Auburn vs. South Carolina Quotes
Jan. 21, 2012
Quoting Auburn Head Coach Tony Barbee
On coming out strong in the second half...
"Let me say this. I keep saying we're getting closer, and we are because it's finally starting to click that if you will guard with that sense of urgency, that sense of toughness on every possession, then no matter what you do offensively, you're going to give yourself a chance to win. We are what we are offensively. We're going to go through droughts, and we're going to struggle to score. We only have two guys in double figures. From two of our other starters, we got one point combined. We are what we are, but if we will defend and guard and scrap and hustle with that sense of urgency, you're going to give yourself a chance in every single game. Then, when we do get on a little bit of a run, you can go on those 8-9-0 runs, and then you can create a little space like we did at LSU. We just weren't able to put it over the top, but we were able to today. Great team win. We did a better job in the second half of taking care of the ball and finding the open guy getting to that third or fourth level of the offense. What I talked about coming into this game against their zone, getting to that third, fourth, fifth pass. That third, fourth or fifth drive, and then you'd find guys wide open behind the three, wide open in front of the rim, and that's exactly what happened."
On Josh Wallace's defensive effort...
"Your defense starts up front on that ball. Josh gives you that. When you have a smaller guard, they have to play a certain way to be successful. They do, and he does that. He pressured 94 feet. He pressured (Bruce) Ellington and harassed him for the majority of the game, and then Varez (Ward) was able to come in and feed off of that momentum and do the same thing. So Josh was a big key to what we did tonight."
On winning a conference game that didn't come down to the wire...
"I call them the Phil Jackson games. I always like the Phil Jackson games when I can sit there with my legs crossed and not have to get off the bench late in the game."
On Allen Payne giving the team a boost on defense...
"Everybody played well who played tonight. We had great energy. The guys are understanding their roles better, and unfortunately we weren't able to do this earlier. We were hurt. We were injured. Guys were suspended. Now we have the majority of our pieces, guys are starting to really understand what their roles are on this team. It was good to see Allen Payneplay well because he was a guy who had the position early and let it go because of his performance, but he didn't sulk. He didn't pout. He kept battling. He kept fighting, and it's like I say, your opportunity is going to come, or it's going to come back around if it slipped away, and he's been ready for his opportunity. That's why he's back in the rotation."
On if he was pleased with the transition to open the second half...
"Well you can do that when you get stops. When you get stops, you can do that. The ball was getting a little stuck in our hands in the first half. We got stops in the first half, but we weren't getting the ball out quick enough and getting it up the floor quick enough, and that's probably the best way to beat that defense, their zone, is to not have to play against it. We talked about it. We worked on it before the game, and for some reason we didn't do it in the first half. In the second half, we talked about it at halftime. Let's play off of these stops. We're guarding our butts off. Let's just try to rebound a little bit better in the second half. We did. Then, we were able to get out off those rebounds into transition, and we got some easy layups, some easy jump shots."
On if the basketball lettermen feeling welcomed was a result of something Barbee wanted...
"No question. Your program is only as good as your former players. Like I said, I'm not here to build a team. I'm going to be able to do that. A very successful team. I'm here to build a program and sustain it over the long haul, and you can't do that if your former players are disconnected. I was out in (Los Angeles) recruiting recently, and I didn't get a chance to see Chuck (Person) because they had just started training camp, but I talked to Chuck Person while I was out there, and he'd been helping me with some things. (Charles) Barkley is a key, but all of them, even the guys that their names aren't up in the lights. Those guys, from the golf tournament I put on, to the Lettermen's Club thing that we do every year here during the season which was last night, and then having them back, you can't move forward as a program if you don't connect your present with your past."
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