Postgame Quotes: Tennessee 94, Tennessee State 43

Dec. 17, 2013

Recap |  Box Score |  Notes |  Photo Gallery 



(Opening Statement)
"Excited about the win- I thought we played hard. Our effort was great. We still have to cut down on a couple of turnovers, but the turnovers were being aggressive, which I'm okay with. Shot the ball really well. Rebounded again very well, so I think overall- glad for the win. Everybody I think got great minutes and overall it was a great win."

(On turnovers)
"I think so. I think us being up and I think we took a little bit more chances then I think we did the first half. A lot of them came in a fast break and I'm okay with that. We'll watch it with them and try to understand the passes that are catchable and those type of things. We got a little anxious, but those are things that I think we can clean them up pretty good once we understand where we're throwing to and those type of things."

(On team's focus)
"It was. I thought yesterday in practice wasn't very good, so we had a pretty hard practice yesterday. I think it carried over and I think we got there attention. We've played hard. The opponents should not matter. You're working on yourself and how you get better and get better as a team, so I thought tonight, we focused on us for the most part besides our turnovers. There are still things we can get better at- one-on-one defense. We didn't play a flawless game, but we did some really good things we've been working on at practice."

(On Jasmine Jones)
"She got hit in the face yesterday- just was concerned. I just made a decision not to play her. She just got hit pretty hard in the face. She will play Saturday."

(On different formations)
"We just haven't had a chance to use it, so I thought it would be a great chance to use it. Then when we played our three big kids at the same time, we went to a 2-3 so they could take up space in the back. We've been working so much on man- to- man defense. We just haven't had an opportunity to play the zone. I thought it would be a great time tonight to work on it a little bit- get some footage, get some film and watch it and break it down."

(On Mercedes Russell)
"I thought she rebounded well. She's using her height. I'm telling her to block shots, even if she gets her first foul, she has to be a presence inside. I think she's getting better. I think she has to get a little bit more stronger, take the hit that people are playing her physical, and that will come in time. She's getting pushed under the basket, that's because she has to get a little bit stronger and not allow people to push her under the basket. I think for the most part she gets up and down the floor. When she rebounds, she knows where to get the ball to, so I thought she got some really good minutes tonight and did some good things."

(On Andraya Carter)
"I think Andraya's mindset when she goes in the game is she is a defensive stopper. I think Andraya can do both. I think she's really good at taking the shots that are open for her. I thought tonight, I would have to go back and watch, I don't know if she should've been dribbling the ball or shot it, we'll watch it and go back and look. She's coachable. If we think she needed to change a little bit- we'll watch it and determine that."

(On playing at Stanford)
"I just want them to continue what we are doing. I think we are playing so well as a team. I don't think that anybody on the team feels the pressure that I have to do everything. I think in the past, Meighan would think, I am the only one, I have to score, and those type of things. I like what we are doing and I like how we are playing well together. I think the next couple days for us are going to be crucial in our preparation. So I have to have them tuned in and we will have them pretty much to ourselves. There is no class, so we will spend a lot of time watching tape and preparing for what we need to do with Stanford."

(On Chiney Ogqumike)
"She plays hard every possession. She does not take a possession off. She is hard to box out because she is constantly moving. She knows the game, she plays it hard. She fights for everything she gets. We have to match her intensity. We have to keep her off the boards. We can't allow her to go off and have a game-high. We, obviously, have to play a lot better than we play. Last year we weren't very competitive. We have to step up to the plate and play a lot better against her and equal her intensity or better."

(On the difficulty of playing at Stanford)
"They play well at home. It is like playing us at home, they play well at home. The crowd is right on you. Anytime you play at a top team in the country, it is hard to beat someone on their home floor. I think they play a lot harder and they have a lot more confidence at home. I think it is kind of like how we play at home. It is a difficult place to play. I have missed two games in my career coaching, and that was one of them because I broke my ankle. We had Candace Parker and Nicky Anosike and we lost by one, I think. It is a tough place to play. I think our team understands that."

