Postgame Quotes: Vols 72, Asheville 68

Dec. 20, 2011

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Tennessee Head Coach Cuonzo Martin

(Opening Statement)
"I thought it was a great win for our guys. I knew as a player and as a coach, when you get consecutive losses, you start thinking about now the shot doesn't flow as smoothly, you're not as crisp as you'd like to be with your passes, your a little hesitant in everything you do. You're hesitant with passes down to the post.

"I thought our guys did a great job for the first time of being down and finding a way to win the game and really taking pride in defending for the most part in the second half. I think we had two different situations in the second half where we got seven shutouts in a row. I thought that was great for our guys. It was the most this season in a game in two different segments.

"The crowd brought great energy and really got into the game and filled our guys. It was great for us to get over the hump. We needed that six man, so to speak.

"I thought Reynaldo (Woolridge) gave us great play off the bench, made shots he's capable of doing. In a motion offense, he's one of those guys who's really a perimeter guy and he's tough to guard with big guys who are not as mobile. He can pick-and-pop and do different things, and he really helped us from that standpoint.

"I thought Jeronne (Maymon) really took pride in the second half, kind of saying to himself more or less, `We're going to win this game, I can't allow us to lose' and really going and getting rebounds, snatching them out of the air, being physical. I thought that was impressive on his part.

"Cam (Tatum) was very steady. He was assertive, constantly communicating with the guys in the huddle. Even in the second half when we needed those stops, I thought he did a good job with that.

"The bench did a great job scoring the ball. (They outscored Asheville's bench) 28 to 8, which is another impressive stat. Like I said, guys got after it. I thought our guys did a good job as a team of rebounding and really taking pride.

"It was a good win for us. I hope our fans appreciate it and continue to support this team because this team is going to compete and find a way."

(On play of seniors Renaldo Woolridge and Cameron Tatum)
"I think the biggest key -- and I talked to the guys about this -- is playing hard and not worrying about things you can't control. Just compete because the shots will come and go. Sometimes they'll fall, sometimes they won't fall. We have to do a good job as a team of defending and rebounding.

"I thought those two guys did a good job. Cam has really been doing a good job. The last two games, he hasn't shown it from a scoring standpoint, but I thought he's been assertive and doing a better job of defending and trying to communicate with the guys. That's not an easy thing to do when you're trying to find your way.

"I thought Renaldo stepped up tonight, but in the motion offense, he's probably one of our better guys at moving and stretching the defense. It's tough for big guys to defend him."

(On Woolridge's career not panning out like he'd originally hoped but being ready to play every game)
"He's done a good jobs the past couple games of asserting himself and the keys is holding his own end on the court, taking care of business and doing the things necessary to be successful. He's doing those things now.

"He's a very talented player. 6-9. Mobile. Can go outside. The key for Renaldo is having confidence in himself to understand he can be a good player, but (another key) is also posting up a little bit more, not taking everything on the perimeter. He can do a lot more for us, and I've always built programs with a big guy who can pick-and-pop and make plays and really stretch the defense and do different things."

(On team taking that `not losing this game' resolve the entire 40 minutes)
"I just think it's about doing it. We have to be consistent as a team because we don't have a proven leader out there right now beside the coaching staff. That's part of it, guys stepping up and taking pride and saying we're going to get this thing done. Hopefully it starts now with guys really taking pride.

"(Maymon) has the potential to be a leader. Guys migrate to him. He's a likable guy."

(On if Trae Golden was affected by playing with broken nose)
"Not at all. Not at all. It's part of the game. I thought he did a good job. I thought (J.P.) Primm did a great job scoring the basketball. I know it's not easy with a broken nose, but he did a good job. He was demanding the ball. He was demanding those ball-screen situations. He got us going in that second half, really attacking off those ball screens. That's the Trae that I want us to be seeing."

SENIOR FORWARD Renaldo Woolridge
(on his performance))
"It felt good. My shot was falling a lot in the first half. Just being able to step in and help out when the guys needed it and being a sparkplug felt good. We wanted to win."

