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Postgame Quotes: #12/13 Tennessee 97, Ole Miss 68

Feb. 10, 2013

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TENNESSEE HEAD COACH Holly Warlick

(Opening Statement)
"I thought it was a great win for us. We were able to get a lot of people some good solid minutes. Our defense, as always, can get a little better. I thought we competed. That is the one thing I put on the board, 'compete'. The only thing I have a problem with is we get up then we have a little bet of a let up and we feel like we have to battle back. So we as coaches have to make sure we get them to the point where they play up here all the time. I am proud of their effort and proud of the win."

(On the confidence of the offense)
"We are so versatile that is what I love about us. We can post a Taber Spani or Cierra Burdick and they can come in a hit the high post shot and shoot the three, so then Bashaara (Graves) can step out, so there is a lot of versatility that we have. For the most part I think they understand what is a good shot and a bad shot. We don't take a lot of bad shots. They are very skilled offensive players. We are trying to take that offense and teach them how to play on the other end. I think we take looks and when is a good shot for us."

(On the injuries not really affecting the record)
"I think this team plays so much together. I think they understand the importance of that. I think we distribute the basketball. We hold each other accountable. I think our coaching staff has done a great job in getting to know the players, understanding what buttons to push for them. I think they understand the value of a team effort. That is the only way I can explain it. We practice hard there have been very little times that we have had a bad practice. So I think they understand the importance of preparation and then for the most part they play together during the game."

(On having 19 turnovers)
"I think it was a combination of things, but I think we were throwing to the people wearing blue jerseys first of all and then we were trying to play a little fast and we started quick-shooting the basketball. When we got ahead and did the things we needed to do, we moved the basketball and got good looks. That is way too many [turnovers] for us. We didn't have enough steals. We turned it over, but we shot 59 percent and so we could have had more. A turnover for us is just less of an opportunity to get a basket and we've got to clean it up. It gets us in trouble - it got us in trouble with LSU. We just have to value the basketball a little better."

(On defense)
"We just have to take care of the ball. We started playing too fast and they just need to keep valuing the basketball because we work so hard to get it. We wanted to play and some of it is my fault - I wanted us to play up-tempo and I'm allowing people that normally wouldn't handle the ball to. Like Taber Spani getting held up in traffic and Jasmine Jones. Some of the turnovers are my fault because I'm allowing people to come up and head on the ball in traffic and I'll take the blame for those. The ones I have a hard time with are when we throw the ball right to the defense. Those are the things we have to clean up."

(On Nia Moore)
"I am [getting more comfortable with her in the game]. Nia (Moore) is really coming around. In practice, she's done a lot of individual work, which I think has helped her. I think down the line, we're going to need Nia Moore to give us some minutes and the more she can play, it's valuable for her and probably more valuable for us. If she can hold this line and do what she did in ten minutes tonight, then that's great for us. I feel a lot more comfortable at where she is at this stage in the year. In November or December, maybe not just because of the experience factor, but I think now, she's put in the time and the work and I'm comfortable with her coming out and giving us some minutes."

(On playing 'too fast')
"I love the pace we were playing at. I wanted us to go more, I just think for me, I'm okay with different people handling the basketball at times. I think that's when we started getting the turnovers; those are the turnovers I'll take, those are on me."

TENNESSEE FORWARD Bashaara Graves

(On the week off)
"I'm going to be taking a couple ice baths this week just to get my body back for the Vandy game and to get ready for the next week of playing."

(On Nia Moore)
"I think it gives her a lot of confidence. Nia's been working very hard in practice every day, and for her to come out and get 12 points in ten minutes will boost her confidence. We need her now, so she's trying to step up for the team and she's doing the team good."

(On confident offense)
"Meighan's the best scorer we have; she's very confident. Everyone else is trying to get the way she is. We're trying to move the ball and get everyone touches."

TENNESSEE GUARD Meighan Simmons

(On the game being focused on running)
"It makes it fun. The coaches were telling us that we needed to run them as well. We couldn't let them get on up in an early run where they cut the lead to within five. You have to continue to play intense defense. We may have to make some adjustments on that, but it makes the game fun. The crowd got into it. We need to continue to play harder.

(On getting ahead of last season's pace)
"More hunger. We have a young team, and the younger people coming in make everyone else more hungry-like a domino effect. It bounces off of everybody else. It gets everybody else to work twice as hard. It's an adjustment with new coaches, but I think this team is settling in. We've made some mistakes here and there, but we'll move forward. I think that's what makes us different at practice. We continue to push forward. This is something we've been thinking about a lot lately."

(On downtime)
"Honestly, yes. My body has been really tight a lot lately. I'm glad that I have the opportunity to focus on school for a minute. When this upcoming week comes and we're busy and moving around, academics is taken care of. I'm looking forward to this week. I'll be in the ice bath and contrasting-I'll be doing everything. And that's something we all need. February is the month when everything is coming fast and the season is coming quick. Everybody needs to take care of their bodies and eat right and make sure we're taking care of business."

