. . World News – USA – Everything Rick Barnes Said After No. 7 Vols won 73-53 at Mizzou


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Everything head coach Rick Barnes said after no. 7 Tennessee opened the SEC game on the road with a 73-53 win over No.. 12 Missouri Wednesday night at the Mizzou Arena in Colombia:


« I don’t know if I would say surprised. But when it’s your first time out with some young players, a new team every year – against a team that you have a lot of respect for, that you know will fight and make it difficult for you with every jump, every pass – we were happy. I think our guys did a great job overall in sticking to the schedule. (Missouri) made some adjustments. Then we also had to make some adjustments because the way we played defense and did what we did tonight, we are proud of our boys who did that. It was a nice win for us. But we can get better and we have to get better. ”

“Overall good. Except for the fact that we put them on the free-throw line 30 times where they passed us and put us in rotations. We hit a little too much. Just got a little on the side of the ball. Not many ball screen defense glitches were better than our last time out (vs. USC Upstate). That was a big focus tonight to get the rotations we wanted. « 

“I thought Yves Pons was great. He becomes the player we know he is and who we want. If you had heard the reception he received when he walked into the locker room from the TV interview it would show you the respect his teammates have for him. He was great tonight. He was the guy who, when he played like that, tidied things up over the edge, fixed things – played, just really good. We recorded some charges where our guards moved our feet. Moved her feet well. Like I said, we just have to keep doing it without putting people on the line 30 times. ”


« No doubt about it. I think he got a little bit on his mind when he was missing a few 3 point shots. He’ll do it. I’ll tell you if he plays the way he plays tonight we actually named a piece that we isolated on the left side of the floor a couple of times tonight. (Missouri was) back and he was still getting through and having some nice games on the sidelines. I actually told him we were going to play this piece again and I want you to stand up and shoot the three of them.

« We didn’t make it, Keon (Johnson) didn’t get (the piece) right. But he was great again. I think it’s a big mental boost for him. He’s a guy we know like John (Fulkerson). I thought John did some good things. I thought John was holding the ball too tight. But he’s another guy that we can play through. We have a number of such people. We’re all very excited for Yves. For a man who works as hard as he does and does the things he works, as a team and as a co-worker, you’re just excited when people do it the way he did tonight. ”

ON YVES PONS, WHO attack the rim and get to the free throw line at the offending end

« There he was before shutdown (on 22. November). We were a bit baffled by that, to be completely honest. That’s how he played before we had to close it. But when he came back and I think what happened during that time, he was spending so much time in the gym. And when you’re at the gym as much as him, you can work on some game shots and game points, but players tend to spend a lot of time shooting threesomes. And for whatever reason he got into that mindset. And he can shoot it. Yves Pons is a really good shot. But he’s shot two or three air balls in the past few weeks. And I kept telling him, man, just do the things you’re good at and that will come naturally to you. And tonight he did. And without question, he looked like he was the best player on the pitch. ”

« We just knew we had to come back and be on our way so we could play on the half-court. You really run the ball. They got us early, the first game of the game. We hit a three, Santi (Vescovi) didn’t come back because we usually jump up there. Cuonzo (Martin) had them ready and they put them on us like anyone could wear them to someone. At one point our goal was to do just that, come back and regain our defenses so we can play against their offense on half court because they can be very deadly in the open court. We knew we wanted to come back. But we didn’t want to give up our offensive rebound to send more people back. Overall, it was a really good team performance on the defensive. ”

« I don’t know if you’d call it a killer instinct. We still learn a lot about our team. I dont know. All I know is that we talked about getting out at half time and knowing what to do because we respect Missouri. We knew that if we got them going and dropping them off in transition, they could quickly earn lots of points. We knew we didn’t want that.

« But at the offensive end we wanted to keep playing fast ourselves, but we wanted to be smart and not turn it around, not make quick, bad shots, but rather stay in rhythm with our offensive. They make it so difficult to get some things going . They had pushed us pretty far out. You’re doing a good job and putting pressure on the ball. We missed some people around the house early, but they were ready early for some of our main sets that we like to run. I think there is a lot of credit to be given to Cuonzo and his staff. You know us. When you get into the league, people get a feel for how you want to do things. You did a good job guarding some of the things we like to do. ”

« We’re going to play inside out. I’ll say that, I thought we refuse (some candid shots). When we took Josiah (Jordan James) out once I said, hey man, you gotta shoot it. You are open. Like I said, we’re going to get Yves to shoot it. I think our players like each other. You want to move the ball. We’re talking about going from a good shot to a good shot. Santi, as I mentioned earlier, went in there and made a pass but he puts the guys in a difficult position. Where, if he puts it on the edge, has a better chance of doing something with it. ”

« What he is, he wants to be good at what I think is best about him. He really wants to be proud of it. And what I’m going to tell you, he can get so much better. He really can. But he’s a player we know can protect 1-5 places. We’ve talked about maybe putting him on (Jeremiah) Tilmon a bit, but we like the fact that he can come over and clean up some things. And he likes to do that. But whatever we ask of him, he will do it. He’ll guard a point guard if we ask him to. We haven’t done it yet. But when we feel like someone is comfortable with us, which is going to happen at some point, they’ll be the guy we’ll say they do your thing. And he hugs it. ”


« I think Yves got better here. Not only does he help and recover, he is also the help and plays in the gap. We talk about being active in these gaps. It is very important to us to distract and not just fall back on your remaining stock when we can get a piece of it. And again he got a lot better with it. He really did. Overall, as a team, we made some pretty nice games in the gap to get us into the transition a bit. ”

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World News – USA – Everything Rick Barnes Said After No. 7 Vols won 73-53 at Mizzou
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