Alabama vs. Mississippi State Post Game Quotes



Jan. 23, 2010

Recap |  Box Score |  Notes

Alabama Head Coach Anthony Grant

Opening statement:
“I’m really proud of the way our guys came out today. I thought the defensive intensity that we played with from the start all the way through made the difference tonight. We did a great job on their shooters, took away the three point line. We did a great job rebounding the basketball. We were there at the end to get the ones we had to have. I am just really proud of the team effort today. I thought it was a total team effort and a great win.”

On holding a one point halftime lead:
“The stretch there where they were in zone and we couldn’t score, we went like 1-of-11 the last several possessions of the half against their zone. I thought we were getting good shots early then we started to press a little bit. At halftime we talked about maintaining the defensive intensity that we had in the first half. We felt like we were really controlling the game on the defensive end – that and playing with confidence, moving the basketball and just taking good shots on the offensive end and if we did that then shots would fall. We were fortunate that we were able to have some success against the zone.”

On Mikhail Torrance rebounding from the low-scoring outing against Tennessee:
“You want to see your guys respond the way we responded today. Obviously everybody from an offensive standpoint is going to have days where shots aren’t falling, but you’ve got to be able to do other things that affect winning and today he was all about trying to do those things. He was fortunate that some shots fell today, but I thought he affected the game in a lot of different ways with our press, getting up and putting pressure on the ball, forcing them to use a couple of timeouts on the defensive end and just really getting in there rebounding, igniting our break and getting other guys involved. When you do that, he’s a great player, so his offense is going to come when he doesn’t focus on that and he worries about other things.”

On the matchup inside against Jarvis Varnado:
“Well Varnado is a great player. We were fortunate in the first half that we picked up a couple of fouls there. I thought our guys did a good job defensively – because of the pressure that we had to put out on their shooters – of limiting him from having his way in the post. I thought we did a very good job from a defensive standpoint on him. Then on the other end of the floor, we were able to create some opportunities where our guys got inside and were able to finish some plays.”

On combined 21 rebounds from Tony Mitchell (12) and Senario Hillman (9):
“No question (that with that type of performance Alabama will have a chance to win some games). I thought it was a total team effort. Senario really got some big ones there at the end, some long rebounds that he had to chase. Tony I thought throughout the game did a really good job of getting in there and competing on the backboard.”

On Chris Hines getting his first start:
“I thought Chris was terrific today, just his energy and defensively what we asked him to do. He was all over the place. The things he did won’t show up on a stat sheet, but for our team and from our coaching staff, the things we talked about, he was instrumental. He was huge today in the win.”

On the play of Anthony Brock:
“He had a good stat line (eight points, five assists, four rebounds and two clutch free throws down the stretch). The impact he had on the game, defensively, was huge with what we planned on doing in the game in terms of the pressure we had to put to take away their strengths, he was instrumental in that.”

On facing LSU on Wednesday night:
“We are going to enjoy this one today. I think our guys are really excited. They fought hard and they’ve done a very good job here lately playing attention to the detail and maintaining that belief that if they did what we asked them to do that we’re going to get better as a team and continue to progress. I am happy for them. We’re going to enjoy this today and then obviously get prepared for next week.”


Senior Guard Mikhail Torrance:

On motivation coming into and during the game:
“I think Coach did a great job of motivating us. He puts us in a position to win games week in and week out. JaMychal Green stepped up and told us we were about to win the game, and that’s what we did.”

On being in foul trouble early in the game:
“It was really frustrating, but my team kept me motivated and continued to give me confidence. They really stepped it up and I knew when I came back in I would continue to step it up also.”

Sophomore Forward JaMychal Green:

On going against the Bulldog front line:
“I believe that we had to be physical and take it to them, (Jarvis) Varnado is a chop blocker so we just tried to get him in foul trouble so he wouldn’t be able to block our shots.”

On the play of the defense:
“We did a great job. The guards did a good job guarding the perimeter. We were just overall a good team on the defensive side of the ball.”

On being better in the second half:
“It’s time for a change. We knew from the past that we weren’t finishing in the second half, so today we weren’t going to let that happen.”

Mississippi State Head Coach Rick Stansbury

On playing a tight game against a rival:
“Sometimes it’s tough. It’s tough to keep doing it on the road. I know the first half we got down early and fought back. We didn’t play particularly well at all the first half and that was a one-point game. Second half, we got down again and then we have to fight back.

“We just left too many broken plays on the court. You can’t go on the road and give them plays. We gave them about three plays in a row on that press and they will spurt back up. Once we cut it back down to a one or two point game they would spurt it back up to about 10 in about a minute. Then we have to fight back. We fought back and tied it up again.”

On Alabama’s defensive pressure:
“We just weren’t efficient enough to beat them in the half court. They got into us and the pressure sped us up some at half court.

“Again, we went 2-for-18 at the three-point line. Jarvis (Varnado) was 4-for-14 in the paint, Dee (Bost) is 3-of-13 and Barry Stewart is 3-of-10. Just look at the stats. I have no idea how we are even in the game with those kinds of stats.

“Again, you just can’t keep digging yourself holes on the road. Our kids fought, but you’ve got to be able to finish those plays when you’ve got to finish them and close out games but we didn’t do that enough. You’ve got to pack that pressure and we had too many turnovers. We drove it just to drive it, not really under control or to make a play or get a foul or create a play. You’ve got to be more efficient when you drive it.”


Senior Guard Barry Stewart

On his thoughts on the game:
“Well sometimes your shots just don’t fall; it was one of those nights. We shot poorly so you have to give us some credit for that. That’s just the way the ball falls sometimes.”

On the last play:
“I was clearing that for Dee (Bost) and we were going for a two but if they collapsed we were going to try a three. As I went my foot slipped and I was falling backwards when he tried to get it to me. I tried to swing it around but my foot was on the line.”

On the zone defense that brought the two runs:
“It was a great coaching move; the zone got us back in the game. We weren’t doing too well in man but when we went to zone it got us a run in the first and second half.”

On scoring droughts:
“You just have to find ways to score. We weren’t finishing; we were getting to the basket, getting to the hole but we just weren’t finishing.

On Alabama’s quick start:
“We know they’ve got shooters, they played Tennessee close, every game they played they’ve been close so we weren’t surprised by that.”

Junior Guard Ravern Johnson

On the game as a whole:
“We gave up open threes and we went two for eighteen (from three) so, yeah, you have to be frustrated.”

On Alabama’s defense:
“They were trapping really well and they rotated really well and that sped us up. The ball didn’t bounce our way today.”