Postgame Quotes
AUBURNTIGERSDOTCOM
AUBURNTIGERSDOTCOM

AUBURNTIGERSDOTCOM

Jan. 19, 2013

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Auburn Head Coach Tony Barbee

On tonight's game...

"It is disappointing. We had lack of confidence. We were scared of the moment. We played well early. We played well defensively early. We were getting stops. We were getting stops. We were getting stops. We were getting everything we wanted offensively. You can't beat a team like that without taking advantage of the opportunities when they present themselves. We have 50 percent 3-point shooters on this team who of our 15 threes, I bet maybe one was kind of guarded. Kind of guarded. The other 14 were wide open with no one near you. What are you going to do? It is like I told our guys, I am disappointed. We should all look ourselves in the mirror. I got outcoached. They got outplayed. We can't let this one loss affect what we have built in conference play. We have to get back to fighting and competing no matter what takes place on offense. We did not do that tonight. We started that way, but as the drought continued, we let that our level of fight and our defense."

On if teams aren't intimidated by Kentucky this season...

"I am surprised. For the most part, we have a veteran team that has played against Kentucky. It is not like these guys haven't gone against them. I wouldn't be surprised if some of our young guys were, just because of the name, who they are and what they have accomplished. Our veterans played that way as well."

On if Chris Denson and Jordan Price are at 100 percent...

"Yes. The doctors told me they were cleared and ready to go. They looked good in practice the last two days, so I was confident they would be able to help us."

On why Shaq Johnson didn't play in the first half...

"Disciplinary reasons."

On if the offensive struggles was intimidation or Xs and Os...

"A combination of both. I would take every look again tonight all over again and not to say that we would come out with a win, but it would be a different result offensively. I have a lot of good offensive players that didn't produce tonight. That is the bottom line."

On how challenging the loss will be to put behind him...

"It won't be challenging. We have been playing to well to let it affect us."

On changing the culture...

"It is what it is. It is not going to affect our students or our fans. They see how hard these guys are fighting and competing. One blip on the radar doesn't affect who you are. Now, let's see how we respond from it, and then you can make an assumption. This team has too much fight and grit in it to affect us over the long haul."

On if he has seen progression in Kentucky this season...

"Yes. They play tough. They fed off our lack of confidence. You can easily give a team more confidence and aggression, and I thought we did that tonight. We continued to miss shots, miss layups and miss open threes. They fed off of it and got more aggressive.

On the play of Ashaun Dixon-Tatum...

Ashaun did some good things. As a whole, none of us played well."

Kentucky Head Coach John Calipari

On showing the grit and resolve they have been looking for...

"We were better. Like I kept saying, just keeping guarding because we couldn't make a shot either. Neither one of us could for a while. I thought we gutted it out and then there was great execution when they made a mini run at us. The guys came out of timeouts and executed and made plays. You know these two (Ryan Harrow and Kyle Wiltjer) played well. Nerlens (Noel) played well. Alex (Poythress) played better. Alex showed what we are trying to get him to. He's not all the way there yet. There are some plays where I want him to go up and dunk the ball instead of laying them in. He missed a couple of them, but you know here he is he goes for 12 points and seven rebounds as a freshman. He was 6 of 8 from the line, and I want more. I thought Jared Holson came in and did great. Like I said Ryan (Harrow) and Kyle (Wiltjer), they are getting more aggressive. I love the fact that we had five guys in double figures. That is how we want to play."

On challenging Kyle (Wiltjer) in the last two games...

"He's better. A key shot that was a critical shot they go zone, and he was passing out of the middle and our whole thing was that we are getting it to the middle to him and let him make plays and he did it. He's also now coming up with rebounds. He's not accepting that he can't get the ball. Now even if he misses a shot, its fine you leave him in. He's playing better, and he wants it. He's playing more aggressive. There is no tentativeness to his game, and that's how I want him to play."

On Auburn being 0 for 15 from the three...

