Kevin Stallings talks Kentucky

The Vanderbilt Commodores face an uphill battle tomorrow night when they travel to Rupp Arena for a nationally televised game. Vanderbilt head coach Kevin Stallings talked to the media about the game and other subjects.

Media: Coach, give us some comments on your team heading into Tuesday's game at Kentucky.

Kevin Stallings: We feel like we are coming off a good weekend. We thought we were able to play well against what I think is a very good Auburn team. We felt really good about our ability to execute offense and take care of the basketball. When you go to Kentucky and play it's difficult under the best of circumstances harder than that under the worst of circumstances. It'll be like a hornets nest up there tomorrow night, coming off their game on Saturday. Our team will have to be very prepared to do the things that you have to do well on the road to win and give yourself and to give yourself a chance to win. Thus far this season we've been able to do that as we've gone on the road we've been able to give ourselves chances to win and do most of those things. It'll certainly take a special effort.

Media: This was supposed to be a rebuilding year or at least an up and down year in the SEC. Florida and Tennessee have been surprises. The league looks every bit as strong as it was a year ago. Are you surprised that teams have started they way they did or looked as strong in the early season?

Kevin Stallings: No. I'm not surprised at all because I think you have terrific coaches. I think you have great players. We lost some good players last year but I think year after year you are going to have great players in this league. I'm not surprised in the least. I was able to catch a little of Florida's game on Saturday. They've got to be close to as good as anybody in the country based on what little I saw. They looked great to me. As you said, Tennessee is off to a great start. We've got some teams that are obviously awfully good and it's just like it is every year, people often want to pick us to be down but it never really seems like we are.

Media: Can you just talk a little about your 3-point shooting and how important you think that will be Tuesday night and also what concerns you the most about the match ups with Kentucky?

Kevin Stallings: I think because of the type of offense that we run I think that 3-point shooting is important us, sometimes more important to us than to others. We need to shoot the ball well. Generally speaking, I do think we are more capable of producing more inside baskets than we were a year ago which we kind of felt like at the beginning of the season was a key to our success. In terms of match ups for tomorrow night, I think that Rondo is as good as any guard in the country. When you've got a guy that leads you in scoring, rebounding, assists and steals and every other category, just about, that's a hard guy to match up with and a hard guy to deal with because he does so many things well.

Media: In preparing to play Kentucky how much do you expect Randolph to play and how does that effect your preparation not knowing how much Randolph Morris will play tomorrow night?

Kevin Stallings: I wouldn't have any idea. All we can do is prepare for what we have seen and that's what we've tried to do. We'll just prepare for the Kentucky games that we have seen on tape. They are already a good team; they've proven that with wins over people like Louisville and West Virginia. They can beat obviously any team in the country.

Media: The fact that Vanderbilt has never won at Rupp Arena, is that anything talk to your team about or do you just try not to deal with that? What's your take on that?

Kevin Stallings: There's nothing that we can do about that, at least what's happened in the past. There's no sense in dwelling on that and even discussing it to be honest with you because whatever has happened in the past will not influence what happens tomorrow night. We just have to be prepared to do the things that we have to do and the things that we can control to give ourselves a chance to win.

Media: What kind of impact do you think Morris can have in his first game of the season?

Kevin Stallings: I have no idea. That's a question that I think Tubby would be much better be able to answer than I.

Media: [Inaudible question on Rondo]

Kevin Stallings: I don't think that you could sit there and say that he's their entire team. We're not that stupid. Certainly he's a great player and great players require special consideration. You have to give the aspects of his game that you might be able to affect special consideration. He's going to do what he does. We're just going to have to do a good job. It's not going to come down to one player. Our team has to play better than their team plays. That's has to be our mindset. The 5 that we have out there have to be able to play better than the 5 that they have out there. If we can do that for a long enough period of time then we'll have a chance to win, if we don't then obviously we won't.

Media: Have you seen a guy like this who as a point guard is top 5 in the conference in rebounding like 15 games into the season.

Kevin Stallings: Not recently. I haven't seen a point guard recently that has done the things that he is able to do. He's special; there is no question about it. Top Stories