Nov. 5, 2012
Tennessee Head Coach Cuonzo Martin
"It was a good game for the guys under the lights. The one thing we talk about all the time is how you play when the lights come one. Our guys got out a little slow out the gates, weren't as aggressive, weren't as assertive, I thought. We kind of settled down late in the first half, and in the second half, we were a lot better.
"We did a great job passing the ball. I think for a first game, even though it was an exhibition game, we were correct in some things as far as turning the ball over. We had eight turnovers. I think we might of had four late, just careless activity. I thought we did a better job in that department. I thought we did a better job in the second half getting the ball inside to our big guys on post feeds and also attacking off the dribble.
"We did a really good job crashing the offensive glass, especially Quinton Chievous. He was very assertive. He played with a lot of energy tonight.
"Trae Golden did a great job running the team. Eight assists. Zero turnovers. That was impressive. I don't think he passed up any shots either, and that was a good sign. One of things we don't want him to do is pass up shots. We want him to stay aggressive, looking for his offense."
(On Cheivous backing up what Martin has said of him in practice)
"Q's a guy who plays hard. He plays hard all the time. Right now, he's playing the four for us. Even though he's a guard, he plays at the four position. With the way he shoots the ball, we have an advantage offensively because he can stretch you out so now you can throw it down to one of the big guys they've been doubling down on or he can make shots It really helps. He battles big guys and plays extremely hard. He does a good job of fronting the post. And once we get offensive rebounds. The way he's doing it, he's crashing so hard to keep them off the glass. He's a really good post-up guy as well, so we'll throw it down there, bait big guys on him and he can make plays."
(On balanced scoring and sharing the ball)
"We talk about sharing the ball all the time. Really, we do. Make the extra pass, look inside. I thought there were a couple times, even though there were some situations in the second half, where we made shots but I thought we did a poor job of getting it inside in little sequences where we have the opportunity to get the ball inside as opposed to shooting it from the perimeter. That's a part of the game. I tell the guys all the time, at the end of the day, you have to have a feel for it and you have to play the game. We have to make a conscious effort to consistently pound the ball inside. We won't always be able to pass the ball off the dribble."
(On newcomers all getting steals)
"As long as they're not gambling in the passing lanes and as long as they're being solid defensively, that's fine. All three of those guys did a good job defensively. I have to be exact and watch film, but they did a good job getting steals because they were in the right position."
(On Armani Moore's performance)
"I thought he was solid. I thought he was solid. I thought in the first half, he was forcing it on the dribble because he had to take an attack off the bounce, but I thought overly aggressive and driving when there weren't many lanes to. I thought in the second half, he was taking what the defense gave him as opposed to being aggressive when there was nothing there."
(On if he was concerned the Vols did not start pulling away earlier in the scoring column)
"That wasn't really my concern. I was more focused with how were were playing. I don't think we were playing well in the first half. We missed three dunks -- I'd like to think three easy dunks -- in the first half. I don't think we got the ball inside like we needed to in the first half. This team wasn't going anywhere. They were putting up a good fight, and I expect that. I was just more concerned with how were were playing. Not getting the ball inside. Not crashing the offensive glass. I don't think we were defending at the level we needed to."
(On if he saw any player combinations he liked moving forward)
"I think more than anything, I wanted to give Yemi (Makanjuola), D'Montre (Edwards), Q, and Armani an opportunity to play a lot of minutes. To give three new guys, counting Q, an opportunity to play under the lights at home. I wanted Yemi to get more reps under his belt. I wanted to give those guys as many minutes as possible."
(On more on player combinations)
"It's hard to say right now because we haven't been in a lot of game situations. I think maybe two weeks from now, three weeks from now, I can answer that question even better. It's tough to say right now."
(On comparisons between performance tonight and in secret scrimmage)
"The difference, and thing I said to our guys, is we played a game and there were no lights, so to speak. Now that there were lights, not to say our guys played selfish by any stretch, but we have to get the guys to understand that everybody came to see Tennessee play tonight, as opposed to what's on the back of the jerseys. When guys really understand and comprehend what I mean by that, they play the game. Regardless of the opponent, they came to see Tennessee. I think when you put the lights on, with the family in town, trying to impress somebody, you want to play a certain way. That happens. That's human nature. That's not a bad thing."
