Nov. 11, 2011
Tennessee Head Coach Cuonzo Martin
"First, I'd like to thank all the veterans that were there. That was great and we were able to put on a show, so it was a fun evening.
"I thought our guys did a great job competing on both ends of the floor, playing as a unit. They gave each other a lot of energy. They approached the game with a game-like mindset. They were focused on trying to be successful on both ends of the floor.
"We shot the ball really well in the first half from the three-point line. I thought for the most part they were good looks. Trae (Golden) did a good job attacking and distributing the ball, finding the guys. Nine assists and 29 points is impressive. I think there were two turnovers. Those are amazing stats in 27 minutes.
"I thought our team defense was good. We let up a little in the second half. I think it hurt us somewhat when our big guys got in foul trouble. There was not a consistent flow in our rotation as we would like. That hurt us somewhat.
"Two main things going into the game were for our transition defense to be good and another was to rebound well. We didn't rebound like I would have liked, but I thought our transition defense was good because that's a team that gets out and runs. We did a good job in that area.
"We didn't get a lot of steals but we did get a lot of deflections and for us that's like steals because now that can't move the ball as fluid as they would like.
"We had 22 points from our bench, and I thought those guys did a good job, especially Renaldo (Woolridge). I thought he really played with confidence. He rebounded the basketball, he was active, he was physical, and it was fun to see him have a good night.
"Twenty-one assists is impressive for a team, especially a team like that that mixes up man and zone, press and trap, and that can sometimes have a team hesitant, but I thought our guys did a good job of staying aggressive.
On Golden's night shooting:
"We go into games and I couldn't tell you who would lead us in scoring. I think the biggest key for our guys is to play with confidence. If you have a shot, take it. Just don't take bad shots. I think for the most part -- I have to watch film tonight -- but I don't think we took a lot of bad shots. When you have a shot, you have to shoot the ball with confidence."
On Maymon's performance:
"I think he's one of those guys who's going to be one better players in this league at his position because he's physical and for me, Jeronne's gauge is not how many points he scores or how many shots he takes, but he's a guy who can impact the game. I think he's really our anchor on the defensive side of the ball. He can switch. He can guard smaller guys, bigger shots. He's improved his shot. He can go off the dribble and make plays. He's one of those guys who's a point-forward so to speak, a pass first kind of guy."
Sophomore guard Trae Golden
On his taking 14 shots including nine 3-pointers:
I felt like they challenged me to shoot the three. I only shot about 25 percent last season so I would challenge me too. I having been working on my shot, and the improvement is really repetition.
On the team's improvement from the exhibition games:
We did not have has many jitters as we did in the exhibition games. The guys were more aggressive and that is a good thing. We wanted to show the crowd we had worked hard in the offseason, and we are here to represent Tennessee in the right way.
Senior forward Renaldo Woolridge
On playing more on the inside:
The difference in going inside is the physicality. I am used to running up and down the court but now I am taking hits and boxing out. The workouts in the offseason and the intensity of them have gotten me ready. My physicality has improved. The coach has a plan for me and I am just going to work hard to carry it out.
On the changes in the roster and starting line-up from last season:
At first it was different, looking around on the court and seeing a whole bunch of new faces. The intensity was the same though. It was the Tennessee basketball I watched when I was being recruited. I saw that tonight. We are going to keep working hard for Coach Martin. He has a plan for us and we are all going to follow through with that.
Sophomore guard Jordan McRae
On the team's 21 assists on 31 made baskets:
Those stats are impressive. I think we are going to have assists like that all year. We are not a selfish team, and we are going to share the ball.
On Coach Cuonzo Martin's first game as head coach:
I feel like I am getting a fresh start. It is a brand new team, and a whole new era for Tennessee basketball. Our identity is hard-nosed and defensive. Coach Martin brings that kind of fire. It is fun playing defense. Coach Martin has instilled that in us, and that is what we are going to do.
UNC Greensboro Head Coach Mike Dement
On Tennessee's shooting:
"They really shot it well. They had not shot the three that much. (Renaldo) Woolridge, as an example, had not taken many and he hits two. I thought on about six of them we had challenged them as well as we could challenge, including (Skylar) McBee's in the corner late. We were there and challenging as well as we could, and when those go down it takes something out of you. They shot it well.
On Trae Golden:
"I thought (Trae) Golden was great early and that really gave them confidence. They got going and got a lot of confidence."
On winning the rebounding edge:
"We rebounded pretty well. We didn't get our big guys on the board as much. I thought David Williams was on the boards and Korey Van Dussen really hustled for us. We didn't make some free throws and that would have helped us set our defense. "We've been putting a lot of emphasis on defense. It doesn't statistically look like it, but I thought we were there and challenged a few and they still knocked them down. That's tough to deal with."