TENNESSEE GUARD/FORWARD Taber Spani

(On getting points fast)
"A lot of it had to do with us being able to get up and down the floor. We moved very fast and very quick. That always helps when you're shooting high percentage shots-layups and jumpers. We're excited about that, but we also had 19 turnovers and they scored 20 points off of our turnovers. We're not satisfied. We're excited to go out with this win, but hopefully we'll get our legs back before we play Vandy, but we have a lot of work to do."

(On getting going early)
"I know that's part of my role. All of us have to contribute on the offensive end. I wanted to try to get in a rhythm early. A lot of it is getting our team in the rhythm. Almost everybody was touching the ball in the first five minutes. That makes it fun. Anyone with an open shot is going to knock it down. Ball movement was so important. If I was open, I was going to take it."

(On Bashaara's strength)
"Her physical strength is one of her best attributes. She knows how to use her body more than anything. It's crazy. I think it helps us into February with her being so strong; her legs aren't feeling it as much. She has the endurance and durability built in. We rely on her a lot."

(On Bashaara compared to Glory Johnson)
"We all knew and had utmost confidence on her as a basketball player. You never want to put expectations on freshmen like that. That expectation has to be on the upperclassmen. Freshmen can't have that on them. But she's stepped up to the challenge. She produces day-in and day-out. She's almost a constant double-double player for us, which is very rare for a freshman. She's very much like Glory in her production. They're games are a little different, but her production is amazing. We rely on her a lot."

(On scoring)
"Scoring's not always a focus. We're not stat-sheet readers. This team has always been about "team," and we stress that day-in and day-out. In saying that, we understand that everybody has their role. Everyone knows that they need to score for this team and shoot the ball. Bashaara can go to work and we can open it up. Meighan knows the same thing. To get going right off the bat, and a lot of it was off the transition. Us being able to run is our bread and butter. When we were able to do that and open the game up at the beginning was good."

OLE MISS HEAD COACH BRETT FRANK

(Opening statement)
"First of all I'd like to say congratulations to Coach Warlick and the Tennessee Lady Vols. Obviously they're a very well-coached team. They're a youthful team, but they're showing a lot of experience. These players have been tested early in the season. They've played one of the toughest non-conference schedules in the country, and it's definitely paying off for them. I expect them to do great things in the post season. I know that's something that you understand and have come to expect from them. Again, I think that Holly came into a tough situation. It goes without saying, and she's done a phenomenal job in molding this young group and steering them in the right direction. As far as our game plan today, we came in and felt like we needed to really focus on two areas: those two areas being we needed to stop the transition game from the Lady Vols and we felt like we had to really compete hard on the boards. I think the transition game got away from us right at the very beginning; we gave up some easy baskets, some open looks to Simmons, and I think that it helped them get into an offensive rhythm and an offensive flow. For the most part I felt like we did a pretty solid job blocking out, being physical in the paint. I was really proud of our players, their resiliency. I thought there were several opportunities at the beginning moments of the game where they could've shut down. I thought they continued to fight, show a lot of character, by never giving up."

(On forcing turnovers)
"We really wanted to come out with a plan of attack that was a little different than what we had been doing. I think to credit their coaching staff they do an amazing job of scouting an opponent. We felt confident that there were going to be a few areas where they would try to expose us. We kind of took an aggressive approach. We really have not been a zone team all year and thought we would come out and play some more aggressive possessions defensively with our zone. I do think it got them out of a little bit of a rhythm. I think we did a good job of trying to capitalize off of their mistakes. We're a transition team as well, and I think we're best in the open court. I feel like our players did a good job of making transition off their miscues."

(On Tennessee's youth)
"Yes and no. I'm surprised that they gelled this quickly. I think that the staff has assembled an amazing group of young ladies and a very talented group. I'm not surprised at the numbers they're putting up. I'm surprised at how quickly they gelled and how quickly they gained their chemistry."

OLE MISS FORWARD DANIELLE MCCRAY

(On turning around the first half after being down early to Tennessee)
"Mostly with our zone. We wanted to stay fast on defense and get a lot of stops so that we could come down and get out and run."

(On how she's dealt with this difficult season)
"Just keeping our heads up. We have to come out and fight for each other every time we play. That's who we play for is each other."

OLE MISS GUARD DIARA MOORE

(On the pregame t-shirts her team wears)
"They say "We all we got. We all we need." We kind of just made it up really. At the end of the day we're 11 strong. So, really we're all we got. We're all we need. So, we come out every day. We're really fighting for each other like Danielle said."

(On what about Tennessee impressed her)
"Their transition. They can get up the floor like one, two pass layup. I'm really impressed with their transition game. We just tried to stop that, but they did it. I do credit them for that. That's one of their strong suits."

 

 

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