SEC Basketball Coaches Teleconference

The SEC men's and two women's basketball coaches talked to the media during Friday's SEC eleconference.

VANDERBILT HEAD COACH KEVIN STALLINGS:
"I'm very pleased with my team right now and how we are playing. We've had a very good non-conference season. We are playing well on both ends of the floor. We are playing as well now as we ever have been since I have been here. I like playing a lot of guys. It's not something I have to do, but something that is working very well for us right now."

SOUTH CAROLINA HEAD COACH DAVE ODOM:
"Like everyone else, we are all very much looking forward to our game with N.C. State. It's the first time in quite some time an ACC team other than Clemson has come into Columbia. A lot of people around here are very excited about that. We are shooting the ball better, but still not good enough to suit me. We are shooting in spurts. But I do have much more confidence in our ability to shoot the ball than I did last year."

FLORIDA HEAD COACH BILLY DONOVAN:
"We are in finals right now, so that has been a top priority. Our guys get through with exams this afternoon, so we will get back to basketball then. The SEC has done very well so far in non-conference play. But with the parity we have, we will start beating each other up once those nine weeks of SEC play begin in two weeks. I like having a good mix in non-conference play. I personally don't want to play eight or nine games against top-25 teams. I want to have some games where we don't have to play that well and still be able to win the game."

GEORGIA HEAD COACH DENNIS FELTON:
"I'm pleased that we've turned around a little bit and started making some forward progress. We had those two set backs, but we came back. Now we've got to get some of our younger guys ready to step and up play the way that our seniors have been. I don't pay attention to the polls or any other teams but Georgia. Polls are nothing but popularity contests this time of the year anyway."

LSU HEAD COACH JOHN BRADY:
"We were very pleased with our game with Utah after such a long layoff. I thought our team from an effort standpoint defensively was good. I appreciate the effort. Offensively we were pretty good at times and sometimes we did not execute as well, but that is growing pains with some of our young players. Certainly this will give us some momentum for the game we have coming up Saturday with Southern Miss and then Tulane (Dec. 23) and UAB (Dec. 27). The Utah game was a good game for us to prepare to play the next three opponents we have coming up.

"Seems like the ACC seems to be in more favor than the SEC in basketball, but the numbers certainly don't bear that out and how you change that I don't know. The last six, eight, 10 years the SEC has done more than the ACC. There are outstanding coaches in this league who have done outstanding recruiting, so even though we have new players, we've lost some outstanding players, the new players are going to get better, the coaches can coach and by January and February the SEC will establish itself and build respect for itself as it does every year as one of the top two or three conferences in American again.

"Jaime knows how to play. He knows how to find a crease. He's as tough as any player I've every coach and he's extremely competitive. Plus, from a conditioning standpoint he's in so much better condition than he was at this time a year ago so all those things lead to him being as good a low post player as I think there is in this league."

KENTUCKY HEAD COACH TUBBY SMITH:
"We are going to have to weather a snow storm to get there, but we are about to get on a bus to head to Indianapolis right now. It should be a fun game against Indiana. There are going to be over 40,000 people there, but we played in front of over 78,000 last week, so that won't be a factor. It's tough to replace a coaching legend at a university, and Mike Davis has done a great job at Indiana. At the end of the season, people will realize that the SEC is the toughest conference in the nation."

TENNESSEE ASSOCIATE HEAD COACH CHRIS FERGUSON:
"Georgia State is a very formidable opponent. They are a very athletic squad. Brandon Crump has done a good job of stepping up for us this season."

ARKANSAS HEAD COACH STAN HEATH:
"We've got a big challenge in front us of with Oklahoma State. It's here at home, so hopefully we will be up to the challenge and get us a nice home win."

SOUTH CAROLINA WOMEN'S HEAD COACH SUSAN WALVIUS:
"We were excited to get a win last night. We are still looking to putting a complete 40-minute game together. Our freshmen were highly touted, and have done a good job for us so far. Adding Michelle Marciniak to our coaching staff, who has won national championships as a player at Tennessee, brings a mindset to our staff and our recruiting efforts that we needed."

GEORGIA WOMEN'S HEAD COACH ANDY LANDERS:
"We just don't feel like we are as good yet as we are going to be. We have a lot of work to do on the offensive end of the floor to get where we want to be. Playing a top-10 team like Texas, at Texas, will be a tremendous challenge for us. They are, in my opinion, one of the top three teams in the country."

ALABAMA HEAD COACH MARK GOTTFRIED:
Not available

AUBURN HEAD COACH CLIFF ELLIS:
"It should be a great match up with UNLV. They can run and shoot the three. It will be a great environment and very similar to what we will see on the road in SEC play. The junior college guys have made a big difference for us. But our biggest blow was losing our point guard, Lewis Monroe. I'm very surprised there aren't more SEC teams ranked in the top 25. But in basketball, you get to play it out. The only poll that matters to me is the one at the end of the year."

OLE MISS HEAD COACH ROD BARNES:
"We are thankful to be back home. We are a young team that is still growing. We are a team that is finding our way through. It seems like we are heading in the right direction. Hopefully we can win the next two games and go into Christmas with a decent record. We are about where I thought we would be at this point in the season. Our hard work paid off for us at Evansville."

MISSISSIPPI STATE HEAD COACH RICK STANSBURY:
"We are happy to be 8-0 heading into this game. I realize the season is very early, but our team has made some progress in some very important areas. This will be a very tough game playing Santa Clara on their home court. It will be a great experience for us. I put very little stock in the polls this time of year. The only positive they add right now is that your score will show up quicker on the ESPN ticker on the bottom of the television set. If we win Saturday, we will be the only 9-0 team in the country, and that's all the matters."


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