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March 12, 2020

Jerry Stackhouse

Dylan Disu

Saben Lee

St. Louis, Missouri

Arkansas 86, Vanderbilt 73

THE MODERATOR: We are joined by Vanderbilt.

We'll ask Coach for a couple thoughts on the game.

JERRY STACKHOUSE: Not the ending that we were looking for. Thought we were really excited to play this game. Guys were in a good spirit, a lot of confidence, a lot of momentum coming into this game.

I think it just didn't work out for us. We got a lot of good looks that we were happy to get and didn't go down for us early in the game. Arkansas on the other hand came out and got off to a pretty good start. Some of it was our own doing, again just not being able to have the disposition and urgency that we needed to start the game. We eventually got it, but it was just a little too late.

I thought our guys fought hard till the end. Still disappointing because we had other plans.

THE MODERATOR: Questions for the student-athletes.

Q. Saben, you certainly were playing your best basketball down the stretch. How different do you think the outlook of this team is going into next season?
SABEN LEE: I think it looks really well. I feel like over time you saw us continue to make strides in various ways, so I feel like it's going to go in the right direction going into next season.

Q. Dylan, how excited are you to look forward to next year with all these guys coming back?
DYLAN DISU: Yeah, I'm real excited. I feel like we played very well at the end of the season. Obviously tonight wasn't what we were looking for, like Coach Stack said. Guys improved throughout the season, myself included, improved on our games. Going into the summer we want to continue to improve our games and have a much better season next season.

Q. Saben, you're barely coming out of games. You've had 30-point nights 4 of your last 11 games, you're handling the ball, defenses key on you. How did you hold up and do the things you did over the last two months of the season?
SABEN LEE: I would say just trusting my teammates, just making the right reads. I mean, don't get frustrated if you're receiving a lot of defensive attention. Just making the right reads and the right plays.

Coach Stackhouse, he does a great job trying to get me in the right spots. He just provides a lot of things for me out there on the floor.

Q. Dylan, what do you think is the next step for you going into your sophomore season?
DYLAN DISU: I feel like I have to get stronger, get in the weight room with Coach Lewis this summer and definitely work on my body. Being able to get to the rim easier and staying on balance.

Q. Saben, you obviously had an outstanding year. What is next for you? The NBA waters are possibly something you may want to test. Is that something you'd consider?
SABEN LEE: I mean, I'm not really thinking about that too much right now. It's a little early. We just got out of the game. Just trying to be here for my team right now.

Q. Dylan, we saw a little bit at the five today, a little bit at the top of the zone. Do you think being shorthanded at times in this season has made your game more versatile?
DYLAN DISU: I think you could say that. Myself, I'm a guy who is going to do whatever it takes to win. I'll play whatever position Coach Stack asks me to play. This season I guess I had to be more versatile, so yeah.

THE MODERATOR: We'll excuse you and continue with questions for Coach.

Q. Three of your four double-digit scorers tonight were freshmen. What does that tell you about the long-term outlook of this team?
JERRY STACKHOUSE: Well, I think our guys had real valuable reps this year, in practice and in games. They were able to make mistakes and play through their mistakes.

I don't know going forward, the young guys coming in as a group will have that opportunity because we're going to be an older group that really understands how we want to play and how we want to do things. Their learning curve is going to have to be a little bit shorter to be able to get on the floor as much as these guys have.

I'm proud of this group, man. Proud of how they came every day and brought it. They stuck together. They had some tough times, some adversity. We dealt with it. Even today adversity coming here with all the situation that's surrounding, all the things we're hearing on the news. Now we're expected to play a basketball game at a high level.

Sometimes we forget, a lot of these guys' first experience of playing in a big tournament like this. For the most part I thought we handled it better as the game went on. We didn't handle it very well from the very beginning. We were in the wrong places doing some things out of character. Sometimes I think the moment got the most of us today.

