Jan. 16, 2010
South Carolina Head Coach Darrin Horn
We’ve been talking for weeks now about how important it is for everyone to play well and bring what they can bring for us to have a chance to win ball games. Tonight that wasn’t the case. It starts on the defensive end. You won’t beat anyone when they shoot 61 percent against you. There were things we did well and spots we played with the energy and aggressiveness we need to have, but it wasn’t enough. That’s the bottom line.
We need to have a complete performance. Collectively we weren’t good defensively tonight to give ourselves a chance to win.
On Devan Downey
I thought Devan was really good tonight. I’d hate to see him fresh. I think it was our overall … he could have been better defensively on the ball, not to excuse him from everything.
The big question coming into tonight was if Devan had to have 32 (for us) to win. He had 35 tonight, which is good in the stat column, but you can’t win when your guard is your leading rebounder.
On matching up with Vanderbilt
That’s the whole point. We’ve been saying for weeks we won’t lineup toe-to-toe and get in a slugfest with anyone. But you saw tonight as well when we do what we need to do we can put ourselves in position to win. That’s why it’s important for us to play like that.
On Vanderbilt’s scoring in transition
In the second half it was a result of they got a couple of easy ones when we lost focus of what we need to do. We lost assignment of who’s supposed to be back when Devan drives. It still goes back to individually not doing what they need to do and as a team not being locked in on stuff. We talked about not giving layups on the press.
On battling back
If you can get on a run that helps it. Experience helps it an awful lot. We’re playing a lot of young guys. The bottom line is getting off to a better start. That facilitates it into the rest of the game.
We’re a work in progress. We have to continue to understand how we have to play to be successful. Sometimes the flow of games can make that tough. … you have to find a way to fight through those things sometimes.
Vanderbilt Head Coach Kevin Stallings
It was an interesting game much like we thought it would be. They tried to get after our pressure. At times we were successful, and when we were, that’s how we got control of the game. I was proud of our guys and proud of their effort. I thought we stuck to our plan. We’ve only had 15 turnovers in our league games, and tonight we turned it over 22 times. The pressure was effective, but at times we got behind them.
On the 39-24 rebounding margin
Rebounding was key. We were assertive on the boards. That was big because when we did miss we got a few back.
On Devan Downey
(Devan) Downey was sensational. I was telling our guys in the locker room, when I was an assistant for Coach (Roy) Williams at Kansas we had a guy give us 48 one night and we won. We were fortunate (Downey) had a good game (yet) we won.
On getting two road wins this week
It’s huge. We talked about at the beginning of the week how good we’d feel on Sunday if we could get two road wins. Now we’ll hopefully get to experience that tomorrow. It was big. Any road win in this league is a great win. It’s always going to be a hard fought win because the teams are too good and the coaches are too good. We’re very happy to have won and have such a good week.
On the non-conference schedule preparing the team for SEC play
We scheduled tough intentionally. We thought we had a chance to have a good team. After nine non-conference games our schedule was the eighth toughest in the country. We’ve had some good wins in the non-league. We’ve accumulated good wins here in the league season. We have to keep going. It’s a marathon; it’s not a sprint. You could be 3-0 today and three and something a lot worse than that very soon. You have to keep your head down and keep driving.
On roster depth
We’re nine or 10 deep. We did think it would be an advantage. I like the depth of our team. Despite the fact that Downey scored 35, I thought there were time he looked very tired, which is more incredible with his performance. I liked that we could sub and keep guys fresh.