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Postgame Quotes: No. 7 Tennessee 90, Old Dominion 37

Dec. 28, 2011

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(on game overall)
"I was pleased. We played hard on both ends of the floor. Overall, I thought we did some nice things and got minutes for a lot of people."

(on Alicia Manning starting)
"It was my call for her to start. Alicia has been such a team player and a productive player for us that it was time to reward her. It was all her; she earned her starting assignment tonight. `A-town' is such a work horse. Just look at her stat line - 15 rebounds (a career high), nine points, five assists and six steals in 29 minutes. That is a great night."

(on Ariel Massengale)
"Great to have Ariel back in the starting line-up. Absolutely. She is on her way to being completely healthy. When you have a player like Ariel, she just sees the floor so well and is so unselfish. Tonight, they left her open a couple of times, and she can knock down shots."

(on Vicki Baugh's double-double)
"It was good to see Vicki play the way she did tonight. She hasn't been playing as well as I know she'd like to, and it was good to see her attack the glass and rebound."

(on Glory Johnson)
"Obviously, Glory was such a strong presence for us tonight. She can get paint points and points from the short corner. I have to credit Dean (Lockwood) and Glory for spending extra time in the gym getting more shots up. She wants to get better."

(heading into SEC play)
"Opening up SEC play at Auburn is going to be a real challenge for us. Auburn is tough, and I know Nell (Fortner) is going to have them ready to play. Could we have been better than our 8-3 record heading into conference play? Probably. But right now we have to move forward and focus on what is coming up in the SEC."

(opening statement)
"We focused tonight on, `It was about Tennessee.' It was about what was across our chest. We really focused on getting better. The last two days in practice we really concentrated on our defense, and I thought tonight our defense was outstanding. We caused 23 turnovers and sent them to the line six times. I think what we did today was indicative of how hard we've practiced on the defensive end."

(on Alicia Manning starting and getting 15 rebounds)
"Rebounding is a lot of heart and effort, and that's what Alicia Manning has. She had two really good days of practice, and we felt like she deserved to get the start. She's relentless, and that's what you want players to be. She's an overachiever. She's relentless. As I've said, boards are just effort. Fifteen boards is outstanding for her, but that's her game and that's what we love about her game."

(on what specifically was good about Tennessee's defense vs. ODU)
"I think we really focused on kids we really thought needed to get better on the defensive end. I was really really pleased with Meighan Simmons and her defensive effort. We've put a lot of time in the last two days. Just overall team defense. They responded. We got after it. We were aggressive. We were not aggressive in the Stanford game on the ball. I thought we did a total 180 as far as what we can do as far as pressuring the basketball and taking people out of how they play. That's the type of defense and that's the type of Tennessee team we have to be to win, regardless of our opponent. Regardless if they're ranked No. 1 or whatever. We've got to bring our game. We've built this program on defense and rebounding."

(on defensive benchmarks or goals against ODU)
"Two things we set: we didn't want to give them any transition layups and points. According to our standard of a fast break point, I don't think we gave up a basket. And we wanted to get a lot of deflections. We worked on getting our hands on the ball, and I thought we did that tonight as well. We did some good things, things we asked them to do. And I'm sure we go back to the tape. We always get better. We can always get better, but I'm very pleased by our effort and how we played as a team."

(on how Ariel Massengale effected team on offense and defense)
"Massengale, as you can see, she knows who to give the ball to at the right time. I keep saying this: that's the sign of the point guard. You can't teach that, and that's what she does. She's not at the best condition because she had to sit out, but she still hasn't lost it mentally. She's still got that mental game. If you sit out, you don't lose that. I think she just brings us a lot of confidence on the offensive end, and she makes sure we're getting in the right defensive sets. So we're very confident with her. Our team's very confident and relies on her to lead, and that's what she does."

(on fast pace of game when Massengale is on the court)
"It's what we want to do. If we can score in transition, that's what we want to do and that's what she does very well. We want to score off our turnovers. We want to score off our defense, getting turnovers. We want to get in transition off made baskets. That's what we do. Massengale gets it and she goes, and everyone runs with her. That's the style of play we want to play."

(on good offensive numbers despite focus on defensive end in practice)
"We recruit these kids, and they're great offensive players. When they get here, we're turning them into defensive players and we're asking them to be outstanding on the boards. Yesterday, we only spent maybe 30 minutes on our offensive end, and I thought from the beginning, it was a little rusty but we have scorers on the team -- we just have to get them to play both ends. That's been our emphasis, and I thought we did that tonight."

(on if Lady Vols played with chip on their shoulders after Stanford loss)
"Absolutely. They're disappointed. They were embarrassed. I said this earlier: we were a good team and Stanford was a great team. We've got to match their intensity. They were frustrated, as the coaches were.

One great thing about our players is they understand we have to go back to work. We haven't dwelled on the loss, but as long as we learn from it, it's a good thing. We have watched a lot of tape, tons of tape. We watched the whole game. We've broken it down, and I think they saw it, we've learned from it, and now we move on. We've got to correct our mistakes. I think tonight was a good advancement toward what we need to do."

