Nov. 10, 2006
TENNESSEE HEAD COACH Bruce Pearl: "That was a good win to start the season. I was concerned about playing an in-state opponent that had the summer to get ready. They were well-prepared, and they challenged us in many ways.
"I told the team it was a good sign that not everybody played well and we won by 31 points. Josh Tabb coming in and playing with poise, and defending well after Chris Lofton got in foul trouble, was a huge factor for us.
"A lot of guys played for us, but of course we could not anticipate Lofton getting in such serious foul trouble. We make people not play their best basketball against us; it is sloppy, but that is how we play.
"JuJuan Smith got it going, and we had five guys in double figures. Ramar Smith was not sharp, and he had a couple of turnovers that were not necessary. He's got to play with more intensity. We have four or five guys in the dressing room who think they did not play well tonight, and that is another good sign.
"It is great to have Ryan Childress playing so well. This is a very good win against a good Middle Tennessee State team.
MIDDLE TENNESSEE HEAD COACH KERMIT DAVIS: "Tennessee is a good team, and we knew that coming into this tonight. We did not rebound the ball. Offensively and defensively, they really kicked us on the boards. We have got to play better and get Kyle Young and Tim Blue playing better; we'll get better. We've got to get better and get ready for Monday night's game. I just did not think we had a very good feel offensively, and you've got to give Tennessee credit for that. Tennessee was just a better, more physical team than we were. That is disappointing for us. I hope it was an eye-opener for our team, and they saw tonight the physical and quick style that good college basketball teams play. This is a tough place to play, and Tennessee is going to win a lot of games."