SEC Basketball Weekly Press Conference

"Georgia has been highly consistent all year long. They have great talent and an excellent coach." - Dave Odom, South Carolina Head Coach

Billy Donovan, Florida: "We realized we are going to be playing not only one of the better teams in this league, but in the country. Tubby (Smith) has done a great job there and they have two of the marquee guys in the country in (Tayshaun) Prince and (Keith) Bogans. It will be a good game and one we are looking forward to playing. It's a long, long season and there are a lot of bumps in the road for all these teams. People were saying before the season started that Florida and Kentucky were head and shoulders above everyone else. I think if you asked me or Tubby, we would've disagreed because this league is too well coached and too talented from top to bottom for that to happen." 

Jim Harrick, Georgia: "At the start of the year, I thought South Carolina would be a contender for the SEC Eastern Division title, and I still believe that. Since their 0-2 start they have played very good basketball and those two losses were to Kentucky and Florida which is no disgrace losing to them. The best place I've ever played in my career is Arkansas. They have a beautiful arena and great fans. They like to get on you, but in a friendly fashion, and they are always hospitable when we come." 

Dave Odom, South Carolina: "We are coming off another road trip and we got spanked pretty good. Ole Miss is certainly a good ball club and my congratulations goes to Rod Barnes. He has an excellent ball club and it was an Ole Miss day for sure. We have to just come back and learn from our mistakes and learn how to play in pressure situations. Georgia has been highly consistent all year long. They have great talent and an excellent coach. They have five guys who can shoot the basketball and they can convert a turnover to a basket quicker than anyone in this league. This is a very important game for us because we are playing at home and we haven't won a home conference game as of yet, so we are going to need this one." 

Head Coach Jim Harrick
Jim Harrick

Tubby Smith, Kentucky: "We're struggling at this point in time. We thought we addressed some of the issues we had, but we struggled at Auburn to keep the lead and put the game away. Then we struggled against a very hot Alabama team which is playing with a lot of confidence. We have to get our confidence back against a Florida team that plays very well in Gainesville. I think Keith's (Bogans) struggles are more mental. He plays very well in practice, but he presses himself sometimes in the game. Keith and Tayshaun Prince are our leaders and they will have to expect to carry more of the workload." 

Pat Summitt, Tennessee: "Overall I have to be proud of our team in what they have accomplished this season with their schedule and we've been able to figure out a way to be successful in our league games. We've been able to figure out ways to win and ways to win on the road. I think we are getting better defensively. I think we have improved our defense significantly over the last four games and I think our team is starting to take more pride. That starts individually and rolls over to team defense. We haven't been able to take advantage of open court transitions, but we certainly have improved in the half court game." 

Buzz Peterson, Tennessee: "The LSU game is one we are excited about because we are trying to get our first road victory and it's something we have talked about. It's tough to get one on the road and we've been very close. It's going to be a tough game, but one we are excited to play. It's a tough match up and they are undefeated at home this year." 

Kevin Stallings, Vanderbilt: "It looks like the way Ole Miss is beating teams they are playing just like the way they were playing last year. Defense is their staple and their half court man defense is better than anyone in this league. They play well together and they are rugged, tenacious and a heck of a good team. We are playing a little better, but we will need a little more than that in order to win. Obviously there is a lot more excitement and enthusiasm around here. You need to win in order to validate what you're trying to do here. We started 0-3 and we needed something good to happen, and fortunately it has." 

John Brady, LSU: "Our team has got to get back to playing a little better. The game against Mississippi State we just got beat in every phase in the game. Vincent Yarborough and Marcus Haislip are two of the better players in this league. Tennessee has tremendous size as well. We got them at home and we've played well at home this year so hopefully that trend will continue. We don't match up very well with Tennessee inside. We'll just see what we can do. Our biggest deficiency has been defending around the goal." 

Mark Gottfried, Alabama: "Our guys are going to be excited about playing because we have a lot of respect for Arkansas. In the past, these games have been good and we've had some great athletes. Last year they came here and beat us, so hopefully we will remember that and it will be a great game. We are older and I think it's interesting so many people write about how bad our road record was in the past but do not write about how young of a team we've had. Now we are a little older and have been able to win a little more on the road this year because of that. Our non-conference schedule has helped us gain respect nationally as well as preparing us for SEC play." 

Gary Blair, Arkansas Women's Coach: "Well, it has been a roller-coaster sort of year. We started off 0-3 in the conference, but rebounded and we played well this past weekend. Vanderbilt is playing as well as anyone in the conference. They had a good road win against LSU and they have arguably one of the best players in the SEC in Chantelle Anderson. Defense in the SEC is very good, especially when you are on the road. You can't press as good on the road because the home teams feed off the fans." 

Cliff Ellis. Auburn: "Mississippi State is having a good year and they are an experienced team that has had a good year and are right in the thick of it for the SEC West title. I think you take just one game at a time and try to make the most of it, regardless if you are on the road or not. Emotion was a big part for us against Alabama and our defense was also good. They have a lot of strengths and you have to contain a lot of people to win. 

Eric Bozeman, Asst. Coach Ole Miss (Rod Barnes unavailable): "We are finishing up a three-game home stand and we feel it's very important we close it out strong. We have our hands full this week against Vanderbilt. They have been playing good lately and we just want to finish this home stand strong." 

Rick Stansbury, Mississippi State: "First off, anytime you go on the road it's not easy. Auburn has played pretty good at home and they are coming off a loss too. Cliff (Ellis) is going to have them ready to play and it is going to be a tough game." 

Nolan Richardson, Arkansas: "Alabama right now is the best basketball team in the SEC, so when you are playing the best basketball team, you certainly have to play your best. Moe Williams is one of the premier guards in the country. You don't ever know where he's going to be and when he is going to get there. Now with Moe in their lineup, they are one of the better teams in the country. I think they were good before Moe, but when you have a guard like him he just improves that team much more. We are going to have a tough time trying to emulate him."

Dawg Post Top Stories