March 13, 2011

Stallings, players talk about NCAA Tournament bid

On Sunday, Vanderbilt learned it would play Richmond in the NCAA Tournament on Thursday. At a Sunday evening press conference, coach Kevin Stallings and players Festus Ezeli, Jeffery Taylor and John Jenkins spoke on the team's outlook with the season's final stretch just days away.

Stallings has a positive vibe heading to Denver
Stallings has never been one to gloss over his team's weaknesses, or to hide his displeasure with effort. So when VU's veteran coach's initial answer to the question as to what concerned him with this team was an immediate, "Nothing, really," that tells you a lot as to how he feels about this bunch's postseason chances.

Stallings did go on to mention some concerns with his bench (more on that later). But he also hinted that there could be bigger things ahead for a squad that faltered down the regular-season stretch before playing well in the Southeastern Conference Tournament.

"You want to play your best basketball this time of the year when this time comes. As I told our team over the weekend when we got beat on Saturday, I'm not sure that we're not close to playing some of our very best basketball this season," Stallings said. "That's what we want. That's where we want to be. That's what we want to have happen."

"This team has worked very hard. They've been very coachable. And I think we've very capable of having success in this tournament," he added later.

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