(On needing tonight's game to get back into the flow of things)
"It was, and I've been looking forward to it. Sitting on the sidelines was no fun, and so just to be back out here with my teammates, it was a great feeling."

(On being done with the injuries for 2011)
"And 2012. (Ariel knocks on the table three times) Every time we step on the court we just go out there and play hard, and sometimes things happen, but everything happens for a reason. Through all situations you just have to learn from it."

(On thinking twice about diving on the floor)
"I didn't; once the adrenaline gets going, things like that don't affect you."

(On Massengale's effect being on the floor)
"I love it. That's my kind of game: getting up and down the floor, not having to set up plays, just playing basketball. I think last year a lot of times we hurt in that department, and since we picked up this girl (Massengale), it's been looking really nice for us."

(On her top priority for tonight)
"I was trying to get Bree (Bass) as many shots as she could get. (laughter) I mean really I was. I love Bree. She's such a great player, great attitude. I wanted that for her, so that was one of them."

(On taking out frustration from the Stanford loss on Old Dominion)
"It (loss) was tough for us, but we went back, watched a lot of film and definitely went to work on defense these past few days especially. Yeah, there's a chip on our shoulder, but I think there's always a chip on our shoulder and target on our back. Knowing that we've got to come into every game no matter what the competition is and play hard, and that's what we did tonight. It felt good. Everyone got to play. Everyone got good solid minutes. The scoring was pretty spread out. That's what makes a good team."

(On the coaches rewarding her effort by putting her in the starting lineup)
"Yeah, it feels good."

(On Vicki and Manning's contributions)
"Something that you have to look at Vicki Baugh is when she's on the floor, she tries her hardest. If she gets in foul trouble, that might affect her game a little bit, but whenever she's out there she's going to determine the game. Alicia Manning is out there helping us on the boards. She plays a little bit of everything, and then when she's in there with the posts, she lets people know she's in there, is a dominant presence in the paint. We love that, and we love Ariel Massengale getting us the ball."

(On if she likes games like tonight's)
"I like a game like this because we're working on ourselves. We're working on ourselves as a team, and we're trying to get better. We're working on our defense. We have so many things that we have to work on outside of the big games. In practice we only have so much time, and if we're together and we're all healthy and we're able to work, that will help us succeed in the long run."

(On what Tennessee needs to work on)
"Our defense in man, playing one-on-one and our 3-2, our 2-3. We're trying to make it so it's not easy to catch in the middle of the floor and our presses too. If we can press teams for the majority of the game, we're going to be successful."

(On the zone defenses getting better)
"I think our 2-3 looked pretty good. You know, most teams go into their 2-3 when they're tired, but we want our 2-3 to be as aggressive as our man-to-man defense, and when teams hate when we go into our 2-3, I think we're doing a really great job."

(on playing Tennessee after a loss)
"We're still learning and growing together as a team, so I knew she (Pat Summitt) was going to get them fired up for sure after that loss. I thought overall they had a great team effort. We started off strong but we missed some baskets and all of a sudden they really took over and had a lot of people contribute tonight."

(on what Ariel Massengale brings to UT)
"She is so aggressive. Jackie (Cook) and I were just talking about it. Down the stretch she really took over and the rebounding was one thing we couldn't match, the strength, the physical play."

(on the storied rivalry between Old Dominion and Tennessee)
"Right now we have a lot of young players, but we are very confident. ODU has a great tradition, and I really have a lot of respect for Pat Summitt. Seventeen years ago when I was 22 years old, I had an opportunity to be a young head coach, a college coach, and I didn't know what to do and I wrote a letter to her not thinking I would get a response. She wrote back saying all these positive things and for me, to play here and play against her, thank you isn't enough to say for what she has done for me 17 years ago. She really gave me a positive message saying to go out there and teach and be a life coach and that changed my life. Seventeen years later I'm a Virginia girl and at Old Dominion, and I know the rivalry between both. I'm really excited about getting this program built to the top, and we as a staff are going to continue to work hard. I thought it was a great experience for a lot of our younger kids tonight. We rushed, missed a lot of shots, and offseason training is going to be important for us because we see the physical play. I really felt they really dominated all the way around. They look stronger to me than last year on tape. It was hard for us to match their strength and intensity on the boards."

(on the strong start of the team)
"I definitely thought as a team we stepped up, and I was really happy with our play at the very beginning because Tennessee is such a big place to play and it's really big time. I was really proud of how we stepped up and played from the very start. We just couldn't finish and didn't play the full 40 minutes, but I was happy with how we started."

(on what unraveled for the team)
"They (the post players) are so strong, and we didn't match them physically. We had great shots and just missed some easy shots but down the stretch they will fall for us and tonight they didn't."

(on whether ODU hosting the first and second rounds of the NCAA Tournament is motivation)
"I have yet to play in the first round of an NCAA Tournament and having that at our home court is amazing. We are definitely going to get a chance to do that this year."



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