ALABAMA vs. FLORIDA POSTGAME QUOTES
Feb. 14, 2012
Head Coach Anthony Grant On Florida's run to start the second half:
"Give them credit, they came out with great energy and had a lot of success there in the second half. They came out there and kind of hit first, and we didn't respond very well. For the first eight minutes or so, we sort of looked disinterested. We didn't have the effort or energy that we normally play with. We've got a lot of young guys who will need to figure it out on what it takes to play at this level against a good team like Florida is. They came out and made plays with the energy and effort that you've got to play with."
On what he told his team in the locker room:
"I pretty much said what I just told you. We've got to do a better job of understanding what it takes to compete in the SEC on a nightly basis. That's the nature of the game. We were able to get some shots to fall in the first half and we stayed within striking distance. Florida is an explosive team that you know will make a run, and we didn't respond to it. We didn't do a good job. We had 18 turnovers in the game, we shot 28 percent from the field in the second half. In my opinion, we've got to play with more self-confidence and more team pride in terms of the way we approach every single game, no matter what goes into the game. We've got to compete every single time we step out there. We've got some young guys right now that need to learn that, in terms of the consistency of what it takes to compete at this level and be the type of players we are capable of being.
On what the team did right in the first half:
"We talked about it, but we had 11 turnovers at the half. We had opportunities to actually build the lead, and we had the lead there. They had seven offensive rebounds, so we could do better. I think in the first half we were able to get a couple of shots to fall, and I think that when you're young, that's what you rely on, whether or not your shot is falling. If your shot is not falling, it gasses you. It takes your energy and you forget the other things that affect your winning. I thought in the second half we came out, we missed some lay ups, we turned it over, they came down and made shot after shot after shot. Then it looked like we started watching. We took a step back. Their energy went up, our energy went down. That's where we have to respond.
What he was pleased with during the game:
"I have to go back and watch the film, but it's hard to say if there was anything I did like. Obviously we shot 28 percent from the field and had 18 turnovers for the game. It's hard to find something positive in that. Obviously, we have to get a lot better as a team and understand that we've got Tennessee coming in here on Saturday. It will be another tough, challenging SEC game. Tennessee isn't walking in here saying `we don't have to give as good of an effort now' because of this. We have to understand that it's night after night after night here in the SEC. If we don't come mentally and physically ready for that, then it is going to be tough for us to get wins."
#22 Andrew Steele, Guard
On Florida's second-half start
"They came out and hit first. We didn't really respond. They played well. We just had a tough time getting some easy things to go, but you got to give them credit for how they played. For us, things could have gone better. This is a tough loss."
On Alabama's turnovers
"They are a pretty good defensive team, but a lot of it was unforced. Mental errors and bad passes we were unable to catch. Sometimes we have one of those games and we can't really do too much. We just have to move forward and get ready for Tennessee on Saturday."
Head Coach Billy Donovan
On how they kept it a tied game in the first half only shooting 30 percent with Alabama shooting 60 percent:
"I definitely think the game would have been a lot closer. Obviously, they cut it to 11 a couple of times. The difference in the game for us, and what has really helped us, was that they shot a very poor percentage from the free-throw line, and they took drastically more free-throws than we did. They took eight more free-throws but they shot 50 percent from the free-throw line. They turned it over in the first half 11 times. I thought that their team did a really good job executing on offense. They were screening, cutting and moving. I thought they put us in a couple binds. We were in a couple bad situations on some rotations. Their passing is what hurt them. Our offensive rebounds, their poor free-throw shooting and turnovers allowed it to stay tied. I felt fairly decent going into the half because Erving Walker and Kenny Boynton were 0-for-8 from the field. Those guys hadn't scored. I thought we could get those guys going. We didn't shoot it great from the three-point line. Alabama struggling from the field to start the second half enabled us to get on a big run."
On what he said to Anthony Grant after the game:
"First of all, he's one of my closest friends. You always feel terrible for as hard as he works and what he's going through. The one thing that I think gets lost in coaching is that everybody who shows up at the games, watches the games, or covers the games doesn't totally report or understand the impact that you have in trying to help these guys understand what it is to be successful. A lot of times there is a lot of changing of habits that goes into trying to build a program and build a team. I've always believed this and I think Anthony believes it too. You cannot win big unless, as a coach, you are willing to lose big. When you try to put cork in a ship that has some leaks, when it needs to be maybe a whole new bottom put in, you have to be prepared to do that. I think that Anthony looks at his job in coaching, not only wanting to win and compete, but what kind of impact does he have on these guys. I think he realizes as these guys move on, they are going to know this guy held me accountable and made me do the right things on and off the floor, or they are going to know this guy looked the other way and never really required any discipline and it was just all about him trying to win games. There's so much that goes on. The games are such a small percentage of what we have to deal with as coaches. It's also what makes coaching fun. It's when you can get to somebody and change them."
#4 Patric Young, Forward
On what Florida did differently to start the second half:
"Well, during halftime, we talked about coming out with some great energy, and having confidence that we have been blessed with, and that God has given us; we just needed to have the heart. Coming out in the second half, I thought I had the chance to really help my team and give them some energy and some juice. So, whenever we got the ball on a rebound, I just sprinted down and my teammates were able to find me, Bradley [Beal] found me, [Erik] Murphy, Erving [Walker], and I really owe it to my teammates, that I was able to get the ball at those times. I was able to finish the plays, and I thank God for that."
On how important switching to zone to start the second half was:
"Well, it's up in the air that they are not that great of a three point shooting team, and when teams see that 2-3 [zone], their eyes get wide open and they want to shoot those three's. They were able to knock a few down in the first half, but we were in man, so we lost a few in coverage. They weren't able to handle it, for the most part. They really didn't have a playmaker that would consistently get the ball in the middle and make a play, and get it out to those guys. We did a really good job, Cody [Larson] came off the bench and did a good job, [Erik] Murphy did a good job, I did alright. The 2-3 [zone] was just really good for us tonight."
#11 Erving Walker, Guard
On playing the second half with much more intensity:
"It was huge for us, it was a close game, and that was a great team that we just played. When it came down to it, we made better plays, but they fought. We just knew we had to match their intensity and not get tired."
On starting the second half in zone:
"Definitely, we are a man team, so they probably prepared for zone, but Coach [Donovan] brought the zone out and it worked to perfection."
#33 Erik Murphy, Center
On tonight's game:
"We were on the road; we've been playing everybody on the road, so it was tough. It feels good to come away with the win. The last two days leading up to this, in practice everyone was pretty focused in, working on defense, trying to do things that win games."
On playing so well in the first five minutes of the second half:
"We came out focused trying to get stops, and kept focused on trying to get stops. String those together and try to make a little run hopefully. First half we weren't hitting all of our shots, second half we came out, scored, got stops, and scored off of those stops. That is what the key was, just getting stops."
On how the zone was effective in the second half:
"Yea, I mean I think it threw them for a little loop. Usually we don't play that much zone. We gave them a little different look and as you saw, it worked out pretty well for us."