Nov. 23, 2011
Head Coach Cuonzo Martin
"It was a much-need win and our guys put forth a good effort and deserved the victory. We put forth a good effort in those first two games. Not only is it physically taxing, it's mentally taxing. You're exhausted and for the guys to come out and compete the way they did--I was impressed with the effort."
On offensive production:
"We wanted to really move the ball. At one point I thought we got a little stagnant. We really tried to force the ball inside and feed our big guys some looks. But like I told our guys, when you're open on the perimeter, you have to take those shots. They did a good job shooting and I thought they passed up a few good 3-pointers trying to feed the big guys. We have to be ready to take those shots when the opportunity presents itself."
On Trae Golden's performance:
"I think Trae was a little more relaxed than anything. I also think he made a little more effort on the defensive side of the ball. That's the biggest thing I'm concerned about. But he just relaxed and let the offense come to him, not really rushing it."
On Jordan McRae's defense:
"You have to be good on defense. You have to be solid or somewhat respectable. It's tough enough trying to guard great players on opposing teams--we can't have any slippages or breakdowns."
On Yemi Makanjuola:
"Yemi is picking things up every day. He's a very intelligent basketball player and a wonderful student. He understands and has a good feel for the game and has a great future. But he applies himself and wants to get better."
On his substitution philosophy:
"If I see a guy is fatigued or isn't defending at a high level, I'll take him out. If he's playing hard and competing, making shots and playing defense he can play 40 minutes. But I think it's tough for anyone to play 40 minutes if he's playing at the level he needs to play at."
On Josh Richardson's improvement:
"I think he Yemi (Makanjuola) and Wes (Wasphun) have all done a really good job in developing as freshman and really competing and working hard. They have toughness to them and I think the sky is the limit."
On Vols fans in Maui:
"I have to give a lot of credit to Tennessee fans. They've been tremendous here in Maui. It's been great support and it's fun to see all the passion they bring."
On preparing for Oakland:
"We'll probably watch film Friday night when we get back. They're tough and well-coached. Still have good guards and just won a good road game. It will be a tough game for us but I think we're up to the challenge. I've always been a road guy--I love playing on the road. The passion and mental focus it takes."
Jordan McRae, So., G
On what win meant for team:
"It means a lot to come away with a win. We came up short against two really great teams, so to win this game really feels good."
On getting re-focused after emotional game yesterday:
"It was tough. This is the third game in three days. We knew we were a little more talented than this team, but it was about coming back focused and ready to play hard. I think we did that. They certainly weren't a pushover team. They are a well-coached team, we just played well today."
On his role on the team:
"I'm a scorer, but what I have to work on is picking and choosing my shots. Sometimes I tend to rush but when I relax and play my game, I play well. This is our first year playing in Coach's system and better decision-making will come with time as the season goes on."
On Coach Martin's passion for defense:
"We all have to play defense--it's not a question. You can score 50 points but not play defense, you're not going to play for him. Our defense is going to win us games. Our defense kept us in those first two games. It's been really hard, but just knowing that you don't have a choice--that you have to play defense or not play, helps a lot.
"If I guard my man and the rest of the team guards their men and we play help defense, we'll be a hard team to beat. I give our whole team a lot of respect for playing good defense. I think we stepped it up a hundred times from last year, but we still have a lot of room to get better."