Dec. 12, 2009
Box Score |
Alabama Head Coach Anthony Grant
On Purdue’s ability to stick to their gameplan:
“They did. You got to give Purdue credit. Their identity has been on the defensive end all year and I thought we were able to see some success early where we built the lead, but, like great teams do, they dug in, they handled the diversity and their defense really won the game for them.”
On the play of Purdue’s standout players:
“Well JaJuan Johnson is a great player, obviously he changes the complexion of the game with his athleticism and what’s able to add to their team. I thought he and (Chris) Kramer in the second half really changed the complexion of the game and they were really the difference tonight. You have got to give them credit. I thought they played like a team that has high character, like you expect a veteran team to do, and give them the credit for it.”
On Senior Guard #3 Chris Kramer and Purdue’s defensive play:
“Yeah there’s a reason why he is the defending defensive player of the year in the Big 10. Our guys, we have to learn that no matter what it’s going to be a 40-minute game, we have to play for 40 minutes. I thought there were times tonight when the intensity level went up and we didn’t respond in the way that we needed to. Hopefully this is a lesson that we’ll learn, it’s a tough lesson, but you could see the youth and the almost lack of experience in these type of situations really take over at the end of the game. Purdue made runs and we weren’t able to answer those runs at either end of the floor. They were able to get second shots and get easy put-backs, and then on the other end of the floor, we didn’t do a very good job of executing, remaining patient and taking good shots like we had earlier. And give them credit, their defense turned up and we didn’t respond the way we needed to. We’ll go back and look at the film. We’ll try to use this as a growing opportunity for our team and hopefully we’ll get better. Hopefully there will be some things that we can look at and understand why we’re able to be successful and other things we’ll look at and say ‘this is where we need to get better’.”
On a focus in the future:
“Exactly, our focus has got to go from, obviously a disappointment tonight in terms of how we finished, to learning from this game and then preparing for our next one. We’ll do that though, our kids are resilient. We have got to understand it’s a tough loss tonight, but we’ll have opportunities in the future where hopefully we’ll continue to do what we’ve been doing all year long and that’s continue to get better.”
On the 13,000+ fans:
“It was great to see the turnout from the fans. I think when we can get that kind of support I think it adds a level of energy for our guys, something that we can get excited about. Obviously we’re disappointed that we weren’t able to finish the game out tonight for our fans and for ourselves, but we certainly appreciate the support that we got and we’ll continue to work to get better and work to continue to get the fans something they can get excited about to come back and support us.”
Junior Forward Justin Knox
On his play during the first half:
"It was in our game plan to do a lot of ball screens due to their aggressiveness and find the kick back. Mikhail (Torrance) found me on a couple of those plays and thankfully I was able to knock them down."
On the difference in the second half:
"We just lost focus in the last nine minutes. They never let up on their defense and we eased up a little bit."
On what can be taken forward after this game:
"A loss is a loss but we need to work on our defensive game and staying consistent. Coach was telling us at halftime the clock was not just going to run out on its own so we needed to stay focused."
Senior Guard Mikhail Torrance
The difference in the second half:
"They picked it up and we didn't. As a senior I need to lead, I was fatigued but we prepare seven weeks in advance for games like these. We will have to take this as a learning experience."
On what Purdue did differently:
"They didn't make too many adjustments they just continued to pressure the whole game. As a point guard you have to take care of the ball and in the first half I played with intensity but I didn't match it in the second half."
On what can be taken out of this game:
"This game told us we can play with anybody. We had a lead but came back complacent and a good team like that can take it away from you."
Purdue Head Coach Matt Painter
On holding Alabama to only five points in the last eight minutes to come back from a 16-point deficit:
“It was a great effort. I’m very proud of our guys. We could have trashed it in and we didn’t. I thought the effort on the glass was really what got us going. We had some guys get some offensive rebounds. We were down three on the glass at halftime and we ended up out rebounding them by 11 in the second half and I think that was the difference in the game. At the end, in the final three minutes, we had some guys get some very important rebounds and I thought our defensive pressure and our conditioning and our will were stronger and it really showed at the end of the game.”
On the turnaround:
“It was amazing. It was just one of those games where we’ve shown nothing in the game to indicate (a turnaround) was going to happen. We were down 16 and there was no indication that we were going to turn it on. I told our guys in the locker room that it was those offensive rebounds, that we were missing some shots and those guys kept coming and we got about four put backs in about a four minute span and that really got us going. And then we were able to stop them and you could see it. I thought our guys were in better shape and I thought we had a stronger will and obviously make some free throws down the stretch.”
Purdue junior forward Robbie Hummel
On teammate Chris Kramer’s four steals in the closing minutes of the game:
“First of all I want to apologize to all Purdue fans for my turnover that probably qualifies for bonehead play of the year. These games come down to the wire and he didn’t want that to happen. He didn’t want Alabama to fire and hope we miss free throws. It was an unbelievable performance in the last three minutes by him."
On the surprising turnaround in the second half:
“It was almost a reversal of the Missouri game. We got a few baskets in transition and we were able to get going off of that. The offensive rebounds were key. I think there were four or five players who had offensive rebounds for put backs and that was crucial for us. We had to have them every time. Catching up with the difference in the score was so hard and they’re a good team. In the first half you have to give them a lot of credit.”