Postgame Quotes - #3 Tennessee 103, Troy 64

Dec. 14, 2013

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(Opening Statement)

"Great win for us. We didn't play exceptionally well. Troy had some things to do with that. I think we ourselves had, we created some havoc that was self-induced. I can't remember the last team that we had that had 28 turnovers and Troy didn't press us, so it's something that we have to focus on, but then you turn around and it's a positive. We had 74 rebounds and that's incredible too. We're at two ends of the spectrum, so we go back to the drawing board, we go back to work and then we appreciate the kids that scored in double figures and the rebounding efforts. Some good things happened and some things that we need to continue to work on."

(On turnovers)
"I think they did some things. We were passing the ball like we were trying to get on Sportscenter instead of passing the ball like we're making a passing tape, a highlight tape. We just threw the ball. We were very casual, very careless with the basketball and they took advantage of it. They had 26 points off of our turnovers. You can't be casual with the basketball. I don't care who you play, who you're playing against, zone defense, pressure defense. Those are possessions where you don't even get a shot off. At least get a shot off. This team, at least get a shot off, because we may get a rebound. It's a 50-50 ball for us the way we're rebounding. We're just very casual with the basketball. We're not valuing the basketball. I'll take the blame for that, because we haven't really focused on our offense enough. We'll make sure that we value the basketball the next couple of days in practice."

(On no three-point shooting)
"It was by design. It doesn't take an intelligent person to see you're two-for-12, you need to stop shooting the three-point shot. I thought we needed paint points, so I said if you shoot a three, you're coming out. They valued playing more than shooting the three which was a good thing tonight."

(On Nia Moore)
"I think Nia- Nia is playing behind three people. She's playing behind Izzy [Harrison] and she's playing behind Bashaara [Graves] and they're dynamite. You look at Mercedes [Russell] and what she's capable of doing, so Nia has to play behind those three and she comes to practice every day and it's still learning for her. She's still battling and those are the things she can do. I thought it was a great game for her to break out. Our goal was to get everybody some quality minutes and I thought she had some quality minutes for her. I have a lot of confidence in Nia and I think for her it's more game time, more playing time, and it's hard to get her playing time when the other three are playing well in front of her."

"I just knew I wanted to get everyone some equal playing time and I wanted to make sure Nia got some time where we could watch tape on her and try to help her along. I think down the road, we're going to need Nia, so I was proud of her. This is a kid who didn't play in Texas, doesn't get a lot of playing time. You don't hear one negative thing out of this kid. She's positive, comes to work every day and practices hard, so when a kid gets rewarded that and plays the way she did, I'm excited for her. It's just how it works for Nia and I'm proud of her effort. She doesn't ever complain. She wasn't overly joyous that she got in a lot too. She's just an even kill kid and very likeable kid, so I was excited for her."

(On lineup depth)
"I do. Everyone makes a big deal out of starting. I think this team gets it. I don't think it's a big deal to start. They want to contribute. That's what I'm trying to get them to do. I think we can go 10 deep. We started a different lineup the second half because I wanted to get a little defensive punch. We were in the locker room 30 minutes before the game time trying to figure out who was going to start and that's a good thing to have. That means your team is being competitive and playing hard in practice. I have a lot of confidence in all of them."

JUNIOR F Cierra Burdick

(On playing today)
"Just to be done with exams and only have to worry about basketball is a great feeling. It's good to get this game under our belt, we were in a little drought."

(On how they approached the "Junk Defenses")
"We had twenty eight turnovers and a lot of them were unforced and that's just not coming out prepared on our part. I commend Troy, they played hard, they have a lot of heart, but we've just got to do better. We have to take care of the basketball. Twenty eight turnovers is unacceptable and we've just got to come out and play better, play smarter."

(On her in air turnovers, specifically to Mercedes)
" I think we were really just playing fast. That turnover was obviously my fault, I led her too much. We're a transition team. We want to get quick shots, we want to get out post on the post highway, and with that comes turnovers. We've got to limit those, we have to pass well, and we have to read our defenses. Obviously they were throwing junk defenses at us and we've just got to ball fake. I think that will help a lot. We've got to fake a pass and make a pass, that's what Dean always says, so we've just got to go back to the drawing boards and continue to work on that."

