UNCA vs. Auburn Postgame Quotes

Nov. 12, 2010

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Auburn Locker Room

Head Coach Tony Barbee

On losing the lead late....
"Inexperience showed. We are what we are. I thought we played hard, I thought for the most part we battled for the majority of the game, but the bottom line is our lack of experience showed, and [Asheville]'s experience showed. They've got their starting line-up back and they've got 7 of the top 8, or 8 of their top nine and we've got a bunch of guys that haven't been in that position. It's the growing pains I was talking about. Give them credit, they played hard and made the plays, but that's what an experienced team does. My job is to change the culture, that's why I'm here. I told these guys `losing is not your fate, it's not your fate, so don't accept it. When you get in those positions, in regulation, with under a shot clock left, and they miss two free throws, you have to come up with that rebound. We work on that in practice, we work on that situation. That is mental and physical toughness that comes with experience. We had two of our better rebounders on the inside, Kenny [Gabriel] and Rob [Chubb] and could not come up with that rebound. You get the rebound, and maybe for all intents and purposes the game is over. You're up two, they've got to foul. Maybe you make at least one of two, which is what it seems like we're pretty good at, instead of 2 for 2. The locker room is hurt, as they should be, because they've worked hard all preseason long, but we're going to experience some growing pains because of our inexperience, and that's the bottom line."

On UNC Asheville getting more second-chances than Auburn...
"In the second half, absolutely. Too many, way too many."

On benefit of having a week before the next game, against Samford...
"When you've got a good team, it absolutely is [good]. We've just got to keep getting better. I've talked to this team a lot about not accepting your fate, and not contributing to your own demise. They made shots and they made plays, but we did more down that stretch to contribute to our own demise, we dribbled out of bounds against their press, we go one-for- two from the foul line. We foul them instead of making them make plays. We don't rebound on the free throw. We did more to contribute to our own demise. I'll give them credit, they made plays, but they're an experienced team. We need the practice, but as I told these guys, this whole year will be a learning experience for everything, but it's about changing the culture and not accepting that you're supposed to lose. That's why I'm here."

22 Kenny Gabriel, F, Sophomore

On the final four minutes ...
"We stopped executing, we stopped rebounding. Mentally and physically, we just didn't execute. That's all it was."

On being worn down after exhibition games...
"You can see some fatigue late in the game, but at the end of the game when it hits like that, you have to fight through it. And we didn't. We let go of the lead, and we tried to battle back, but we just couldn't. That's all you can really say about that. You have to give them credit. They came here and played hard. We had them down by 16 going into the half. We could have ended up beating them by 20 points, but we just had a lack of physical and mental energy and we just let go of the lead."

On them having more rebounds and second chances...
"We just stopped boxing out on free throws, and when the shot went up. I take the fault on that because that's what I do the best, boxing out and getting the rebounds on the defensive end. That's what I need to practice for the next week and get ready for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday."

On getting ready for the next game after a week off...
"We need to watch film, and get better from it. We need to learn from our mistakes. And then Monday through Thursday in practice, we need to fight each other, work hard get better and not let this happen again."

On playing in the new arena...
"It was fantastic playing in there. The crowd was lovely. It's just a nice place to play. We hope that they come back for the games next weekend."

On feeling the lead slowly slipping away...
"You can kind of sense it, because when they went to the free throw line they started knocking down free throws. And we were fouling a little too much. When they go to the free throw line and they hit two-for-two every time they went up there, that's just what they did. We went 19 for 34 on our free throws, so we make seven of those, we win the game.


UNC Asheville Locker Room

Head Coach Eddie Biedenbach

"I just told the team in the locker room a lot of us grew up tonight. It's a long long season, and this is just one game. But for J.P. (Primm) and D.J. Cunningham to play as long as they did with four fouls, for Chris Stephenson to sit on the bench for as long as he did and then come in and make a couple of key plays at the end. To have patience, I didn't think we attacked their zone (defense) very well in the end there. But you have to make baskets on both ends. Switching Jaron Lane on to (Josh) Wallace, and softening it up where we were getting beat around the corners really was a big thing there in the last few minutes of the game and overtime. That was a big difference there, and of course Chris Stephenson getting a big rebound was an important thing too."

On the experience of this team...
"We still have a lot of growing to do. We have a couple of freshman that need to be in the lineup, and Trent Meyer is getting a little bit of playing time. His knee is getting a little better and a little stronger, and that is going to make us young again. We need him (Meyer) in there and in the rotation. Jon Nwannunu did a great job for the short time he was in there, and we just have to get a little better play out of some guys. But I was really pleased with the fact that we kept grinding it out. We got it down to five, Auburn took it back to ten, then we got it back again and we kept hanging in there. When we went up five, we made two bad plays and we should have made them foul us. Then we could have won the game how you are supposed to. The other way we had to hold our breath on shots. But I was real pleased on the overall effort. Matt Dickey and Jaron Lane and J.P. Primm all of them are really really good players and really did a job, that was big. John Williams made some big plays down the stretch, he got lost in the first half and sat part of the game, but when it was on the line he came through, and did some great things. "

On what this win means for the Big South Conference...
"I think it's too early in the season to make statements. But it is great for the Big South to compete with some of the big boys. But it is too early; it is just too early to know. "

John Williams, F, RSr.

On what the team did to prepare for this game...
"We did a lot of studying of the scouting reports and watched the film on them. We really felt that this was a wonderful game for us."

On what the team was able to do during overtime to get the win...
"In the first half, our confidence wasn't as up much as it should have been. Once we got into rhythm and we got into overtime, we really felt that we could push and maybe get the win. They are a very good team."

On what the team will take from this win, and what they will do to prepare for the next game...
"We are going to take it and move forward. We are going to have it on our back that in our conference we can run with the best of them, because Auburn is a very good team."

Matt Dickey, G, Jr.

On what the team did to prepare for this game...
"We just watched some film, and worked hard in practice to get ready. We knew that they were going to be athletic and go to the boards hard. In the first half we didn't do so well on the boards. In the second half we picked up on the boards, and started rebounding. I think that's what helped us win the game."

On his offensive production during the game...
"Well the guys were getting me open, and were hitting me when I was open. I just felt good going up. I have to thank my teammates. They got me open, guys driving, kicking out."

On what the team is going to take from this game going into the next game...
"A lot of confidence for one thing. This a big win, I think our second SEC victory in five or six years. Beating a good team like this really gives you a lot of confidence going into the next game. That's big for us."