Jan. 28, 2012
On tonight's offensive performance
"We are what we are offensively, so that's not surprising. And I thought we defended well enough to be in the game, because they are not a very explosive offensive team either. But when you get out-rebounded by 23 rebounds, when you've got one player for them in (Jeronne) Maymon who has 19 rebounds by himself, and our three-man rotation in the post - (Adrian) Forbes, (Kenny) Gabriel and (Rob) Chubb - don't have 19 total, it's going to be hard to win that game."
On Maymon's rebounding strategy
"He's just a physical presence, and he thinks every time the ball hits the rim it's his. Those are the kinds of big guys you want. We expect somebody else to get the rebound, when he thinks every rebound that hits the glass is his. That's how you've got to play as a big man.
"It's a toughness thing; rebounding is all about toughness."
On tonight's defensive effort being a positive
"Yeah, absolutely. We're playing hard, we're battling defensively - which, it's giving us a chance. And we've been a physical team all year long, but we got out-physicaled and out-toughed today. We played D, we guarded well, we held them to 34 percent shooting. But you're not going to win many games getting out-rebounded by 23 rebounds and shooting 34 percent. The 23 rebounds is more surprising than the 34 percent because we are what we are offensively."
"The program's 1500th win, so that's a great one for all of the guys that paved the way, so to speak, that came before us and current players, so that's fun to be a part of."
"53 rebounds, season high for us, if I'm not mistaken, that's a lot of rebounds and Jeronne (Maymon) did a great job being aggressive around the basket. 49 points given up on the defensive side of the ball, I thought we did a good job of being assertive and being aggressive. Maybe we let up mentally the last minute, minute and a half, and that's something we talked about, finishing games." The next phase of the game for our guys in our program is to finish the games. It's the mental approach of completing the mission. I thought we did a good job of blocking shots. Jordan McRae was able to recover a couple of times when he got beat. I thought Kenny Hall did a good job in the zone offense, driving, flashing to the ball. He didn't really get the production from the points standpoint, but he made a lot of stuff happen on the backside. We've still got to be a better job of not turning the ball over, I think we had 16 turnovers and got careless late in the game."
Tennessee Head Coach Cuonzo Martin
On the team's defensive effort:
"I think we're getting better. We had a poor showing in Nashville, but since SEC play has started, we've gotten better. I think we're at about 75% on defense, 25% to go to be a really good defensive team, but we're getting there. We're really good when we're not turning the ball over and giving teams transition baskets."
On defense feeding the team on the offensive end:
"If you want to be a great team, you have to defend. Special teams play well on both ends of the floor. We've got to get better on the offensive side of the ball as well. We have open shots that we've got to knock down. We've got to continue getting in the gym. Like I told the guys, we shot under 40% from the field and won the game because we rebounded and defended, that's where you hang your hat on the defensive side of the ball. But good teams have to be better on both sides of the ball and that's what we've got to continue to work at."
On Jeronne Maymon:
"I think he brings his hard hat on rebounds, but I think he still has a ways to go to be the best he can be. He's really pushing himself and continues to do that, continues to gain confidence. I think once he gets to (shooting) 70-75% from inside the free throw line, he'll be extremely tough to defend."