Knoxville, Tenn.--(UTSports) SEC Basketball Media Days
Head Men's Basketball Coach Cuonzo Martin
On Antonio Barton...
"He's done a good job of pushing the basketball. He does that really well, especially in transition. He forces the wing guys to run and he can make shots. He's one of those guys that can make spot shots and can also make three-point shots off the dribble."
On trying to score more in transition...
"Both Antonio and Darius can force the ball. Darius can push but he can also pass the ball. Both of those guys get our wing guys running and get our bigs down the middle."
On contact rule changes...
"It doesn't change how we approach the game. We try to play physical without fouling and we never play dirty basketball. We box out. We always play arms-length defense. That means you're not fouling. So how approach doesn't change, but we make our guys conscious of it. I want them to stay aggressive. I don't want them to be passive."
SEC Basketball Media Days
Head Women's Basketball Coach Holly Warlick
On the high expectations for the team...
"It's a challenge for us. Everyone was gunning for us last year. We haven't talked about rankings but we talk about how hard we work and what goals we have. Our goal is to win the SEC Championship and to compete for the national championship. We talk about that and put it out there. We don't shy away from it. That's our platform on how we recruit as well ."
On if the team has enough talent to make it to the national championship
... "I think this is one of the most talented teams we've had in a while. I think we have pieces in place that could be special. For us, it's a matter of staying healthy, staying focused, and s taying playing together. This summer, I asked our players to stay in summer school because I thought it was important for us to bond. Our leadership was not as good as if needed to be. You see a result of a team that's very close-knitted and very together. I think we have the results we were looking for."
On what she learned as a first-year head coach...
"I think the importance of using our staff was key for me last year. I used to always think more was better and now I listen to our players who listen to the ir bodies. Quality practices are better than quantity. I don't have to coach with a lot of effort during our practices because of the energy and the work ethic. You can get where you want to go with the help of your team and being on the same page. Last year, I didn't think I had to prove myself but it was different for my players and for me. Every game I got more comfortable. It wasn't a difficult transition. The only difficult part was not having Coach Summitt there."
Warlick, Simmons At SEC Media Day
Tennessee Head Coach Holly Warlick and senior guard Meighan Simmons attended 2013 SEC Basketball Media Day on Thursday at the Westin in downtown Birmingham.
Warlick, the 2013 SEC Coach of the Year, and Simmons, the 2013 SEC Co-Player of the Year and the preseason pick to repeat that honor, participated in seven rotations of media interviews. Those sessions included a large setting, with questions from print, radio, internet and broadcast media representatives, and a variety of question and answer sessions from the producers and announcers of TV and radio broadcasting networks.
The media who cover SEC basketball gave Tennessee the nod as league favorite earlier this week, picking the Big Orange to repeat as champion. Simmons was projected as league player of the year, while Simmons and sophomore Bashaara Graves were chosen to the five-member preseason All-SEC Team.
The Tennessee men’s team was represented in Birmingham by head coach Cuonzo Martin and senior guard Jordan McRae.