Nov. 21, 2011
Head coach Cuonzo Martin
"I thought our guys did a good job of competing. But we came to do more than compete--we wanted to win that ball game. Our guys were prepared, I thought they were focused. But I we missed a few easy ones around the basket. It slowed is up a bit when Trae Golden went out, but I thought Wes (Washpun) did a good job of when he came in of running the team. I thought our guys overall did a good job.
On Golden's foul trouble hindering offense:
"The thing about Trae Golden, he does a great job of scoring so he's always in attack mode so he penetrates and gets our big guys easy looks. Even though he can shoot the ball and score, he is willing to pass the ball. I think it slows us up from a scoring standpoint. We got somewhat stagnant offensively and forced a couple of shots.
"I think it's a good lesson for Trae to go up against one of the best teams where they have good guards that can score so he's focused on both ends of the floor. They really pressured him and I think it was good for him to go up against that."
On Jeronne Maymon's double-double:
"I thought he did a good job, especially in the second half, of making shots and stretching the defense. We went to him on a couple of one-one-one plays and he delivered."
"We did a good job. Our bigs did a good job of rebounding and our guards got in there and grabbed a few rebounds.
On scoring in the paint:
"We did a good job of getting the ball inside. There probably should have been a couple more. I thought we missed some easy baskets. But the guys were aggressive. I thought Trae did a really good job when he was in the game of penetrating and making those guys collapse and then passing it off to our big guys."
On team's energy on the court:
"We're The University of Tennessee, we're not backing down against any opponent. It's just a matter of who you're playing. I tell the guys all the time, the only thing that changes is the name on the front of the jersey. Other than that we approach them all the same."
On Yemi Makanjuola:
"He did a really good job. He's a physical guy and a very intelligent basketball player. He understands what's going on, it's just a matter of him getting his reps in the program and understanding what's at stake and the things we want him to do on a consistent basis. But he'll be fine. He's a physical presence out there. He works extremely hard and does a pretty good job at getting angles on the defensive side of the ball, as well."
On final minutes of the game:
"I think we had a couple of key turnovers and they made some easy baskets. They had their heads up and our guys were somewhat down. But that's the next phase for our guys--playing through situations like that and understanding that the game isn't over until the buzzer sounds.
On Memphis at 9 a.m. Tuesday
"We watched them--they are very athletic and quick--really quick on the perimeter. Their guys can go off the bounce and make plays and shoot the ball, as well. Joe Jackson is leading that team--he's a really good point guard and it'll be a tough matchup for us.
"I'm looking forward to it. Anyway we can get a win I look forward to."
On quick turnaround:
"We assign each staff member a scouting report, so we already have a scouting report on these guys. We've watched the film and we watched them here today and did a live scout. So now it's a matter of going back and going over our game plan to figure out the best way to defend them and how to attack on the offensive side.
"It's a lot better for a coaching staff (to live scout a team) because you get play calls, especially if they call a lot of plays. But the thing is now is translating it to your guys and making sure they understand. But the good thing is both teams have the same amount of prep time.
Cameron Tatum, Sr., G
"They were the better team today. But I'm proud of my guys and proud of the team and the way we came out and competed. We weren't worried about the name on their jerseys, we just went out and played as hard as we could. So, like I said, I'm proud of my guys and the way we played today. Now we've got to get ready for Memphis tomorrow."
On Trae Golden missing most of first half due to foul trouble:
"It did kind of shake us up a little bit just because Trae has been so outstanding for us early on this season at being able to put pressure on the other team's point guard from an offensive and defensive standpoint. We had other guys that stepped up and helped us stay in the game. We didn't have quite the night that we needed to finish this one out."
On quick turnaround vs. Memphis:
"We'll immediately go back and get some rest and start getting ready to prepare for Memphis. We've got an early wake-up call tomorrow. It should be interesting."
COACH MARTIN: I thought both teams played hard. They did a good job shooting 48% from the field, executing the offense. They did a good job of attacking off the bounce, especially in the second half. I thought it was a good overall effort from both teams. Missed a few around the basket, but other than that I thought it was a good effort.
Q. Can you talk about the outside shooting you guys have been seriously hot from behind arc. You're taking away those open shots today with the scouts?
COACH MARTIN: I think they did a good job of taking away those shots from the perimeter. I thought we did a good job getting the attack off the bounce. Not necessarily set up the threes. I thought we did a good job in the first half getting to the basket off the dribble. We did it in spurts in the second half.
Q. Coach, can you talk about the way the guys hung tough and hung with those guys for as long as they did? Battled really well it seemed like?
COACH MARTIN: For us, the game plan was to come in and try to win a ball game. That was the plan. They played well. I thought our guys competed. They just made plays down the stretch and really executed. I thought we had a couple of quick shots, but it was tough. Trae Golden was in foul trouble, so he couldn't in the fold. He is always an aggressive attacker to the back.
Q. You guys have struggled a little in the paint coming into this game. Can you explain their success today against a bigger team like Duke?
Jeronne Maymon: I think we missed a lot of open bunnies right around the rim. I don't know if we were putting it too hard off the glass or too soft up there, but we missed a lot of them. We were just trying to battle and carry our assignments as best we could.
Q. Coach Martin, can you talk about your team's toughness? It seemed clear from the start they weren't intimidated by the stage or playing against Duke and all of that; and talk about getting that across to them?
COACH MARTIN: I don't think that was the case at all, being intimidated by great teams and great programs. It was a matter of playing great basketball and carrying out the necessary assignments to win the game. Our guys played with a level of toughness. I didn't think we did a great job in the second half where we were making moves to the basket. We didn't do a very good job in certain ball screen situations, but other than that I didn't think it was a factor.
