Dec. 30, 2003
TENNESSEE HEAD COACH Buzz Peterson
"I give UNC-Asheville lots of credit for coming in here, and playing with enthusiasm, and playing a more inspired brand of basketball than we did. We have done a good job of boxing out throughout the season, limiting second and third opportunities. But we need to box out better. UNC-Asheville took us out of our rhythm.
"Again, UNC-Asheville was very sharp, and gave us a very tough challenge. When it came to boxing out, though, we just couldn't get control of the basketball. I told our team to always respect your opponent, and not look at their record.
"We've got to prepare hard for UMass; they'll be playing a lot of zone. In fact, we'll be seeing a lot of it throughout the season, so we'd better get used to it."
UNC-ASHEVILLE HEAD COACH EDDIE BIEDENBACH
"I think our team grew up tonight. There's not a lot more I can say. I really appreciate the way our guys have come together; we're getting better and better every day. Billy Allen broke out of the doldrums tonight. C.J. Walker is getting better and better.
"This may have been our best team effort since our run in the tournament last year. I think C.J. Walker can get better; he has the presence and size inside. I didn't like the way the game ended. We have to play solid basketball the whole way.
"I thought Buzz did a good job. He has no seniors on his squad, either. Buzz wants to make more free throws than his opponent attempts, much the way Coach Krzyzewski does. I complained all night about 3-second violations. That's why their two big guys had 11 rebounds each. It's hard to guard them that close, and that's why they kicked our tails on the boards tonight.
"Omar Collington is the kind of athlete who can get a feel for the game. He needs to be smarter and more consistent. He has the athletic ability; it's difficult for him to be in a game with a lot of contact when he only shoots three free throws.
"The turnovers late in the first half, and late in the game, killed us. That, plus being out-rebounded 41-31, killed us. It was smart of Buzz to get John Winchester in the game when he knew we had to foul, and we were going to foul Stanley Asumnu. What he did was important, and he knows how to coach the game. It was a good strategy on his part.