Dec. 1, 2006
TENNESSEE HEAD COACH Bruce Pearl: "It is good to be home again. The players were excited about being back in this arena. They showed their excitement in the locker room, and the crowd helped out.
"We took control of the ballgame early. The defense held Murray State to 40 percent. Offensively, we got good looks, but we missed an awful lot of shots around the basket. We have got to make those.
"I hope Wednesday against Memphis will be the first sellout of the year. Our next four games are against teams that will be in the NCAA tournament - Memphis, Western Kentucky, Oklahoma State and Texas. First, Memphis is as talented as any team in the country.
"On free-throws, we had a good percentage in the second half, and are doing better in that respect. At the 5 position, we had 25 points and 14 rebounds. That is good stuff. Duke Crews and Wayne Chism are also going to the line a lot, more so than the inside guys did last year. We have some competition on this team which we did not have last year.
"Dane Bradshaw is leading in the assists-turnover ratio in the Southeastern Conference. Ramar Smith really played well in the first half, a very nice half for him. This is a crucial week coming up for us with exams coming up and facing Memphis Wednesday night. We need to finish strong in the classroom."
MURRAY STATE HEAD COACH BILLY KENNEDY: "The offensive rebounding was big tonight in the first half, and our turnovers - Tennessee will do that to you. They will do that to you and our lack of experience showed tonight. It's something we just have to play our way through.
"I thought our guys were ready to play in the second half. Unfortunately, we still do not have a post presence where we can get the ball inside and get some offensive rebounds. We had a few runs but Tennessee always answered. That is what good teams do, and Tennessee is a good team."