Feb. 24, 2011
Auburn Locker Room
Head Coach Tony Barbee
On the defensive strategy going into the game and how well it worked: "Play zone and hope they miss. It seemed to work but give them credit. They made the plays down the stretch and we didn't. I told my guys that there is a big difference between playing hard and fouling. There's a big difference between those two things. They were all fouls and we put them to the foul line way too much when they were struggling to score. When they did miss we gave up way too many offensive rebounds. I'm proud of my kids with the way they fought and this was as well as we have played. This loss is on me not on them because I have done an awful job of teaching these guys how to win. That's a game even, in this environment, even as bad as we played, that we just have to figure out a way to win and we lost it but give credit to Alabama. They played well through adversity when they were not making shots because we were guarding them but they made plays down the stretch to win the game."
On how tough it was the final four or five minutes when so many guys fouled out and how tough it was offensively during that stretch:
"Well if it was tough, regardless of who was on the floor, to find someone who wanted the ball. I was running plays for certain guys but they just could not find a way to get open when we were trying to go to them or couldn't find a way to get a shot at the basket. But that's been the story of our season. As well as we've played defensively in spots, especially today, offensively we struggle and it costs us games."
On what the defensive game plan was on the final shot for Alabama:
"Keep them in front and make them shoot a jump shot and not give them a lay-up. That's what we did, we broke down and they made a great play."
#33 Ross Earnest, Guard
On this game being a tough one to take especially watching from the bench at the end:
"Yes, it is very tough to sit on the sideline and not be able to contribute and help my team offensively and defensively to try to win the game. I'm proud of how our guys fought though. We fought to the end and that's all we can do. Unfortunately, I wasn't on the court to, like I said, help my team win. I wish we could have pulled it out but you know sometimes it just happens like that. We just broke down defensively at the end of the game and they just hit a great shot. It was a great play."
On noticing frustration from the offensive end when Auburn started defending them and Alabama couldn't get anything going:
"Defensively we just tried to be the team that we are: scrappy, and try to keep them in front of us and try to rebound. We tried to do things like that and stay in the game and compete. They just continued to make plays at the end of the game, which helped them over their stretch. If we would have had more guys out there defensive rebounding and making plays, I'm pretty sure we could have come out with a win tonight."
On taking something positive from the close loss:
"Each game we play we try to find something positive out of it and try to build on it going into our next game. The way we played tonight, we came out and fought and gave it our all and that is all Coach asks from us. I guess we can try to build off that and move on to the next game on Saturday when we play Arkansas at home. Those are the positive things we can try to look on to and build as a team."
#22 Kenny Gabriel, Foward
On how hard it was walking the line between playing intense defense and fouling:
"It was a big one. Coach said at the end of the game there is a difference between playing hard and fouling, and fouling is what we did the most today. We did play good defense but at certain times we broke down and that's what caused us to foul a lot.
Alabama Locker Room
Head Coach Anthony Grant
Opening Statement: "We got the win. You've got to give Auburn credit. I thought they came in and had a great game plan against us and did a great job. You've got to give their kids credit for how hard they fought. We feel very fortunate to win the game today. We're thankful our guys were able to step up and get some turnovers that gave us some extra possessions. We made some plays at the end and we were able to win it."
On the mental toughness required to win this game and the lack of rhythm Alabama was able to get into:
"Well give Auburn credit. I think they had a lot to do with us not being able to get in rhythm. When you look at the final numbers and you see 26 percent from the field, 16 percent from the three-point line, missed 13 free throws and turned it over 19 times. You have to wonder how you win. Thankfully we were able to make enough plays and get enough points to come out ahead. "
On getting the ball to JaMychal Green in the final minutes:
"I thought the last play was a great move by Tony to drive the basketball. Obviously, we've been in those situations this year so it was good to see him be aggressive and get it on the glass for us. Thankfully JaMychal was there to clean it up."
On the importance of getting the win heading into the homestretch of the season:
"At the end of the day, you look at the win-loss column. Obviously, we got the win. For our guys, I told them that this was a near-death experience. You've got to understand how close you came to losing some opportunities that are in front of us. We've got regroup and understand that with what we have left, it's going to be very tough and challenging every game. We've got to come and bring our best every single game from now on."
On the importance of the home-crowd in a game like this:
"I think the first thing I heard from the assistants when I went back to the locker room was, `Shades of St. Peter's.' So certainly, our crowd carried us through. I wish we would've been able to give them more in terms of involvement in the game. Auburn did a good job and kept our crowd out of it for most of the game, but in the end, I think the energy in the building carried us through."
#1 JaMychal Green, Forward
On the put back there from the last play and what exactly happened:
"I tried to go to the goal aggressively and I saw that it got knocked off bound, so I knew it was going to come off. So fortunately it came off in my hands and God helped me put it in."
On what was the difference with what Auburn did this game and the last game when Alabama played them:
"They came out more aggressive. They wanted to win. I give my hats off to them. They came out and played good. They led for most of the game. We had to fight back. We had to fight the reverse and we did our job. "
On what the difference was in this game:
"I think defense. The defense stepped up. We had a low shooting night tonight but as a team we kept fighting. We didn't want to lose."
#12 Trevor Releford, Guard
On the difference between this game and the first time Alabama played Auburn:
"It's a rivalry so none of that matters. Our record doesn't even count. They're going to come out emotional just because it is Alabama vs. Auburn and they are going to give it their all just like we try to."
On the team offensively and reasons for turnovers and shooting percentages:
"I just think we did not come out ready to play at the end of the day. They had a little bit of pressure, but nothing like we haven't seen in the SEC before so I think if we would have come out more focused, we would have knocked (down) more shots down, and we wouldn't have been in that predicament."
On what was the difference in this game that allowed Alabama to hang on and win:
"It was our fate. We never gave up. We just wanted it so bad. We just looked at it like what do we have at stake, and we just knew we couldn't let them survive. "
On what do you think you can learn from a game like this that is a win but probably doesn't feel like a great win right now:
"No matter who you play against, you have to come out and give it 110% and not take that for granted."