Dec. 14, 2011
HEAD COACH Cuonzo Martin
(On the game)
"They did a good job down the stretch of the game and really executed their offense and finding ways to win the game. I thought our guys put together a really good first half. If we didn't turn over the ball in a couple of spurts, we could have been up 10-or-15 in the first half. Credit those guys for defending and finding a way to keep it close. It was a good game and they found a way to win."
(on keys to the game)
"I think the biggest key is just getting those stops in the second half when it goes away from our bench and guys individually holding each other accountable. Also the communication, the guys carrying out those assignments necessary in order for us to be successful."
(on Charleston's zone defense)
"I thought our guys were stagnant against the zone. Obviously, late we made a run but I thought starting off against that zone we were really hesitant as opposed to really attacking off the dribble and moving the ball."
(on not attacking the zone)
"I'm not sure why those guys were hesitant because normally against a zone, those guys really like it especially when your three-point shooters can get shots up. Also against a zone, we have to do a better job of getting the ball inside. We didn't look inside."
(on Dwight Miller's improvement)
"I think he's getting a lot better. I think early in the season he was very hesitant and really learning to find his way. Lately, he's done a good job of really focusing in practice and rebounding the basketball."
(on not shooting any free throws in the second half)
"That's unfortunate. That just goes to show we weren't getting the ball inside and more importantly, not going off the dribble to get the ball inside the find bodies."
(on Jordan McRae's charge late in the game)
"It was a tough, tough call. The ref made a good call in my opinion. It's part of the game. I don't dispute how the ref calls it. I was trying to gauge the guy's feet when it happened, but it's unfortunate."
(on Cam Tatum)
"I was more concerned about his game defensively tonight. He was the key guy guarding (Antwaine) Wiggins and he had a good night, not to say he scored all of them on Cameron Tatum. I think those are the challenges I'm more concerned with as a coach. There will be nights that shots aren't falling. As long as he keeps shooting them in practice, he'll be fine."
(on what's next for Tennessee)
"For us, it's once again just putting it all together. They keep coming with energy. The staff has the energy. We're putting together a good gameplan. It's putting it all together. I think more importantly in the second half, carrying out those necessary assignments. Offensively, we need to execute what we're trying to do and not turn the ball over. On defense, it's executing what the communication is on the assignment on the ball. I think the biggest key, the next phase for us is ball-screen defense."
SOPHOMORE FORWARD Jordan McRae
(on his trio of three-pointers late in the game)
"We had a whole lot of turnovers and trouble putting the ball in the basket so I tried to take it upon myself to try to (help us) win the game."
(on Charleston's zone defense)
"I don't think we really anticipated them going to the zone so when they did, it slowed us down a lot."
(on struggling to shoot from the outside)
"Those are the shots that this whole team can hit. We just weren't hitting them tonight."
(on Charleston's defense)
"It looked like there were nine guys on the court, but there were only five. Like I said, we just needed to hit shots late in the game and we didn't."
(on the charge he was called for late in the game)
"I knew he was there, but I thought he was in the charge circle. It was a good call though."
(on what was said after the game)
"I was just telling the players in the locker room that it's all on us. We always have great first halves, and then we break down in the second half. To be a good team, we can't do that."
(on the key to improving in the second half)
"We have to come out with the same energy (in the second half) that we do at the start of the game."
(on Charleston's Andrew Lawrence and Anthony Stitt)
"Especially late in the game, we were trying to pressure the ball a lot. Those two are good at passing the ball. They're good players. It was tough on us."
(on Tennessee's decision to use press defense in the second half)
"We were just trying to make something happen. Our offense wasn't going for us so we went to the press and it worked a little bit."
Tennessee Junior Forward Dwight Miller
(On the losses)
"Before the game, we stressed coming in focused and making sure our heads were where it needed to be. We were fired up going into the game. We were thinking three straight and really wanted that win."
College of Charleston Head Coach Bobby Cremins
(On the game)
"What a great atmosphere. I want to thank (Tennessee Head Coach) Cuonzo Martin. He honored the contract we made with Bruce Pearl. He is a class act. I really appreciated Tennessee coming here. They brought our great atmosphere for this basketball game. It was a dog fight. They took it to us. They outplayed us early on. We were not ourselves. We have a habit of doing that sometimes. We did that last year against Clemson. I tried to get them to settle down. Antwaine (Wiggins) kept us in the game early. He did a great job of letting the game come to him. I was pleased we were only down by four at halftime. In the second half, my staff recommended we go to the zone and the zone worked. It gave us the lead that we should have finished with, but things got a little sloppy. (Skylar) McBee can really shoot. We recruited him and all of the sudden they got hot and we had some turnovers late and we hand to hang on. It was a great win for us and I can't say enough about the fans tonight. It was a great atmosphere on national TV - what more can you ask for?"
(On the future of Tennessee)
"He (Cuonzo Martin) had them ready. They are going through a transition period and he is going to do some recruiting and they are going to be good. They had us all confused in the first half. We were out of sync and we were in trouble. We were in deep trouble. We were not ourselves."
College of Charleston Senior Forward Antwaine Wiggins
(On playing Tennessee and the win)
"It meant a lot to me, especially going to high school in Tennessee and wanting to go to Tennessee when I was younger. It was a fun atmosphere tonight. I knew we were struggling in the first half. Coach (Cremins) always tells us to keep playing. They were on a big run and I knew we would be on a run sooner or later. We needed to take care of rebounding and play defense. We did that in the second half and things started to change for us."
College of Charleston Junior Point Guard Andrew Lawrence
(On the game)
"It was a tough game. They played with a lot of intensity. We knew that they would coming into the game. They are good team. They were really physical with us. We weren't making shots in the first half and we stuck with it and we came through in the end."