Alabama vs. Tennessee Postgame Quotes



Feb. 18, 2012

Recap |  Box Score

Alabama Head Coach Anthony Grant
Opening statement:
“It was a fun game to watch. We competed and played well together. The game didn’t start off that great; we made some mistakes. We started off slow and couldn’t find our shot early but we persevered. We became more focused as the game wore on and they completed the task at hand. It was great for the team to be locked in to our game plan and complete the task at hand. They put in a lot of hard work this week. We had a great week of preparation. They’re so many guys who stepped up today. It was great to see Moussa Gueye play hard and be aggressive defensively. Trevor Releford was a big boost for us emotionally. Trevor Lacey stepped up in a big way by being aggressive as well and taking control of the game the way he did against a good Tennessee team. All of our guys did a great job today.”

On Moussa Gueye and Carl Engstrom:
“They’re capable of playing well and they know they can have a huge impact on the game. I’m extremely proud of the way they worked. They played extremely hard and it’s great to see that hard work pay off.”

On the adversity this team has faced:
“It’s part of life to have struggles. Teams are always going to face adversity. It’s just part of the game. But to go out the way they did; they competed well and played hard. They picked themselves up and kept moving by affecting every part of the game today.”

On Andrew Steele’s play:
“He was terrific. Steele had seven assists and five steals and played tremendously well over the stretch of the game. He took over the game when he needed to and it showed. His defensive effort rubbed off on his teammates, and we were able to create points off their turnovers.”

On Trevor Lacey’s play:
“He was very impressive. Trevor has a very high basketball IQ, and had a tremendous impact on the game. Trevor had 18 points in 34 minutes. He had a big impact in every part of the game. It was a great lesson for him today and he took advantage of it.”

On the defensive play of the Tide:
“Once again it goes to effort, style of play-wise. We had a tremendous effort on defense, which allowed us to create points off turnovers. We didn’t have a great day shooting but we played well on defense. We created 17 turnovers and 15 of those were steals. We were able to get to the line a lot. You know, Tennessee came in playing well offensively in terms of creating their own shots and making baskets. I think three or four of their players were scoring double-figures the past three games. Their shots didn’t fall and that played well for us on offense and defense.”

On the next game against Arkansas:
“Well I’m just happy with the win. This was great for our guys. Now we have to be prepared and focused to face a good Arkansas team. But for now, I’m just proud of the way our guys played today, and we’ll be focused for the next game.”

Andrew Steele, Guard, No. 22
On how big this win was for the team:
“Well I think we came out and we recognized that we had to have this game. If we can somehow find a way to bottle that up and play that type of game, I think we’ll be fine the rest of the way. It was good after losing two in a row to get back on a winning streak.”

On how big it was for Moussa Gueye and Carl Engstrom to contribute:
“It was huge. They were part of a total team effort and everybody that played stepped up. If we can get production out of those two like that it would be great. For them to step up the way they did, it just helped us out and it took us to another level and I think it raised our energy level. Seeing those two guys play like that, it made everybody else more confident and it made it more fun.”

On how his own play affected the game:
“I was just trying to do whatever it took to win. We were put in a situation where (Coach Anthony Grant) told us to be aggressive and my teammates did a good job of finishing plays when I got them the ball, so I can’t take too much credit for that. I know the abilities they have and I just tried helping them get into situations to succeed and they did a good job.”

Trevor Lacey, Guard, No. 3
On his own performance today:
“Well I didn’t settle today. I didn’t go 0-4 from the three-point line and that was it. I tried to attack the rim and get to the free-throw line which is something I haven’t done all season. I don’t know how many times I got to the line, but that’s what helped me get going and I just kept attacking.”

On the game plan for today going into the game:
“Coach (Tony) Pujol did the scouting report for this game and told us if we stay aggressive they will turn the ball over. So we took pride in our defense and tried to make them turn the ball over and capitalize off the turnovers and score in transition. We did a good job of it and got to the line a lot tonight.”

On the performance of Gueye and Engstrom:
“It was just their time. Nick Jacobs was out with a mouth infection so Coach (Anthony Grant), right before the game told them that they were going to have to play out of their minds today and they did that. They didn’t really score much but they got teammates involved, played great defense and that’s what coach wanted them to do and they did an excellent job.”

Carl Engstrom, Center,  No. 4
On him and Moussa Gueye needing to step up today:
“I knew that me and Moussa were going to have to step up a lot because we were the only two bigs. I was just trying to do what’s best for the team. I tried to play hard.”

On his own performance today:
“I think I had a pretty good game today. But I’m not satisfied with it. I had a couple mistakes that I shouldn’t have. Like at the end of the half, I should have tip-dunked that but I didn’t know how much time I had.”

Tennessee Head Coach Cuonzo Martin
Opening Statement:
“I thought Alabama did a good job of protecting their home court. One thing I talked to our guys about was that a team this hungry will find a way to win this game. They are a very hungry team. They have very talented young guys. Some of them haven’t played a lot but they are very talented. They will come out ready to fight. They will scratch and claw their way to a win and they did just that from start to finish and they found a way to win. They did a great job in the second half especially getting steals and turning us over with their press.”

On the steals:
“We ended up with 17 turnovers. I think for us, some of those were careless. You have to give those guys credit for really getting out of pass lanes and being assertive. I thought we were hesitant to make plays and move. Those guys were very active.”

On Alabama’s attack on defense and the lack of response on offense from his team:
“Once again, they did a good job of really being assertive, pressing and getting their hands on the ball. They got some steals on our end from us not making shots at the three-point line. We had some open looks and those shots didn’t fall down. That made us a little hesitant on the perimeter.”

On being prepared for their rise in defense:
“I think they did a good job. I thought we didn’t make a couple of crisp passes; we were a little hesitant. We didn’t attack like we needed to as far as attacking the rim. They got their head up and made some plays. I thought we made some careless turnovers there, especially in that stretch when they got three or four turnovers (in a row).”

On how missing shots early mentally affects the players and reminds them of other troubles in past road games:
“As a player you are making shots and missing shots. You keep playing in the game. I think more than anything you think about the last turnover you had or the last shot you missed, not necessarily five games ago when you lost on the road. You are looking at the shot you just missed and whether it was a good shot or a bad shot.”

Jeronne Maymon, Forward, No. 34
Thoughts on the game today:
“We couldn’t hit a shot and I really think that took away from the scheme of things. With Jarnell Stokes getting in foul trouble so early it was really hard for us to get the boards, especially in the paint”

On the game plan going forward:
“We just have to get back in the gym and refocus, and get our minds right, and just work on some things -  work on us mainly - and I think we will be fine.”

On the offensive struggles:
“No. I just think we turned the ball over a little too much, me and Trae Golden. We had about 11 turnovers. We can’t have that happen. I think that benefited them and they got easy transition buckets and that really hurt us.”

On Alabama's frontcourt play without Mitchell and Green:
“No, cause coach (Cuonzo Martin) said that the hungriest team hunts best, so it was all about who was hungry and who was going to come out and play the hardest. They obviously came about and went after it. So, shout out to Alabama.”

On UA's defensive pressure:
“I just think we couldn’t hold on to the ball. We had a lot of turnovers when no one was around us. We were throwing the ball a little too wildly and just losing control. So it was mainly on us, it wasn’t really anything they did.”