(On if the team is mentally prepared to play on the road)
"I think yeah, I think the games we played early on the road, the atmosphere in the Bahamas, we had to get focused. It was in a high school gym, a lot of distractions. I think we are ready. I don't know what is a good time. We play them and then we have one more game and then we get into the SEC conference. We always play them this time of year. I think we are ready."

(On playing difficult non-conference games)
"I will be honest with you, we are having a difficult time with people coming here to play us. I don't what to do, we have called and nobody seems interested in coming here to play. I don't know what else to say. I would love to be playing a Baylor and some other teams but I think they have made a decision to not play us."

(On the SEC)
"Just look who is in the top-20. Kentucky who is playing well. South Carolina is in the top-ten. I think Texas A&M is still there. LSU is just so competitive. I got to see a little bit of Florida, they are big and they are strong. I think our conference, it is a tough place to play. I still think it is a strong conference, it is the most athletic conference. You have to be ready. We have gone on the road and the teams that we are supposed to - Missouri, last year, we blew them out here and then we get beat up there. We weren't prepared, we weren't mentally focused and you are going to get beat if you are not prepared."


(On not playing down to your opponent)
"We definitely wanted to come out and play Lady Vol basketball. It is something we have been struggling with in past games, playing down to our completion. We can't do that, we have to come out and play to our potential every night. That is a sign of a great team I think we are making great progression. We just have to continue to work hard and play Lady Vol basketball every night."

(On the play in the first half)
"I think we are just having fun, lately we have been so uptight and worried about not doing the wrong things it takes away from our play and it takes away from what we can do as players.cWe just try to come out and have fun, enjoy the game. We keep getting reminded this is a gift, it's a gift to lace up these sneakers, it's a gift to put on this jersey we don't need to take that for granted."

(On the turnovers committed tonight and the game against Troy)
"We have got to clean up the turnovers. A lot of this is from playing fast, were a transition team, I said this last game, we try to hit our post on the post highway, they are running hard and we are trying to reward them so we have got to work on feeding the post better getting better looks, slowing down the offense a little bit and still playing at the tempo we want to play at.

(On Looking forward to Stanford as a skill test)
"I think this is great step, a great opportunity for us. We haven't beat Stanford at their place I think in the last three trips so it would be great to get a 'W' to break that drought, but also just to show the rest of the country that we mean business. People keep saying, hey, we haven't played the best competition, but we're number one on RPI and for number two this competition is great. We need this. This is what we want. We want to play the best of the best and I think this is a step that can help us get to the great team rank that we want to be at."

(On statement being sent by SEC teams going to tournament play)
"Oh it's huge! I think every year we come in and we show that the SEC is one of the best conferences in the country. I don't know how many teams we had in the tournament last year but I think it was the most out of any conference. I think that speaks a lot for just the type of competition we play night in and night out. I think it will be huge step with us and Kentucky to really launch the SEC onto the national level.

(On playing the best of the best)
"Heck yeah we want to play the best of the best! It's harder to get up for the Troys' and the Tennessee States' and great teams have to do that no matter who they play. It's fun to play the best of the best. Its fun to play great competition great players night in and night out. It allows us to grow as a basketball team and just match up and see how we compare to other great teams in the country."


(On how she picked up throwing the ball off the defender on the in bounds)
"Holly had always told me that the defender always has their back towards you toss it off their back because their not paying attention. Miko (Kamiko Williams) never really taught me that, I did pay attention to it. When I did it, it just went in"

(On being aware it was the first time they went 10-0 since the last National Championship)
"We knew before we were getting ready to play we were 9-0 and we wanted to make the next step to get to the national championship level. I don't think we really pay attention to it but I know it something that gives us that extra energy that we are a national championship team. We can do what we can to get to the next level we just have to play every opponent like it's any other great team. If their ranked or not ranked we just have to go out and play hard and play Tennessee basketball from the get go."

