Postgame Quotes



Jan. 11, 2009

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Alabama Quotes

Head coach Mark Gottfried
Opening Statement
"It was a gutsy win. I was proud of our guys. We had to make some adjustments and go small midway through the second half which meant some our perimeter guys had to play a few more minutes even when they were tired and get some defensive stops when they were tired. It was just a gutsy win. I thought Senario Hillman took the game over in the second half and did so many things well. I thought maybe the key play or one of the key plays that was a great effort was Alonzo Gee's rebound (late in second half) on a good shot. He saved it and changed the end of game with the shot clock and the possession. It was a great team win and a gutsy win. I thought in second half, defensively, we weren't near as good as we were in the first half. Part of that was because Tasmin Mitchell played and he is such a tough match up as an interior player for our guys. Bottom line is that we dug down and found a way to win."

On the overall play of the Tide
"I thought they did a great job. There are things sometimes that people don't understand or see. Even Brandon Hollinger, late in the game there when he switched out to a three-point shooter, that was the intelligent play, the right play. He's an upperclassmen and it was the end of the game. There are so many different plays that are going through your mind that were great effort and hustle plays by our team to stay after the ball, whether it was rebounding the ball or getting some big defensive rebounds at key times. We got into some foul trouble in the first half and overcame that. We wanted the ball to go inside today as much as we could and that helped us get to the foul line a lot more. We wanted the ball around the basket. "

On the play of JaMychal Green
"I think he had a great game. He made his foul shots too, which is key for a freshman playing in his first SEC game to step up there and make his foul shots. The more minutes he plays the better he is going to get. He still needs to learn around the basket how to get the ball up to the rim and make his move a little bit quicker. He has played very hard."

On the play of Ronald Steele
"I thought Ron struggled a little bit. I think his knee is obviously 100 percent but I think his heel was bothering him some that kind of effects a little of everything you do. To have a win like this when Ron is not at 100 percent I think is good for our team and good for our confidence. We will get a couple good days rest and get ready to play at Mississippi State on Wednesday."

On the play of Alonzo Gee
"With Alonzo what I like so much right now is that it's `whatever you have to do to win a game I'm going to do it. If that means I have to try to get 15 rebounds then I am getting them or whether it's making a tough foul shot or a shot.' His attitude is so great. Whatever it is that we ask him to do he does it with all his heart. He had a great game today and I'm proud of him."

On the play of Senario Hillman
"He didn't have a great first half scoring the ball but he came out in the second half when the game was on the line and he stepped up. He has great courage and he is not afraid to try to make a play. He stepped up and did a pretty good job."

Sophomore guard Senario Hillman
On being in situation where he had to shoot free throws at the end of the game
"No, I've never been in that situation before. I just took my time and hit my shots. I just know I had to get down there and make my free throws."

On how tired he was at the end of the game
"I wasn't really tired at the end of the game. I just knew I had to do what I can to help the team win. I just had to suck it up and keep playing hard."

On other teams leaving him open to take shots
"I think I do take it a little personally. Last year, everybody knew that Senario Hillman couldn't really shoot so I really worked on my shot and got my confidence up."

On being 1-0 in the SEC
"It feels really good to open up with a win. We just have to take one game at a time and keep playing hard."

On importance of the steal and dunk
"I knew I had to get momentum going for the team. I knew I had to get at least one steal to get everybody going. I felt like I needed to make something happen to get us going because we were kind of sluggish. In the back of my head, I knew I had to do something to get the team going so I just went for the steal and was able to finish with a dunk."

Senior guard Alonzo Gee
On getting a big rebound from a Ronald Steele missed layup
"I was just being aggressive on the boards. That's what Coach (Mark Gottfried) tells us to do. We do rebounding drills everyday at practice and it's paying off."

On importance of winning a close conference game
"It was tough for us last year. This is a good win for us to get us going but at the same time we have to put this one behind us and learn from it. We just need to get ready for Mississippi State"

On having confidence in Senario Hillman at the free throw line
"We have a lot of confidence in him because he's a great player. We put in a lot of time at practice and after practice. We work on free throws and shooting the ball and it's paying off for him."

On his role as a rebounder for Alabama
"I think it's huge for the team. I think if I don't rebound it's going to be bad. I just have to come out and work hard and rebound every game. I just have to come out and be aggressive on the boards."

LSU Quotes

Head coach Trent Johnson
On how LSU's low post players performed
"I thought we were active for the most part. We missed some easy putbacks, and we got real tentative. Obviously we were in foul trouble, and you can't get in foul trouble and be aggressive."

On how frustrating the disparity of fouls called was
"I'm really not frustrated about that. I am frustrated that we lost."

On if the game ever felt like it was getting away
"No, for me I never felt like we were in a situation like we were in Utah where the game was going to get away from us. We had two and a half solid days of practice for the most part. We were embarrassed by our performance. These guys are tough though, they don't quit. They fight . We had a chance, it's just unfortunate that we were in foul trouble. The majority of the game, Marcus couldn't be in the game, but that's what happens sometimes. I tip my hat to Alabama."

On how effective the zone was at slowing down Alabama
"I thought we got them out of their rhythm a little bit. I thought the zone was the best opportunity for us to get them out of a rhythm and get some stops. It worked out, then they starting splitting the zone and hitting some threes."

 On if his team played aggressive enough
"Yeah, we were going inside out a lot. I can only recall five or six bad shots. Tasmin took eight shots, only two jump shots. Marcus only took six threes the whole game. We only took thirteen threes, and we average about sixteen or seventeen a game."

Junior forward Tasmin Mitchell
On getting close but not being able to take the lead at times
"You've got to be poised, like coach always says, every possession counts. So it's real tough. We were in position, but we didn't execute or either they made a big play."

Senior guard Marcus Thornton
On Alabama's inbound defense
"I was coming off the screen to seal them off so I could get the ball in and throw the ball to my target and he pushed me in the back. Like coach said though, we're on the road so we may not get those calls so you have to just get back."

On Senario Hillman
"He's not any different than any other player we have to face this year. We just have to come out and be strong as a bond and execute on the offensive end."