SEC Basketball Press Notes 2/1

"We are going to be in a tough atmosphere and a tough situation when we go play at Georgia this Saturday. If we can go on the road and beat a ranked team, it will be great for this team and this program." - Ole Miss Head Coach Rod Barnes

SEC Basketball Coaches Press Conference

QUOTES FROM TODAY'S TELECONFERENCE 

TENNESSEE HEAD COACH BUZZ PETERSON:
"This is a big game, a rivalry game, and we will be going against a very good Vanderbilt team. Kevin (Stallings) has them playing very well right now. Their arena is a very tough place to play. Even though we've lost some tough games, they have never put their heads down. They hung in there and kept coming to practice with fire in their eyes." 

LSU HEAD COACH JOHN BRADY:
"I thought in our game last night versus Tennessee, we did enough good things to win the game, but we just came up short in the end. Tennessee stepped up and made some big shots when they needed to. Alabama is playing better than anybody in the league right now and maybe even the whole country. We will have to play even better than we did when we played them on their court earlier in the season to have a chance." 

KENTUCKY HEAD COACH TUBBY SMITH:
"We haven't done a good job with staying focused and taking things one game at a time. We've had a tendency to look past people, and we were very lucky to beat South Carolina earlier this season. This is a very balanced league. We won the SEC title with losses before. Nobody has established themselves as a dominant team, and the atmosphere created at the home arenas has made it difficult to win on the road." 

GEORGIA HEAD COACH JIM HARRICK:
"Mississippi is playing with the most consistency, outside of Alabama, in the entire league. They have really carried a lot over form last year's team, even though they lost a few people. Judging by the way that they have been playing and we have been playing, we have a lot to be worried about Saturday. They have a lot of great athletes and Rod (Barnes) has them playing very well." 

VANDERBILT HEAD COACH KEVIN STALLINGS:
"The Tennessee game is a big game in this state. Considering we are both tied in the standings, it makes the game even bigger for both teams. They are playing very well and have two of the best and the highest scoring player in the SEC. We know we have a very tough challenge and will have to play very well on Saturday." 

Jim Harrick (Photo: Dean Legge)
Georgia's Jim Harrick (Legge)

ALABAMA HEAD COACH MARK GOTTFRIED:
"It's going to be a great challenge at LSU. They played very well at our place a few weeks ago. They have several players who would start for any team in this conference. I have a lot of respect for their players and their program. We have a big challenge to go down there and win and will have to play well to do so." 

SOUTH CAROLINA HEAD COACH DAVE ODOM
"The win last night gave us a shot of confidence that we really needed. But we haven't handled that sort of thing very well so far this season. I'm just looking for some consistency in this team. I guess we should feel lucky to still be in striking distance of the SEC East given the way we have played at times this year. Playing Kentucky is never easy." 

FLORIDA HEAD COACH BILLY DONOVAN:
"We have a tremendous battle at home against a vastly improved Mississippi State team this weekend, probably the most improved team in the conference. They just got their first road win and will pose a very difficult challenge for us. Mario Austin has developed into a great player. Their coaching staff has done a tremendous job with him." 
Dave Odom
South Carolina's Dave Odom (Legge)

AUBURN HEAD COACH CLIFF ELLIS:
"Arkansas is always one of the toughest places to play in the league. We will have to be at our best. They, like us, are coming off a tough loss and will be looking to play well. They have had some injuries to deal with. We just don't have much experience on the floor right now with us playing three freshmen. But the only way to get that experience is to play. They've just got to learn to play through the tough times and tough arenas." 

OLE MISS HEAD COACH ROD BARNES:
"We are going to be in a tough atmosphere and a tough situation when we go play at Georgia this Saturday. If we can go on the road and beat a ranked team, it will be great for this team and this program. We've got a tough stretch coming up. We've just got to go out and play hard. We will be the underdog a lot the next few games." 

MISSISSIPPI STATE HEAD COACH RICK STANSBURY:
"It's never easy to go on the road, in particular when you go down to Gainesville. It makes it even harder when you consider the fact that Florida is coming off three losses in a row. It's never good to go play someone after they have been wounded. It's going to take another level for us to have a chance to win that game. We have been rebounding well all year, but especially in the last two games." 

ARKANSAS HEAD COACH NOLAN RICHARDSON:
"This game with Auburn is the same as any game. It's an important game and we will need to come out and play hard, execute and do the things we coach our guys to do."


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