Dec. 18, 2013
Tennessee Head Coach Cuonzo Martin
(Opening statement) "Tough loss. We got off to a slow start. We dug ourself a hole by being down seventeen at the half. I just don't think we played well on either end of the floor during the first half. We did a better job at defending, playing hard, and competing in the second half. We struggled with shooting the ball, but our effort was better in the second half. I give those guys credit for coming out here playing, competing, and getting the win."
(On slow start) "It was a lot of little things on the floor. I thought we would pick it up in the second half."
(On shooting struggles) "I think around the rim with a lot of blocked shots and getting a hand on the ball made us go out to the perimeter. I thought they were open looks from the bench, but I will go back and watch film. I thought the three point shots were good looks. Some of them might have been quick, off the dribble shots, but I thought we got some good looks. Our perimeter guys tried to make shots, but we just didn't capitalize."
(On inside guys struggling with length) "I think you have to run with what you have. You have to use the glass in some situations unless you are going to the rim. You have to get touches off the glass and make good shots. It gets to the point where you miss a couple of shots, and you start thinking about it."
(On what was said at halftime) "We are a defensive ball club. We didn't play well the first half. We didn't compete on both ends of the floor. We didn't execute, and again, I thought we were a step slow on both ends. They made big shots. They made big plays. They played with some energy. We didn't show up, and you have to fight to get out. I thought we did a good job with responding. We had a chance to cut it to three so we had some good looks. We just didn't capitalize. It's tough when you can't pull it off."
(On the team being a good at outside shooting) "I think we are still good. We have to continue shooting the ball and taking pride in shooting the ball. We will have those opportunities again. The big guys are forcing it to the guys on the perimeter. Our guys will have to opportunity to shoot it again especially Darius Thompson and Robert Hubbs. They spend a lot of time in the gym working on their shots. They probably had more looks then they expected, but basically every time they are in the gym, they work hard on their shot."
(On confidence being shaken) "I hope not, but when you start missing shots, you start thinking about it. You have to keep shooting the ball because they will have those opportunities again."
(On struggle with getting going early in games) "I think we try to have space, and we try to run the ball screens to get guys moving. It comes down to us sagging in the lane, and you have to be able to make shots. That is what it came down to more then anything. On those opportunities, you have to be able to shoot the ball. The thing with Darius Thompson is that he is more of a pass first type of guy. He has those opportunities and second nature to shoot the shot. It is not that he is afraid to shoot, but he would rather pass it. Robert Hubbs has to just be ready to shoot the ball. Josh Richardson is not a guy that wants to shoot the ball from the perimeter, but when he has those opportunities, he just has to step up and take the shot."
(On being caught off guard) "I think we played well. We were aggressive in the first half with setting the tone. I don't want to give the credit to rule change because we still play aggressive. We turned the heat up in the second half and played the way we are capable of playing. To get out of the gates, you have to play as one aggressively. We have to do a better job at communicating early in the game. It is one thing to go through you scouting reports and walkthroughs, but you have to do a better job early in the game with communicating as to when it gets late, and we are down."
(On if he felt the team was flat) "I felt some, but I've been in games where I've felt some and we played great, we made a couple of shots and we played great. I felt maybe these guys look a little flat, walk through flat, but again, I've been in a situation where guys were flat and they came out and played great."
(On missing out on resume wins) "Two good opportunities, but you've got to get ready for the next game. Learn from it, that's the biggest thing. It pains you, but you've got to learn from it. A tough loss at home because we play well at home. Good crowd, we just didn't get it done."
(On pressing earlier in games) "The only thing early in the game, if you do that, that's something we'll have to look at with Jeronne Maymon and Jarnell (Stokes) out there running, moving like that. I think more so than Jeronne, it'll probably take a toll, excuse me, I think more so than Jarnell, probably take a toll on Jeronne pressuring the ball up then sprinting back consistently, but it's definitely something we'll have to look at."
(On how he would describe the team after the game) "They're down. They're down because one thing we talk about all the time, it's more than just talent. It's got to be chemistry, got to be flow, togetherness, finding ways to win games, accepting the roles. All those things when you talk about being a great team, it's more than just guys with individual skills. But I mean, the guys are hurt by it, which you expect them to be."
(On if there is a lack of team chemistry) "I don't think there is. I think the chemistry has to get better for us to flow and execute, but I don't think there's a lack of chemistry as far as relationships. There's a difference. I think the guys get along great. They all spend time together. I just think the chemistry on the floor, knowing where guys are, knowing how this guy wants the ball, those types of things, but not relationship type chemistry."
(On if there will be more set plays when the chemistry gets better) "Oh yeah, you'll look at set plays, but again with set plays, you've got to be able to know them. You've got to be able to execute and know them when there's multiple set plays."
(On what point in the season is "crunch time" for team chemistry) "You do it every day. You work towards it every day. It's just a matter of when they get it. As a coach, we put situations in for them to get ready. It's just a matter of when they get in the flow and they feel better together. It's one thing for us as coaches to concentrate on finding that chemistry and flow. Even then, you start a certain lineup. You've got to have certain lineups and rotations coming off the bench and being able to play well together."