(On Trae Golden in practice) "He's been attacking. He's been aggressive. He's been taking opportunities when he has to score and also to drive it. Defensively, he's done a really good job of getting in the lane and finding guys. He's a great job. I've been really impressed with him in practice. But I always tell him to not pass up a shot when he has them. I thought he was hesitant on one 3-point shot in the first half. He had it and didn't shoot it. He was so wide open as opposed to being aggressive and shooting it right away."
"We got the W. Obviously, that's all we wanted to do because we haven't played a game yet. These guys beat up on each other all day in practice so it was a good game under the lights and we'll go from there. We start on Friday and there's no turning back."
(On free throws)
"There's a difference in practice in the comfort level. When you get in the game, you have to step up and make it. It's always different. There's about 15-20% difference points that you take off from practice to a game, but really concentrating and focusing."
(On Quinton Chievous)
"I thought he did a good job. One thing about Q is he makes shots and plays hard. So he'll always have an opportunity to play in games because he does those two things. I think obviously game changes depending on personnel and who we're playing against. I think right now he's better as a guard on offense and he's better as forward for us defensively, especially if he has more opportunities to play. He makes shots. He plays hard. He drives to the rim. He crashes off the glass. That's how he plays all the time."
"I thought the guys did a good job playing hard. One thing about it we saw this team on film, but we didn't show the guys our game film so it wasn't really scouting. We were just kind of going. The offense was really about getting used to it. Dribble and drive, cutting back. We didn't really talk to our guys about it. We didn't show them any film so I thought they did a good job of adjusting. The situation is right there and you want to do a better job of communicating with each other."
Junior Guard Trae Golden
(On staying aggressive)
"I think it is important for all the wing guys to stay aggressive knowing that we have our guys down low that are going to demand so much attention. We have to make sure we get them the ball and we stay aggressive at the same time."
(On the new guys getting important minutes in the game)
"It is huge for the guys to get minutes. Armani (Moore) got a lot of time out there, he got a lot of reps. When Friday comes, there is no turning back and he will be fine. I think he got some valuable time out there."
(On being ready for the first regular season game)
"I think we are ready. I think it was good that we played here tonight. The guys got all the little kinks out. We will be ready Friday."
(On comparing the Georgia Tech game to tonight)
"It was different. It was silent. It was literally just the bench. It was totally different but of course some of the guys were nervous. I remember my first game as a freshman. There could have been ten people there but I was really nervous. Tonight was good for us."
(On what the new guys have to offer)
"I think Coach Martin has made us all want to play defense before anything. So that is what we are trying to do. That is what the new guys are doing well."
(On the new guy's performance tonight)
"We play in practice. I feel like we have an unselfish team. I think we all want to pass the ball. It is not hard for them to play well together. Armani (Moore) did a good job out there. It was good."
(On the difference of this team and last year's team)
"It is different because we are older now. Last year even Cam (Tatum) was young because we didn't know Coach Martin. The new guys can look to us because we know what Coach Martin wants. We tell them when they are doing something wrong so it makes it easier."
Junior Guard Jordan McRae
(On what he thought about Quinton Chievous's first time being able to play with the team)
"He played great. It didn't look like it was his first time playing. He can do so many things playing the floor and create so many mismatches for the other team. He did a really good job. He plays like he's 6'9 and that's an advantage that we have and is one of the reasons that he's at the 4."
(On why it seemed like the team had a bit of a slow start in the first half)
"I think it was just a slow start. Playing in front of the fans for the first time and just playing here, it just took us a while to settle down."
(On how much better this year seems in terms of more people on the team being comfortable with knowing the offense)
"There's always at least one or two people on the floor that know how to run the offense. We just constantly talk on offense and defense trying to get everyone on the same page."
(On if thought Armani Moore played well)
"Yes. Armani is real aggressive, and as soon as he knows when to attack more then he will be a great player for us."
(On if the team is excited to play their first non-exhibition game on Friday.)
"Yes, we're excited to get the official season going."
(On what they think about Kennesaw State having beaten Georgia Tech a couple years ago)
"I heard they beat Georgia Tech but we haven't really watched much film on them yet. We didn't watch much of Victory either, we've just been trying to focus on ourselves so far."
(On if he thought Armani Moore was nervous in his first game)
"No, he wasn't. We were telling him that his first shot was going to be hard, but I think all of the new guys played well."
(On why they played better in the second half)
"I think everybody got their nerves settled down. We were getting in our offense and playing our offense all the way through."
