Post Game Quotes

AUBURNTIGERSDOTCOM
AUBURNTIGERSDOTCOM

AUBURNTIGERSDOTCOM

Jan. 2, 2013

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Auburn head coach Tony Barbee

On other big game from Allen Payne...

"Allen's been, not a pleasant surprise, but a semi-healthy Allen, this is what Allen's capable of. He's done this pretty well all year, but the one thing I put up on the board for everybody was with Jordan Price and now with Chris Denson out, was step up. That wasn't directed at any one person. It was directed at everybody. Everybody had to now do more with those guys out. I think Allen Payne has taken it on his shoulders. We saw it the last game. Not only did he have 17, but 17 and seven. He played with great energy and great toughness from start to finish. We're going to need a lot of performances like that out of Allen as we go into the league."

On when he knew Chris Denson wasn't going to be able to play...

"Halfway through shoot-around this afternoon."

On not having made any preparations to play without him...

"He hasn't been practicing because his foot's been bothering him. We finally decided to do all the tests today, and then it came up positive. We knew at shoot-around today. We played without Chris earlier in the year, so it's not like we haven't done it before this year, so guys were ready to fill into those roles."

On the team attacking the basket well tonight...

"Watching their team on tape, I thought that was something we could exploit. A couple of the other teams that they've played this year really exploited them, not only attacking the rim, but attacking the rim and seeing, because they do a great job of then closing down the paint. We wanted to be aggressive, but smart and not charge because they do a great job of taking charges. As they closed the paint with all five guys, everybody else is open around the perimeter, so we wanted to attack the paint and find guys on the opposite side of the floor. For the most part, we did a good job of that in our offense."

On being down 12 and then getting a spark...

"We didn't get some shots to go down. We got some really good looks. I told these guys after that first media timeout, `Don't be discouraged because we got great looks in those first four minutes. Great looks, like five or six shots in a row, we got great looks, and maybe one of them went down.' I just said if we'll keep being patient and keep attacking and working for the best shot, they'll eventually go down. It's one thing I've been preaching to these guys, whether you run the best offense or not or you play the greatest defense, it's about fighting. It is about fighting. It translates from basketball to life. No matter what's happening, there's going to be adversity hit. Now we have some severe adversity with Jordan Price and Chris Denson being out. You have two choices when that hits. You can tuck your head and walk away, or you can fight. These guys have really understood and they've been buying into it all year long, but the last few games, they've really done a really good job of continuing to fight no matter the outcome."

On turning around the turnover battle so quickly after the loss to Illinois...

"It was really good, and it wouldn't have been nine if we hadn't have had some bonehead decisions in the last two or three minutes. It would've been even lower. I told those guys before the game; I put a lot of stuff on the board, but I said if we finish this game with 20 turnovers, we lose it. If we finish this with 10 or less, we win it. We finished with nine. I don't know if that's why we finished with nine, but (Florida State) is just like Illinois. They do a good job of forcing you into turnovers without having to press you. I thought we were strong with the ball as they were aggressive on the ball with their pressure. We just didn't turn it over. We passed and we caught the ball well, and we were strong with it, even when they were fouling on the perimeter."

On Josh Wallace's night...

"Josh was really good. You look at his line, you know Josh is not going to be an offensive juggernaut, but six points, five rebounds, six assists, five steals; that's a big night. I thought he brought us very similar energy and production in the Illinois game, but that's what you expect out of a senior guard."

Frankie Sullivan, Sr., G

On if it was a satisfying win without two of their key players...

"Most definitely. You miss Chris (Denson), and you miss (Jordan Price) and their offense. Chris came back and he gave us that spark when he came back to the games, but hopefully they'll get well soon and come back and return to the team."

On the rest of the team picking up the offense in the second half...

"That's what we're going to need all year. I think I did my part in just carrying us and keeping us in the game in the first half. That's what I do. I don't try to score just to be scoring and get my points up, but I did that. I was hot in the first half, and the team started going in the second half. I tried not to force anything, and just let the team play. Josh (Wallace) did a great job of distributing the ball to us tonight. I think our bench did exceptionally well. Without our bench, I don't think we would've won this game."

On the team's offensive mindset and playing aggressively...

"I think it's been about two weeks that we've been in practice, and everybody's been hitting shots. It's motivating everyone. It starts in practice. We've been practicing very hard, and it's starting to show. It showed at Illinois. After we lost to Winthrop, I think that was a big step for us, and we saw that we could get beat by anybody. We went to Illinois and played great, but came up short. We came here, and it was a must-win for us and went out and got that W."

