Jan. 4, 2012
Memphis (9-5) 69, Tennessee (7-7) 51
Memphis Head Coach Josh Pastner
I'm very proud of our guys. Everyone was terrific and just did their job. We won this game with defense and rebounding. And, we also won the 50-50 balls. You have to win 50-50 balls and hustle plays, and we did that. That's why we won the game.
I'm very, very proud of our guys. I want to give credit to Tennessee. They're a good club, better than their record. They are going to play well in the SEC. We need them to win some games in the SEC. That will help with our RPI, no question. They are a nice ball club. Coach (Cuonzo) Martin does a great job there.
It was a great win for us. You can say that was a win for Coach (Gene) Bartow. I know he smiled upstairs. Everyone came in and did their job. Again, like I said, we won the game because of defense and rebounding.
Talk about the improvement in your team compared to the close win in Maui.
We did a good job on the glass. That's one of the big differences--they didn't get second and third chances. We won the rebound battle. The biggest thing is that we have to cut down on our turnover numbers. We made some silly, unforced turnovers. But, how about this stat? We were 14-of-15 from the free throw line. We stepped up and made free throws. Everybody came in and was terrific and contributed. It was a good game overall for everybody.
Talk about the incident that resulted in technical fouls for each team.
I just think it was two clubs battling and being competitive. It happens; it's one of those things in the heat of the moment. I wanted to get out there and dissolve any issue. We got there quick enough for there not to be anything else. As I always tell our guys, the second guy is always the guy that gets caught. We just need to keep being tough and hard-nosed, but we need to do it within the rules.
I thought Wesley (Witherspoon) came in and gave us good minutes. He didn't practice the last two days, but felt good in shootaround and wanted to give it a go. He gave us really good minutes. I thought Joe (Jackson) gave us good minutes and was terrific defensively. That's the Joe I know. He came up with 50-50 balls, guard rebounds, and he really got after it on defense. I was so proud of our guards for sticking their nose in and coming up with big rebounds.
Tennessee Head Coach Cuonzo Martin
They (Memphis) did a really good job of defending us tonight. I thought that we did a good job in the first half, but when you struggle to get points and score, all of a sudden your offense become stagnant.
On Memphis' defense helping to open up a double-digit lead on the Volunteers
On Memphis' play in the post
They did a good job. I thought that (Tarik) Black had one of his better games of the season in attacking the rim. They had a very physical presence tonight.
On Memphis' ability to keep the ball away from Trae Golden in the front court
I think that the biggest key for us when that happens, is that Jeronne (Maymon) has to bring it up, and that allows our wings and big guys to score. We feel like we have an advantage when teams play like that against us, but we just didn't make shots on the perimeter (tonight). But, for us, we feel like that is an advantage, especially with Jeronne.
On having only nine bench points on the night
Memphis is a great atmosphere. I think that for our guys, we just have to be aggressive and attack the rim. We don't necessarily have to make the big play; we just have to get the ball to the right guy.