Q. You guys get Memphis tomorrow. How big is that for an in state rivalry like that?
COACH MARTIN: I think it's great, but for us to just try to win a ball game is the most important thing. We'll get back and watch Memphis and try to put together a game plan to win the ball game.
Q. Jeronne, could you talk about the difference in that second half? Like Coach Martin said, did Duke make some adjustments that closed things off or would you put it back on missing some easy shots on the inside like you said?
Jeronne Maymon: They obviously did a good job on chesting us up, keeping their hands high without fouling. We've got to focus on finishing more around the basket. That's mostly on us.
Q. You've played in this Memphis rivalry before. Can you give us an idea what you expect to happen when the teams play tomorrow?
Jeronne Maymon: It's going to be a tough, physical game like it was today. The best team's going to win.
Q. Coach Martin, you talk a lot about individuals, about playing defense without fouling. Did you think your guys had a tough time adjusting in the second half? It looked like maybe what was a foul changed as the game went on. Did you think that was the case, and if so, did your guys adjust to that?
COACH MARTIN: The thing we talk about all the time is being at arm's length. I thought the officials did a good job of officiating the game, but we talk about arm's length. There was a lot of contact on our part and the officials made the calls. It's just part of the game. If you're arm's length, you don't have to worry about getting fouls.
Q. Coach, you played a long stretch without Trae. Can you talk about the way the team responded and the job Wes Washpun did?
COACH MARTIN: I thought it was great for Wes Washpun, as well as the other guys that rotation. Wes did a good job of distributing the basketball, running the team. Solid on the defensive side of the ball. Made a couple of big drives. I thought he did a good job, especially since he played the last game. I thought it was good for him.
COACH KRZYZEWSKI: We beat really a good team today. I know they had they've been out here since Thursday, and from everything that we've heard, they've had just amazing practices. My feeling is, I haven't watched them in practice, but they played like they practice. They played really hard together. It's a heck of a win for our team.
The kid Maymon had a great game. He had a double double, and he was relentless on the boards.
I thought we had that stretch right at the end of the half that was a really good stretch. We didn't start out the second half as well, but the last 15 minutes I thought we played really well and executed.
A big key to the game, one of our main things was to limit their threes. They've been shooting a lot of three point shots. They didn't hit a three point shot and only had eight. So that was, to me, one of the key factors in the ballgame. A hard earned win, like they all are in Maui.
Any questions for me or my players?
Q. Can you talk about the adjustment that Austin Rivers is making four games into the season? Obviously, a superstar in high school, and it looks like he's still trying to fit into the team system.
COACH KRZYZEWSKI: He entered the half pretty well for us. When we got the ten point lead the second time, came up with a couple of really big buckets. The main thing for Austin, as any freshman, is to learn to play defense and offense. He can be a great defender.
When you're a freshman, you start evaluating what you're doing, and sometimes you're a step slow to the next thing and that's because you care. You want to be good. You've just got to get through that.
We played a really tough schedule. This is our fifth game in about ten days and he's learned a lot. He came through. He's not afraid. He's going to be a terrific player for us.
Q. Coach, now that you know that you're playing Michigan, talk about that match up and the rematch?
COACH KRZYZEWSKI: It's tough for me. I haven't watched them. I haven't watched them. I just know that they returned just about their whole team, and they've got a really good freshman point guard.
I try not to watch the game before. It's been a pretty good thing for me in my career just to concentrate on the game we're playing.
But John does a great job. He's got a veteran team. For them to beat Memphis like that, they must have played a great basketball game, because Memphis is one of the most talented teams in the country. It will be difficult for us. I'm sorry, I can't specifically talk about how they're playing or anything because I haven't watched them yet.
Q. Ryan, you've had a number of key defensive rebounds to close out the game the last five or six minutes or so. Can you speak about the role of defense overall in the second half?
RYAN KELLY: Late in that game, the biggest plays we could have made were defensive stops and defensive rebounds. I thought we did a pretty good job in the closing minutes of getting to all of those balls.
Earlier in the game we felt that they'd be getting a lot of loose balls and a lot of offensive rebounds. As the game wore on, we really picked up our defensive rebounding and I think that's what really helped us take that lead.
COACH KRZYZEWSKI: Ryan made a big play of taking the charge on Golden, and that was one of the bigger plays of the game. Actually took two on him, but that one was a big time play.
Q. Ryan, can you talk about how tough they were up front?
RYAN KELLY: Yeah, they had great length, great size. They really battled, that was the biggest thing. They were confident in going to the board. They got us under the basket a little bit, and just went up and grabbed rebounds and finished.
They're certainly going to be a tough team down the stretch too. Their length is really big for them. They've got a lot of length inside on the wings, and they're very talented.
Q. Can you just summarize what you thought about Cuonzo Martin's team?
COACH KRZYZEWSKI: It was asked. I said some really good things before. Will you give him the copy of what I said?
THE MODERATOR: Yes, we've got the quotes. We'll send that around.
COACH KRZYZEWSKI: I don't think I could repeat it as well. Quite frankly, since the question about Michigan, my Polish brain has kind of gone away from this last game and gone forward.
But what I said, I meant. They played their butts off, and that was a heck of a game for us. But I said it better before. You know, I said it. Don't ask a 64 year old guy to repeat what he said. Sorry. But it's good. It was good, wasn't it?
THE MODERATOR: It was very good, Coach. Appreciate it.
COACH KRZYZEWSKI: I'm now on Detroit's time zone.