(on not paying attention to the losing streak))
"You can't. Hindsight is 20/20 so you better not look at it. That's what I've been told. My first shot tonight was an airball, real long. You have to keep shooting and working hard. Just like the losing streak we had, now we're as good as our last game. We won so we have to go from there."

(on establishing his role on the team))
"It's early. It's a long season. I definitely want to kind of find my niche on the team, whether it's scoring, rebounding or just playing defense. Whatever I can do, I just want to find my niche early so coming into SEC play, we can kind of just pick it up."

(on being a senior))
"I don't really feel pressure but I just go out there and give it my all. I think games like this really help. I just want to help out our team as best as possible."

(on playing a close game rather than a blowout))
"It helps a lot. It makes us fight for it more. We definitely had to battle froms tart to finish. I just think it's a good thing for us because it helps us grow. In the future, we're going to be in situations like this because the SEC has a lot of tough teams. The rest of our season is going to be tough so we just have to know how to battle."

(on Tennessee's ball movement)
"I think we all showed up and were unselfish. We were just ready to knock down open shots. I think we did very well in passing the ball."

(on the performances of Renaldo Woolridge and Cameron Tatum)
"I was especially proud of Renaldo. He came out there and did what he had to do. I was pumping him up the whole time and telling him to continue to shoot the ball and continue to be aggressive. In the second half with Cam, he was just confident. He was just letting it go without even thinking about it so I was really proud of him as well."

(on playing aggressively)
"I know that. Sometimes, I am passive even when I know I should be aggressive. I'm just trying to pick my spots on when to be assertive and when to pass the ball. I'm still getting used to it."

(on scoring off of offensive rebounds)
"It obviously helps because I'm always down there. I can get the ball and go back up, potentially get fouled and get a three-point play. I like rebounding."

(on the importance of snapping the losing streak)
"We were on a four-game losing streak. You try to brush it off, `OK, we have to get the next one. We have to get the next one.' It's hard to keep energy up when you're on a four-game losing streak. We just had to keep our heads up and continue to play hard. Once we saw that the game was ours, we weren't going to let go."

(on the difference between his first and second half)
"I wasn't fouling. I was just more aggressive and said, `I need the ball.' I knew that if we were going to win this game, I was going to have to step up in more ways than one so that's what I tried to do and we came out with the win."

Senior guard Cameron Tatum

(On his 17-point performance including four 3-pointers)
Coach told me he had confidence in me. He told me not to worry about my shots just to play hard and as long as you are out there playing hard, everything will fall into place. That gave me some extra confidence. I wanted to do everything in my power to get a win.

(On the second half defensive effort)
We started seeing some of the reasons why we were losing to this team early. We just started eliminating those lapses and starting reeling off stops. That was the key to us winning.

Junior forward Kenny Hall

(On stopping the four-game losing streak)
We needed the win tremendously. It felt real good to get over the hump and now we need to keep it rolling. We can enjoy the win but we need to keep working and get ready for the next game.

(On the team's second-half play)
We can't allow teams to come out and get big leads. That is something we need to work on and play with energy the whole game.


(Opening statement)
"They're a good team defensively and they are athletic - more athletic than we are. They played hard, and that was the main advantage they had. We shot a little higher percentage than them from the floor, a little higher percentage from three, a little higher percentage at the free throw line. We had two more turnovers - part of that was their defense - and they had four more rebounds because their athleticism and board work paid off. So six more possessions was the difference in the game; simple as that."

"They are a little bigger and a little more athletic than we are and that took its toll. We didn't have Jaron Lane tonight and we lost D.J. (Cunningham) for the season, the 6-10 kid. So we didn't have an experienced bench tonight. We play those freshmen a little bit and they're pretty good, but we didn't get a chance to play them enough to make a difference because we couldn't afford to put them in at this time."

(On J.P. Primm's game)
"J.P. is great. All of our players, I really like them. I like what kind of team we are. Overall, we just didn't play well enough tonight. J.P. had 25 points and had a good shooting night from that standpoint, but he turned it over and he can play better than that. He usually doesn't get that many points but he can play better than that as all of our players can."





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