home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


March 16, 2019

Rick Barnes

Admiral Schofield

Lamonte Turner

St. Louis, Missouri

Tennessee-82, Kentucky-78

THE MODERATOR: We are ready to begin with Tennessee. We will take some thoughts on the game from Coach Barnes.

RICK BARNES: Great college basketball game. I thought both teams played really hard. Probably the kind of game we thought the one in Lexington would be the first time, the one back in Knoxville, today is what everybody expected.

We told our team before today, it wasn't going to be like Lexington, it wasn't going to be like Knoxville, it was going to be somewhere in between. It was going to be a very close game, which it was.

Really proud of our guys. We were down eight with two-something to go, made some critical defensive stops. Offensively we went back to what we normally do, that is play inside-out.

It was a great effort all the way around. Just really obviously happy for our team.

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Lamonte or Admiral.

Q. Lamonte, how sweet was it to hit that one the way you've been struggling from three?
LAMONTE TURNER: Yeah, it felt good. I think honestly I've been thinking too much, overthinking my shots. When it gets down to those moments like that, I don't think, I just let it go. It was good to see it go in the rim.

Q. You were down by eight with three minutes left. What was the team talking about at that time?
ADMIRAL SCHOFIELD: Honestly, it's just our toughness. We've been in many games like this, especially this time of the year. Like coach said before the game, players make plays. We got a lot of good basketball players on our team, a lot of tough basketball players.

Our main focus was staying poised, taking care of the ball, eliminating possessions on the defensive end so we can go out and get easy ones on the offensive end.

The biggest thing is we got fouled, it stopped the clock and we were able to get make some free throws. Jordan Bowden was like 8-for-8 from the free-throw line. Grant was big-time from the free-throw line. They put us in position to make that shot. I had a drive, I could have went to the hole, laid it up, tried to put it up on the glass or something.

My teammate Lamonte Turner puts in a tremendous amount of work like everybody on this team. You have to give that guy an opportunity to knock down a big shot, which he's capable of doing.

From that eight-point lead all the way down is what our main focus was, taking care of shots, taking care of the ball, being tough on the glass.

Q. Lamonte, you were down eight with 2:58 remaining in the game. What was it like inside the huddle? What was coach telling you guys? What was mindset?
LAMONTE TURNER: We just wanted to put some pressure on them because (indiscernible) in the huddle was just telling us to get up in 24, and we got to limit them to one shot. Being at the top of the 24, I just wanted to put some pressure on the point guard, just see if I can disrupt them in the backcourt, slow down the offense a little bit.

Q. Admiral, yesterday you talked about not feeling respected by Kentucky. Did that feel any different today? Do you think you earned more of that with the way you played?
ADMIRAL SCHOFIELD: I think it was taken out of context. I meant that in the aspect of their program is prestigious as far as just winning, having a great tradition in basketball. We don't have that. That's what we're building towards.

Why would they respect us? Those guys probably expected to come out and just beat us. Just like we expected to win, they expected to win. For us, I would say for us, our biggest phrase has been: Intensity over emotion, doing our job at a high level. Tonight we went out and competed.

Honestly, that was one of the funnest games I ever played in, back and forth, two teams competing at a high level. It was fun for me and I know it was fun for my teammates.

Q. What did you think about the way Jordan did at the foul line, his overall play?
ADMIRAL SCHOFIELD: I mean, Jordan does a great job for us at the point, as well as Lamonte. Him icing the game like that, going perfect from the line, is big for us. Making free throws is big in the game of basketball. Down the stretch, that was big for us, especially getting fouled. When we got the lead, him knocking them down was really big to sustain that lead and get us this win.

He hit the big shot. Him icing the free throws really helps us as well. Grant's rebound was huge. I think that was probably one of the biggest plays. Lamonte's shot and him hitting the three in the corner was huge for us.

THE MODERATOR: We'll excuse the student-athletes and continue with Coach Barnes.

Q. This kind of looked like an NCAA tournament game, deep in the tournament. How do you think these three games against Kentucky, playing in a tough conference, prepares you for what's ahead now?
RICK BARNES: Well, I think our conference has done that for all of our teams. This year was a year where I think everywhere we went, we played in front of a full house, great emotion in the building. I think our league is so good.

Again, I think we will have seven teams. Haven't looked at it that much lately. This was a high-level game. Both teams went at it. But I do think with everything we've done up to this point, you like for it to help you. The fact is you got to make it help you when you get going.