Again, I think just like earlier part of the season, this experience of being here is going to help us next time. All the fanfare, the limelight, the SEC does a great job of putting on an event. Sometimes it can be overwhelming. Maybe that was the case tonight that won't be the case next time we're here.

Q. The NBA announced they were suspending the season for now. The move here with fans tomorrow. What is your take on a concerning situation?
JERRY STACKHOUSE: The NBA is a real brotherhood. First and foremost, my prayers go out to Rudy Gobert and the Utah Jazz. I know they were one of the first teams that this decision probably came down to cancel the season was because of what happened there. So hopefully he's okay.

It's really a scary time because we don't really know. There have been some cases here, talked about here. We don't know. We're going to try to do whatever we can. Supposed to be meeting with our administration, going to meet as a staff tomorrow, just try to get some guidance on what we need to do, making sure the best things we need to do to try to deep our guys safe.

Kind of wait and see right now.

Q. What Saben has done the last 11 games, schematically how do you go from where you were to where you got him?
JERRY STACKHOUSE: I don't quite remember five people being on him, but it's part of the game. He's going to be a guy that commands a lot of attention. We try to share the ball and move the ball. There were some opportunities today when there were some guys open where he probably could have made an extra pass, made something.

We just got to continue to be aggressive but at the same time be smart, play with poise, give ourselves a little better chance.

It's not about these guys, their effort level or wanting to compete. They want to do it. Sometimes it gets to a situation when guys aren't making a shot, we feel like I have to do it myself. We have to get out of that mode and make sure we continue to include our teammates. We're the type of team, the way we want to play, we need everybody. Hopefully the shots start to fall, start to come around.

For me it's getting the right shots. Saben's game has changed over the course of the year. He had a different role coming into the season. He was asked to be a six man coming off the bench because that was what I thought was best for our team in the beginning when Aaron went down, Clevon went down, we needed him to be more of a primary scorer for us. He stepped up and did that. My hat goes off to the kid. Over the last two years, probably nobody had more things change during the course of a season than I did for him. Every time he stepped up and responded.

He's a real coachable kid, a real likable kid. I think he really helped himself. He helped himself as far as probably some opportunities at the next level. Is he completely ready to take that step? That's something that we'll talk about him and his family and we'll go from there.

Q. Back to the Coronavirus situation. Students have to be out of the dorms Friday. Do you have a plan yet? How do things look moving forward?
JERRY STACKHOUSE: I mean, it just all happened. A lot of that stuff came out today when we were really trying to focus on the game. Even though I know about it, it's like, Okay, let's try to get through tonight, then we'll spend a little more time with that over this evening and in the morning, meeting with our staff, trying to figure out the best way we can help these kids, help expedite what needs to happen from here.

We need to figure out storage, all those different types of things. We got some work to do over the next couple days. Whatever it is that we need to do to help facilitate that, we will.

Q. You've had a lot of changes this year. Going into next season knowing you have a lot of young guys, stability, how does that make you feel, your second year on the job?
JERRY STACKHOUSE: I'm excited about it. I'm excited about the pieces we already have, that they haven't been able to see. I have to look at every day in practice and watch them have really good practices. D.J. and Quentin, they're going to be big additions for us because Quentin, just his ability to give us more of a post presence, not just to create his own, but be a facilitator in the post, that's something we didn't have all year this year.

Even with Clevon, he's not a guy we really throw the ball into the post to. His strength was his ability to space out on the floor, being a big-time offensive rebounder for us.

I think next year I'm going to have a lot of little toys in my toy chest. I can't wait to play with them. It's exciting to see the possibility of who we could be and having a few more options next year.

You never know, it's not a foregone conclusion that Aaron is gone. I think the way things are trending for him, some of the things we've been seeing in the mock draft, it's exciting. I'm excited for him, to possibly be a first-round pick. If that's the case, he can't stay, I'm going to push him out the door.

If that's not the case, man, we really have a cupboard that's full, something I'd be extremely excited about as the summer goes on.


FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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