Nov. 28, 2003
TENNESSEE HEAD COACH Buzz Peterson
"It wasn't the prettiest game you ever saw. Down the stretch, though, we went with our small lineup, and it got us over the hump tonight. From that point, we played solid defense and took advantage of our opportunities to score.
"Tennessee State is a scrappy team, and we did a terrible job of boxing them out. We need to do a better job of boxing out against Texas A&M, and we also need to have a killer instinct. Cy Alexander's teams are always disciplined at both ends of the court.
"My hat's off to Dane Bradshaw for the terrific job he did. He gave us energy and made a couple of key 3-pointers. The bottom line on Dane is he is a winner. The play he made late in the game where Stanley Asumnu scored was really outstanding.
"Lots of guys hit 3-point shots, but Dane does that and also gives us a boost on both ends of the floor. The kid just wins. That's why I like him so much.
"We need to have confidence in ourselves when we go to the free-throw line that we are going to make them. We need to believe in ourselves; there doesn't seem to be anything wrong with our mechanics.
"We need to be smarter at the defensive end. There's no lack of effort, but we have got to make the right decisions."
TENNESSEE STATE HEAD COACH CY ALEXANDER
"We learned some things about ourselves tonight. I liked the fact we fought the entire game. It is a learning experience, and it showed we are capable of playing at this level.
"We took a couple of ill-advised shots when we cut the lead to eight points, but we have to build upon the positives. We bounced back after a first half where we didn't play exceptionally well. Sometimes when you come into a Division I-type environment, you're intimidated initially.
"It hurts you when you get off to a slow start. We got behind 7-0, and it was an uphill battle. John Winchester did a good job for Tennessee; I thought we did a good job on Scooter McFadgon also. They rose to the occasion when we cut the lead to eight points. We did some inexperience-type of things that caused some run-outs. Our bad shots led to some transition opportunities, and they have the SEC athletes to pull it off. We talked about the turnovers at halftime. We had 11 at the half, and only five in the second half tonight.
"We have to put this game behind us, and go on to Tennessee-Chattanooga. I'll worry about UTC first, and then worry about Fisk next."