Post-Game Quotes: Auburn 78, Tennessee State 73

Nov. 26, 2013

Auburn Basketball 2013-14
Tennessee State at Auburn
Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2013

Auburn head coach Tony Barbee Quotes
On the game...
"When you are playing against a team that is 0-6, you know they are going to fight their tails off to try and get a win. I thought we came out a little flat. I don't know if we were thinking about Thanksgiving break or whatever the case may be, but any time we get an opportunity to step on that floor we have got to be prepared, we have got to be excited and we've got to bring the energy. I thought they brought the energy to us, and that was evident in a very crucial stat. They won the 50/50 ball battle, and that is a direct relationship to how hard that we are playing. I didn't think we played very hard tonight. We lost the 50/50 ball battle and they shot almost 60 percent from the floor. But at the end of the day, a win is a win, and I keep saying we are an 80 percent free throw shooting team and that saved us today. We stepped to the line and made free throws, and shot over 80 percent."

On Auburn shooters in the second half...
"KT (Harrell) and Chris (Denson) were two of the guys that weren't ready to play early, and when you aren't ready to play you are behind, and when you are behind you foul. Both of those guys were on the bench early with two fouls. But both stepped up in the second half. I was happy for Tahj (Shamsid-Deen), because I've been on a lot of guys, I need him to be more aggressive offensively. He took an opportunity when those two guys went out with fouls and I needed him to be aggressive and making the right decisions being aggressive when those guys are on the floor."

On Chris Denson...
"He's a guy that we can go to. I thought Chris had some advantages against his defender where we could get him to drive into the lane, and he was able to get us going and get us enough of a cushion to pull away at the end."

On the turnover-to-assist ratio...
"I was happy that we took care of the ball. We still didn't execute very well. The assists were low because we made didn't make shots. We've got guys that can shoot the ball, but we aren't making them right now. But like I tell our guys, it's always better to learn from a win than a loss."

On multiple players in double figures...
"We've got to have multiple guys. We need more out of everybody on the floor. The best thing about it thought is that these guys care, they want to do the right things and they want to win at a high level and I know they will come back from Thanksgiving break ready to go because we have a challenging stretch in front of us."

On playing at Iowa State...
"That's why you have veteran players, to lean on when you go into environments that we are going to see going to Iowa State. It's an opportunity and it is going to be a challenge. They have a very good team, and that's a hard place to play."

Auburn senior forward Allen Payne
On the game...
"I'm not happy with how we played, but a win is a win and I'm always happy about that. Those are hard to come by. Definitely not happy with how I played individually and how we played as a team, especially on the defensive end. We gave up 56.5 percent shooting and that's unacceptable for this team."

On spreading the ball around...
"Coach Barbee has a lot of confidence in us offensively right now and I think he's giving everyone an opportunity. On nights like this when Chris Denson and KT Harrell are in foul trouble, he looks to other people to score the ball for us because we need offense to get as much as we can get. I felt like I stepped up and Taj Shamsid-Dean did a good job of being assertive in there."

On Chris Denson's seven straight points...
"It was very important. If he gets going he can provide a spark for us, he's leading the SEC in scoring right now and it's good to get our leading scorer going after he sat for so long in the first half."

On free throw shooting...
"Well we shot a lot of free throws in practice after our last game. Myself, I need to do better. I missed four, especially two key ones down the stretch in those two free throw series I had. As a team I'm proud of how we shot the ball. We can still improve. Let's go 37-of-37 next game. "

On going on the road to Iowa State...
"We're looking forward to the challenge. Personally, I've got to do a better job of preparing our team. Chris, KT and I need to do a better job as leaders preparing our team because we can't get away with playing like we did against Tennessee State. If we go up there and play like we did tonight, we'll get embarrassed on national T.V. We're definitely looking forward to the challenge. We're confident, but we've got to make some changes over the next few days."

Auburn freshman guard Tahj Shamsid-Dean
On scoring early...
"Before the game coach called out a lot of us saying Chris Denson and KT Harrell can't be the only people scoring in double figures. We saw the opportunity to be aggressive. They were out of the game and we knew we needed points so we stepped up and thank god we were hitting those shots and we got double digits like coach wanted. "

On Chris Denson's performance...
"It was big time. We were only up three with K.T. and Chris on the bench and when they started scoring it was good. If they scored like that in the first half we would have probably been up 10 or 15 points. We were definitely lucky to get both of them back in the second half and get them going and get a lead."

Tennessee State Head Coach Travis Williams
On tonight's game...
"I thought it was our best game of the year on the offensive end. We took high percentage shots, but I was really disappointed in our free throw shooting, shooting 12-of-24 after shooting 22-of-24 in our last game against Tennessee. I think that was a huge sore spot for us."

On Kennedy Eubanks and Jacquan Nobles performances tonight...
"That is what we have been looking for from those guys thus far. Jacquan is finally playing like he can. He made big shots and some big threes. Kennedy Eubanks stepped up and we need them to. We depend a lot on Patrick Miller and M.J. Rhett and they have been very productive for us, but it is good to see production from those guys."