Post-Game Quotes: Auburn 76, Nicholls 54

Nov. 8, 2013

Recap |  Final Stats |  Photo Gallery 

Auburn 76, Nicholls 54
Post-Game Quotes

Auburn head coach Tony Barbee
On tonight's game...
"I liked the end result. Wins are hard to get at this level and I liked that we are starting the season 1-0. I thought we played well and we did a lot of good things. I am happy to get the win. "

On KT Harrell...
"He was aggressive. It is what I thought we would get from him and he played a complete game."

On the Free Throw Percentage...
"It's not where it should have been. From what my expectations are, we should be a 75-80 percent free throw shooting team. That's the type of team that we are."

On the team's chemistry...
"Our chemistry is really good and these guys are playing for each other. Their bond is really strong and we have got to keep it there."

On the defense...
"It was solid, but there is room for improvement. The press was solid at times, but we got a little fatigued and it wasn't as sharp and they got some easy baskets out of it. But there is not much to complain about when you hold a team to 33 percent."

On a third scorer...
"We have a bunch of guys on this team that can become that. This should be a team where we have five guys in double figures. That should have been the case tonight. We have to be able to do that night in and night out and not just count on two guys."

Auburn Player Quotes

Chris Denson
On what made scoring 20 points easier...
"Definitely the new `hands on' rule, where you really can't touch a defender. That's people like me and KT. That's our game, so basically it was easier on scorers like us. I think it worked well tonight. Getting other people shots and scoring is what we do. That's our roll on the team."

On exploding in the second half, and settling in...
"I would say that. But we can't do that, especially when it gets deeper in the season, and we're playing the Tennessees, the Vanderbilts and the Kentuckys. We can't come out to a slow start, and try to pick it up in the second half. We've got to do it all 40 minutes. That's our fault, and we're going to try to not let it happen again."

On the team's chemistry this year...
"The chemistry wasn't good last year, but had a long boding trip. We went to the Bahamas, so we know our do's and don'ts. I know everyone like a brother here, so every single thing I know about each player down our roster, and we just gel well together. I've been playing with K.T. and the squad since the end of last season. As soon as the season ended and we lost to Texas A&M, we got in the gym. We've been playing ever since."

On stamping out a losing streak...
"Winning always feels good. Just to start 1-0, a game in college basketball is hard to win. Any game. So it's a good start."

K.T. Harrell
On what made scoring 20 points easier...
"We're both aggressive players. Definitely with the new rules, it's going to be harder to guard somebody like me or Chris that penetrates to the basket and tries to find gaps for our teammates."

On playing a regular season game instead of an exhibition...
"I talked to Allen Payne about it. Whether it's an exhibition or a regular season game, I approach it the same way. I don't want to lose, so I play as hard as I can to win the game. And that was no different from the exhibition game to today."

On being able to open up and start scoring quickly...
"It felt good, but it's just my teammates getting me open on good shots, and trying to be aggressive early. We got so many guys that can score the ball, it could be anybody's net at any time."

On being successful early in the season...
"I don't really come into the game thinking "let me get this amount of points.' In the flow of the game, I'm aggressive, I try to find my shot and try to get my teammates open for shots. Whatever happens happens, but my main objective is to win the game."

Nicholls State head coach J.P. Piper
On the overall outcome of the game...
"I don't know if I've ever coached a game where no players scored in double figures, at least in a long time. I can't remember a time when we didn't have a guy in double figures. I'm not discouraged. I still think we have a good chance to be a good basketball team. We hit some adversity early in the second half and we didn't respond well to it. You have to credit Auburn. They really brought it at us to open the second half."

On Auburn's quick start to begin both halves...
"I thought they got off to a good start to open the game and to start the second half. We just weren't able to answer. We played even at times, but we were never able to gain much ground on them, particularly in the second half. In the first half, we would let them run out a little bit and then close it back up. We weren't able to close it back up in the second half. They just kind of ran away from us. They game plan was to keep K.T. Harrell and Chris Denson from not going off on us and we didn't do a very good job of that. They finished with 21 and 20, respectively. We have to go back to the drawing board and get better defensively."

On keeping the game fairly close in the first half before allowing Auburn to pull away...
"My approach from the tip was to prepare us to win games in our conference. There were a couple of guys doing things in the game that were not consistent with the way they have been coached. When we did it right in the first half, we looked really good. You saw those runs where we defended well and executed well offensively."

On going forward with his young team...
"Part of what is going to happen with a new team and young players is that some of it is too much confidence. They think they can break out of the offense and do their thing. Those were bad plays for us. Some of it is that they don't completely believe yet what we're doing. It's an issue where I've got to insist that we're going to do it this way or I'm not going to play you. Fortunately, we have enough depth on this team that I'll give someone else a chance to defend if you don't want to do."

Nicholls State Players
Dantrell Thomas

On first half against Auburn...
"Offensively, we took a lot of quick shots and it gave Auburn a lot of opportunities for them to get out in front of us especially with a lot of guys in foul trouble early in the first half."

On the amount of fouls and free throws attempted in Friday's game...
"The referees and the NCAA are emphasizing the physical play and contact in the game and with the rule change it's kind of hard to make the adjustment. When you play a physical team on the road, it's hard. It was difficult for the game and playing physical guys made it tough for us to make changes tonight."

On Auburn's KT Harrell...
"He's a great shooter on the perimeter and that opened up things for their team. You expect him to shoot, but then he can kick it out or drive to the basket and he made it difficult for us."

Jeremy Smith
On Auburn taking control of the game in the second half...
"We came out flat in the second half. We caught them off guard and I don't think they expected us to play with as much energy as we did in the first half. We hit them with that, but then fell apart in the second half."