Alabama vs. Alabama A&M Postgame Quotes



Nov. 27, 2010

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Opening statement:
“It’s certainly nice to get the win today. I was proud of the effort our guys game out with today. It’s always good to get back on the floor. We had a tough stretch there in the Virgin Islands. We were able to come out today and to come out with the energy that we did to start the game, we were able to build the lead, and I thought it was good for our guys.

A lot of things that we improved on were things we talked about all week in practice in terms of the way we wanted to defend, the way we needed to rebound and areas that we can still get better. I think we turned the ball over way too much in the first half, but I think did we a better job of protecting the ball in the second half. What it’s all about for us right now at this time of the year is getting better and trying to continue to improve.”

On improvements today:
“I thought we did improve today. I told the guys at halftime, we had 12 turnovers, but the thing I was upset about with the turnovers was we responded after that. We have got to be able to be resilient if something bad happens, move on to the next play and try to make up for that mistake. Whether it’s on the offensive end or the defensive end, I thought we got better at coming back from turnovers in the second half. I thought our focus on taking away the three-point line for the night was better for the most part. I thought we did a much better job of identifying shooters and taking threes away.

There are many things we have to do to grow, in terms of what we need to do better as a basketball team, but I think our guys are willing listeners and wanting to learn and continue to grow.”

On the team’s rebounding:
“I thought Tony Mitchell came out and did an outstanding job on the glass from the beginning and really the entire time he was in the game. If you look at the numbers he put up tonight, he went and got a double-double tonight – 15 rebounds – I thought that was really impressive. I thought all our guys went in there and scrapped for rebounds and loose balls. I thought we did a pretty good job of making contact when the ball went up and blocking out. When you look at a plus-15 effort on the backboards that’s something you can be proud of.”

On Charles Hankerson, Jr. starting:
“Obviously being a freshman he’s still trying to understand his role, his place, and how to be effective when he’s out there. I thought he gave us a good effort on the defensive end tonight. Offensively he struggled to get some shots so it was good to see a three go down for him. He’s a skilled guy who was able to make some plays and get other guys involved. I think as he continues to play he’ll continue to get better.”

On facing South Alabama on Wednesday:
“It’s going to be a good contest. They’ve been a good team when you look at some of the success they had last year. I have not been able to follow them this year but I know that they are very well-coached. They have very good players. We’ll have to be extremely prepared to play an in-state opponent who is obviously, in their conference, very competitive. They’ve done a good job of building a good program and we’ll be ready to go on Wednesday.”

#5 Tony Mitchell, Forward
On recording a double-double in points and rebounds:
“I just wanted to come out and help my team anyway I could. We’re a man short right now so I wanted to come out and do whatever I could to help my team win.”

On whether or not the absence of JaMychal Green was on his mind:
“A little, I just wanted to be able to provide more than just points. I wanted to get on the backboards a little bit and get a lot of rebounds for the team because we were man short and had a lack of height.”

On what needs to be worked on heading forward:
“We’re a little banged up. We just have to get our bodies back right and be ready to play the next game.”

#21 Senario Hillman, Guard
On snapping a three-game losing streak:
“It’s great to get back to winning. We’ve just got to keep on going out trying to get wins and play hard every game.”

On Tony Mitchell’s performance today:
“He brought a lot of energy and a lot of effort in getting the rebounds. He played hard and did everything he could to help us get a win. Some of us fed off his energy so I think that helped a lot too.”

#2 Charles Hankerson, Forward
On getting his first career start:
“When I actually realized when I was sitting down before introductions, it was amazing. I’m excited that we got the win, got back on track and happy to be a part of the team.”

On snapping a three-game losing streak:
“It was crucial. The Virgin Islands were beautiful but we didn’t handle business. To come back and get a win in front of the home crowd was huge.”

On Tony Mitchell’s play:
“Tony is a big part of the team. Anytime he gets it going our team just flows and he makes everybody better. Tony is a good player. As long as he plays his game and plays hard we’ll be successful.”

Opening Statement:
“Alabama was very aggressive. I tried to tell (our players) with Coach Grant having them home for the holidays that things would be a little different. He even suspended JaMychal (Green) and I knew that would fire their team up. They just came out and played inspired basketball. I still saw a couple of good things that we can take from this game and work on, but we knew that they would come out and fight hard and they did that and we came up on the short end of it.”

On the performance from Cornelius Hester:
“If you think about it, Hester got in it late. In the early portions of the game he couldn’t hit a shot. He finally found his shot later in the game and the outcome was determined by then. If he had that hand early on I think it would have given us a better chance, because if he is hitting things on the perimeter it would definitely have opened things up for us on the outside. It was a tough loss for us on the road, but it is non-conference and as long as we are learning something from each game, as a coach you can be happy with it. You’re obviously not happy with a loss, but as long as we have some positives we can take out of this game it’s ok.”

On trying to slow Alabama down:
“We wanted to slow them down in this game, because that is how the other teams have beat Alabama. They slowed the pace down because Alabama will get out and run with you. They were able to run with us because of the turnovers. You have to think about where we turned the ball over. We turned the ball over in bad spots where it is almost impossible to defend. Anytime you turn the ball over above the top of the key, then you’re going to be in trouble, because it makes it real difficult for you to get back and defend that. That is why they shot 51 percent from the floor and I think 55 percent in the second half, because they turned up the defensive pressure and we turned it over.”