Alabama vs. New Mexico Postgame Quotes



March 21, 2011

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Alabama Head Coach Anthony Grant
Opening statement:
"I think it was a really good matchup today. Obviously New Mexico is a very talented team. We knew coming in that we would have to do a great job on the defensive end. That's what we talked about and that's what we prepped for. Looking at the final numbers, I thought our guys did a very good job from the defensive standpoint. Obviously the three-pointers at the end made the score a lot closer along with not closing it out by missing free throws. But overall, I thought it was a great performance by our guys, especially in the second half, they did a great job of controlling the backboard. From an execution standpoint in the second half, I thought were outstanding. There were a lot of good things tonight that helped with the win."

On keys to the win:
"It's kind of a blur. The key to the game was transition. We were able to get into the game the way we wanted. I thought our defense was outstanding which helped us with our offense. We had a lot of success shooting the basketball. Of the 15 field goals we made, 12 were behind the three-point line. They had a disadvantage there and we tried to exploit that."

On what led to the win:
"It was a combination of things. I think the press affected them a little bit in the second half. We were hoping we could wear them down a little bit. Obviously they are missing a key player. With (Dairese) Gary not being in the game, we tried to force their perimeter guys to make plays. They are a great team with a bunch of young guys. We were hoping to make them uncomfortable. By getting them out of their comfort zone, we tried to make them make plays that they wouldn't normally have to make. I thought we did that through the press really well."

On playing through JaMychal Green's foul trouble:
"I thought with him picking up his second foul, we needed to make sure we had him through the duration of the game. It was going to be a 40-minute game. We had other guys step up. We had Chris Hines on the floor for the entire 20 minutes in the first half. I told him I was very happy, and that he was a warrior. I felt bad because I couldn't give him a break. But he was able to stay on the floor and be effective. We felt that at the half, we were able to stay in good shape. The cumulative effect over a 40 minute game worked out extremely well."

#12 Trevor Releford, Guard
On what was said in the locker room at halftime:
"I think we just had stay together and come out in the second half with more intensity and play our game."

On the increase in shooting percentage in the second half
"I think we just took good shots. We stayed close to the basket and stayed in character like Coach always tells us to do."

On picking up slack due to Green being on the bench
"I was just taking what the defense was giving me. There wasn't really anything on the screen so I was able to take the lane and score. It opened up some shots for me."

On success without Green
"Jamychal brings a lot to the team but we know when he goes out we have to pick up the slack and keep playing our game. We can't let it slow us down."

#5 Tony Mitchell, Forward
On what was said in the locker room before the game:
"We tried to come out and full court press them and make them uncomfortable and wear them down."

On his windmill dunk:
"I'll really remember that one."

On having success without Green:
"Jamychal is a really great player. Sometimes people are going to be out of the game and we just have to keep going, keep pushing and keep our offense in execution."

New Mexico Head Coach Steve Alford
On what happened:
"With an inexperienced group you really feel the effects of our first road game without Dairese Gary. We really saw that at the end of the first half. I think we might have even been up one and then they bank a three in. We have a couple of bad plays offensively and then we go down four. They end the half on a 5-0 run. Instead of you being up with the ball to start the second half, you are down four.

"They were really efficient. You have to give them credit. They were really efficient the second half. I understand now why they are number one in the country in paint scores. They take to a team that doesn't make a lot of jump shots. They do an outstanding job getting the ball in the basket in the paint and I thought they were very effective on the backboard. Mitchell had a very good game and I thought that was a big key. I thought we did a pretty good job. Our big men did a good job of getting Green out of the game and not letting him get going and Hines get going. We didn't have an answer for those guards for a while."

On Alabama's defense:
"They are very good defensively. You can see that, and again, their coaching staff has done a really good job because it is not a team that is a jump-shooting team. Maybe outside of Davis, it is hard to find a guy that can really stroke a basketball so you got to put your team in a situation that can win. The coaching staff has done a really good job of priding them because it is one of the better defensive teams we have played all season long. They mix up their pressures. They run and jump. They back off. They come at you. They just do a really good job at keeping you off balance and that's a credit to them because they have definitely won the number of games they have won this year because of the way they do the things they do on the defensive end. That's a credit to how they do it."

#10 Kendall Williams, Guard
On the trouble Alabama gave them on the press:
"They picked the momentum up a little bit and it worked in their favor. I thought for a while we did a decent job but not well enough, especially on my part. We had a few turnovers that hurt us. They're a good athletic team. We handled it well. We were doing well against them then we had turnovers and that's what they fed off of."

On the difference in the second half:
"It was a combination of things. Turnovers definitely didn't help. They were getting shots. Everything kind of spawned off turnovers and getting paint shots. It turned into a tough defensive struggle."