March 17, 2007
Head Coach Tony Bennett
On an overview of the game
"After that game, our guys understand the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. In time, it will hurt less. It was truly a hard-fought game. The first half was one of our best of the season. It stings right now, but what an experience this tournament has been. It was special to taste this (the NCAAs) and experience it. The experience is golden."
On the last shot by Rochestie
"It was definitely a clean look and he's made a lot of plays for us at the end of halves and games."
On the team's uncharacteristic turnover total
"We obviously forced things a little too much down the stretch; maybe trying to make too many plays off the dribble. It was a grueling game for both sides. Basketball is a game of mistakes and you have to limit those to be successful; we didn't."
On the excellent season coming to an end
"There are a lot of good things to take from this season. But I'm hurting right now; it stings. I can tell you for sure I won't be looking at the tape of this game tonight. It was a turnaround year, though, and that was our goal at the beginning of the season. After the game in the locker room, I told the kids, as much as this hurts, Gentlemen, I'm proud of what we accomplished this season."
On the role fatigue may have played
"Kyle Weaver had to play 48 minutes. We rode him all season and he produced for us. He didn't have one of his best games tonight, but that happens."
On second-guessing some of the plays at the end of regulation and late in the overtimes "We tried to be too aggressive. And that guy Byars hit some tough shots. Vanderbilt did a great job. We probably could have looked for Derrick (Low) more late in the game because he had it going. We had several good looks at crucial times. We had our chances."
Student-Athlete Taylor Rochestie
On the last offensive play of the second overtime
"I had the ball and was trying to make a play. I saw an opening when their player backed off me. I'll be seeing that shot for quite awhile. It was a big game and mentally, maybe, we had it slip away. We had opportunities, but just didn't capitalize."
Student-Athlete Daven Harmeling
On their comeback and mistakes in the second overtime
"We had breakdowns down the stretch, but you have to give Vanderbilt credit. Yes, their were some uncharacteristic mistakes by us."
Student-Athlete Kyle Weaver
On the difficulty of guarding Derrick Byars
"He kept finding ways to get open. He used screens well and some good looks. But he made some tough shots, too. I was trying to a lot of things on both ends of the court and chasing Byars around was tough."
Head Coach Kevin Stallings
"That was one of the best college basketball games I've ever been involved in. As happy as I am for our team, my heart goes out to Tony Bennett and the Washington state players because neither team deserved to lose that game. We didn't fight any harder than they did we just made a couple of plays, and that's just the nature of close games like that. We got a couple of key turnovers in the overtime. They played a terrific game, I told our team to be ready for the most physical basketball game you've ever been in and that's the way it was both teams were physical and tough. I'm really proud of our team being able to come out on top ... Our team has been great at winning close games all season long, it's a tribute to their character and their toughness and their willingness to play together and I'm really proud of them.''
Senior Derrick Byers
On whether they believed they would be in the Sweet 16 at the beginning of the season: "Coming off two post season NIT appearances, first you want to make it to the NCAA before you can make it to the Sweet Sixteen or the Elite Eight. So our initial goal (was) to do well in the regular season, conference and give ourselves the best opportunity for a postseason appearance in the NCAA and try to advance."
Junior Shan Foster
On playing with four fouls:
''I just had to be able to be aggressive and aware that I had four fouls. I knew my team needed me down the stretch, and it was a mindset thing. I had to do everything to help my team win.''
On whether they believed they would be in the Sweet 16 at the beginning of the season:
"At the beginning of the season we set the same goals for ourselves, making the NCAA tournament and going as far as we could was one of them. We just fought, we got off to a ruggedy start but we continued to fight (and) we continued to believe in each other and our coaching staff. Our philosophy was to get better every day and be a little better today than we were yesterday." (Coach Stallings: You have to remember, we're from Vanderbilt, there's no such word in the dictionary as `ruggedy.' Foster: "I'm trying coach, I can't breathe.'')
Senior Dan Cage
On trailing by ten and message sent by the coach
"Coach very calmly put the clipboard on the floor and told me I messed up a play on defense, which is true, I made a play that led to a dunk some of those mental errors on defense were what was causing us to remain in that whole of seven, eight, and nine points you credit our guys for finally down the stretch, finding our rhythm. Credit our guys for finally finding a rhythm and locking down when we do lock down we're as good as anybody and tough to beat ... In the last 15-20 minutes we locked down and played a lot better. Another reason we won is because Derrick and Shane, they had been struggling in the first half to find the rhythm. In the second half they came out and became the people they are for us. We can't credit these two enough for helping us win this game.