Alabama Men's Basketball vs. Arkansas - March 8

ROLLTIDEDOTCOM
ROLLTIDEDOTCOM

ROLLTIDEDOTCOM

March 8, 2014

Recap |  Box Score |  Notes

Alabama Head Coach Anthony Grant
Opening statement:
“I’m obviously excited to see us get the win. Obviously today is about our seniors. I’m just really proud of these guys. Isiah (Wilson) is a guy that has been with us for several years. It’s obviously his first time getting this kind of attention. I can tell you for all of our guys, he is an invaluable part of our team. The one thing he puts in, is attitude every day. His approach to everything we have asked him to do has been outstanding. He’s a quality young man. It’s great to see him have a go out there and have fun and be a big part of what we were able to accomplish today. When it comes to Trevor, what can you say, with what he has been able to accomplish? He is a top-five scorer for the University (of Alabama). He has the record for most steals. He is in the top ten or 11 in assists. With all he has been able to accomplish in four years, I am really proud of what he has been able to accomplish on the court, but I’m more proud of the man he has become and the way he has become it. I’m just happy for those guys. To be able to send them out with a win means a lot to our team. Arkansas is a team that has played extremely well. We knew we had to come out today really locked in and do what we needed to do. When we played at their place we felt like we left some things on the table. We didn’t give ourselves a complete chance to win. Tonight I thought our guys were really focused on what we said we needed to do in order to win. As we head into the SEC tournament, to come out and get a win of this magnitude, it gives us momentum. We are looking forward to the challenge.”

On Alabama’s first half defense:
“I thought our guys were really locked in. They (Arkansas) came out in their last game and made 17 threes at home. We knew we had to guard the three-point line. They have so many guys that have the ability to score. You have to do a good job of being locked in. They (Arkansas) missed some shots that they were capable of making. I thought we were able to have success on offense. We had 11 turnovers in the first half, but managed to keep them out of transition. They weren’t able to get easy baskets. We made them try to earn what they got. It worked in our favor.”

On Alabama’s recent surge:
We ask our guys to come and work every day. We know who we want to be and what we’re working for. Outside of that, everything is out of our control. We’ve had some games where we have played well and lost. We have had games where we haven’t played well and didn’t win. We have to control what we can control and focus on being a better team. We can’t worry about anything else that is going on outside of our team.”

On Trevor Releford’s scoring milestone:
“That three - there wasn’t a more fitting way to move into the top five in school history.”

Senior Guard, #12 Trevor Releford
On the energy level throughout the game:
“I think it was a little bit of Senior Day, and just wanting to go out there and get a win and head into the SEC Tournament with confidence and a little bit of motivation. I think that’s what all the guys were out there trying to do - just play with great pride and try to win the game.”

On the driving force behind finishing the season strong:
“I think we just take that approach. It’s basketball. You go out there and do the right things, and anybody can get beat. We went out there and played hard for 40 minutes. When we play like that, those are the kind of results we get. I think Isiah (Wilson) saw that today, and heading into the SEC Tournament I think his confidence should be sky high.”

On becoming the number five scorer at Alabama:
“I’m blessed to be in that position. I never thought coming here that I would be top five in scoring at least.I’m just thankful for my teammates finding me and for Coach (Anthony Grant) from day one believing in me and giving me the confidence to go out there and play like that every night.”

Senior Guard, #33 Isiah Wilson
On the energy level throughout the game:
“The last game we missed some opportunities when we went up there and played (Arkansas) at their place. I think the way we practice and the attention Coach (Anthony Grant) puts toward being aggressive allowed our team to go out there with that kind of energy and get the win today.”

On the emotions surrounding the last home game:
“It was very exhilarating to get out there and play in front of a crowd like that. It was very exciting.”

On his nerves before the game:
“Yes, I was nervous going out there. It was my first time ever being in front of a big crowd like that, so my emotions were everywhere. I felt very good to go out my senior season like that.”

 

Arkansas Head Coach Mike Anderson
Opening statement:
“I guess in basketball, you see all kinds of things, and as a coach, with the way our team has played, I just didn’t see this coming. But I knew it was going to be a tough game because Alabama has played well at home. When you have a guy like Trevor Releford … I love that kid. I’ve known him for quite a while, and he had a great senior night. He kind of put the team on his shoulders, and those guys follow his lead. So kudos to him, and to Coach (Anthony) Grant for having those guys ready to play. As for our guys, I just thought we didn’t make shots early on, and I thought we maybe started pressing a little bit. I thought our defense really broke down, and Alabama did a good job of taking advantage of it. But that season is over with, and now we move on to the next season. Again, I’m just disappointed in our performance, but I’ll take the blame for that. One of the things I know is that when you play on the road the last game of the season, and you’re playing at somebody else’s house, and you’re playing in a senior game, your guys have to withstand that emotional pop early on in the game, and we didn’t do a good job of that. We dug a hole, and we were just continually trying to go uphill the entire game, and Alabama made the plays they had to in order to get the win.”

On the amount of turnovers for Arkansas:
“We were just careless with the basketball. Some of that is part of Alabama too. They did a good job of attacking with Trevor Releford and Levi Randolph. They would get a hand on the basketball, we stepped out of bounds. That’s focus. We have to take care of the ball, we value the basketball. We want to create turnovers, but we don’t want to turn it over.”

On if he anticipated a game like this occurring:
No. As a coach, you don’t think like that. I knew it was going to be a tough ballgame. One of the things they [Alabama] do well is trying to control tempo. They’re one of the better defensive teams. Their whole team is pretty good. And when you go on the road, you just want to find a way to win. We don’t care if it’s a half a point, we just want to win. You never go into a game thinking like that.”

 

#20 Kikko Haydar, Guard

On the difference in this game and the last game against Ole Miss:
“I don’t know if anything was different. We just didn’t perform. This is the game of basketball, and sometimes you don’t perform the way you want to. You have to give Alabama a lot of credit, they came out with a lot of emotion and they got us.”

On the shooting struggles in the first half :
“Our offense is based on our defense. We aren’t really worried about our offense. If we played better defense, our offense would have showed it. We didn’t show up with energy. We didn’t get a lot of deflections, which is something that we pride ourselves on. That’s what happens when you don’t show up.”

#4 Coty Clarke, Forward

On if they were due a letdown performance after some recent emotional games:
“We weren’t due for anything. We just didn’t come out with energy and effort. We didn’t play defense and rebound and we struggled on offense. So we weren’t due for anything, we just didn’t perform at our highest level.”