Josh Wallace, Sr., G

On how big it was to win this game going into conference play...

"Tremendous. It was real big, just a confidence boost. Now we're going in, and we have a little bit of moxie going into the SEC, so hopefully we can make some noise in the SEC."

On his night tonight...

"That's just my role for this team. I'm probably not going to put the ball in the basket a lot of times, so I know I just have to be a good distributor and be a pest on the ball. Whenever I can help out the bench rebounding, that's what I have to do. That's just my role for this team, and that's just me embracing it and doing what I have to do."

Allen Payne, Jr., F

On having big games back-to-back...

"That's a pretty good run right there. I wish we could've gotten the win in the last game though."

On having said that there are no moral victories and how big it is to win this game...

"It's very big for us. It's a maturing win with a lot of young guys, and a lot of our contributions coming from young guys. This was big for us to have a big learning experience for not only Shaq (Johnson) and Brian (Greene Jr.) at the end, but for everybody else because we need everybody to win. If I had to say anything, I'd say it was a maturing win. Hopefully we can take this and take this momentum into conference play."

On if this was the type of win Coach Barbee talks about to build the program up...

"Absolutely. One of the biggest things he's been trying to teach us this year is how to win. He says that a lot. In practice we'll go over a lot of scenarios. We'll play like a four-minute scrimmage where the game is tied, and he's trying to teach us how to win. Like I said, we have a lot of young guys, and it's not easy for them to just come right in and know how to do that. This is very big for us."

On if he felt any pressure with Jordan Price and Chris Denson out...

"No pressure. It's basketball. I've been playing this game for 15 years. It's fun. I knew that I had to be aggressive because two of our top scorers were out; two of our best scorers were out. Somebody had to step up, and I felt that I had the mismatch and the opportunity to do that tonight. That's what I tried to do."

On what was said during a timeout in the first half that seemed to turn the game around...

"Keep fighting. It's a long game. Even though we're down, we've been down before like we were against Illinois. I think we were down 14 or so in the second half, and we ended up battling back and losing by two. We're starting to get a never-quit attitude which is going to carry on with us, and that's gong to be good once we get into conference play."

Florida State Head Coach Leonard Hamilton

"Anytime you lose a game, you always try to analyze it and learn from it so that you don't repeat those same kinds of mistakes. I thought when we went up 13 (12) in the first half then I believe it might have been around the time that Okaro (White) and Terrance (Shannon) got their fouls, and we had a stretch there where we turned the ball over three straight times. Then I think we missed five layups, and we went 3 for 11 from the free throw line. Our focus and concentration was such that the layups were almost like free throws. I didn't expect to get them, but it wasn't like they were that contested. You've got to have that level of concentration that allows you to complete those plays. Not completing those plays, the turnovers, going to the free throw line and going 3 for 11 when you have basically been a pretty good free throw shooting team all year, I think that kind of put us in a situation where we lost the momentum. They were gaining momentum by making their plays. They were probably were making tougher shots than we were missing. I think (Frankie) Sullivan might have hit a couple threes during that stretch. We dug that hole and were never able to regain that same level of execution and focus.

"Also during the stretch when we were up 13 (12), I thought that instead of us turning it up a notch I thought they turned it up a notch. They played with a lot more fight during that stretch when they got down than we did. There was more of a sense of urgency with them trying to overcome the deficit than the energy we put up to try and keep them at bay. That's a learned process, and we have kind of dug a hole for ourselves now. That is going to create a sense of urgency for every game we play for the remainder of the year. We have been here before, and that's pretty much the way it is unfortunately.

"With as well as Auburn played and they deserved to win this game, they played very well at Illinois so I think they are coming around. I think that even though we had won three or four straight games, I feel like we are creeping along with our progress as opposed to making significant jumps in our progress. Tonight I thought that when we went to our bench after we went up 13 (12) a couple guys got in foul trouble. We didn't maintain that same level of energy and execution that we have been accustomed to the last number of years. We are at the point now where you can say that we are having a learning experience because we are young and inexperienced. You know I'm not real sure the turnovers, the missed layups and free throws have a whole lot to do with experience. I think that we just aren't mentally focused enough to come on the road and play against a team that was as hungry as Auburn was tonight."