Alabama vs. Tennessee State Postgame Quotes



Dec. 30, 2009

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Alabama Head Coach Anthony Grant
Opening statement:
“You’ve got to give them (TSU) credit.  I thought they came out and played with great energy to start the game.  They opened the game up with some threes and it continued throughout the game.  They did a great job of shooting the basketball.  Obviously for us, we need to be able to understand the importance of being able to defend the three-point line and playing with more of a sense of urgency.  I thought there were times in the game where we didn’t have the urgency we needed to, but we were fortunate to make some plays at the end that allowed us to be able to get a win.”

On whether or not getting the ball inside was an emphasis in the second half:
“Yeah it was.  We didn’t come out in the first half and execute that very well, for whatever reason.  We have to understand that we need to play unselfishly; we need to play with a level of focus and intensity for 40 minutes.  We seemed to have lapses, whether it’s the beginning of the game or midway through the game that we just can’t afford.  We’re not a basketball team that has a large margin of error.   When we don’t do the things that we’re supposed to do, we get exploited.  I thought there were times tonight when that happened.  We got exploited.”

On the lack of depth on tonight’s roster resulting in longer offensive possessions:
“I think it just played out that way.  Obviously, we attacked quite a bit.  I thought we got some opportunities in transition, some of them we took advantage of and some of them we couldn’t convert.  The focus was that I felt we had an advantage in the interior and we needed to try to exploit that.  We weren’t patient enough in the first half, didn’t execute enough in the first half to exploit like we needed to.  I thought in the second half we paid a little more attention to that and we were able to get to the free-throw line quite a bit in the second half.  Obviously, we converted quite a bit and it was good to see an understanding of what allows us to be successful, and I thought we had a better feel for that in the second half.  We turned the ball over way too much.  I think that falls on me as a coach to make sure our team is as prepared as we need to be, both offensively and defensively.”

On the play of Senario Hillman:
“I thought Senario played – in the second half especially – very unselfishly.  He made the right pass, made the right play several times.  He had opportunities where he was able to go in and finish on the interior, or at least get good shots.  He also had some opportunities where the defense helped up on him and he was able to dump it down to get some other guys opportunities, so I was very pleased with that.”

On guys understanding their individual role on the team:
“I think we have room for improvement there.  What we try to emphasize is every day we want to get better, we want to take steps forward.  We can’t afford to take steps back.  From a defensive stand point, to be quite honest I was disappointed when you look at the results in terms of 11 threes tonight.  We knew that would be point of emphasis for this game that we had to do a great job of guarding the three-point line.  We had to do a great job of limiting their opportunities at the rim with second shots or direct drives to the rim.  I thought they got some things that were direct results of our breakdowns – things that we could have controlled in the game.  I want to look at the film and see where we need to improve, but obviously we’ve got to be as prepared, mentally and physically, as we can every single night to give ourselves a chance.”

Senario Hillman, Junior, Guard
On his improvement in the last two games:
I just stopped worrying about all the outside things and just started to play my game, play my role, do what I have to do to help the team get a win.

On Tennessee State pulling within two points in the second half:
We just knew we had to buckle down and come together as a team and get a stop and just go down and play as hard as we can and defend.

On pulling away from Tennessee State in the last eight minutes:
At the end, we really came together as a team. We started passing the ball more. We held them from the three-point line and we did a better job on the defensive side.

JaMychal Green, Sophomore, Forward
On back-to-back solid performances:
My teammates found me at the right times. The coaches talked to me about rebounding, so I tried to just go out there and grab just grab every rebound I could.

On matching his career high in blocks:
I was just there at the right time. I would just time the shot and blocked it at the right moment.

On half-time adjustments:
I think we played better. We just started to play together as a team. We had more of a sense of urgency on the court, on the defensive side and got it all done.

On Tennessee State pulling within two points in the second half:
Coach Grant jumped on us. I guess we were just rushing, we weren’t looking at the clock to see how much time was left. After that, we just did what he told us to do.

On what the team needs to improve on in its final non-conference game:
Consistency. That’s it. That is all we need to improve on, being consistent.

Tennessee State Head Coach John Cooper
On how the team played:
I thought we competed hard.  I thought the pressure bothered us a little in the second half and the backside of our pressure defensively let us down a couple of times and you know we hit some shots but their size also bothered us especially late in the second half when they got the ball inside to JaMychal (Green) and it made it easy for him to score and that’s one of those things you can’t control because we are not the biggest team in America.  On a competitive standpoint, I thought the effort was there.

On shooting well from three-point range:
We shot well from the three-point line and unfortunately I don’t think we shot very well from the free-throw line. From a defensive standpoint they shot almost 70% in the second half from the field and it’s hard to win when you allow teams to shoot 70% from the field.