(On having troubles with turnovers and how can they fix it)
"I'm just moving too fast, pushing the ball hard in transition. I am looking for the post players ,our post players really do run hard. Our coaches have really been pushing the issue for our post players to get out and run and get ahead of the ball. She was just saying in practice yesterday if the post is in front of you throw it up to them. For me I just have to slow down and make the easy pass if not throw it to the wing so they can throw it to the post, just try to settle down a little bit for sure.

(On previous Stanford losses, and why this team will do differently)
"I think honestly it's just handling adversity. This team, and I've said it in so many other interviews, is so different. The team camaraderie is different. We're more together that when adversity hits we stick together. We communicate with each other in huddles; we're holding each other accountable. We're saying what we need to do and paying attention to play in order to the task at hand which is to get the 'W'. I think our mindset going to Stanford is to no matter what, no matter if adversity, we have to stick together and make sure we do the little things and pay attention to detail.


(On possibly learning about themselves in the game against Stanford)
"This game, it's such a big deal. I think we'll learn hopefully a ton of just positive stuff about this team seeing how we match up against Stanford. We feel really good as a team going in there 10-0 we're confident. Practices these past two weeks have been so hard. They've been so tough on us. Just making practices harder than games and hopefully making practices harder than the game will be on Saturday. I think we're prepared, we're excited, and we'll just see how we match up against another really good team."

(On getting the last second starting nod)
"Coach Holly told me a little bit before the game started, she just pulled me to the side and said we are going to get off to a great start, bring heart bring energy and she let me know." "We all know that game decisions are up to Holly, she picks the starters for a reason but we all know we are going to get out on the court so it doesn't really matter whoever starts the game, we just try to get off to a good start. Coach Holly makes all the decisions so we just play hard and trust her."



(Opening Statement)
"I thought both teams played hard. I thought their size was a big difference in the game. I feel like it affected what we did. Their transition game hurt us. They exploited a lot of our weaknesses and things that we have to work on to get better at. Hats off to them. They had a great night. I didn't think we shot the ball very well, but I feel like they had something to do with too especially around the basket with their height. I was very proud of our kid's effort. I thought they had a tremendous effort. I thought we got some good looks in transition especially in the second half. I am not pleased naturally with the outcome. I am not pleased with our shooting percentages and some other things, but I thought we played hard and had a good effort. We are very young. It is like I told our kids, `It is not a destination. It is a journey.' We are trying to get better, and hopefully, we will continue to get better. When you play good people, you can't help but to get better because you are playing at an upper level. I think that is our takeaway from tonight's game. We need to learn to paly at an upper level."

(On how the game was scheduled)
"They called us and asked us if we would be interested in playing. I thought it would be a great learning experience for our kids, and a great opportunity to play at the University of Tennessee. We jumped on the opportunity, and now we are here. We are playing several people who are pretty good this year. Hopefully that will help us to play better and learn to play up."

(On how this game prepares Tennessee State for Florida next game)
"I think they all help us especially in the SEC. We might as well be in the SEC with the schedule we are playing. We are playing some really good people. I think you only get better. I think you learn from skilled athletes. It is like anything else, especially the SEC, which is an up league, a great league, and a national prepping league year in and year out. Those are some of the things that we are aspiring to take our program to. Some people laugh at that right now, but the bottom line is that if we don't aspire to that right now, then we will never get that opportunity to be there. That is why we are doing what we are doing, and that is why we are trying to teach our kids how to play at a higher level."


(On playing in front of a home crowd)
"When I was growing up, I would always watch the Lady Vols. I would have never thought that I would be out playing against them, but it was a great experience for me. My family was able to come back and watch me play. The turnout wasn't what we wanted it to be, but it was still a great experience like coach said."


(On what to take from the game)
"I could take a lot of positives from this game. Transition is my strength right now. I just have to push the ball in transition by getting to the cup and get to the free throw line. We played against good competition."

(On difficulty of getting open looks)
"It is very difficult especially when you get to the cup. I had to either try and get contact, or do the little floater that I like to do. It is challenging, but it prepares me for my league in the OVC."





  • Loading Tweets...
    1 second ago