Alabama vs. Oakland Postgame Quotes



Nov. 14, 2011

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HEAD COACH Anthony Grant
Opening statement:
“I thought it was an outstanding effort.  You look at the defensive numbers and they’re really impressive.  When you talk about a team like Oakland, they’ve got a lot of weapons in terms of guys that can score the basketball.  They came in obviously shooting the basketball very well and getting about 90 points a game.  I thought our guys did a very good job throughout the entire game of keeping the focus on the defensive end.”

On the rest of the team’s response to the absence of JaMychal Green in the second half:
“It was good to see.  We are obviously a better team with him on the floor, but I was really proud of the way our young guys responded.  I think we had to go to a make-shift line-up when they went to five guards and really started shooting the basketball.  We ended up going small and I thought the guys did a really good job.  It was good to see us be able to not only defend them with that line-up but also to be able to run offense and convert and do the things that we needed to do with guys playing some unfamiliar positions.”

On his team not losing its aggressiveness when key players had foul trouble:
“I thought our team, the entire team, did a very good job of being focused on the things that we had talked about.  I thought everybody tonight understood what we needed to do and what we had to do to give ourselves the best chance to win and we went out and did that.”

On the offensive execution to go along with the defense:
“That’s really good to see the young guys step up and play with the confidence that they played with two games into the season.  I thought all those guys came out tonight and really impacted the game in a variety of ways, on the defensive end and offensively.  I thought our flow offensively was the best it’s been in the short amount of time we’ve played.  I think the guys really understand what we’re trying to do.”

No. 12 Trevor Releford - Guard
On what allowed Alabama to pull away:
“Just everyone stepped up, which allowed us to pull this off. The freshmen stepped up big. Trevor Lacey came in and stepped up huge for us. I mean we all played well. We gave our best effort and we are hard to beat when we do that.”

On how encouraging it was to see how the freshman played and improved:
“That was big, I mean they didn’t even look like freshmen out there to me. They looked like they were a year into the program. They all played their hearts out and gave their best efforts.”

No. 20 Levi Randolph - Guard
On the win tonight and how encouraging it was to play well against a good team:
“We knew they were going to be a good team. We talked about them a lot in practice and in the scouting report. They went to the tournament and played some good teams, so they were going to come in here with some drive and with some fight. Coach (Anthony Grant) just had emphasis on the defensive end and on how we needed to defend them because they have a lot of scorers. He said we had to have energy and have a sense of urgency - just to come out and play hard and play our game and get a win.”

On the improvement of the freshman:
“I just think the freshman needed some time to get comfortable and get used to playing with everybody. I think as we go along we will get more comfortable and the guys will just come together better.”

On Alabama’s defense:
“I was very impressed with them, with their length and athleticism. I’d like to play them when it’s not our first game. We don’t usually miss foul shots like that. We made some big errors with about seven minutes to go in the half and it just steamrolled on us. I’d like to give you a better answer later on because we are playing some new kids this year. The bottom line is that they are long and athletic and I thought they were tremendous on defense. Offensively, they were a little better than I thought they were going to be. We knew JaMychal Green and Tony Mitchell were good but I think those other kids can make some jump shots now. We were going to double off and go down and double on Green, but then we decided to just play those freshmen. I was very impressed with Alabama. I’m a little disappointed in us, but it’s the first game of the year and we played a nationally ranked team. I saw a lot of good things for us.”

On Reggie Hamilton scoring 16 in the first half and being held scoreless in the second half:
“I think I stopped him. I was very angry with him at halftime. I think he played a terrible first half. I thought he lost purpose out there and it became more of a battle for him to score than it was Oakland trying to score. We had quite a half time and we are going to have more than that after this because he just has a lot to learn. We don’t have some guys here this year that he had last year and he tried to take over and that’s not what you do. I’m very upset and disappointed in the way he played. He probably could have had 25 or 30 if I would have let him continue to do that, but that’s not how we play.”

On attacking Alabama’s freshmen this game:
“I really think you have to guard them and the athleticism that they have. For freshmen, they’ve learned to defend very quickly. It’s hard to teach freshmen to defend. Maybe he recruited them because they could, or maybe he’s just a hell of a coach and has done it in a month or so. I can’t teach a freshmen to play that good defensively that fast. I give them all the credit in the world. They are really good, really athletic and really long. Early on our dribble drive we made some stuff and got some easy ones. They made some adjustments and did a great job.”

No. 23 Reggie Hamilton - Guard
On the game:
“Both teams came out and played pretty hard. At the end, it got away from us. Our team is going to regroup from this and learn from it, and just keep pushing forward.”

Thoughts on Alabama’s defense, especially in the second half:
“They didn’t do too much that surprised us. We prepared for them all month. It wasn’t anything we didn’t prepare for, we just had a bad second half.”