"It helps a lot. We need somebody with Jeronne's passion and Q plays so hard , and that's somebody that's good to have, knowing that he always going to play hard and go for every loose ball and things like that."
(On how much of an adjustment it is with Jeronne Maymon out)
"Jeronne not being there of course hurts are team, but I think Jarnell [Stokes] is going to step up and Kenny [Hall] is going to step up and we're just trying to still play inside out and I don't think that's going to change."
(On why this team is able to play more of an up-tempo pace this year)
"I think we know each other better, we have better ball handlers now and with myself, Josh [Richardson] and Skylar [McBee] now, instead of always trying to get the ball to Trae [Golden] we can push it up the floor too, so that helps us a lot."
(On if this team is significantly different from last year)
"I don't think that this game showed it, but in practice we can tell this is a way different team. We just know each other better and we know what Coach Martin wants now. Other than us get the ball up the court a little faster at times, we won't play much differently, but we're more comfortable now."
Tennessee Redshirt Freshman Quinton Chievous
(On hustle plays)
"My main thing is playing hard and doing whatever Coach Martin tells me. If I'm open, knock down the shot. As soon as the shot goes up, go for the rebound. Whatever Coach Martin and the team needs that's what I'm going to try and do."
(On good offensive rebounding)
"It's really just hustling and hard work. You don't have to be the biggest or the fastest guy, you just got to have a lot of heart."
(On strength as outside shooter)
"I think so. It's just me getting in the gym, getting up a lot of shots, and being consistent with going in the gym and shooting."
(On tonight's performance)
"I just had fun. That was my main thing, just enjoying playing with my teammates. I felt like I distributed the ball well to them and at the end of the day we got the win. You know I was just happy."
(On wait to get on the floor)
"It was really just being calm. The coaching staff told me everything was going to work out, and at the end of the day the redshirt was a great thing for me. I feel like it showed that tonight."
"I talked to my father before the game and told me to have fun, it's just basketball. So I really just took that into consideration and just had fun with my teammates."
(On benefit from redshirt)
"Really just working on my ball handling, outside shooting, and just learning the offense. Everything Coach Martin told me to do, I feel like I learned it last year."
(On being red-shirted)
"I was a little upset because I felt I was producing well in practice. Coach Martin sat me down and told me it was more of me being a student of the game. It really didn't have anything to do with my playing ability, so I just really had to learn the system because it was only my second or third year of playing organized basketball. Coming into a major D-I school, it's fast-paced and I really had to learn that."
(On guarding bigger players)
"I don't feel like it will be that big of a problem. I guard Jarnell (Stokes) , Yemi (Makanjuola), and Kenny Hall in practice so it's really just working hard and digging deep. I feel like I play hard and getting better at the end of the day and I'm also helping them too."
(On excitement tonight)
"I was just really excited to get out there in front of the fans and play with my teammates. I really just had a lot of fun; had a real big smile on my face, we got the w(in), and starting the season my first year was a great thing."
(On beginning and history with basketball)
"I started playing organized basketball my junior year of high school. It was really just me not doing what I was supposed to in the classroom and school, so my father wouldn't let me play. After I moved back with my mom to Chicago, that's when I started playing again."
"I was very relaxed, I wasn't really nervous at all. My main thing was to get the win and get a feel for my teammates, and I feel like I did that."
Victory Coach Scott Robinson
"A game like this is a great opportunity to come out and compete against some really good competition. Tennessee is going to be heading to the tournament this year, and they have a great staff and some really good players. For us to have the opportunity to come out and compete and play against some players that we don't normally see is a good experience.
"What we take from this game tonight is the opportunity to come out and get better for our season and conference play."
(On offensive success in the first half?)
"We rebounded the ball really well and we did a good job of talking early on. That allowed us to stay in the game and not have empty possessions. We had some early foul trouble, but we did a good job in the post.
"They (UT) missed some early shots, but as you can see, Coach Martin does a great job. They are going to be good. Obviously, with Maybin out, they don't have their full squad. But, when he comes back, they are going to be really good."
(On what do you take away from tonight?)
"Ultimately, what we take away from tonight is the opportunity to find different ways that we can play. Knowing how we played in the first half is going to allow us to know what we can expect from our guys, day in and day out.
"Having the opportunity to play better competition is only going to make you better. Tonight was a great opportunity to do that."