Feb. 20, 2008
Auburn Head Coach Jeff Lebo
"(The third foul on Prowell) was a big play. I do not know if we scored a bucket, maybe one, after that and our game plan was to use him on the ball-screen flareout. We shot the ball so poorly while he was out, and that was the difference in the game. I thought about it (putting Prowell back in), maybe I should have. Their ability to make spurts I probably should have put him back in.
"Our effort was unbelievable (in the second half). We cut it to 14 with two minutes left and they had to put their guys back in.
"They are better than anybody we have played. Their explosiveness offensively is what separates them. What makes it so hard is they have different people every night who can get you 18-19 points."
Tennessee Head Coach Bruce Pearl
"You saw Tennessee take its opponent very seriously, and take care of business. To hold Auburn to 32 percent, as good a shooting team as the Tigers are, is good testimony to our performance. They have six really good players, but the way we play makes it difficult.
"Ramar Smith is a physical point guard. I was happy to see him make his 3-pointer. He was practicing that the other day, and I said, 'why waste your time working on a shot that you are not going to use in a game?' When he made that shot tonight, he looked over at the bench and sort of winked at me. Ramar Smith is a competitor. With the game on the line, he would take that shot, and likely make it. He is unselfish.
"I was disappointed with the way we were playing with the reserves in the game late in the second half; that is why I put the starters back in. I am not worried about hurt feelings. I am worried about winning the game.
"Memphis will be a great measuring stick for us Saturday. We have been in some difficult places, like Xavier and Kentucky, but Saturday will be the toughest environment we will face. Their talent level is so high. After I look at the film, we will have an idea of who has the deeper bench, Memphis or Tennessee.
"We are going to be talking about these two upcoming away games in terms of one road trip; we need to find a way to win. We will not have more challenging games than these next two coming up on the road. Regardless of how we come out against Memphis, we will need to turn things around quickly for the Vanderbilt game at Nashville that will have implications on the SEC championship.
"The state of basketball in Tennessee is terrific. Saturday night will be a celebration that is normally reserved, with all due respect, for Tobacco Road or Indiana or Ohio."