Alabama Men's Basketball vs LSU - Jan. 25



Jan. 25, 2014

Recap |  Box Score |  Notes

Alabama Head Coach Anthony Grant

Opening statement:

“LSU did a great job. They took it to us in the second half. We turned it over a lot against their pressure. They did a good job of creating opportunities and attacking us. The thing I am most proud of our guys for was their ability to overcome the deficit that we had when [LSU] took the lead. Our guys never folded. They got tougher and made the plays down the stretch that we needed to win the game. That is what I want to see out of our team. I want to see that growth.”

On the first half:
“I thought the zone was really effective in the first half. We did a good job of taking away some the things that they do well. Johnny O’Bryant picked up a few fouls there in the first half and that took a big weapon away from their team. We were able to neutralize some of their guys and take the lead. We knew in the second half when [O’Bryant] was able to get back on the court that he is a difference maker in this league and for his team. They found ways to attack the zone in the second half and get some three-pointers up. They got some easy baskets in transition against us. We came out of the zone and it was back-and-forth there at the end. We got a couple stops in man-to-man. That is what it came down too.

I kept telling my guys during the game, at the end of the day we were shooting well enough from the field that it really came down to the defensive game. I was so proud of [Cooper] stepping up on that drive when they had a chance to tie the game. The thing we teach in practice is ‘don’t hope they miss, make them miss’ and [Cooper] made them miss. It was great to see.”

On defense at the end of the game:
“At about the 13 minute mark, we were at a time out and I told the guys ‘we are shooting 60 percent from the field right now, the problem is they are shooting 56 percent from the field and they are getting easy ones. The difference is going to come down to our stops.’ Give [LSU] credit, they made some tough ones. At the end of the day, for us, it is fitting that we had to win the game by getting a defensive stop”


Senior Guard, #12 Trevor Releford

On difference between first half and second half and how they were defending you:
“I thought they were defending me pretty much the same throughout the whole game and they stepped up and made a couple plays on some of my layups. For me, it wasn’t about scoring. I just tried to keep finding guys like Cooper and then Shannon popped back for some three’s. So for how they were guarding me, that was the right play to make.”

On LSU’s second-half press defense:
“They did a good job in the press. We worked on it and we got to see a little bit in practice. LSU picked up the tempo. It was kind of frustrating but we were able to keep fighting and push through the game.”

On Shannon making three’s:
“That was huge. That just shows how much heart he has as a freshman. It’s difficult to hit a shot like that.  Congrats to him for stepping up and taking the shot after he missed the one before that. Just having the pride and courage to keep shooting, I’m glad it went in.”

On playing 40 minutes:
“I’m pretty tired, coach talked to me about it. He does a good job with that and I thought I could play the 40 minutes.”

On the team playing together and Cooper and Levi making shots:
“I think it’s fun. For as much as they work on their game, they deserve it. I’m just happy they stepped up and took the challenge on. They made plays down the stretch for the team and that’s what we need to do throughout the rest of the season."

Junior Guard, #21 Rodney Cooper

On missing the free throw at the end and then getting the block:
“Once I missed the shot I made sure to get back.”

 On making four three’s in the game:
“I credit all of my teammates. They were driving the ball and finding me. I just tried my best to make the shot.”

LSU Head Coach Johnny Jones

On the final minutes of the game:
“Well, they made big shots. We wound up putting ourselves in a position knocking down some shots to get the lead. We wanted to make sure to keep [Trevor] Releford out of the game. He had an excellent first half scoring seventeen points. We were able to do that, but they had other guys step up to make big plays for them down the stretch. We just weren’t able to finish them off.”

On the shooting performance by Rodney Cooper and Shannon Hale:
“Hale is a decent shooter from back there. That was kind of uncharacteristic of Cooper to have that type of night from behind the line. Those were huge shots for him to knock down and that can make a difference. I thought our guys did an excellent job though, even after they knocked their shots down to put get back in position to win the game.” 

On the key to the comeback in the second half:
“I thought it was our press. We were able to turn them over and get some easy scoring opportunities. Guys were able to knock down shots. We got some easy layup baskets as well but we just weren’t able to turn them over.” 

On the go-ahead shot from Hale:
“We were making sure we did a great job on Releford, he was coming off ball screens and getting in to the paint. Hale was picking and popping and he rolled back while we were guarding the paint and we weren’t able to close out on him quick enough to get there and get him out of his rhythm for his shot.”

Senior Guard #10 Andre Stringer

On LSU’s run in the second half:
“It was tough. We got ourselves in a hole early. They were up at the half and we tried to do some different things in the second half to come back. We did those things - we turned them over a couple times, got some easy baskets, and we came back. It just wasn’t enough.”

On second half adjustments:
“We tipped the ball and got a couple steals from our press. They were very careless early on against our press and that’s what got us those easy baskets.”

Junior Forward #2 Johnny O’Bryant III

On the final minutes of the game:
“I think the play of the game was that three by (Shannon) Hale. We didn’t communicate. We left him wide open for the three and he drained it. That put them up two and really hurt us. I think that was the play of the game.”

On the effectiveness of LSU’s full-court press:
“That was the momentum-changer. I give the credit to our guards up top. I don’t know how many steals Shavon (Coleman) had, but he was playing super hard at the top of that press. He really helped us come back.”