Auburn vs. Ole Miss Post-Game Quotes
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AUBURNTIGERSDOTCOM

AUBURNTIGERSDOTCOM

Feb. 3, 2007

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Head Coach Jeff Lebo

Opening statement...
"Our guys are disappointed. I didn't think we played very well. Give credit to Ole Miss. I thought they were very sharp, especially offensively, about the whole game. We let them get in a groove offensively, and they are hard to guard. They started making shots on the perimeter, and they are pretty good driving the ball, too. In the first half we couldn't guard them. They beat us off the bounce. We had 14 turnovers in the first half and 25 in the game. I don't know how many we had just dribbling off our foot, thigh or toe. Quantez (Robertson) had six turnovers. Twenty-five turnovers is not going to win against anyone. Ole Miss is good. They just whipped us from start to finish.

"The only thing I could see that was positive, in the second half (was that) we cut it to four, then we had three of four turnovers in a row. A lot of them odd, unforced turnovers. There is a difference between being forced into a double team (when the) guy's up there on you, pressuring you hard and knocks the ball off of you. We had lot of unforced turnovers that really bothered me. We have times where we have a lot of those. I was worried about his game from the beginning. I talked about his game after the South Carolina game in the locker room. We just didn't respond very well. We got whipped at every spot out there today."

On Auburn's practices following the win over South Carolina...
"They practiced a little bit better. I'm not sure about our maturity yet on the team. That's my question mark. I don't know if they read the papers or listen to people talk and feel good about themselves. I want them to be confident, but the maturity level, I am concerned about. I told them just like I told you guys, if you are not ready to play in this league every night, if you are not ready to play on a particular night, you are going to get whipped. You can be ready to play and get whipped. If you are not ready to play, you will get whipped, and we got whipped tonight. We have to pick up the pieces. I don't know what the other people in the league did today, but we have a very tough task at Arkansas next. That one licked us pretty good there."

On cutting Ole Miss' lead to four early in the second half...
"Our start of the second half was good. We made some shots. Rasheem (Barrett) finally got going. Rasheem didn't score for us in the first half, I don't believe. We made a couple of three-point shots and got in a rhythm. The momentum left us as fast as it came because of the odd turnovers. They were just deflating types of turnovers where we throw it and no one is standing there, or (it goes) off the foot. That kind of stuff is just deflating to your team. They seemed to capitalize on those. They made some shots, let me tell you that. They made some bombs against us. Sanders is a guy that can get it going. Their three seniors just whipped us.

They have three of them in there. I thought the play of their guards, which is the meat of their team, boy are they good? The problem is they can beat you off the bounce. The other thing is that they can all shoot it. If you foul, they shoot 79 percent. They are experienced. In the second half, I thought they went inside a little bit more and tried to take advantage of us pressuring them on the perimeter. They went inside to (Dewayne) Curtis a bunch."

Sophomore Guard Quantez Robertson

On the game...
"They (Ole Miss) shot the ball pretty good. They had wide open shots. We weren't getting our hands up. There were a lot of things that we weren't doing on defense, and they were getting wide open shots and hitting them. They are good players and we have good players, they just shot a whole lot better than we did. They executed when we turned the ball over and that is what good teams do. I think that it was the worst game for us. We weren't helping each other on defense and we weren't gang rebounding the ball. We weren't being strong with the ball or going to the rim. They came out and played a lot better than we did. We knew that we were in for a good game. We just didn't think that they were going to beat us by as many points as they did. All I can say is that they executed better than we did."

On turnovers...
"Everybody has careless turnovers. I think that we were playing too fast and trying to make a scoring play on the first pass. We were not getting into our offense and doing what we do best."

On not being able to win two games in a row...
"You can't just say that you have good nights and bad nights. You just have to come out and play every game like you did the last game. If you don't come to play, you will lose. If you come to play and the other team comes to play, you have a good chance of winning or losing."

Junior Guard Frank Tolbert

On the game...
"It is hard whenever you lose any game. We just have to come out in practice and go hard. That is where it starts, practice. You can't just come to a game and expect to win; you have to prepare for the game days before. We didn't communicate on defense, and they just got the open shots."

On the practices...
"I thought that we did well in practice. We just came out flat today. I'm not taking credit away from Ole Miss, because they played a great game. They made open shots and capitalized on our mistakes."

On cutting the lead in the second half...
"At that point, we were locking down on defense and executing plays. We just went to a blackout period."

Ole Miss Head Coach Andy Kennedy

On the intensity level of the game...
"I thought our guys certainly brought the right approach, and without that approach, we're in trouble. I think we've all seen that Auburn has been playing really well. It was one of those days (for Auburn), and Jeff (Lebo) has done a tremendous job. We knew coming in here with the people they have beaten in this building that we were going to have to stay aggressive. We've said from day one that we're never going to back our way into anything of significance, most certainly in this league this year.

We had to come out with an aggressive approach; I thought our kids were aggressive right out of the gate. (We) stepped up and made some timely shots early, which fortunately for us, put them on their heels. As good teams do, they made a push back at us. Like our last game at Mississippi State, our kids responded every time. That's a great step forward for our group"

On if he changed strategy when Auburn cut the lead to four in the second half...
"We wanted to stay aggressive. I thought we got really passive. Defensively, we've had issues all year and that's why we're a lot like Jeff. We change our looks a lot. I thought we got passive getting to the ball. We were leaving them open, and the way they have been shooting the ball, that's dangerous."

On what the win does for his team...
"It gives us a chance. In this sport, all you really ask for is an opportunity to control your own destiny. It was difficult for us to do that with our opening loss to Kentucky. Now that we got one on the road, we've put ourselves back in a position to do that. "

Senior Guard Clarence Sanders

On the game...
"Coming into the game, Coach (Kennedy) told us that once we got over this hump, we were either going to be tired or No. 1 in the Western Division. We just needed to come out and convert what we were doing in practice and bring it over to the game."

On playing in front of his family and friends...
"I loved playing in front of them, because this is the first time that half of them have seen me play live. They have seen me on TV, but not live. It was especially nice to play in front of my Pop. He is a huge basketball fan and getting to play in front of him was important. I have been doing that since I was a little kid. I just loved playing in front of him.

On coming off the bench...
"It doesn't matter if I am starting or if I am coming off the bench. I just want to get in the game and play."

On his shooting becoming more accurate...
"I have been in the gym working. Coach has had me out after practice working on my jumpshots. I see what's working for me, so I am going to keep sticking with my routine."

"I don't really pay attention to how many points I'm scoring. I just like to go out there and shoot and have fun."

On winning on the road...
"It was a huge win, but now we've got to focus on the next game. We have a week layoff and we are going to get ready for Alabama at home."

On getting better as a team...
"We have become really comfortable with each other. At the beginning of the season, we weren't completely comfortable with each other. I felt like everybody wanted to do their own thing. We have come together as a unit now."

Junior Center Dwayne Curtis

On watching the scoreboard during the 2nd half...
"We definitely were not looking at that. When we come back for the second half, Coach told us the score was 0-0. We were not watching the board."

On his mindset coming back to play in Auburn...
"I knew the crowd might be a little bit on the negative side. I knew I needed to prepare myself for that."