"The staff said to me that they are an OK three point shooting team, but the last five games they have been shooting 40 percent. One of the things we talked about prior to the game was we have got to guard the three this game. This is not a game where you just leave people alone. There were times when their point guard drove, and we didn't go in with him and we went out. They did have open threes that they missed that they normally make. We played better than we have played. I told Tony (Barbee) this, I think this team has bought in. Tony (Barbee) doesn't have to coach effort anymore. I think each individual player is playing the way that they need to play to win. They are buying into how they are going to play man to man, how they are going to play zone, what their press looks like. We are trying to get our guys bought in, and this was a good step for us."

On Tony Barbee's team buying in...

"Early this year that was not the case. That is why I said I am proud of him and what he is doing here. Right now I haven't hit it yet. The hardest thing for coaches is to get a player to buy into how they must play. They want to fight you. They don't want to relent. You can't play that way and us have success individually. Then as a team you have to get them to buy into how they are in tune, how they play off one another, but you can't do that until they buy into how individual players have to play. When you look at it, he has well defined each guy and how they are playing. That is why they went to South Carolina and won. That's why they had Arkansas beat. They had them beat. That is why they will win a ton of games. They hit us on a bad night, and they couldn't make a shot. It is nothing more than that. They are fine."

On having key players out or in foul trouble...

"Here is what I would tell you, with Kyle (Wiltjer), with Alex (Poythress) and Archie (Goodwin), we can still rebound the ball. Now what you don't have is the shot blocking presence unless Alex (Poythress) gets in that frame of mind. What happened is that they started shooting some layups with Nerlens(Noel) not in there. With Nerlens (Noel) in there, it's a little harder to go drive to the basket and get a layup. We rebounded the ball. We can play that way. Kyle (Wiltjer) can do it. Alex (Poythress) can do it, and Archie (Goodwin) can do it. You have three guys with pretty good size."

On Nerlens (Noel) working on not leaving his feet...

"Every day we do a drill to stay down. We were all leaving our feet. You have to understand that there is so much stuff you have to teach when they are this young that it's like the finger is in the dyke. Ok now what is next. What do you have to do. Well that was a big thing that every team was taking advantage of us early. Every day that we practice we do a thing to keep them down on their feet, and he has done it. That is part of buying in. Don't leave your feet, we are doing these drills, now get in the game and concentrate and have some discipline. He has, and he's still blocking shots. He's blocking more now than he did before when he was leaving his feet."

On (Rob) Chubb saying that Nerlens (Noel) and Anthony (DAvis)are essentially the same player and Nerlens (Noel) performance...

"I thought Nerlens(Noel) was good, and I think the way (Rob) Chubb played he is physical and getting into your body. He gave Anthony headaches last year. Both of them are long, but Anthony had a little more offense where he could step out and shoot a jumper. He was more of a guard. Nerlens (Noel) is a terrific player. WE need him to stay out of foul trouble. We need him on the court. He helps him. He helps everybody because you can't just drive now because he is back there and he will block it."

On the upcoming Alabama games...

It's the next game for us. Our whole thing is day to day. We have got to build on what we just did here today. We'll figure out if Willie (Cauley-Stein) is playing or not, and we'll go from there. I checked on him today, and he was walking around and all that good stuff. We'll go from there, and if this is what we are, we played well and we'll move on. I haven't looked at Alabama. I haven't seen anything on Alabama. I know they won today against Texas A&M, and Texas A&M came in to our building and beat us. They beat us good so Texas A&M went down to Alabama and got beat today. I imagine Alabama is really good, but right now we are just trying to enjoy this one. Understand what we did today, we made strides. The biggest thing is and I told them today, wins and losses, ok. These guys will be defined by how much effort, how much fight, how much competitive spirit they have ten years from now. They are not going to talk about how many games did the guy win in his career. That's not what they talk about. They are going to talk about his competitive spirit, how hard he played, how tough he was. That's what we are trying to get through to these guys. Winning and losing will take care of itself, but at the end of the day, they will define themselves by that effort and toughness. I'd like to get to where I am not coaching effort, and we are getting closer hopefully."

Kentucky Player Quotes

Ryan Harrow, 12, G

On Calipari challenging the team to get a 20-point lead and hold it...

"I didn't know he said that. I guess we did it today."

On how the team is starting to come together...

