Alabama vs. Miami Postgame Quotes



March 23, 2011

Recap |  Box Score

Alabama Head Coach Anthony Grant
Opening statement:
“Well it’s an understatement to say that it was a great win. I’m really proud of the effort our guys gave today. I thought from start-to-finish, style of play wise was outstanding. The atmosphere today was outstanding. The thing we talked about today before we took the floor was to make sure we finished it at home. We had an opportunity to go to 19-0, and what these guys have accomplished this year, we couldn’t accept anything less than doing it the right way. I think our guys came out with great pride and excitement for an opportunity to continue our play, to continue our season, and to continue to have an opportunity to compete for a championship. I’m just really proud of the effort everyone gave today.”

On the full court press:
“We felt like coming into the game we could have success with the press. Just from watching them and scouting them, we felt like their advantage was their physicality and their strength. They had several guys that couldn’t really shoot the ball. We felt our advantage was our speed and quickness and our ability to be disruptive. That turned out to be very effective for us. The thing we talked about was making it about style of play. We wanted our style of play to win out. That’s the thing I’m really proud of with this team. We can play a lot of ways. We can play half court defensively. We’ve been able to lock down half court. We can extend our pressure to the full court. We’ve been very effective doing that. We’ve been very effective playing zone at times. We’ve been very disruptive doing that. From a defensive standpoint, I’m really proud of the effort that our guys have given and their understanding and ability to take scouting reports. They understand what we need to do and what it is going to take for us to have a chance to win.”

On the seniors’ play:
“I’m so happy and proud of Senario (Hillman). It’s a great way to end his season and career here at home. It was the last home game. We all know for Senario has had to sacrifice a little bit this year, and it hasn’t been easy. To have him go out and perform the way he performed today at both ends of the floor as a senior and as a leader to bring our team to the NIT Final Four and having a chance to play for a championship. I couldn’t be happier for him. I’m so happy for all of our seniors. I told Chris Hines after the game, whatever it was two weeks ago when we didn’t make the NCAA tournament when it was so painful for our seniors. Here we are turned around. Those guys are so excited and so happy. I think that is a testament to our guys being able to stay together, believe in each other, and just continue to play for each other. They will fight to win. I’m excited for those guys. Charvez (Davis) was also terrific. At the end of the game, he got hit in the hand and couldn’t feel it. That is the only reason he was not in during the end of the second half. I think he will be okay. Those guys were outstanding, not only tonight but the success we have had all year.”

#21 Senario Hillman, Guard
On the game:
“We were real happy about this game tonight. This is my last home game, and I wanted to go out there and play hard and do everything I could to win.”

On the last home game of his career:
“I feel like it was one of my best games. I was just attacking, and I went out there and played hard and gave it my all. I did what I had to do to help us win.”

On realizing when you got the record:
“I try not to focus on that. I just went out there and played.”

#5 Tony Mitchell, Forward
On playing at a fast pace and high speed:
“We just kept attacking it and running our offense and kept playing like we were supposed to. Sometimes we are going to have drops but we just kept fighting.”

On defense playing good all season:
“We had some games where we played great defense, and we had some where we didn’t. But I would say we had some better games playing defense. I guess we had a chip on our shoulder since it was our last home game. We just wanted to come out and win.”

On Miami narrowing the Tide lead to within one point:
“We just got to keep fighting. We were a little undersized at times but we just kept tipping the ball and kept fighting down low to get the rebounds and get it up to score.”

On moving on from disappointed of not getting into NCAA tournament and focusing on the NIT Championship:
“It’s still a championship. We are going to take it. We made it to the final four and we are going to try and make it to the championship.”

Miami Head Coach Frank Haith and players
Opening statement:
“Alabama played very well tonight. I thought they were quicker to the ball than we were even though in the second half we started to execute a little better and handled the ball a little better. Their athleticism took over the game in the second half. Our inability to keep them out of the paint and keep them off the glass caused turnovers. They did a great job.”

On Senario Hillman’s performance tonight:
“He’s an athlete. We didn’t do a good job keeping him off the glass and he scored a lot of buckets in transition and off of offensive rebounds.”

On whether Miami expected as much full court pressure as there was tonight:
“Absolutely, that’s the way they play we just didn’t handle the ball very well. The way the tournament works out is we play, get on a plane the next day then bus, then drive, that’s what we did. There’s not a lot of prep time. The next morning we get up, get on a plane to Birmingham then we don’t get on the court until seven o’clock at night and then we play the game.”

On having a chance to take the lead in the second half:
“I think we had a chance to get ourselves in better position and we didn’t capitalize on that because we had them back on their heels at that time. We had some point-blank shots that we were not able to put in there. We didn’t make those plays and then I think it was a five-point turnaround right there. They hit two straight buckets to gain the momentum back.”

#1 Durand Scott, Guard
On the pace of the game early on:
“Alabama came out ready to play and we weren’t really prepared for that even though we should have been. That kind of put us back on our heels but I thought we stuck together as a team to try and cut the lead down as far as we could. When we came out in the second half we were prepared to get back in the game.”