Dec. 2, 2003
TENNESSEE HEAD COACH Buzz Peterson
"I was proud of our overall effort, but I didn't think we played very smart in the first half. Box-outs hurt us early in the ballgame. We gave up 19 offensive rebounds in the game tonight, and that's something we've got to do a better job on. I told them, `if you miss your box-outs, you'd be over here on the bench with me.'
"We've made big strides since our last game. Our best practices have been since our game with Tennessee State. Those good practices had a lot to do with the fact we won the game tonight.
"Dane Bradshaw was especially aggressive for us tonight. That was our goal for the game: to go out there, be aggressive and attack. We expect Brandon Crump to play the kind of game he did tonight. We expect him to be the man in the middle, who will score for us in there.
"The first 12 minutes in the second half, we played very well on defense. Overall, that might have been the best half of basketball we've played since I've been at Tennessee.
"C.J. Watson played 20 minutes with six assists, and no turnovers; that was a big factor in our victory.
"We'll take the next couple of days off, and I hope our guys will do a good job on their final exams. That's very important. After exams, we'll really concentrate upon the Nebraska game, making sure we go out to Lincoln, and play with poise, and play through adversity.
"Tonight's game is what we call an NCAA game. We want to make sure we take the ones like this, using our home-court advantage and come off with a victory."
TEXAS A&M HEAD COACH MELVIN WATKINS
"The fouls and Jesse King not being able to go broke our rhythm. On the road, those things happen. We didn't handle it very well. We were beat off the dribble, and didn't rotate to the ball.
"You want to go to the half with the lead, but we were just one point down. We let the officiating get into our heads, and didn't play as aggressively as we can play. We'll go back to practice, and work on our mistakes.
"We turned the ball over way too much, and that's an area where we've been good. There are some down and disappointed guys inside that locker room. We'll fix it, and get back on track. King being out hurt our rotation. We had to go deeper into our rotation than I would have liked, but I would expect some guys to step up.
"Tennessee took the game to us; they have a good squad. There's no shame in getting beat, and we'll be a better team for it. They will beat a lot of squads in this arena.
"I'm disappointed we didn't play better tonight. This is
a good basketball team, and they want to get it done. We're 3-1, and since
we want to be one of those teams who will be there in March, it was important
for us to play well tonight. A lot of our young guys got some good minutes tonight."