Dec. 3, 2008
Tennessee Head Coach Bruce Pearl: "It is really exciting to realize Tennessee has played all these games over the years, and tonight we have a triple-double for the first time. Tyler Smith may be the most productive player I have ever coached. We are having real good competition for the assists leadership between him and Bobby Maze. Smith is the glue for us, the same way Dane Bradshaw was for us when he was here. Smith leads by example regardless of who our opponent is.
"We scored 87 points, so I am not particularly concerned about our offensive production because we had decent looks. We did a better job in the second half. Except for missing so many shots, I am not unhappy with our offensive production.
"Getting the 400th win of my career is a tribute to the schools that have given me chances to be a head coach - Southern Indiana, Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and Tennessee. Some of my success can be attributed to my assistant coaches, some of whom have been with me for a long time.
"When you play three games in four days against top competition and travel, it takes a couple of days to recover. We recovered enough to win tonight.
"We are breaking our next six games into two three-game seasons, starting with our next game. We have four starting positions still up for grabs. If it is close, how these kids perform in the classroom could provide the edge to earn a starting spot."
UNCA Head Coach Eddie Biedenbach: "It is hard with young players on the road. We did not shoot as well as we think we will as the season goes on. We have to learn to compete at a higher level, and scrap and fight more for position as we get in better shape and mature a little bit. It is hard with a lot of freshmen, but other teams have freshmen, too. I like our guys. We have a real good group of players, and a good group of young men. We just have to play better.
"We are a little small, but we are scrappy. We have got to do a better job of handling pressure. Although we did not turn it over, we did not really execute plays and get open shots like we would like. I was not disappointed in our efforts; I am disappointed we are not playing better at this time of the year, but we are getting there."
- The Tennessee win tonight was Bruce Pearl's 400th as a collegiate head coach. His career record now stands at 400-109, including an 83-25 mark in four seasons at Tennessee. He is the sixth-fastest coach all-time to reach the 400-win milestone, doing so in 509 games. He is the second fastest active coach to reach the 400-win mark.
- Tennessee's win tonight is its 35th-straight at Thompson-Boling Arena. The previous school record of 33 consecutive home wins was set from Jan. 2, 1966 to Feb. 24, 1968.
- The Vols had four players score in double figures for the sixth time in seven games this season.
- Tyler Smith posted 12 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists to record the first triple-double in UT history. The Vols have played 2,338 all-time games before a player achieved a triple-double. Smith had recorded seven double-doubles at Tennessee prior to tonight.
- Bruce Pearl is now a perfect 26-0 in nonconference home games while at Tennessee.