Dec. 18, 2006
TENNESSEE HEAD COACH Bruce Pearl: "This is a great atmosphere here tonight in Nashville. We appreciate it. We felt a responsibility to come over to our capital city and play a good game. The fans appreciate that we put the game in Nashville.
"You cannot leave this arena without being impressed with the character of the players and the program. It was a big night for Tennessee basketball to come to the Gaylord Entertainment Center and leave with a significant victory over a good basketball team.
"The fact that Oklahoma State only had 15 shots in the second half speaks volumes about our defense. Our guards are getting the feel for defense. Oklahoma State shot well, but they had 23 turnovers.
"I called our centers out after the last game, against Western Kentucky, and they delivered in a big way
"Regarding Dane Bradshaw's winning shot, the irony is that he tipped it with his right hand, and he cannot even get the ball up to the rim for a free-throw. Bradshaw only played for five minutes in the first half. Bradshaw is so good for college athletics. He is so smart, and so heady. For him to fight for rebounds against guys twice his size - if he does not symbolize the `T' on the uniform, nobody does.
"We stepped up to the competition. They got a good look on their last shot. We put Duke Crews on the ball, but Oklahoma State got a really good look. I got the technical foul, but the players bailed me out. Sometimes the kids have to make up for their coach."
OKLAHOMA STATE HEAD COACH SEAN SUTTON: "That was a tough loss. I thought we competed hard, but we turned the ball over too many times, and gave up too many offensive rebounds - two things that we really emphasized going into this game. We made too many mistakes.
"We cannot be a good basketball team on the road when we play like we did tonight until we learn to box out and protect the ball. Wayne Chism and Duke Crews really have a lot of talent. Both guys can be big-time players for Tennessee. We tried to recruit Crews out of high school; we love the way he plays, with a warrior mentality. He played well tonight.
"I think Tennessee is a team that, come March, can really do a lot of damage in the NCAA Tournament.
"We have got to learn from this. We are not going to beat good teams until we get some of these issues corrected. We turned it over 13 times in the second half, and wasted too many possessions."