Quotes from the SEC's weekly teleconference

See the quotes from all 12 SEC Men's Basketball coaches from this week's press conference.


Dave Odom, South Carolina: "We had another loss over the weekend to bring our record to 0-2 in the SEC. It was a particularly tough loss because we played hard against Kentucky. Home losses are always difficult, but the way that game unfolded really hurt us. I thought we defended the last play well, but Cliff Hawkins made a great play to win the game. As a coach, you have to look for something to build on and we are playing really well defensively. If you tell me before the game we were going to hold Kentucky to 51 points, I would be glad to hear it. I don't know if there is a coach in this league who deserves more respect than Nolan Richardson and it will be a difficult assignment to play them, but every game in this conference is a difficult one. Arkansas' depth is so impressive because they can go 12 players deep. They are playing with a lot of confidence and, come Wednesday, we have to play with whoever they have in the game. Everybody we have on defense is playing well on defense. I thought Kentucky defended us well, but we also had a couple of perimeter players who did not shoot the ball well. We have to begin to lean on them a little to establish a better offense."

Billy Donovan, Florida: "Every game is a new challenge for our basketball team. LSU is a team I have a great amount of respect for. Coach Brady has his kids ready to play every game. They are coming off a big win against Arkansas and I will have to have my team ready to play. I don't think we deserve to be No. 1; I don't think we deserve to be No. 2 either. Every team we've played has had an opportunity to beat us. I'm happy with the way we are playing, but we certainly have areas we need to improve. I don't pay attention right now to the rankings, but I'm glad other people respect us enough to rank us as high as we are. Last week in college basketball certainly proved to our team about the parody in college basketball, not only in the SEC, but in the country. The last three years in this league, top to bottom, has been the best league in college basketball. The balance has been as good as it has ever been. It forces you to play well at home and night in and night out in order to win."

Jim Harrick, Georgia: "We thought last week was tough, but this week we have two ranked teams to play so it just gets tougher. Alabama has a great front line and has been consistently ranked in the top 20. We run the same kind of offense, so it will be a contest between two teams that really know each other, but also have a great amount of respect for each other. The other night against Tennessee was pure luck, but we'll take those. The best thing about the shot was the Ezra Williams had to bend over and pick the ball up, so it was the first shot all night he got his legs into his shot. We had a great week last week, but we have two Top-20 teams this week and then come home to face a good Arkansas team, so it just never stops in league play."

Tubby Smith, Kentucky: "We feel like we really stole one at South Carolina. We've been struggling to put points on the board. We know we're going against a good Ole Miss team. They are very good defensively and they are going to come after you. It's always tough in this league and when your 1-2 it makes it that much tougher, but we're not going to quit so we'll see what happens."

Cliff Ellis, Auburn: "Vanderbilt is always a tough game and they are a tremendous home court team. They play really well at home and they are a well coached team, so it should be a good game."

Andy Landers, Georgia (Women's Coach): "This season has gone reasonably well. We have seven freshman and there have been times when five have been on the floor at the same time. There's been a lot of times when four have been on the court at the same time, so we are going through quite a learning experience. I was proud of our kids the way they have played. We continue to rebound the ball well, but we still make mistakes which need to be corrected in order to compete at a championship level. I think we are getting more and more confident as we play."

Buzz Peterson, Tennessee: "Mississippi State's got off to a great start and their record speaks for itself. It will be another tough challenge for us and hopefully we can have another close contest like we've had. We've lost six games on the last possession of the game and I can't tell you how many phone calls I got from other coaches about it. I keep telling our guys something good is going to happen. We just have to keep fighting and I'm happy with our kids resilience and effort. A lot of our practices right now have to do with mental aspects of the game. I haven't seen our guys losing confidence, infact it has almost become comical. It will make each of us a better person because we will be mentally stronger. My concern is to keep them fresh, so I told everyone to take Sunday off and don't even come into the gym. I think we are much better than a 6-8 team, but we just got off to such a slow start, it is hard to rebound from it."

Kevin Stallings, Vanderbilt: "Auburn is playing very well right now. In there three league games, the two they lost they could've easily won. They are great defensively, very athletic and a very good team."

John Brady, LSU: "Florida will be another challenge for us and they are playing as well as anyone in the league. On the road in this league is difficult anyways, particularly when you're playing the No.2-ranked team in the country. We are going to have to get good bench production and better production from the other guys on the team in order to go down there and win it. Our team is always going to play with the belief we are going to win, so I think our confidence is fine. It would have been maybe better from a psychic standpoint to win against Arkansas before going to Florida, but our team is executing and playing quality basketball. Whether that will be good enough to win at Florida is yet to be seen."

Mark Gottfried, Alabama: "Playing Georgia is going to be a big challenge because they are playing as well as anybody in the conference. They are a good team, so we are going to have to play very well to beat them. I have a great deal of respect for Coach Harrick and he certainly made a difference in my life. He taught me how to coach and I think he is often overlooked when people talk about top coaches in the nation. Our top media people do not give him the credit he deserves. I think Jarvis Hayes is the top newcomer in the league."

Jim Foster, Vanderbilt (Women's Coach): "We've found a way to guard people and offensively we remain a pretty good basketball team. We just needed to find a way to play better defensively and lately we have."

Rod Barnes, Ole Miss: "We have another tough challenge and we feel very fortunate to come out of the Mississippi State game healthy because it was a physical game. As a staff, we feel happy to be 2-1 at this point in conference play. Tennessee has a good team with a very good coach. Hopefully we will go up there and play better than we have been playing and we are looking forward to the opportunity. I think Buzz Peterson is doing a good job of getting his team ready to play, they just have to be able to pull out that first close win and they could become one of the hotter teams in the country. We don't have the depth that we've had in the past, so some of our young kids have to come on. We are not wearing people down so it is affecting our defense."

Rick Stansbury, Mississippi State: "I think Tennessee is one of those teams you don't look forward to playing. Their record is deceiving and I'm not so sure they have the most talented front line of any team we've seen. Their coming in here needing a win, so it should be an exciting game. We need a bunch of our guys to step up and play their best in order to win. Road in the SEC is very rough, I don't care where you go. We were in the position to win both games, even though I don't think we played well. You have to understand when you are at home, it is not a guaranteed win, so we will have to play our best."

Nolan Richardson, Arkansas: "South Carolina is a very good basketball team, so I expect us to have a tremendous ballgame, just like every conference game played this year. When you're on the road and to keep the officials out of the game, you have to make shots, particularly on the road. We have a reputation of getting after it and you are going to be fouled sometimes. In games we lost, teams are shooting 25-30 more free throws and there's nothing more we can do except keep playing."

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