Today when we got down, I thought our guys, things we asked them to do coming out of the timeouts, they did. We knew we were going to go back to playing inside-out, were going to put it in there. The one big difference in this game, in the other previous games, even the one we won in Knoxville, they shot many more free throws than we did. We kept harping we have to keep trying to get fouled because we didn't want to settle.

Admiral took a deep three. He knew as soon as he shot it, it wasn't a good play. We kept going. When it got down to the last couple minutes, We're going to go back inside. No one throughout the first part of the game, we were trying to bring their big guys away from the basket. We decided we're going to go to them. They had some foul trouble. We didn't think they'd want to foul. Grant made some good plays. We kicked out, got some good looks at it.

I think this league has prepared a lot of teams for post-season play if we take advantage of it.

Q. Talk about tomorrow's game. Different style of team you'll be playing than Kentucky.
RICK BARNES: Just play them as a team that is going to shoot 30 threes. A team that can really get going. They really can. The fact is, they're a very difficult team to defend. They drive the ball really, really hard. We know that. We know they're going to drive, pass, pass. They're a very unselfish basketball team.

We had a tough game with them down there where they beat us. We'll have to get ready. Another quick turnaround for us. But it's a team, much more perimeter-oriented team compared to a team like Kentucky that's trying to take it to you inside.

Q. How big was Grant Williams the last three minutes?
RICK BARNES: He was big. He had a couple shots. Their length bothers guys, it really does. The fact he was going in there trying to get more aggressive with it, trying to get movement, trying to get fouled, trying to make the right play. We had that one set where we put he and Admiral on the same side where Admiral pops to the perimeter. It's really hard for them to double-team because if he does, we're going to kick back out for that shot. Admiral can hit the closeout, try to get to the other side.

Those guys played well together. But defensively was a big key for us. Lamonte Turner's play at halfcourt was a really big play in the game. We got switched off there one time. One possession P.J. did a great job of missing the shot, but there's one I think he missed, but we came up with it. Those were two big plays defensively.

Grant was big. This was a team win, believe me. It was a total team win.

Q. I don't know how much you used it, but looked like you went zone a couple times late in the second half. It appeared that that was good. Necessity or wrinkle?
RICK BARNES: The last week we worked on zone more than anything we had. We felt like we were going to need it at some point in time. We got some things. We didn't finish with it.

Again, they're good. They're so well-coached. They do good things in the zone. It was good. We just didn't finish it a couple times. But we wanted to go to it there at the end just because they were hurting us with a high ball screen, they'd flip it on us, got downhill a couple times, too many times.

It helped, it did. But then at the end we're going to go back to what we depend on, that's man.

Q. After such an intense, physical game, how concerned are you about the quick turnaround?
RICK BARNES: It's quick. Yesterday was a hard-fought game, too. That's what it is. We'll have a little more time today obviously. We got back late last night, met with the guys at 10:15 this morning, went through a 45-minute film session, walk-through, those type things. I don't even know what time we play tomorrow.

Q. Noon.
RICK BARNES: It will be a little bit different obviously. We'll do some of that tonight so we won't have to get up earlier. We'll do most of our prep tonight once they get back and get some hydration, get off their feet a little bit.

Q. I know you've been through a lot of these before, but how would you compare the environment in the arena this game?
RICK BARNES: It was great. Again, I walked down the hallway, one of my coaches said, That's the greatest game I've ever been involved in. It was a great game because it was two teams going at each other. They made a push, we made a push. Again, it was what everybody would expect from two teams that had really a great year, nice year. It was great.

This tournament is terrific. Somebody just told me when I was on the SEC set, I don't think Tennessee has been in a conference championship since '79, something like that. Obviously these guys weren't born. They don't know that. This time of year, you play these tournaments, and you don't get a lot of chances to play for championships. When you do, you have to hope you can take advantage of it.

Q. After playing Kentucky twice, what was the thing that concerned you most about Kentucky going into this game?
RICK BARNES: Well, they're so well-coached. They're not going to beat themselves. They really don't. We knew they were going to go at us inside. We knew that obviously.

You look at P.J., picked up two fouls, played 20 minutes. When he came back, they were going at us inside. They were really doing that. That's when we said we're going to turn around. What we felt we had to do was get their big guys away from the basket early. At the end we said we're going to go inside because that's what we do, our makeup, where we put it on the block, do that.

Some of it, they were in foul trouble. You know they're not going to be quite as aggressive in that situation. When you look at their team, again, you look at their stat sheet here, five guys in double figures. Again, tonight we were 20-25, they were 13-19. Normally they get to the line more.

But when you play them, again, they're extremely well-coached with good players. You know you're going to have to play every possession, make plays. Our guys did that.


FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

ASAP sports

tech 129
About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297