. They wanted me to get the ball and it felt good just going back to those days. Those six minutes felt good for a period of time, but I would rather have those six minutes back and get a win."

On sinking in that he played in front of the fans for the last time...
"It definitely did and especially seeing the guys in the locker room was just crazy. These are some of the best fans in the world. I said it once and I will say it again. The education here is second to none; the fans are second to none. Anytime you go somewhere, whether it is on campus or off campus, or in the mall, they know you, they are speaking you and are going to greet you with a 'War Eagle' and that is just a family thing. Family sticks together no matter what and I love them for that."

On the feeling of playing his final game in the Arena...
"Just to go out there and cherish the moment. I am going to go and spend some time with my parents since they came down to the game. My best friend came from my hometown. I am just going to spend some time with them and just enjoy the moment, that is all you can do right now."

On Dylan Spencer's three pointer...
"I loved that. I missed him on the first time. He was so anxious to get the ball and I missed him the first time, but I made sure I gave it to him the second time I saw him. It was great just to see him get that three off and get his points. He is a pretty good player."

Josh Wallace 11, Senior Guard

On the loss of his final game in the Arena...
"It hurts. I wanted to go out with a win and give the fans a win, something to look forward to next year. It hurts. I wanted this, the whole team wanted this, and everybody wanted this one"

On Tennessee shooting 26 more free throws than Auburn...
"You notice it. You just cannot dwell on it. The refs call fouls, but you just have to keep playing."

On his aggressiveness...
"Especially these past two games. I have been picking and choosing and deciding when to go into the hole. Tonight, I finished and ended up having some good drives."

On the Tennessee switching up defense second half...
"That and foul trouble. I got two called on me to start the second half, so I was riding the bench for a little bit and that was probably the main factor in me not being able to attack how I wanted to. Then I got the fourth foul with the screen, so after that it was really me having to pick and choose my spots to go in."

On Barbee saying he sees himself as 6' 9" 250 lbs...
"More like 7-foot, 300. I don't see a size. I go down there a lot, so I don't worry about size a lot. The bigger they are, the harder they fall."

 

 

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