(On if he will consider changing lineups) "Yeah, we'll definitely consider it. We thought about it even before this game. We weigh all those options, but it's definitely something we'll look at."
(On if Antonio Barton's shooting struggles were due to his injury) "I think he's fine. You have to be specific to ask him, but he's not a guy to complain and say I'm hurt or anything. I thought he had some looks that just didn't go."
(On adjusting lineups) "I think we'll look at all the guys just to make sure you flow. The whole key is getting off to a good start. For me, we have to set a good tone defensively earlier and let your offense flow and have patience on offense, execute, having space. At the end of the day, you have to be able to make shots from the perimeter on teams that are sagging like that and collapsing."
(On when something has to change for the team) "You always look at it, but even in wins I look at it. I wouldn't necessarily say drastic, but we'll definitely look at some adjustments."
Tennessee RS Senior Forward Jeronne Maymon
(On the this being a hard loss)
"Hurts a lot, especially losing on your home field. They just came out and played better than us tonight, no excuses."
(On coming out 'flat' as a team)
"We definitely came out slow, you can see that, and we were sluggish. I think we just need to have a better focus coming into the game."
(On the reason behind them being sluggish)
"Honestly, I have no idea. Sometimes it just happens like that. We don't want to be known for that. We had a couple slow starts this season but we have got to have good first halves. We always play good in the second but we've got to have good first halves."
(On what has bothered them the most on the inside)
"Long teams. They tend to pack it in anyways. So it's more difficult for me and Jarnell to finish around the rims and things like that. This team just had way more energy than us on both ends of the floor so that also made it difficult."
(On being able to tell when the team is 'flat' coming out)
"Sometimes. I felt that we were ready, but something was missing but you couldn't put your finger on it so I let stuff like that go. I just keep trying to encourage the team, but sometimes you just don't know."
(On preventing the team from collapsing)
"We've got older guys, there shouldn't be any collapse right now. As a leader, what you do is talk to your teammates individually and see where their heads are at. Talk to the coaches and see where we're going to go from here.
(On frustration with finishing around the basket)
"It's always frustrating when you miss easy ones. As hard as we work to get those balls back, we're a good offensive team, especially me and Jarnell. You're going to miss shots. It is what it is.
(On 3-point shots relieving pressure on the inside)
"It would definitely lighten the load on the inside, but our guards are going to get back into the gym. They aren't the reason we lost this game though. We lost this game because we didn't have energy and NC State was a better team tonight."
Tennessee Senior Guard Jordan McRae
(On the loss)
"It's tough; we just have to find a way to win out there."
(On playing flat)
"Anytime you're down 10-11 points in the opening end of the game it's just going to feel like you're playing flat."
(On how NC state shot)
"They are a good team. Coming out flat against teams and playing from behind against good teams isn't going to work."
(On issues with chemistry)
"I think I have to do a better job of trying to get guys involved. I'm taking a lot of shots right now; it isn't doing anything for us"
(On stepping up and hitting more shots)
"I think I have got to do both. I have got to do a better job of trying to get everyone involved. Like I said I'm taking a lot of shots and we are still losing.
(On shooting good in practice but not games)
"You have to have the same confidence in games as practice."
(On Coach Martin saying they looked slow in first half)
"I can't point anything out other than just say we can't do that"
(On not expecting to be a 4 loss team at this point)
"No we weren't every game we lose is on us as players. I feel like the coaching staff is doing their job. Jerrone and I have got to lead better and not let those guys come out flat"
NC State Head Coach Mark Gottfried
"I thought it was a great team win. I thought our guys played with great poise. We were able to withstand a run there in the second half with confidence. I thought a lot of guys made key plays. We played well defensively, T.J. (Warren) had a couple of big baskets, Dez (Lee) had one there late, we made some great defensive stops. I thought a lot of guys did a lot of nice things to help us win."
(On the team's effort)
"I liked it. I thought the last two days our guys really zeroed in in practice on how we wanted to guard the big guys down in the post, getting weak side help. Other than that stretch to start the second half when they got it in there pretty easily, I thought our guys really executed the way we wanted them to, and that's big for this group. We want them to lock in mentally, learn and then execute. I thought it was great."
(On BeeJay Anya)
"I thought BeeJay did great, he had five blocked shots, he was able to be physical with Stokes down in there, just leaning on him all the time. BeeJay is hard to move, I thought that was big, he played really well for us. There are so many times you look out there and you see freshman, freshman, sophomore, freshman, sophomore. But they've definitely gotten better. We just need to make sure we're building on this moving forward."
(On containing Jordan McRae)
"I thought Desmond Lee, who guarded him most of the game, did a great job. He made him make hard shots, tough shots. He had to earn those, so I thought Desmond did a terrific job guarding him."
(On withstanding the Tennessee run)
"We're up 17 at the half, but you know they're not going to go away. 20 minutes is a long time. I thought when they mad their run, we had poise, we executed when we had to, we made some stops at key times, we were able to withstand it."