Post Game Quotes
AUBURNTIGERSDOTCOM
AUBURNTIGERSDOTCOM

AUBURNTIGERSDOTCOM

Jan. 2, 2012

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Auburn vs. Bethune-Cookman

Auburn Player Quotes

Kenny Gabriel, Sr., F

On triple-double performance ...

"In the first half I started blocking a lot of shots. We went into halftime and coach came in and told me that I had eight points, eight blocks and five rebounds. He told me to keep playing hard and to go get the triple-double. When I got it, I was happy because I have never recorded a triple-double in my entire career and I feel truly blessed to have done it in college."

On importance of triple-double considering Auburn history ...

"I just have to keep playing hard every time I'm on the court. Coach reminds me all the time to keep playing hard and I'm just glad that I can have my name in the record books. This is definitely the best overall game I have ever played."

On team's defensive performance ...

"The last two games we've played, the teams have shot over 50 percent. If we want to win games then we have to hold teams under 40 percent. That's our goal for every game. Bethune-Cookman shot 22 percent in the first half and in the second half they shot 23 percent, I think. We wanted to go out there and start the new year right by playing defense and going out and playing offense in transition."

Auburn Head Coach Tony Barbee

On Kenny Gabriel's performance...

"It's pretty special, a triple-double. When you consider the type of talent that has come out of this program, the Chuck Persons, the Charles Barkleys, the Wesley Persons, the Mike Mitchells, you can go down the line and this is the first triple-double in Auburn history? It's special. Kenny has been playing well. We're going to need performances like this as this schedule starts to get real for us. He had a special night. We gave him the game ball and hats off to him. He's not one dimensional. He does so many things well on the court. He scores, gets rebounds and can pass. I'm happy with the whole team. We really put together a complete defensive game in a long time with very few breakdowns. That's refreshing considering the schedule we're about to start playing on Wednesday."

On whether defense is focal point for upcoming games ...

"Yeah, we'll score enough points, typically, to hang with anybody, but we're not going to just outscore anybody. We need to pay attention defensively on every possession and I thought we did that at times tonight, but we haven't been doing it against similar teams. One of the things I've been watching with past games is that we need to back off from the press. We're not a pressing team. We don't have the personnel to do it. I thought that tonight with getting back to half court and guarding them really allowed them to get back and really focus on locking down the half court."

On Kenny Gabriel's shot-blocking an improvement from last season ...

"He's playing harder and he's on the floor for longer stretches because of his conditioning and lack of foul trouble. He's not locked in all the way, he's one of these guys that breaks it down for us defensively from time to time, but he has been more aggressive and more assertive in recognizing when there is help. He's a great shot blocker off the ball, but he's more alert and more active this year."

Bethune Cookman Quotes

Head Coach Gravelle Craig

Opening Statement... "I think we still thought this was our Christmas break, honestly. I'm glad we got a game in before we started our conference play, but we've got to get back to work. That was probably the worst we have played all year. There was no energy and we didn't play harder than our opponent."

On what they can build on after tonight's performance...

"It's just a game that gets you prepared to play conference games on the road. This was a talented Auburn team. They were bigger than us, which we have some conference opponents that are going to bigger than us. It gives you an opportunity to say, look we got a game out of the way, played against an SEC opponent on their court; again we got the freshmen some playing experience. We did some things that showed us if we don't come to play and we don't compete harder than our opponent like I've said all year, we're going to struggle. "

On Auburn's defense tonight...

"They were just more aggressive. It wasn't that really. They were just more aggressive, number twenty-two [Kenny Gabriel] was in there blocking the shots. We weren't going aggressive. We were just going in there and laying the ball up. We were not aggressive going in."

On Freshmen Ricky Johnson's 17 points...

"He was one of the few bright spots. He was the only one I thought that was really aggressive. Even going to the ball and trying to make plays, even defensively, he was one of the few guys that I thought was aggressive. That was a plus. I see him getting better, and that's good going into conference play. He's starting to come around. Now we just have to get everyone else back on track."

Ricky Johnson, Fr., Guard

On his 17 point performance against Auburn...

"The coaches just told us to come out and play hard and play tough and be aggressive, so that is what I wanted to do. I was playing aggressive and the shots just started falling for me."

On how this experience will help them in conference play...

"Every game is a learning experience. In the next game, we need to play harder and play better as a team. We have to compete and not give up. I feel like in our next game and in the conference we just need to play hard."