Postgame thoughts from Alabama's 68-58 win over South Carolina



Feb. 16, 2013

Recap |  Final Stats |  Notes

Alabama Head Coach Anthony Grant

Opening statement:

“We’re excited. Obviously, we’re in second place in the league by ourselves so that’s a good position to be in. Obviously, today’s game, to me, was a game of spurts. I didn’t like the way we finished the first half, but I thought we came out in the second half and played with better energy. We built the lead back up, and obviously they cut back into it, but I thought for the most part our guys tried to do the things we asked them to do.”

On the great defense and ball movement:

“It was good to see them play with that confidence. The ball movement was great and we got some shots to go down, which obviously allowed us from a defensive standpoint to get in the press and be effective, and I thought it gave us energy as well. Then we hit a lull there. The second half you go 0-5 on the three-point line, but we found a way. You look at the numbers from an offensive standpoint, we go 6-14 the first half and 0-5 in the second half. The first half, in both halves, really, we don’t shoot free throws the way we need to. But again, we found a way to win.”

On Trevor Lacey as leading scorer:

“I thought (Trevor Lacey) did a really good job today of being aggressive. You look at a couple of the turnovers he had, he really probably should have taken a couple of shots instead of looking to make the extra pass on a few of those. He did a really good job of running the team and being aggressive, and just taking what the defense gave him.”

On Levy Randolph leading the team in rebounds and steals:

“We had a stretch there where turnovers were at a premium. For whatever reason, we just turned it over in bunches. I thought Levy (Randolph) did a good job of being aggressive, and he really did a great job of going in and rebounding. We knew that South Carolina was a big offensive rebounding team and that we’d have to get on the glass. Obviously, he did a great job of competing.”

Alabama Sophomore Guard Trevor Lacey
On the first half:

“The way South Carolina played, they really pressured the ball and played good help side defense, and we were able to get in the lane and kick out for open shots.”

On his teammates encouraging him to shoot more:

“They’re always on me about shooting more. I just like getting my teammates involved in some of the looks. I try to just let the shots come to me that I feel comfortable with.”

On teammate Retin Obasohan’s impact:

“We know what Retin can do. Every day in practice, he’s tough. Today he showed some flashes of what he’s capable of. He just helps us out big time and takes some of the load off of me and (Trevor) Releford.”

Alabama Freshman Guard Retin Obasohan

On the run early in the second half:

“That was big for us. Coach (Anthony Grant) always tells us that we have to stay the course. We needed plays like that. That was a shift in our favor.”

On his role on the team:

“My role, I feel like, is to bring it every day in practice and to just take opportunities. If I get an opportunity, I have to be ready for it when it presents itself. I think my biggest role is helping my teammates prepare for games and just making sure I’m ready when an opportunity presents itself.”

South Carolina Head Coach Frank Martin

Opening Statement:
“At least we found a handful of guys that had a little enthusiasm for competing today. Like I told them in the locker room, in four of our last five games, we have been absolutely lifeless and [had] no interest in competing. I don’t think there is a greater joy in life than when you are given the opportunity to compete. People that don’t like to compete and I will never get along. I have never had to say this before, but in defeat I feel a little encouraged today. I have never – in 28 years – I’ve never said what I just said, but in defeat I feel a little encouraged today. After what we have done for the last three weeks I finally saw a little resolve from a group of guys – not all of them – from a group of guys. Hopefully that attitude maybe permeates to some of the other guys on our team so that they can reengage, because when we were engaged a month ago – we weren’t the greatest team in the world – but at least it was fun to coach. At least it was fun to take our product into other arenas and do what my teams have done for 28 years which is really compete and play as a unit. So with that said, I can’t believe I’m saying that I’m encouraged after a loss, but to a certain degree I am.”

On if the players took what Coach Martin said to heart after the LSU game and played tough tonight:

“When you are in a foxhole with a group of people and you challenge the guy next to you and he doesn’t step up and take advantage of that moment to show you that, ‘hey man, I’m in,’ then there’s major concern. Some of those guys actually today were helping each other – that’s a word that is foreign on our basketball team. Helping each other. Today we actually had some guys helping each other – they spoke to each other. They tried to help each other on both ends of the floor and they actually ran some things that I asked them to run rather than run whatever they ran on their fourth grade nine-and-under team or whatever it was. I’m a little encouraged today because some guys responded.”

On Alabama as a team:
“Let me say something, because obviously I know the gentleman that runs your basketball program here. You guys have one of the finest human beings on the face of the earth leading the charge. Last year when he had the courage to suspend those kids and not worry about the NCAA tournament – like he told me, ‘Frank, I’m not worried about winning, I’m worried about my program.’ Keeping his focus on what is important, has allowed his team to now become one of the elite teams in this league. They are in it and they aren’t going anywhere. It’s the team that plays that defense that they play – a team that plays with the unity and the passion they play with – they are in. They will make a run at this league title here now.”

Junior Guard Bruce Ellington

On the sixth straight loss for South Carolina:

“We were down real big going in to halftime and coach just came in and told us that we had to keep fighting, and we came out the second half and that’s what we did.  We just have to keep doing that and know that if we don’t get down so early that we can stay in the game and have a chance to win.”

On defense in the first half:

“We weren’t talking.  A huge part of playing defense is talking.  We are out there as a team and we have got to keep talking.