Mike Anderson, players preview Vanderbilt

Gabe Osabuohien and Keyshawn Embery-Simpson

KES: Coach says this is the SEC so you have to come ready to play. We can’t just take the pat on the back
GO: We take no team in the league lightly, so if we continue to do that then we should be alright.
GO: Vandy has a strong team. They almost beat the top team in the country. We know their players, scout them so we’ll be ready to go.
KES: We preach every day pressuring the ball so no one gets open looks.
KES: We all came in and poured water on Mike.
GO: It was Jalen’s idea to pour the water on coach. … Now we’re onto the next game.
GO: We need to understand we can only enjoy the win for a few hours. Can’t enjoy the game for too long, then you have to get ready for the next one.
GO: The key to the assists was us shooting the ball well. I was finding shooters. And when Dan touches the ball in the paint, it’s almost a guaranteed bucket.
KES: I’m not surprised by Gabe’s assists. He officially had six against LSU. He does that a lot in practice.
KES: The main thing is to keep my confidence. They always tell me to keep shooting and to be ready to shoot whenever you get on the floor.
GO: I remember taking a bunch of charges in a game. Being able to silence the crowd after a charge feels good. I feel good. I take it like a solider.
KES: We have to play with toughness and be more physical on the glass. I know we’re going to get after it in practice today.
GO: Over the course of the past month, I see guys getting more used to their roles, taking good shots and the young guys are understanding what we’re trying to do.
KES: We’re finding out our roles, especially on defense. Offense is going to come to everybody, but if we’re locked in defensively then we’ll be good.
GO: I feel we’re playing our game right now. We’re playing basketball and going with the gameplan and things are going well for us.
KES: Everyone is being coachable, that’s a big thing lately.
GO: Coach emphasizes us playing pressure defense and getting up on the ballhandlers. Earlier in the year we weren’t really doing that, but now we are and it’s working out for us.
GO: The young thing, we’re not young anymore. That’s not an excuse now.

Mike Anderson

  • I thought our guys were dialed in on Saturday. After midnight, let’s get the emotion out and get ready for Vandy. They played Tennessee and had them beat. We know they are a talented team. They’re young, but very talented.

  • We had too many turnovers, especially in the second half. But the glaring thing is the rebounding. LSU had way too many rebounds for my liking. Again, we’re looking forward to facing Vandy and playing in front of our fans.

  • On preventing a letdown: Having the same sense of urgency tomorrow night is going to be a big key. The pat on the back can set you back, just like we saw against Texas A&M and earlier in the year. These guys are beginning to grasp what we’re doing.

  • This is a big week for us, and it begins with Vandy. We’re continuing to challenge them and get them to understand they are a good team.

  • Vandy is a good 3-point shooting team, but they’re really good at getting to the line. Their threat to shoot the 3 helps them get to the line, too. We have to contest shots without fouling and help-side defense has to be solid. Our defense continues to get better, but it has to get better, especially against a team capable of knocking down the 3.

  • I don’t recall a time when I was doused with Gatorade or water after a game. It’s different for me, I’ll put it that way. After that game, my mind is already on the Vanderbilt game. That team, though, it poured its heart out on the floor at LSU.

  • Gabe is capable of those six-assist games. When guys are shooting the ball well and Dan is finishing at the rim, he’s almost like a point-forward. He’s making good decisions and that’s good to see. That’s been the biggest key. He’s being a threat doing other things. Gabe was big and took three charges in the win. It’s the little things and it translates to winning. His key now is to stay out of foul trouble and keep giving us efficient minutes.

  • Guys who rebound are going to be on the floor. We played some of the bigger, athletic teams in the league, too. It can be an issue and come back to haunt you. We have to put bodies on people. You can’t just try to out-jump people. It’s one thing to play good defense, but the ending part of defense is rebounding the basketball. Our guards really have to get better rebounding the ball.

  • I’ve got a feeling he’ll be ready to go, Anderson said of Desi Sills. Our bench continuing to come along is going to be big down the stretch.