Gottfried, Gee and Steele Address the Media

ROLLTIDEDOTCOM Alabama basketball held a press conference Wednesday afternoon.
Alabama basketball held a press conference Wednesday afternoon.

Oct. 29, 2008

Tuscaloosa, Ala. -

Alabama head basketball coach Mark Gottfried and senior guards Alonzo Gee and Ronald Steele participated in a press conference Wednesday afternoon at Coleman Coliseum.  Below are selected comments from that press conference.  The Crimson Tide hosts the annual Crimson-White Game this Sunday at Coleman Coliseum.  Tipoff is scheduled for 4 p.m.

Men’s Basketball Head Coach Mark Gottfried Addresses the Media

Opening Statement

“We have had 11 practices now and it has been a pretty good week and a half. I am really proud of our team. I like the way they have been working. They have a lot of spirit and a lot of enthusiasm. Guys have been working hard so there is a great feel within our team. We have a long way to go but I like the attitude. It has been very encouraging.”

On the style of play this season

“I don’t know that there will be great changes but there are personnel changes more than anything. We have a fifth-year senior at the point guard instead of true freshman. We have some experience now on the wings with a guy like (Senario) Hillman who has played well and (Mikhail) Torrance who has done a good job. We have Torrance off the ball and playing more like a wing or small forward for us and he is doing an excellent job. Alonzo (Gee) is a year older. We miss a proven scorer in Richard Hendrix but the young guys are doing great. Justin Knox is playing hard and well. JaMychal Green is playing hard and well so we are a lot different than we were a year ago, we are a lot quicker. We are doing some things differently but the majority of the changes have to do with the people. We are going to push it and get after people defensively. We have the personnel to be a lot more of a defensive team. You cannot expect certain guys to pressure the ball physically if that is not their strength. We are a much quicker team now. The thing that gets lost in the shuffle is we have a 23-year-old, fifth-year, experienced, veteran guy in (Ronald) Steele that changes the feel. A guy like Hillman brings so much energy in there. We can pressure the ball and get after people. We can play Torrance and Gee together sometimes with Hillman and Steele. We will play with four guards at times. We are just a lot different than we were.”

On any surprises during practice

“I think Mikhail Torrance has been a guy that has showed up to practice day-in and day-out and really raised his game to another level. I think it has helped him to not have to be the quarterback where he has to make the decisions on when to push or when not, the tempo of the game. Now he is playing on the wing off the ball and has really been able to use his talents and not have to carry the mental load of things. Ron has really helped him a great deal. He is one player that has jumped off the page more than anybody else so far.”

Senior Guard Alonzo Gee

On making the adjustment to the new three point line

“I think we feel pretty comfortable about it. We spent the whole summer working out on it, so I think it’s going to be alright for us this year.”

On the freshman class

“I think all of them are doing pretty well. JaMychal (Green) looks real good, Andrew (Steele) and (Anthony) Brock, they have all done real well. JaMychal is athletic, Brock is a great point guard, and Steele can defend and shoot the ball, so all of them should do some good things this year.”

On playing the Crimson and White game this Sunday

“We are very excited about the Crimson and White game. We are just ready to play; we’ve been practicing for a long time right now so we’re just ready to get out there.”

On the style of play

“The style of play this year is going to be fast, quick, exciting that will produce a lot of highlights. It’s going to suit me real well because I’m a wing player and we will get up and down faster, so it’s going to be real good for us.”

Senior Guard Ronald Steele

On making the adjustment to the new three point line

“It’s an adjustment just from a spacing standpoint, but I think everyone on our team has been shooting it pretty well because we’ve been practicing since the summer. It is an adjustment because some of the shots that we used to take as a three are now a long two, so it is something that we will have to continue to work on.”

On getting back on the court

“I’ve been looking forward to this for a long time. We put in a lot of hard work and I’m just excited to get out there and play the first game.”

On how his knee is feeling

“I’ve been feeling good so far and haven’t had any problems. I’ve been working hard and have not had any setbacks, so hopefully I will continue progressing.”

On playing the Crimson and White game

“We’ve been practicing so it’s just a chance to get in front of the fans and show the fans that we’ve been working hard and to see how our team has been doing. We are going to use it as a teaching point. We are excited just to not practice, but to have a chance to play.”