Rick Barnes and Olivier Nkamhoua Media availability


The Head Coach Rick barnes

On the SEC which changes its forfeit rule when it comes to teams that cannot compete due to COVID …

“I always think great when you think about it, if you have enough guys – that number is probably seven or eight – for you to be able to play a game, I think you should go play. I think that says a lot. to your team when you know that, ‘hey yeah we might never do the full bridge with us but we do believe in you guys you are a scholar so we will always try with whatever we do to go playing a game, whether here or on the road. That’s how we feel about it. I just think if you’ve had enough I think you owe everyone involved to do the right thing , for a person who bought tickets to the games. I’ve seen enough in my life in this sport to know that anything can happen during a basketball game. But it comes down, mostly, to the fact that if you have any. enough, you owe them to go and play.

On what he saw in Alabama in the cinema…

“Obviously they’re an exceptional team. Like all of us at certain times of the year, they’ve had their ups and downs, but you know when you think about it you know what they like to do in. in terms of the basket attack or the 3 point shot, and so you definitely need to know the staff as much as anything that is going on in this game, because they are going to work hard and put you in the spin. As in every game, I think rebounding is key. But it’s going to take a big effort. You think about some of their wins and how they’re able to play, and we know they’re explosive and can show numbers. They can come in bursts and we have to do a good job on the other side taking care of the ball and making sure we get the shots we want. “

If he was concerned about gamers traveling on vacation when it comes to COVID …

“I think you’re always concerned at this time of year about what you see going on in the country, but I think our guys are really trying to be as responsible as they can when they leave. J have always said that I think it’s important to, if you can possibly be with your family on Christmas, I think it’s the right thing to do. But then when you step out of the bubble that we’ve created here, yeah, you’re still worried about that, but we’ll always do the right thing. The ones that we thought needed to be tested, we did and we’ll see what the results are. “

On the rebound of Tennessee in the victory against Arizona …

“It’s something that we really want to be good at, and I think we have the ability to do it. I think now it’s about whether you’re willing to do it on nights when people are. so mindful of trying to keep yourself out of the glass or trying to reach the glass. Can you do that? And that takes it to the next level, consistency. The reliability of the rebound, I think, can take you a long way, but as you have a reputation for being an offensive rebounder early in the game and certainly people are going to try to keep you out of the way and try to discourage you to come in. On the other side they are looking at you and if you don’t ‘You’re not a guy who blocks or doesn’t take care of that ending, they’re going to come to you. It’s something we’ve talked about a lot and something that we need to keep improving. “

On the constant success of Nate Oats with every stop of coaching …

“I think like any coach he believes in what he does. I think he is recruiting into his system and you know he’s been around the game and doing a really good job of teaching this. what he believes in. “

How important the Christmas holidays were for players to come together and rejuvenate physically and mentally…

“I think the guys always look forward to being with their family and having a short break. I thought last night they were back and had a good spirit about them. That said, they obviously got to rest. a little and Maybe for those who have had those nagging injuries that you always have at this time of year and throughout the year, those days would definitely help. But I think being away a few days was good for all of us. “

At that of Olivier Nkamhoua influence on Arizona’s game through things other than offense…

“I think that’s where he’s matured a lot over the past two weeks, where he now knows he can affect play in a number of ways whether he scores a basket or not. He’s had three blocks. , really four, the fourth he was penalized for a foul, he literally blocked it with his forearm and it was just a spectacular game to get. But I think Olivier is only scratching the surface of what he can be. I know he continues to play the game and not put the pressure on himself to do anything other than be who he is and understand that there is so much more to the game than to score and he can affect him on nights when he sometimes doesn’t look. But again, I think his future is extremely bright and the impact he has had and will continue to have is this. what we need. I can stand for what we need from him what we need from him and (John fulkerson) and Uros (Plavsic) —we need these three guys night after night to do a lot with Olivier in the lead. “

On how Tennessee’s tough non-conference schedule prepared him for the SEC game…

“I think we are. We tried to prepare our team with a tough non-league schedule, trying to hit as many different variables as possible with the schedule. I think our guys responded, I think we have. learned from our mistakes and i think we have learned from other teams and how they go about it. so yeah i think we are ready. the point is we have to be and i just hope our whole league we can have the kind of year where we don’t have a lot of stoppages and let these guys do what they love to do, which is go out and play and compete. “

At Brandon Huntley-Hatfield’s limited playing time against Arizona …

“In a game like that the other night, we knew, even when we got up early against them, that they were going to push to come back. It was a back-and-forth game and it would be a game. The truth behind it was his preparation for two days and one day we didn’t feel like he had had the kind of preparation we needed him to have. what he can do, ” based on what he had done over the previous two days. I would be disappointed if he didn’t learn from this because he himself would tell you that he didn’t have two very good days before that and when you have an opponent like we are talking about now. Preparation is so important. But we know he can help us, and he will help us. I think last night he came back and he had a great mental state of mind came back last night because as coaches we discussed with him why he didn’t. played, and it was all based on the preparation that led to it. gh that. I think it’s not unusual, but I mean, I think it would be him who would tell you he wants to do it, and that’s a whole new thing for him. But he’s made great strides and he will continue to do so and like I said he’s going to help us win games this year. “

On the Tennessee SEC schedule, having a lot of tough road games in the first two weeks…

“I don’t even look at him like that. I don’t care. You have to play who you have to play with and the point is we’re going to do our job, we’re going to do our prep and we’re going to trust him and we’re going to do it. Believe The calendar is what it is.

Junior forward Olivier Nkamhoua Quotes

To have a big impact on the Arizona game despite not having scored so much …

“It was really good for me to be able to help my team without being a focal point in attack. It just brings courage, defensive wing and energy, and I think whenever I can bring that, I can help us a lot, so I think that’s a big part for me to keep doing that. “

On educating young players on the transition to a demanding conference schedule…

“You have to lock in on another level, but honestly I think we’ve done a good job having just a full year – especially this year – an intense year. We’ve been pretty consistent all this time. “I did a really good job and made the non-conference game a bit similar to the conference game, but it’s going to speed up a bit. But really, every time I talk to young guys, I just tell them to enjoy it. are going to play two games a week. That’s what we’re here for, we’re here for basketball, especially right now since we’re not in school too. We really live life, play basketball and go home, relax and do whatever we want to do. I think a big message from me will be to take advantage of this period, because it will pass quite quickly. “

At Rick barnes preaching that he doesn’t need to score to affect the game …

“He’s been trying to emphasize this for my game for a long time. One person he always enjoys raising for me is Yves (Pons) and how he always could affect the game no matter how he was doing on the offensive side. especially now that I sort of step into the role and he’s gone. Now we need someone to be a defensive presence so he’s been talking about it, especially this year a lot. am doing my best. “

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