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Saturday, March 13, 2010

SEC Tourney Post-Game Reactions

About to close up shop here in Nashville, but some final input from Mark Fox and his players...

Fox on the game and the season:
“I’m upset we lost. I didn’t plan on losing. We were planning on being here (Saturday) afternoon. I am proud of this team because when I came everybody kept telling me how terrible we were. I don’t know if we were necessarily a great basketball team, but we beat some people maybe we weren’t supposed to beat, we’ve given our program some momentum, and we earned some respect back. In rebuilding, those are steps you have to take. So I don’t feel empty because we did take some steps forward, but I’m angry that we lost.”

Fox on Travis Leslie's 34-point performance:
"Travis played very well. I think that he's really matured as a young man and as a player, and he played very well last night, and was able to put back-to-back games together. I wish we had a couple more guys that could have done that. He's really maturing as a player, and that's good to see."

Fox on Trey Thompkins' scoreless first half:
"They zoned us the majority of the ballgame and they were shaded towards Trey. We had a tough time finding openings for him, but he's been our best player and our leading scorer all year. So obviously when you go into a game, the defense is going to be geared to slow him down. And when we've been most effective, we've had more than one guy that has scored next to him. Tonight, we really only had Travis effectively scoring around Trey and just couldn't draw some of that attention away from him."

Fox on his post-game message to his team:
"I just told them that we were prepared to play tomorrow. I never felt like this team wanted this season to be over. I didn't have that sense at all today. Often times at the end of the year, you sense guys that are just waiting for it to end. I never sensed that with this team. And they were excited to come to the gym every day, and today also. I just told them that they've made some momentum forward and earned some respect back for our program, and I'll always be appreciative of that."

Fox on the decisions facing Trey Thompkins and Travis Leslie about the NBA:
“They need to decompress, but I’ll sit down with them and talk about their futures and find out what the pro people say and manage the process. Travis has already said he’ll be back, but Travis needs to approach the offseason the right way, and both of them mean a lot to me. Those are great kids and I’ll help any way I can.”

Fox on UGA's chances of a postseason tourney bid in the CBI or CIT:
“We’re not going to get an invitation somewhere to play. We don’t have a winning record, and I’m pretty sure we’re done playing.”

Jeremy Price on his thoughts if UGA did get a chance to keep playing:
"We're a competitive team, and if there's a chance to compete of any kind, we'll go in and win it."

Price on the second-half shooting of Vandy's John Jenkins:
“Jenkins is a great 3-point shooter and it seemed like he just made those 3s at the right time for them and the wrong time for us. Right when we were making our run to get back in the game and get ahead, he squeezed in two wide-open ones and two tough ones, and that was a game-changer.”

Trey Thompkins on Vandy's performance:
“They’re at home. They had momentum. They had a crowd, and they were confident. They played hard, relentless. And that rewards you.”

Thompkins on his NBA decision:
"That's something I don't even want to think about right now. If that time comes, I'll talk it over with my coaches and make the best decision for me."

Thompkins on whether the team's progress makes him want to stick around another year:
"We're maturing as a group and everybody's getting older -- we'll all be a year older and more experienced. A lot of those games we were close in and we lost, we'll start pulling out."

Travis Leslie on his future:
"I'm not thinking about that right now. If I do, it's going to be up to my parents, and we'll figure that out whenever we get a chance."

Damon Evans on his assessment of the team:
"I saw a lot of growth this year. We're building a program, and I'm excited we were able to come to this tournament and win a game to move our program forward. The young men fought hard, and I think Mark and his staff did a really good job to start that process, and I'm excited about what the future holds."

Evans on whether the team exceeded his expectations:
"I always felt Mark would come in and do a good job, but where this team really showed me something is the improvement from the players individually, the improvement from the overall chemistry together, and how hard they fought. I think they exceeded a lot of people's expectations, and I'm pleased with the progress -- extremely pleased."


rbubp said...

I kinda can't believe there's even talk of Trey going to the NBA. He has the potential to make it there, yeah, but has a long way to go. His body is too soft for banging night after night, for one; his offense is good but he still has to work on finishing in a crowd. Certainly last night demonstrated that.

He has improved and hopefully would improve even more. I have a hard time seeing scouts telling him to come out, so I just hope people are not whispering in his ear about what a star he's gonna be, because he is clearly not there yet.

Hopefully he gets just a little more Blake Griffin in him between now and next year. That strength and toughness would certainly seal the deal for him as an NBA-caliber talent.

Anonymous said...

Well, we did what we wanted, we matched Florida in tourney wins! I am not kidding, that is an accomplishment in itself. To do it, We beat a good Arkansas team that we would have lost to by 15 last year.

Anonymous said...

This team certainly gelled after some teething pains early on. Two wins in particular stick out in my mind: Vandy and Alabama. We got down in both and came back. Under Felton, we lose those games going away. It is now up to our staff to recruit well on the heels of a ton of national attention. This program gained a ton of postitive notoriety. Considering the final record, that is remarkable. We've got the best coach I can remember ever having at UGA...and I've been suffering since the early 70's.