Coach Pearson Press Conference Transcript

ROLLTIDEDOTCOM Interim head coach Philip Pearson will coach his fifth game at the helm of the Crimson Tide this weekend
ROLLTIDEDOTCOM
Interim head coach Philip Pearson will coach his fifth game at the helm of the Crimson Tide this weekend
ROLLTIDEDOTCOM

Feb. 10, 2009

Interim head coach Philip Pearson
Opening Statement ...
“We’re looking forward to this weekend with South Carolina. Obviously it will be a tough basketball game. Maybe with the exception of LSU, they’re probably playing as well as anyone in the league right now. They’ll be awfully difficult to defend with (Devan) Downey and (Zam) Fredrick. They create a lot of turnovers and cause a lot of havoc on the defensive end as well. It will be a tough basketball game. I think the off-week, with us not having a game in the middle of the week comes at a good time for us. Certainly, Jamychal (Green) is a little banged up after the fall on Sunday afternoon, and I think mentally it gives us an opportunity to sort of regroup after 13-or-14 days of going after it pretty hard and pretty long. I like the fact that we’re off on Wednesday this week, and we took yesterday off so now we’ll get prepared for the next four days and get ready for South Carolina on Saturday afternoon.”

On if he will put his own touch on the team with more time to prepare for this game ...
“I don’t know. We’ve tinkered and adjusted a little bit with a few things that we felt like could benefit our basketball team, give us a better chance to win. We’ll continue to do that as we see fit. Of course it is nice to have four days of preparation this week, and we’ll take a look at South Carolina. They do some different things, a little different from the other teams we’ve played. We’ll do all that we can to get ready for this next game.”

On areas he would like to see the team improve ...
“To be honest with you, it really hasn’t changed. Certainly you want to see a good, consistent defensive effort every time out and offensively I still think that we need to execute our offense in tougher times, be able to do that better than we’ve done. We’ve made a little bit of a concerted effort to get some easier baskets in transition and that sort of thing. I like the fact that we’ve gotten to the foul line. At Vanderbilt the other night we shot more foul shots than Vanderbilt did in the first half, and I think for the game they shot two more than we did. Of course we were fouling them at the end to prolong the game. Then you look at LSU, we go on the road and we shoot more foul shots. That’s a stat that I like for us; I think that benefits us down the road.”

On the effort in Sunday’s game and times when the effort could have been better ...
“In the four games that we’ve played since I’ve been head coach, I’ve been pretty pleased with our approach, our effort, our toughness level, those sort of things in three of the four games. I wasn’t nearly as pleased with the LSU game, and obviously the outcome wasn’t what we would hope. We got off to a good start against LSU, and after 10-or-15 minutes into the game, I didn’t feel like we played nearly as well. Whether it’s offensive execution, defensive effort, transition defense, I think we had some issues in several of those areas. We’ll do what we can this week to get all of that corrected. Certainly, that’s something that we need to work on as well.”

On defending Devan Downey ...
“He’s a very, very good player. I would say that he, (Jodie) Meeks and probably (Marcus) Thornton at LSU are probably the three toughest matchups from a perimeter standpoint. We’ve seen him on tape, and he’s so good with the basketball. He’s so fast, so quick. He can get in the paint; he can create baskets for other guys on the floor if you help. He pitches it to a shooter, you help up from the post and he drops one down for a layup, those sort of things. We’ll have to have a plan that we can defend him, and it won’t be a one-man plan. We’ll have to have two or three different guys that will guard him, give him some different looks, and throughout the game we’ll need to change our defenses from man to zone. He’ll be a tough matchup.

On role of the bench and if they need to have a “defensive personality” ...
“Brock has done a nice job, and I certainly think that he’s a threat. I think as an opponent, you have to respect Anthony Brock and his ability to make a shot. I like the fact that Demetrius Jemison has come in the game and played with a certain desire, demeanor and toughness around the basket. He’s gotten some put-backs of late. I like the way he’s been able to do that. I think that Andrew Steele is another guy who comes in the game and has some toughness and poise and is willing to do a lot of the dirty work. All of those guys have gotten a chance to play, and I think for the most part, night in and night out, they’ve done a pretty nice job. Certainly you hope they’ll continue to improve as we keep going along.”

On Demetrius Jemison’s contributions ...
“I like two, three or four things about him. Number one, I like his athleticism, his body. He’s got good strength. I like his experience on the floor. He’s played for us a good bit over the past two years. Again, I think you put all that together, and I don’t know that you have a great, great player but I think there is a certain role that he can fit on this team. I think he’s done a really nice job the past two or three games of coming in and defending and working the glass really hard. I like those things about him.”

On Jemison handling more playing time after not seeing much earlier in the season …
“I think it’s tough. I think it would be tougher though if he had no experience. The nice thing for him is that as a third-year player in our program he’s had a chance to play for two years. He’s been in these arenas, he’s been on the road and played against high-caliber competition. I don’t think with Demetrius it was much of an issue as it might be with a freshman.”