Alabama vs. Mercer Postgame Quotes



Dec. 23, 2009

Recap |  Box Score |  Notes

Alabama Head Coach Anthony Grant
Opening Comments:
"I thought our guys came out with focus on the defensive end and we did a good job in terms of taking away three-point shots and being able to contain the ball.  Obviously, (Mercer guard James) Florence is very talented.  He is a gifted player.  We weren't able to contain him all night, but I thought for the most part we did a good job there as well.

On minimizing a player like Florence:
"We play our normal defense every night we come out.  I told our guys they had others guys as well that were very dangerous. They are a team that is very dangerous from the three-point line.  We knew that coming in and we had to put our focus there, but at the same time because of the speed that they play with, they are a team that averages 80 points a game, we knew we had to do a great job of getting back, getting matched up and getting stops and then when the shot goes up on the backboard they do a good job of rebounding as well. They came into the game averaging about 17 offensive rebounds a game and I thought our guys at the start of the game did a great job of blocking out and going and chasing rebounds.  We were fortunate to be able to take advantage of some of those misses and turn them into transition buckets."

On overall play of the defense:
"I thought our guys did a really good job in the clutch of being disciplined, not taking unnecessary chances and really we were able to be effective with the press and not give up easy baskets on the other end.  I thought for the most part we were able to defend without fouling with the extended pressure as well.  I thought it was a good effort tonight."

On half-court offense:
 "I thought we played extremely unselfishly tonight.  When you look at the totals, 21 assists for the game, it's very good for our team to play that way and I think that's the way we have to play in order to be successful.  I thought the ball was distributed well tonight.  I thought we had good balance.  We had the ball inside quite a bit and that created opportunities for our guys on the perimeter. We got some good looks that we were fortunate to convert. I thought we attacked them from an offensive standpoint aggressively. We were unselfish and obviously fortunate to get the 21 assists and score 90 points."

On the play of Justin Knox:
"Justin came out and he played with good energy and that's what we need.  I think the thing we have to do as a team is have everybody understand that they have to be accountable to themselves to come out and perform to the best of their abilities and to our team because we are relying on each guy that we have on a daily basis to come out and do what they are capable of doing."

Alabama Player Quotes
Sophomore Forward JaMychal Green

On what allowed him to record his 10th career double-double:
"Our team just played together. We finally came together and had fun tonight. I was in the right place at the right time for rebounds. The coaches kept telling me I needed to rebound more and I knew I had to, so I went out there and really focused on rebounding."

On if he knew he was approaching a career-high:
"I didn't really. I don't really pay attention to that. I was just out there having fun with my teammates and glad we won."

On bouncing back from a loss to Kansas State and heading into the holiday break with a win:
"We have more confidence now heading into the conference season after the break. It was a good way to end this part of the season and go home."

Junior Guard Senario Hillman
On having one of his best games of the season:
"I gave 150 percent tonight and went out there and played as hard as I could. I played my game."

On trying to stop Mercer's leading scorer James Florence:
"We were just trying to not let him get open and get his game going. Everybody helped on him and tried to stop him. He did a great job in the first half, and overall in the game. He started to get going in the second half and we didn't want him to keep scoring."

Mercer Head Coach Bob Hoffman
On one of the Bears slowest starts in recent history:
"We came out and it was 19-0. Coach Grant had them ready to go. We had talked about all those things and we still seemed like we were a little bit slow to the ball. We just didn't come out and make the first move. When you're on the road, you have to come out and make the first move and you have to do it over and over again, because you're playing a tough, physical team that knows how to play in their own court. We didn't do that early, but you have to give our guys credit, because we came back. It could have gotten really ugly."

On the need to get more production out of Daniel Emerson and E.J. Kusnyer to beat a team like Alabama:
"There's no doubt that they have to get into the game. E.J. is struggling. He took some guarded shots, but he's the kind of guy who can hit the next 50 shots he takes, because he works so hard at it and he is such a competitor. He wants to win. Danny is the same way. I got into him a little bit to get him going and I thought in the second half he was really good."

On the zone defense allowing Mercer the opportunity to get back into the game:
"We did get back in it with the zone. They still got some open looks that we have to get better at and they got some lobs and some well designed plays, but we have to find a way to be more consistent in a man defense and our zone defense. They are a good team. They are not as good as we made them look in the first four minutes, but they played well tonight."