Alabama vs. Samford Post Game Quotes



Dec. 16, 2009

Recap |  Box Score |  Notes

Alabama Head Coach Anthony Grant

Opening Statement:

"I thought our guys did a very good job defensively and that was our focus. We knew coming in with the way they run their offense that it was going to be important to guard the three point line. That was our emphasis early. We gave up some back door plays to start the game, but I think our guys settled in well and we took that away. Foremost, I think we did a good job of taking away the three point line."

On defending Samford's offense:

"Obviously Samford is very well coached and they run their system extremely well. They gave us a hard time early finding good shots and taking care of the basketball. We had some uncharacteristic turnovers where we didn't score for a while, but once our guys settled in I think we did a very good job."

On the Tide's defensive performance:

"I thought that was going to be critical - we had to play to our style. We couldn't let them control the tempo of the game. We've talked about that the last couple of days in practice, and I thought our guys, for 40 minutes tonight, tried to do that. We tried to impose our will and I thought we were effective from a defensive standpoint."

On the team staying poised and staying within the game plan:

"We've talked about that, obviously trying to put together a 40 minute game and understanding the focus that we have to have all the way through. Like I said, when you look at the difficulty in playing an opponent like this with a short turn around, I thought our guys did a very good job."

On facing Kansas State on Saturday:

"I think the schedule this season has brought challenge after challenge for our team, and I think for the most part our guys have done a very good job of being able to move on to the next challenge and being able to focus. We're going to enjoy this one tonight and get as prepared as we can for Saturday."

On Kansas State's head coach Frank Martin:

"Frank and I were high school teammates. We coached together in high school for five years, and we've been friends since we were about 14 or 15 years old. I'm very proud of him and what he's been able to accomplish at Kansas State throughout his career. Obviously he's got his ball club playing extremely well right now. It's always tough when you have to compete against a friend, but I'm really proud of what he's done and what he's put together out at Kansas State."

Sophomore Forward JaMychal Green

What was working offensively in the paint:

"First of all we did a great job of getting the ball inside. My teammates knocked down some outside shots which opened things up for me inside and they were able to find me and get the ball in my hands."

On defending against Samford:

"It is very difficult they have a lot going on all the time. Coach Grant did a great job getting us prepared and running the offense in practice so we could get familiar with it."

Senior Guard Mikhail Torrance

On bouncing back from the Purdue game:

"It feels good. We came in and practiced hard and watched film on our mistakes but we didn't want to dwell on it. We wanted to come back tonight and show that we are still a great team. We really wanted to set the tempo and play our speed and I think we did that tonight."

On the key coming into the game:

"We wanted to come in and play to our identity. We were going to play full court and try and wear them down. We watched film on it and just kept the pressure up and they weren't ready for that. We wanted to go out and play fast and to our identity."

On going on the road:

"We have to take the same mentality. The first five minutes are really important. We just have to go out there and play to our identity and go get it done."

Samford Head Coach Jimmy Tillette

Overall thoughts on the game:

"I didn't think we handled the pressure very well, we had 20 turnovers. We tried to play too quickly and they took the ball out of our hands. Once we figured out the physicalness of the game, we took care of the basketball better. In the second half we were 9-of-19 and we missed three layups, you count those and we're 12-of-19 and shooting over 50 percent in the half. I think they made really good physical plays. At halftime they had four offensive rebounds with nine in the second half and again, we played too fast. We needed to slow down, not speed up and our guys went backwards. It's a learning experience. They do a great job being physical and it was a physical game. We shot one free throw, they shot five. There were only 15 fouls called the whole game, so I guess the officials were letting them play. They were a good officiating crew, I'm not complaining about the officials by any means at all, but it's a learning experience."

On the play of his team in the closing minutes of the game:

"I thought our guys at the end of the game ended the game energized and spirited. They completed the game all the way through. We got up the court and got loose balls, so that was good. We'll figure out the right minutes for the right people as we move along."

On the improvement of Alabama under new head coach Anthony Grant:

"They had Purdue beat for about 34 minutes. They're improving. They do what he wants them to do. They are well coached, patient on offense and they're physical. How much physicality they will have in the SEC, I don't know, since they will play against similar athletes. But I think as the game wore on, it wore us down a little bit."