Nov. 27, 2011

Recap |  Final Stats |  Notes


HEAD COACH Anthony Grant

Opening statement

“We knew coming in that we had very similar styles of play. They came out the first half and really dictated the tempo. Their defense was outstanding and it got us frustrated in terms of trying to run our offense. We never really found a rhythm. I thought we did that in the second half. I thought things turned around in terms of our offense. We had some success getting the ball inside and getting to the free throw line. We were able to use our press to get them a little out of sort. I think they did a great job. They are a great three point shooting team. The three’s really hurt us in the second half, but it was a good win.”

On JaMychal Green

“It’s great to see 33 minutes. We were able to keep him on the floor and we talked about this a lot. Our team obviously performs very well when he’s out there for us. He had 14 rebounds and 21 points tonight. I don’t know if he missed a shot in the second half. It was an outstanding performance by him but we had guys step up in the second half and do a really good job of handling the pressure. We were able to attack a little better and get some easy baskets off the press. We were able to give ourselves a chance there in the last four minutes and we were able to come out with the win.”

On the overall performance of the game

“I didn’t feel like we could find a rhythm for the most part. I’m giving VCU credit for that because they had a lot to do with it. Our guys found a way. I thought we came out in the second half with good energy and the crowd was really into it. It gave our guys a boost and it was a great win.”

On looking down the road

“It’s a lot of learning lessons. I think the thing we try to do is look at every game as an opportunity to get better. You have to make sure you prepare the right way. We struggled tonight with the three point line and there’s some things we can take away from that and get better in terms of the way we need to defend. I thought we got good play out of a lot of guys tonight. I thought (Trevor) Lacey did a good job of being the secondary ball handler for us and attacking the pressure in the second half. It was good to see him attack the rim on a couple of possessions and get some good plays. I thought (Rodney) Cooper and Levi (Randolph) did a really good job from a defensive stand point. Those guys have been outstanding. Cooper came up with a huge offensive rebound there at the end. Nick Jacobs gave us some good minutes there in the second half with his offensive productivity. I think we had a few guys step up tonight and we needed every bit of it. VCU played outstanding. They are poised for an excellent year. I’m happy for our guys for getting the win.”


#1 JaMychal Green, Forward

On tonight’s game

“It was a very tough game coming in.  The coaches told me they were going to be physical. I think we picked it up in the second half. We were the more physical team and we brought it to them.”

On halftime adjustments

“In the first half, we weren’t executing our offense and they did a great job denying us the wings and threw us out of whack. In the second half, we just cut harder and tried to get open. We just played together as a team and just moved the ball around.”

#12 Trevor Releford, Guard

On halftime adjustments

“We just had to go by our game plan and play to our identity on both ends of the floor and that was going to get us through.”

On first half huddle

“Like coach (Grant) said, just keep cutting hard and screen and do all the little things to get open because they know all the plays. We just had to get through that.”

On VCU’s identical style of play

“That’s good because we like going up and down in our game. I thought we had the advantage, and we came out with the win.”


HEAD COACH Shaka Smart

Opening Statement

“I think Alabama deserved to win tonight. They played really hard and they caused us some issues in the second half. They blocked six shots, but they really changed a whole lot more shots. I think their length and athleticism around the basketball really affected us. I thought at times we played hard and scrapped and played the way we play, but certainly not for 40 minutes, and that’s why we lost.”

On if VCU played well for longer tonight than usual:

“I’ll have to watch the tape. I mean, every game is different, and I didn’t think we defended as well tonight as we did in our last game against Western Kentucky when we held them to 45 or 46 points."

On JaMychal Green’s play inside

“Yeah he had his way. He’s a terrific player. I had the good fortune of being a court coach for USA Basketball this summer, and JaMychal Green and Tony Mitchell were both up there trying out for the team. I had seen him on TV, and I had actually seen him in AAU, but I didn’t realize how good those guys were until I had a chance to be around them this summer. I tried to explain to our guys that tape really doesn’t do justice to how athletic those guys are, and how active they are. Green was a monster tonight. He played terrific. Our game plan was to try to keep it out of his hands in the post, and if he did get it, we were going to double the post. He did a good job of being poised when we doubled, and then he also did a good job of getting so deep sometimes that it was too late to double. He was definitely the player of the game.”

On what impressed him about Alabama’s freshmen

“Yeah I liked their freshmen a lot. The future is bright for Alabama. Levi Randolph is kind of a do it all guy. I see him as a glue guy for them. He plays so many minutes for them, and the thing that is impressive about him, and all of their freshmen are that they’ve bought into Coach Grant’s defensive system. The thing with freshmen is the defensive stuff comes along slower than the offense. But with Randolph, and (Trevor) Lacey, and (Rodney) Cooper, and I really like Nick Jacobs, I think he’s going to be a good player. All of them seem to have really bought in, so the future is bright for those guys.”


#20 Bradford Burgess, Guard

On the second half

“We weren’t solid on defense, we let them get some open shots, some offensive rebounds, and that kills a team when you’re trying to come back, when you’re down on the road. It just gave them all the momentum they needed to run away with the victory at the end.”

On what the team takes out of this game

“We just weren’t disciplined enough. We could have had a better outcome if we had stayed disciplined. The second half killed us. They shot like sixty – something percent and outrebounded us. We just didn’t do the little things that we needed to do, especially on the road, to get victories, and they took advantage of it.”

On what Alabama does defensively

They are probably the most athletic team we will face all year. All those guys, one through five, are athletes, they can jump out of the gym, they can defend, they can rebound, and that is one of their advantages for their season, is just how athletic they are, how many athletic guys they have on the court at one time. We had a strategy, and we just did not stick to it, and they took advantage of it.”

On how difficult it is to guard Alabama’s size and strength

We didn’t stick to the strategy. Our strategy was to not let them get it in, and once they got it in, try to crush the post to make them pass it out, and work from there. But, they got easy buckets in the lane, their guards got into the lane, and helped create shots from the outside, and we just didn’t stick to our plan, and it showed in the second half, shooting sixty – something percent, and getting all those offensive boards.”