Postgame Quotes
Feb. 13, 2016

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Auburn Head Coach Bruce Pearl

Opening Statement...

"I told our guys to try not to be discouraged and that there are a lot of opportunities out there. We have a couple of guys that are taking advantage of the opportunity and a couple of guys that haven't yet. Cinmeon (Bowers) had five baskets and five assists. We only had eight other baskets that he wasn't involved in either scoring or assisting on. In many ways, he has really stepped up. Sometimes he goes too fast and a couple of his turnovers were unforced, but he is out there battling. For him to have 15 rebounds and the next closest guy to have four gives you an indication of the effort and energy that he is putting forth and his toughness. Tyler (Harris) is really not 100 percent. He is not effective out there. His back is bad, and he is not able to practice. We need him to be able to play like he is capable of, especially where there is opportunity particularly on the offensive end. I think our last three games his percentages are not good. A lot of that has to do with his back being tied up. I thought TJ Lang and Bryce Brown both had their moments. Lang got off 12 threes and I thought they were all really good and I thought a lot of them were going to go in. I was glad to see Bryce get to the foul line seven times. Beyond that the contributions are few and far between. Give Vanderbilt credit, they are good team. The way they defend the three, they are the leading three-point field goal percentage defensive team in the country. We shot 25 percent. They lead the league in 3-point percentage defense and we shot a terrible percentage. We have shot a poor percentage in the last few games against everybody. I think we are getting shots that we can make. I do. If we are going to be competitive, and if we are going to win, we have to make those shots."

On TJ Lang...

"TJ spent a lot of time in the gym. I wanted him to back up a little bit and stop worrying about the 3-point line and get a foot behind the line because TJ Lang has that kind of range and maybe it would give him a little bit more space between the defender and him, so maybe he would stop turning shots down. I thought he was turning a lot of shots down. The second thing I tried to get him to do was put the ball on the floor a little bit more. He shot 11 free throws against Georgia, and he only shot one tonight. It is OK to put the ball on the floor and try to create and get to the rim. He is close to being able to make that play breakdown, but he hasn't been able to quite do it. I was glad to see him be more aggressive. His dad, Antonio (Lang) was in town tonight. Obviously, the NBA All-Star Game is tonight and he is an assistant with the Utah Jazz. He came to practice today, and I'm sure that TJ's dad being here and his grandparents being here had a lot to do with him being more aggressive tonight. It was good to see."

TJ Lang, G, So.

On being more aggressive offensively...

"Coach (Bruce) Pearl told me I needed to attack the rim more because I went to the free throw line 11 times in the Georgia game. I tried to attack the rim, get my teammates open shots and make everyone better."

On dealing with a shooting slump as a team...

"It's tough as a competitor. Nobody on our team likes losing, so it's something we're just going to have to keep learning from and build on. We have enough talent in our locker room to win games, we just have to put it all together, continue to get in the gym and make shots. One of these games, it will all come together. We'll all start making shots soon."

On personally dealing with a shooting slump...

"It's nothing I can really think on. As a shooter, I just have to keep on shooting. It's just a mental thing I have to get through."

On improvements the team can make other than shooting...

"In the second half, defensively, we should have come out more aware. I think we were down 13 coming out. We didn't really pressure the ball that well and next thing we knew, they had a 21-point lead. We just have to stay focused coming out of halftime, and keep that same energy and attention to detail we had in the first half."

On the team handling leading scorer Kareem Canty leaving the team...

"It's hard. Nobody ever wants to lose their best player, but then again, this is what we have. We feel like we are capable of winning games with who we have. We've moved on. We just have to continue to work with who we have and continue to fight and battle."

Vanderbilt Head Coach Kevin Stallings

Opening Statement...

"First of all, I'm really proud of my team and proud of the way we played. I thought our ball care was the difference for us. In games where we've played well, we've done a nice job of taking care of the ball. We took good care of it tonight. Obviously, they're short handed. It's tough to lose your leading scorer and your point guard all in one swipe. So we certainly acknowledge that was not a team, I mean it might be their full strength now, but it is not the team they went into the season thinking they would have. I thought our guys did a nice job of sharing the ball, moving the ball. I thought our defense was solid. (Cinmeon) Bowers for them was a load. He's such a good rebounder and such a good athlete. We were good on the defensive end I thought for the most part though and did a pretty good job on the boards."

On Damian Jones's performance...

"Yeah, he did. He got going right at the beginning. I don't think he's been very happy with his last couple road performances, and he wanted to play better on the road tonight. He did and he was active on the boards. He was effective when he got the ball inside. He made some jump shots. I wish he would've made some free throws, but he played very well for us. I thought another key, I failed to mention this, was the start of the second half. We came out and made those threes right there in a row and that was a big lift for us and was probably what helped sort of separate us enough to where we got the game really in our favor. I thought Damian was good, thought Matt (Matthew Fisher-Davis) was good, thought Nolan Cressler came off the bench and played well for us. Again, we share it around, and when we take care of the ball like that, then usually good things happen."

On shutting Tyler Harris down again...

"Our length seems to bother him. We've got considerable length. Luke Kornet is a long, tall guy and can move his feet a little bit. Harris is very crafty around the goal, and Luke has a good way about staying level and staying between his guy and the basket. Fortunately for us in both games, it's made it difficult for him. We've done a nice job on him because it seems he's a key piece to their offense."

On winning by a lot against an SEC team on the road...

"I don't know if we've ever done it before. No, we feel good about that and you want to get separation. You want to win. We got our guys in early, real early actually, which was nice. We got our other guys out early, which was nice. We were grateful for the separation we had in terms of the point spread."

 

 

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