Postgame Quotes

Nov. 9, 2012

Recap |  Box Score |  Notes

Head Coach Anthony Grant
Opening statement:

"It was a heck of a basketball game, a heck of a way to start the season. I told our guys that- I told everybody- coming into this game that it was going to be a really knockdown, drag out game. South Dakota State, with the team that they have, every guy that you saw on the floor, they came out here today ready to play. It's a great program. They have some good players. Nate Wolters is a heck of a player; he's terrific. Tonight he goes five-for-six from the three point line, you know, he's special. I think our guys did a great job of trying to get their opportunities. I thought our guys responded well when they got down early. We stayed together, we kept fighting, and our defense got us back into it before the half. It was a battle. You know, when you look at it, going back and forth in the second half, the way we fought back, it was great to see our guys gain their confidence. That shot by Trevor Lacey- it was great to see that. It was just a heck of a basketball game." 

On the defense's performance at the end of the first half:
"I thought really all of our guys contributed and put in a good effort. We were having a hard time finding the basket. You know, we talked about it at halftime. We needed to refocus, re-commit on the defensive end of the floor, try to get some stops, and get out there in transition for an easy basket. Coming out of that timeout, we get a steal and a quick layup. Off of that, the crowd is in it, we got momentum. Our defense came first." 

On Trevor Releford's performance:
"He did a great job of playing and using his skills out there. Coming out of that timeout on the floor, coming back in the game, it was a great learning lesson for him and a great lesson for our team as we go forward in the season." 

South Dakota State Head Coach Scott Nagy

Opening Statement:
"We're not looking for any moral victories and we are very disappointed quite frankly we're disappointed in the way that we played - we didn't shoot the ball like we normally do. We just had too many experienced players play like they were inexperienced. [Alabama's] pressure bothered us, I didn't think it would bother us as much as it did, but it did. It was just disappointing. We had some guys play very tentatively and there is no reason for it. We have been in enough games like this, we have enough experienced players, coming in and playing Alabama shouldn't phase us, and I just felt like it did. It's why we didn't shoot the ball like we should have and it's why we didn't take care of the ball like we should have." 

On if he felt like his team handled the pressure well in the first half:
"We were and then we just completely fell apart and let them back in the basketball game. Even though we were up two at halftime, it felt like we were down because we let them back in the basketball game. It's frustrating because we have more players than just Nate [Wolters], quite frankly and some of the guys that we lean on and we expect to play were just a little bit tentative and you can't play against pressure tentatively and we did." 

On being able to stop Trevor Releford's penetration in the first half versus not being able to stop Releford in the second half:
"I don't know. They set some more ball screens, more than they did in the first half. He's a good player - he's a heck of a player. Even when we tried to stop him, sometimes he's so slippery, it's like I told the players, he is a little like a running back - he sees a hole and you can't get it closed down. He made some nice plays for them, but I do think that they set some more ball screens in the second half and forced us to help inside. Defensively, we did what we wanted to do for the most part. We made them shoot a lot of threes, helped inside. For our size and athletic ability compared to theirs, we tied them on the glass which is pretty good. Defense was a little bit of a problem in the second half. They went too many times in a row scoring. If we just play the way we normally play, this would have been a different outcome. I think you have to give them some credit too, because of their pressure - it forced us to play that way."  

South Dakota State Players 

#3 Nate Wolters, Guard

On Alabama's pressure defense:
"Once they get going they turn up the pressure. They really attack you. We did not handle it well at the end of the first half and the beginning of the second. We got stops and were able to get where we wanted offensively until they set up that press, which was really tough." 

On the game ending sequence:
"You never want to lose like that. He had a tough shot." 

On Alabama's defense:
"They were scoring every time so they would get in that press and double team me in the back court forcing me to pitch it ahead. It's just the way it goes sometimes." 

On Trevor Releford:
"He is a good player. I have seen him play before on TV, so I knew he was good. He is really quick and handles the ball well."