(On their opinion of their play during the first half)
" I don't think it was any better honestly. I think we're extremely hard on ourselves and that's what we need to be to be a great team. We still came out sluggish in the first half and we've got to get better. I mean when we play, not looking ahead, but when we play Stanford we can't come out like that. They're a great team so we've got to come in immediately with an intensity and focus and play a full forty minutes of basketball."

SOPHOMORE F Bashaara Graves

(On using their height advantage)
" We definitely came in and wanted to dominate the boards and I definitely think we did that, especially with Nia coming in and she had thirteen boards. I think that a couple of people had double figures with boards but everybody tried to contribute in offensive rebounds."

(On Nia's playing time)
" We're definitely proud of Nia. She worked really hard to get her playing time today. Just coming in she got a double-double, yeah an awesome game. I'm just so proud of her because she worked so hard at practice and she earned it."

(On playing up to their own expectations of how they should play)
" I definitely think we just start playing casual. It doesn't matter what team we're playing we need to come out like we are playing against top ranked teams. We did that today. We need to get to that before we start playing Stanford before we get to SEC play."

SOPHOMORE F Jasmine Jones

(On shutting down key players)
" That was our goal. I thinks he averaged twenty six and we were supposed to cut her down to at least half. So, that was a goal of ours and that's what I wanted to do; defend her."

(On how they defended key players)
"Keep her in front of me. Since she was right handed we had to keep forcing her left. She could shoot the three's so our goal was to run to post, to jam, and go under. We just had to play the system and what we practiced on with her and the rest of their players obviously."



(Opening statement)
"It was great to be in Tennessee today. We came to compete and get better, so that we can go back into our conference, in the Sun Belt, and be better. We got out of this what we wanted. Of course we would have loved to win but I think the team competed. We learned how to make passes over longer arms, block out harder if we really wanted a rebound, and run faster back if you wanted to defend the fast break so it was a good day for Troy in that I believe we learned some lessons and got better."

(On competing with UT on the boards)
"That's the biggest area that I feel we fell short in. They got a lot more rebounds than us. Honestly that's something we struggle with. As you can see, we don't have a lot of size on our team. We try to make it an emphasis rebounding, especially since we like to push the ball up the court so much and take the first shot, not the best shot. We know we need good rebounders so we need to keep recruiting to that and keep working on that."

(On hanging tough for stretches in the second half)
"We were going media timeout to media timeout and we were keeping up with the stats on how we did in every four minutes and there was one media timeout in the first half that we tied them, and then there was one in the second half that we won it by a considerable margin. If you want to beat a big team like this, you need to have bigger runs like that instead of a couple good runs like that, we needed several so it's another lesson learned."

(Interjecting on Joanna's second question)
"And to take some credit for that, most of the teams we play, we don't have to do a lot. She (Joanna) can create her own offense and Ashley's really the same way, coming up, but when you go against the co-SEC player of the year you're going to run into some more trouble than you're used to."

(On Nia Moore playing well)
"I'm proud of her. I'm proud of her. I know her family and love them. I would love to see her -I didn't want it to be tonight- but we're excited and we want to see her come out and do really well here and have a great Tennessee career."

(On being able to force turnovers)

"We knew we couldn't let them get in a rhythm, and we played a lot of jump defenses today, and when you do the jump defenses, your gamble is that they don't practice against it, but there's always going to be something open. Sometimes it works, sometimes they didn't see what it was open and sometimes we got a turnover but we only have to play them once so I feel like if they watched film on it and came back and played us the next time, we wouldn't be able to stay in those un-sound defenses. We played some twilight zone, and box-and-one, triangle-and-two, several things."

(On what a Twilight Zone defense is)

"It's the zone defense where the two guards come up and try to sandwich the point guard. They leave her open to drive the middle but they're on either side of her. It's just a different kind of defense."


(On facing Tennessee's defense)

"It felt like every time I got past the first man, I had another man to get past so they played some tough defense."

(On facing Tennessee's two best perimeter defenders all game)
"It felt like every time I got past the first man, I had another man to get past and then if I got past that one, there was another one so they were playing a suffocating defense."


(On being able to shoot 8-of-14 from the field)

"I've just been practicing on dribble and pull up so I think that helped me out."

(On if she enjoyed playing in this environment)

"Yes, ma'am. I loved playing in front of this crowd."





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