"I think over Christmas break we started to really come together, because we were with each other all the time. It was just basketball and us, and that was when we really started to form that bond, and we've just been building each game and doing what coach asks of us to do."

On playing in packed arenas...

"Coach talks about that with us all the time. Every time we're in a gym it's sold out, whether we're playing home or away. We're basically used to that. When we are playing away we have to take the crowd out of it. The crowd can help the home team. I think that's what we did today. We had the lead, and we kept the lead, and they were out of it basically."

Kyle Wiltjer, 33, F

On Calipari challenging the team to get a 20-point lead and hold it... "Yes, we started playing well and going down the stretch we just kind of huddled together and said that we need to start burying teams, because in the past we've played around with them. We did a good job of executing down the stretch to get easy baskets and we've been practicing hard, so I think that's a result of it."

On being announced a starter...

"I thought it was funny. I knew I wasn't starting, so I thought it was funny."

On the freshman buying in...

"Yes, I think it's just a learning process and our thing is everyday just learning and getting better. Every day in practice the freshman are coming and working hard. Everyone on our team is buying in like what coach said. We just have to keep improving every game and take one game at a time."

Auburn Player Quotes

Frankie Sullivan

On what he felt went wrong...

"Scared, just plain scared point blank and simple, that's all it was. Wide open jump shots, layup after layup by me and Chubb and you can't beat anybody playing like that and we just came out and played scared point blank and simple. We just have to face the fact that we didn't come out to play today. I don't care what kind of game you're playing, when you stop fighting in our home. We had a great crowd come out and support us and we let them down."

On what the team was afraid of...

"I guess the moment, I honestly can't tell you. I'm not saying one guy, I'm saying it's all of us, it was the whole team. We just need to come back and face the fact that we were and play better because you can't have losses like that at home. We had a great crowd like that and it was just embarrassing."

On the difference between the two halves...

"Defensive stops, point blank and simple. We got stops and you can't get stop after stop after stop and not convert on the other end and not make layups, not make free throws. It's inevitable, it's never going to fall for you like that and you're never going to win if you can't hit shots after you get a good stop otherwise it just drains you playing so much defense."

On Archie Goodwin checking him in the first half...

"I was just making shots. I'm used to guys guarding me like that it just affected me making shots. I will give credit to the defense but at the same time I've just got to make shots, the shots that I make on a daily basis or in practice or me working out with coach I've just got to make those shots in the game. Me being a senior I'm just not setting it off. I think my defense tonight making bad plays and gambling really hurt the team. I would take responsibility for that."

On moving on with SEC play...

"You've got some great teams in the SEC, you've got Florida as you can see the way they played. You've got Missouri, who Florida beat but they're also a great team. The SEC is up and down, so when you come in you've always got to be ready to play the ball game, and I think we weren't ready to play today."

Rob Chubb

Thoughts on the game...

"We had a real lack of aggression, a lack of poise, just everybody looked a little shaken just from the get go. We let this one slip and we need to bounce back quick but there was something off tonight with the intensity."

On being intimidated...

"Personally it was just the atmosphere. I could have played better, no doubt, we all could have played better and I don't know whether personal reasons or this that and the other but it was probably because we were scared. A couple of guys were just not in their groove because of all the fans or this that and the other and the basket just shrank. Some of these guys haven't played in packed house like this so it was a little bit of a shell shock for them."

On their inability to get it together in the second half...

"We fell off on the defensive end. We had way too many open looks, way too many break downs to where they were just getting wide open shots, and they stared burying them and they fed off of that. They got more intense on defense and made it harder for us."

On missed opportunities with Noel on the bench...

"When we don't have one of our starters out it's always a sense of urgency, we've got to make up for this, that and the other, but it wasn't that much of an affect mainly on all the things we've gone over. He was a great player. He was a great shot blocker. He was stopping people from coming in the lane so whenever he wasn't in the game, it helped us a little bit whenever we could drive but with us not driving it didn't really affect us too much."

On Anthony Davis against Noel...

"He's about the same player. Anthony Davis and him both have a great feel for shot blocking, it doesn't matter if you pump fake them, they're so long they can just get to the ball. He had some great timed shot blocks tonight, and that's pretty much what everyone knows him as."