Alabama - Auburn Postgame Quotes

ROLLTIDEDOTCOM
ROLLTIDEDOTCOM

ROLLTIDEDOTCOM

March 3, 2009

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Alabama Quotes

Interim head coach Philip Pearson

Opening statement ...
"Well it was a tough one.  Obviously felt good about our first half.  I thought we had a nice spurt there. In the second half I thought two or three things happened.  One, I don't think we guarded them off the dribble well enough.  They got too many easy baskets off the bounce. We gave them too many second chance opportunities, rebound wise and then obviously we had a tough night at the foul line. We've been a pretty good foul shooting team. For whatever reason tonight, we struggled at the foul line."

On the first-half play ...
"We probably missed a little bit of an opportunity to have the lead a little bit more than ten points in that spurt in the first half.  We defended well in that spurt, and held them to one shot, got out in the break and got some easy baskets ourselves. We got that second foul on Barber which helped us. We could have easily had 15 or 16 point lead but we just missed some shots."

On Auburn's defense ...
"It's hard to get those easy baskets.  It's hard to get in transition when you don't defend them.  They shot 64 percent in the second half, 18 out of 28 from the field.  Those are 10 missed shots there we are trying to convert something from defense to offense.  Our half court offense wasn't as good, wasn't as crisp as it has been.  That's a credit to Auburn.  They're a good defensive team."

On Andrew Steele ...
"He did a nice job and had a nice steal.  Alonzo (Gee) came up with a play there at midcourt.  We gave ourselves some opportunities; we just didn't the job done at the end of the game."

On the momentum from the three-game winning streak ...
"We've had a good 12 or 14 days here and have been feeling good about the way we have been playing and certainly tonight hurt.  It hurts our coaches and it hurts our guys in there. They want to win.  Auburn's got a good basketball team.  We talked in there about getting regrouped and taking tomorrow off and have two or three days to get ready for Tennessee.   We will get regrouped and get refocused and hopefully get back to playing like we were the last week or so."

Senior Alonzo Gee
On Alabama's lack of execution at the free-throw line ...
"We definitely struggled tonight at the free-throw line and I think we have to get better at the free-throw line in practice. We just have to work hard and stay focused, just get better."

On what changed the momentum in the second half for Auburn's comeback ...
"They were knocking down a lot of big time shots. They knocked down threes, penetrated, got reverse lay-ups and we missed just about all of our free throws, so that was a big part of it."

On Alabama's problems during Auburn's second half run ...
"I think we were forcing stuff, didn't have confidence and on the defensive end we were not guarding the ball as well, while they were executing their offense and playing well."

On confidence of winning going into the half ...
"We had a 10-point lead at half time, so I thought we were looking pretty good and then Auburn came out, made their run and made their big time plays."

Freshman JaMychal Green
On what senior guard Alonzo Gee has meant to him in his freshman campaign ...
"He meant a lot to me being a freshman. I learned a lot from him. I stole one of his post moves. He is a great part of the team and he is the leader of this team. We are going to miss him."

 

Auburn Quotes

Head coach Jeff Lebo
Opening statement ...
"I'm awfully proud of my team. Obviously a win on the road is big, a win here is big. Alabama's been playing awfully well. The way we did it was we showed some grit, we showed some toughness, made some plays, a lot of plays down the stretch. I think this is a great win for our kids. I've never seen them so happy after a game since I've been here."

On the locker room at half ...
"We felt fortunate to be down just 10. They shot poorly from the foul line and we had foul problems with our inside guys. We had to play Francis (Aihe) who hasn't played at all and he got some good minutes. We just talked about how our shot selection was poor and we had to play without so much fouling. If we take better shots in the second half, we'll be fine."

Down by 13 on the road, typically not a game won, what's it say about team ...
"Not many coaches win down 13 on the road. I liked our toughness. We've played good on the road all year long. I'm just awfully proud in this environment against an Alabama team that's been playing really well. We had to overcome a lot with them coming back again at the end."

On the locker room after the game ...
"We had a lot riding on this game obviously, we were trying to get that bye to get to second, trying to get to 20 wins and a winning SEC season. If you look back at auburn tradition of SEC winning seasons, there's not very many there in the past 25 years. This was big for our kids and the way they did made it even more exciting coming from behind. "

On Alonzo Gee, difference between him in the first and second half ...
"He hurt us in the first half with his size just catching the ball in the elbow area and what I call `big boying' us by just backing us in and jumping over us and scoring. We played more Rasheem (Barrett)on him in the second half because he's a little bigger and stronger."

On if this is an NCAA Tournament team ...
"Oh I don't know. We can't control what other people think. We have LSU at home next and that would be a big win for us. The only thing we can do is try to keep playing well and getting better. I never talk to my team about winning or losing, I just talk to them about getting better."

Forward Korvotney Barber
On what changed from the first half to the second half ...
"We just defended better. In the first half, we weren't defending good in transition. Second half, we came out and got our men picked up pretty well and just rebounded the ball better."

On how the team adjusted to Alabama's size ...
"They're a lot taller than we are so we had to go zone for a little bit and make them take perimeter shots instead of just throwing it in and getting easy breaks."

On if Auburn is an NCAA Tournament team ...
"Right now we're just worried about the next game against LSU. I can't really say right now. Hopefully we can win a few games in the SEC Tournament and make it the NCAA Tournament."

Guard Lucas Hargrove
On what changed from the first half to the second half ...
"I thought we played as a team better in the second half. In the first half, they were beating us a lot on defense so the second half we brought it together and played better defense and rebounded better."

Guard Rasheem Barrett
On if this team would not have won this game the last few year ...
"Most definitely. I believe when you have junior and seniors with more experience. We just told each other we just have to grind. We've been here before, it's time to mature, man up and do what you have to do to win."

On being a senior and wanting the ball at the end of the game ...
"Every player wants the ball in their hands to try to do something with it. I put it in my head, hey let's go. If the ball comes to my hands, try to make something happen. Either I'll go score it or get it to another teammate open so they can do what they need to do and we just found a way to win."