Dec. 30, 2006
TENNESSEE HEAD COACH Bruce Pearl:
"Congratulations to East Tennessee State. It was a terrific effort. They played very hard, and give them a lot of credit. It was a tough game for us. They were very aggressive. They had nine days to prepare for us, while we had one to get ready for them. They did some things defensively that were very disruptive. Their 5, 4, and 3 positions were bigger than we are; many teams would have folded against their pressure. They trapped hard and were very physical on every play.
"Ramar Smith and Duke Crews did not start because they were late for a team breakfast, but they will not be late again. It is quite simple...if you are a starter, and you are late for a meeting, you just come off of the bench. We got off to a pretty good start, though; Chris Lofton set a school record on 13-of-13 free-throws.
"JaJuan Smith is showing a lot of leadership. Dane Bradshaw's shoulder feels a lot better, and it is good to see him take the 3-pointers. This game shows why a lot of high-majors will not play this game against a team like East Tennessee State. They will be very good in the Atlantic Sun, and they are disruptive."
EAST TENNESSEE STATE HEAD COACH MURRAY BARTOW:
"I am really proud of our guys. I thought we played hard, fought hard, and competed hard. Bruce Pearl has done a great job with this team.
"This is a great Tennessee team, but I am also very proud of our guys. We came up five points short and I am disappointed, but at the same time we played well. Andrew Reed was great. He is an energy guy. He is a bouncy guy, plus he is a great kid, and he is fun to coach. Reed is playing with a lot of confidence right now. We just hope he can keep it up.
"The next two games, against Belmont and Lipscomb, are big, and we have got to get back and carry over some of what we did tonight. If we can play the way we did tonight, and cut our turnovers just a little bit, we have a chance to have a good team this year."