March 15, 2011
Recap | Box Score | Notes | Photo Gallery
Alabama Head Coach Anthony Grant and players Charvez Davis and Senario Hillman
Alabama Head Coach Anthony Grant Opening statement:
"We're excited about this win. Obviously we knew Coastal Carolina was a dangerous team, they had a great season. For us the emphasis on defense was making sure that we came out and played to our identity, and I thought our guys did that tonight. I thought we were very effective in getting the tempo up the way we wanted. We were able to get out in transition and have success in the open floor. I'm just proud of the effort from our guys here tonight."
On playing two days after the disappointment on Selection Sunday:
"Obviously we talked about that. That is behind us, and we need to turn the page. That is the message that we have tried to send over the past couple of days. I am proud of our guys that the message was heard. I think we came out and played to our identity and did the things that have allowed us to have the success that we've been able to enjoy this year."
On if Coastal Carolina's offensive struggles were self caused or imposed by Alabama's defense:
"It was probably a combination. Coach Ellis could probably give you a better answer than I could. What we try to do is hurry them up a little bit and get them to play our tempo, get them out of rhythm and out of sorts so to speak. Hopefully that was a part of why they didn't shoot the ball well. That is probably an answer they could answer better than we could."
#24 Charvez Davis, Guard
On the 13-0 run early in the second half:
"That is just how I was taught to play. Coach wanted to get after them early on. We just wanted to be aggressive and get some different looks. We like to go up and down the court. We were fortunate to get some steals and then knock some easy baskets down. We got a lot of energy from it."
On if this game was meant to send a message to the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee:
"Every time we step on the floor we are sending a message. Night in and night out we just try to play hard. We just try to get better as a team night in and night out."
#21 Senario Hillman, Guard
On what the 1,000 career point mark means to him:
"It means a lot to me. It was one of my goals and I just have to keep playing hard."
On being just one steal shy of the UA record:
"I wasn't sure where I was at (on the record list). I just have to continue competing. If I get the steal, I get the steal."
On the absence of his signature headband tonight:
"I got a new haircut and just wanted everybody to see the new look."
Coastal Carolina Head Coach Cliff Ellis and Guard Danny Nieman
Coastal Carolina Head Coach Cliff Ellis Opening statement:
"First of all, congratulations to Alabama. They're a very good basketball team. They did all the right things that needed to be done against us. I thought their press really got to us. The pressure, the way they extended. They played several defenses, but their pressure really got to us. We felt like we needed to limit turnovers and rebound with them. We rebounded with them but their 19 turnovers really turned into buckets. There were too many easy buckets off of that. I thought those were the keys: their press and forcing us into turnovers. (Tony) Mitchell made some three's that we weren't expecting that provided some momentum. They're long, their defense is good. This team's going to go a long way. We didn't play very well. We'll just be forthright and honest. We didn't play very well at all. I give Alabama the credit with regards to what they did. They took us out of everything we wanted to do and I think this team will go a long way. They're a team that should be in the NCAA tournament. I think they're making that statement, and I think they'll go a long way."
On balancing the disappointment of the game with the satisfaction of the overall season:
"When you look at the whole picture, it's been a good year. Tonight's not the way we wanted to end it because we didn't play well, but again, Alabama had a lot to do with that. When you look back on it, the fact that our team won 28 games, made the postseason tournament, won the regular season championship. We're disappointed we didn't win the conference tournament, but at the same time we dealt with a lot of things. We ended up with eight players that gave us everything they had."
On Senario Hillman's impact on the game:
"It was such a quick turnaround. We didn't know a lot about Alabama. I'm sure the same with them. We were really searching. Within 48 hours of the announcement, we're playing. We're trying to find out about them. They're trying to find out about us. We didn't hear a lot about Hillman. Hillman's very athletic. He did a nice job. He hurt us rebounding. He hurt us penetrating. He made some plays. They've got a lot of different weapons. The question mark coming into this game was their outside shooting, but they did that well enough. Their defense just creates so much offense, that if they can get that kind of defense night in, night out, they're going to be a tough out for somebody. I like their team. If Mitchell can give Davis some help and they can knock down a couple of three's outside of (Charvez) Davis, they're going to be something to behold."
#3, Danny Nieman, Guard
On the feeling amongst the players:
"I think as a whole, that isn't how we wanted to go out. Like Coach said, we've been through a lot together and became like brothers. We had eight players. We went through a lot the past couple of weeks or so. We were disappointed with the way we played tonight, but we're satisfied with how we've fought this past month. We got our backs against the wall. We were down and we came out swinging. We got to the conference championship and lost. We're ready for next year. We will take a couple of weeks off and get right back at it. We feel bad for Chad Gray but he's going to go make some money somewhere. He's a great player, a great kid, and a great success story with that second chance he got. He made the most of it. That's what Coach does. I think as unit we're still holding together."
On what impressed him most about Alabama in the game:
"Probably their defense. Me and Raffa had a couple turnovers that we'd like to have back. They got out on the break and they're so athletic. That's an NCAA-caliber team. Their coach has done a great job with them and they're going to be back next year. Hopefully, they'll be in the NCAA tournament. "