Postgames Quotes from Alabama's first round NIT win



March 19, 2013

Recap |  Final Stats |  Notes

Alabama Head Coach Anthony Grant

Opening statement:
“After watching these guys on film with a short turnaround – you find out Sunday night that you’re going to play Tuesday night against an opponent who’s a league champion –obviously, we were concerned. If you look at their numbers and what they did in their league, we had to do a really good job defensively. The thing that was really scary about this team was if you look at the last three games they played, they were in holes -double digit holes – and in all three games they had opportunities to win.
In the first half, when we got up, we told our guys that this is where they’re most comfortable. We’re going to have to withstand a run here. (Northeastern) made that run, so the challenge for us in the second half was to regroup and refocus, and get over whatever happened and come out with intensity and I thought in the second half our guys responded.
Defensively, we really turned it up. We caused some problems, we were able to get out in transition, guys were extremely aggressive from an offensive standpoint. We were then able to open it back up and win comfortably.”

#2 Levi Randolph, Guard

On the energy generated from the 22-0 run:
“We’re just trying to create energy with our defense and trying to play our style of play and do the things that coach (Anthony Grant) asks us to do.”

On the key to getting rejuvenated after the drought:
“We talked at halftime about coming out and just playing our style of play, letting defense create our energy and letting defense create our offense.”

On the back-to-back dunks:
“I was in the corner and Trevor (Releford) found me when he drove, and I was able to rip through. I had a good seal by Moussa (Gueye) from the back side, and I was just able to finish.”

#12 Trevor Releford, Guard

On the key to getting rejuvenated after the drought:
“We had players on our team who stepped up, like Levi (Randolph). He had a couple of possessions where he just ripped them. He made a good play and gave the team some energy.” 

On when Northeastern got it down to one:
“We just came together as a team and just knew that we had to make plays, we had to step up, we had to defend, we had to stop them and keep them from getting baskets.”

On what it would mean to make a run in this tournament now that they’ve played a game:
“That was our goal before this game, to make a run in this tournament and win it. This game is out of the way and we’re on to the next one. We’re just waiting to see who we play, either Stanford or Stephen F. Austin, and just get ready for them.”

Northeastern Head Coach Bill Coen

Opening Statement:
“I would like to congratulate Coach Anthony Grant and his staff and the entire Alabama team. I thought they played a terrific basketball game and they have had a wonderful year. It’s an honor to be a part of this NIT Tournament. I know our team hoped we would play a little better, but you have to give credit to Alabama – they really played at a high-energy level. Their defense caused problems for us all evening long. We didn’t get too many clean looks at the basket. I thought we got the game back under control by halftime, but I thought their energy in the second half just generated too many turnovers and led to easy points for them.”

On the first half run Northeastern put together to make it a one point game:
“I think we just matched their energy and that was really the only part of the game where I thought we did that – we at least played as hard as they were playing. When you do that you give yourself a chance. I think during that stretch we only had one turnover, we took good care of the ball, we executed our offense – so we were able to climb back into the game. I thought their athleticism, strength and quickness really took a toll on us in the second half and took us out of rhythm.”

On Alabama attacking the baseline in the second half:
“I thought we got down so we got anxious defensively. I think in a closer basketball game we could have played a little more position defense. I thought we got caught in an anxious mindset where we were trying to make plays, trying to get a steal and gave them angles to the basket and they did a great job of attacking the rim, particularly from the corners.”

Northeastern Quincy Ford, Forward

On tonight’s game:
“Alabama is a pretty big team in the SEC. I don’t know if we were just nervous coming out of the gate. As the game slowly went on we started to calm down and got into a stable offense and defense. In the second half, somehow it just slipped away, and we just could not get back in the game.”

On Northwestern’s defense:
“Our defense started a little shaky. As the team calmed down, we started to talk to each other. In the second half, we began to have a spurt and we started to have a run where we kept making them turn the ball over, which changed the game. We were down by one point at one time. ”