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March 28, 2014

Cuonzo Martin

Jordan McRae

Josh Richardson

Jarnell Stokes


Michigan – 73
Tennessee - 71

THE MODERATOR:  We're joined by the University of Tennessee.
And we will ask Coach Martin to make an opening statement and we'll take questions for anyone up here.  So, Coach.
COACH MARTIN:  Great effort by both teams.  Both teams played really well.  Competed, played hard.  In a game like this, that's what you expect, to go down the wire.
THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.  Name and affiliation, direct the question.

Q.  Josh, could you talk about Tennessee's improvement on defense in the second half?  You struggled to get to the 3‑point shooting early.  But really held them in check in the second half?
JOSH RICHARDSON:  I think the first half we were kind of playing soft defense.  We let them get through and get to the rack whenever they wanted.  And I mean, it was creating open looks from the 3 because guys had to step down to help.
But I think we did a better job settling down in the second half.

Q.  Question for Jarnell.  Do you think in that second possession did you think you fouled him?
JARNELL STOKES:  No.  No, I don't think I fouled him.  But it was a smart play for him to try to take the charge.  He pretty much anticipated it.
THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please?

Q.  Coach, your view of the play when Jarnell got called for the charge?
THE MODERATOR:  Question for Coach Martin.
COACH MARTIN:  I thought he made a good move.  The official called a charge.
THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please?

Q.  What did you want to accomplish on that possession?  Did you get what you wanted?
COACH MARTIN:  We got the ball to Jarnell.  Jordan set a screen for him to get him right to isolate him, attack him in the middle, get Jordan up top for a shot, had Jeronne man the opposite block.
Obviously we got the ball where we wanted.  Just didn't get the result.

Q.  Coach, especially in the second half what was working?  Seemed like your guards were getting a lot of space driving along the perimeter, especially in those last 10, 12 minutes.  What was freeing them up, what was freeing up the lane for them?
COACH MARTIN:  We felt like going into the game we could drive the ball, attack the rim, make plays.  We didn't do a very good job.  We did it in spurts in the first half.
I thought the second half we were very aggressive in getting to the rim and those were the results.  So being assertive, taking the scouting report to the floor and it worked for us.

Q.  Coach Martin, did you think‑‑ you attempted to steal the next two inbounds off the offensive foul.  Did you think the last one down toward their baseline, do you think maybe that went off Michigan?
THE MODERATOR:  Question for Coach Martin.
COACH MARTIN:  I couldn't hardly hear you.  You said?

Q.  Tried to steal the next two inbounds, looked like the refs went to see who it bounced off.  Did you see the play from down on your end?
COACH MARTIN:  I know our guys tipped it.
The biggest thing we were trying to do was foul, couldn't get a steal foul right away.  But I really couldn't see it from my end.

Q.  Jordan, just what allowed you in the second half to climb back in it and get within a point?
JORDAN McRAE:  I think in the second half we just played better defense than we did in the first.  And it translated over to offense.

Q.  Jordan, you said that early in this year you wanted to play under the lights; you wanted to have this stage.  The way you guys came back and made it a game, is there any good you take out of this or just kind of how do you describe this, the second half comeback that you guys had?
JORDAN McRAE:  I mean, regardless of the outcome, we played hard.  And it was a huge comeback for us.  But the feeling right now, you just can't really be happy after that.

Q.  Coach, there's been a lot of debate about kind of not a lot of offensive fouls being called.  Are you a little shocked that they would make that call at that time at that place on the court, too?
THE MODERATOR:  Question for Coach Martin.
COACH MARTIN:  They made a call.  To give you an exact answer I have to go back and watch film.  But he was moving.  Both guys were moving.  But with the new rule, I'm not sure.
THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.  Right here in front.

Q.  Cuonzo, did you make any defense changes in the second half?  You guys were so much more successful there.
COACH MARTIN:  Well, what we did more when Jeronne got in foul trouble, we went with Armani Moore at the 4 spot, a better perimeter defender than the other guy we had in the game.  I thought it really helped us set a tone, more of a physical tone with Armani on the floor.
THE MODERATOR:  Right up here in the front.

Q.  Coach, talking a little bit about second half adjustments.  It felt like you guys maybe slowed down a little bit offensively.  Was maybe part of it making them work a little more defensively rather than playing a wide open game the way it was in the first half?
COACH MARTIN:  I thought what happened in the first half, when Jeronne got in foul trouble ‑‑ because we do a lot of things through Jeronne and Jarnell ‑‑ when he got in foul trouble, the floor wasn't quite what it normally is.
I thought in the second half we kept our spacing and ran a couple of sets we normally go to ran, but really attacking the rim and making plays and spreading those guys out.
THE MODERATOR:  Anything else?  Seeing nothing, thank you, gentlemen.
The Tennessee locker room will be open about another 20 minutes.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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