Highlights from Tennessee basketball Saturday press conference

One day before its matchup with Iowa in the NCAA Tournament, Tennessee took to the press conference podium in Columbus.


Katina Zentz

Tennessee players answer questions during the NCAA Tennessee press conference at Nationwide Arena on Saturday, March 23, 2019. The Hawkeyes will play the Volunteers tomorrow in the second round of the tournament.

Adam Hensley, Pregame Editor

COLUMBUS, Ohio – On Saturday, the Tennessee Volunteers took to the podium ahead of their 11:15 a.m. matchup with the Iowa Hawkeyes on March 24.

Grant Williams on Tyler Cook:

“Very talented. I’ve known him for a couple of years. Tyler is very athletic. He’s dominant in the post. He’s developed his game a lot. Tremendous respect for him. He’s done a lot through EYBL and everything. He’s always been a talented player. It’s exciting to play him.”

Jordan Bone on playing against familiar opponents:

“I ran into a couple of guys. I have a lot of guys that played on the circuit with me in AAU days. I’ve seen a lot of familiar faces. I’m not really sure how to put names with them. But I’ve definitely seen a lot of familiar faces. So I just think it’s really exciting to show how important AAU is and just playing the circuit, getting that exposure. Now, just seeing everybody all together on this large playing field of NCAA basketball, it just means a lot.”

Admiral Schofield on facing Luka Garza:

“We’ve gone against a lot of teams that have what we call a prototypical stretch 4, a guy that can step out and space the floor offensively. But it’s March. Like I said yesterday, seems like everybody’s percentage goes up at least 10 percent in March. So all you can do is really make the shots as tough as possible. And, you know, the game is never perfect. And they’re a talented team. Luka Garza, he hit three yesterday, but his percentage doesn’t say that he’s a big-time 3-point shooter. But it’s March, and guys are competing and players make plays around this time of year. So you’ve got to respect everybody’s ability to shoot the ball, especially a team like Iowa.”

Tennessee head coach Rick Barnes on playing Iowa, a team with multiple 3-point shooters:

“We played Auburn, they had five. So it’s always a challenge when you have to guard the 3-point line. And then you throw in the fact that Iowa has an inside game, too, where they very much will play inside/out. But if they get good looks at it, they’re going to take it. I don’t think they force a lot of 3s. And the last two opponents, they were going to live on that 3-point line. I don’t feel that Iowa feels they have to live back there. But certainly our last two opponents that’s what they were willing to do, shoot 30, 40 3s if necessary. And that line is there, and you’ve got to deal with it.”

Barnes on scheming for Iowa’s defense:

“I think it’s important that we flow, that we play. Yesterday they were back in there as far back as you can go. And I think that we’ve got to work hard at taking the slack out of it, get the ball moving and do the things that we do. And we’ve been good against zones all year, really. And we just gotta continue to do what we’ve practiced all year and the way that we’ve played. But we’ve got to get our post guys working better than they did yesterday.”