Dec. 28, 2006
TENNESSEE HEAD COACH Bruce Pearl:
"Tennessee Tech is a good team that plays with emotion. They are dangerous because of their depth. Belton Rivers and Anthony Fisher are really good players.
"We did not press much full-court, none in the second half, because we wanted to test our half-court defense. We finally got some good stops late in the game, but we are not where we want to be defensively. Ramar Smith's offense is picking up, but now we have got to work on his defense.
"Duke Crews and Ryan Childress had double-doubles, the first time that has happened for Tennessee in four years. Offensively we did a terrific job in compiling 25 assists against only eight turnovers. We are getting in some extra shooting because of the free time we have with school being out.
"JaJuan Smith is pushing the break and doing better and better offensively. Tennessee Tech got the ball inside more than we would like. With the SEC race coming up, that is not good.
"Chris Lofton is incredibly unselfish - that is leadership. East Tennessee State plays lots of zone. Because we have only one day to get ready and some free time with classes out, we will practice twice Friday."
TENNESSEE TECH HEAD COACH MIKE SUTTON:
"One of the keys tonight is we did not execute very well offensively, and we took some bad shots. When you take a bad shot against these guys, it is basically like a turnover because it leads to a lot of easy baskets for them.
"They did not hit a normal number of 3-pointers for them tonight, but when they did hit them, they were key. The biggest thing to us was Tennessee's effort on the offensive glass. They shot a high percentage, but if you took away all of those tip-ins, their percentage goes down drastically. They did a really good job attacking the offensive glass. I do not think this Tennessee team gets enough credit for how hard they play, and how well they play together. They do a lot of unselfish things, they make the easy play, they take charges, and they really keep pressure on you by hitting the offensive glass."