Nicholls State vs. Auburn Postgame Quotes
AUBURNTIGERSDOTCOM
AUBURNTIGERSDOTCOM

AUBURNTIGERSDOTCOM

Nov. 25, 2011

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Auburn Locker Room

Head Coach Tony Barbee

On overall performance...
"I thought we played OK. It is hard to be upset with a win, but like any coach you always nit-pick. We would like to do a little bit better. You look at the box score, and it can be deceiving a lot of times. I thought defensively we were just OK. We had to play a little too much zone, but maybe that is who we are. I have to go back and evaluate, but I thought our zone looked good. We disrupted their rhythm. We have got to rebound better than we did tonight. That team had been getting out rebounded by 20, and they evened us up on the back-board. A win is a win. We have just got to keep getting better. With that big of a lay-off it is hard to be as sharp as you want them to be offensively. Now, we start to get back into the rhythm of playing games."

On having a size advantage....v "It did help defensively, but it needs to be more of a factor offensively, too. They made it hard, too. They didn't really trap the post, but they dig really hard off the post passer so it made it hard for Rob (Chubb) to get into rhythm. It is more me than it is Kenny (Gabriel). I have got to do a better job of getting Kenny involved offensively, especially in the post. We know he can make shots, open shots, threes and all those things. He can run and get out and transistion and all of those things, but we got to do a better job of finding him offensive opportunities in the half-court. It can't just be Rob as our only presence offensively, but how about Willy (Kouassi) tonight? Willy is coming along, he has got to rebound better than what he is doing. He really does well, but it's good to see him block shots because that is what he really does well. Not just him, Chubb had five blocks as well, and Kenny had a couple blocks. Even Josh Wallace tried to claim he had a block. He wanted to be a part of it in the locker room. It was a good win and now we move on for Monday."

On being 3-0....
"Anytime you see my schedule, there is a method to the madness. There is a reason we schedule the way we did to start the season. We still as a program have to grow and develop that confidence. The only way you do that is by winning. As we develop that culture, then you will see the schedule change a little bit. These guys are hungry, but I want them to be better and they know that. We can be better. We still aren't playing the best we can play in every area of the game."

On Charles Barkley being in attendance...
"I didn't know Charles was coming. It is always neat when he comes back. Then Bo (Jackson) came in the locker room after the game, and it was neat for the guys to see him. That shows you the Auburn Family. It is not just sport to sport, and it is not just football. We all support each other. How about the crowd again tonight? Are you kidding me? The students in the middle of a break. I know they were all back for the football game tomorrow, but it didn't mean they had to come in here. Our season ticket holders and fans up top, they showed up tonight. I think people are starting to get excited about this team and about this program. They are appreciating how hard they are fighting and how hard they are playing and obviously they are excited about the wins, too."

#1 Varez Ward, G., Soph.

On having a good game on the boards...
"We played a lot of zone tonight so I was able to come down and grab some rebounds and help out our big men on the glass."

On having a complete game...
"I try to be as efficient as possible. Not only did I put up the points but I also was able to cut down on the turnovers and improve my free throw percentages. I was just trying not to turn the ball over, and I also knew that I had been struggling at the line. So, those were some things that I had been working on the past week."

On difference between first half and second half 3-point shooting ...
"I think in the first half, we had rushed a couple of threes. I think that we could have gone to the basket a little bit more and then played off of that. In the second half, we were able to get to the basket and that really opened up a lot of wide open shots for us and we were able to knock them down."

On Willy Kouassi's potential as a shot blocker ...
"Willy (Kouassi) has great potential. It is all about progressing for him. He is a freshman so that means he is going to make some mistakes but Willy plays really hard. Whenever he makes a mistake, he is going to make it going full speed."

#41 Rob Chubb, C., Jr.

On record setting day for blocked shots ...
"All I was really focusing on was that my shots were not really falling, and that the other team was double teaming me a lot. Once I realized that they were double-teaming me, I did the best I could to help get other people open. That was when I started to get things done on the defensive end. Nobody could shoot over Willy (Kouassi) tonight. He is way too long and way too explosive."

On size advantage ...
"The whole week Coach (Barbee) was emphasizing that once we get the ball into the post, the other team would collapse due to the size advantage we had over them. We had been practicing the whole week on different ways to beat double teams and getting the ball to the open man."

#50 Willy Kouassi, C., Fr.

On the game and individual performance...
"I think that I did alright. Blocking shots and rebounding is natural for me, so I think that I did alright tonight. Now, I just need to keep practicing hard and go out there and get better for the next game."

On getting more comfortable on the court...
"I am getting more comfortable on the court. I was kind of nervous in the beginning, but I started getting more comfortable as the game went on."


Nicholls State Locker Room

Head Coach J.P. Piper

Opening statement...
"I'm proud of our team, I'm proud of the way our guys competed. There were a lot of positives in the game, I don't like the way we started. I felt much better about the second half except we didn't make shots. Our field goal percentage was way down, but Auburn had a lot to do with that. I don't know if we helped them set some kind of arena record but 17 blocks in the game is a heck of a lot of blocks. They had to work to get those blocks. We were challenging the rim, our guys were doing what we were asking them to do. Those are buckets in our league or will at least get us to the free throw line in our league. I love the way our guys competed. We don't understand right now how to beat a shot blocker at the rim, but honestly we don't need to understand that to have success in our league night in and night out. My hat's off to Auburn. Good job on their part, they came out in the second half and made shots and brought it at us and defended their rim, but I love the way our guys competed tonight.

On coming out slow...
"I don't have an answer for you there. We asked them, what are you panicking about? We looked like we couldn't throw and catch in the first four minutes, we're fumbling the ball kicking it off our legs we just looked really inept. Then for whatever reason, I think we spotted them five turnovers real quick. Then after that, I think we settled down and really played solid basketball in terms of taking care of the ball for the rest of the game. But I don't have an answer, maybe because they're young guys, maybe a little in awe of the atmosphere, but we'll adjust it when we get on the practice floor. Again no disrespect to our opponent, but I didn't feel like initially the first four was anything that they were doing that we hadn't seen or shouldn't have been prepared to handle. We just looked really nervous and unsure, but we shouldn't have been."

On the progression of the team...
"We're still learning this group as a coaching staff, and they're still learning each other in terms of playing together as a team so that could factor in some. But some of them where the ball hits your hands, goes off your knee and out of bounds. There were probably four or five of those plays. Now, we talked about good and bad turnovers. The guys trying to get to the rim and committing the charge. I can live with some of those, but I remember early in the game we threw it to Sam [McBeath] in transition, and it just hit his hands and went right out of bounds like he didn't catch the ball in time. We've got to eliminate that. We can't start games that way and expect to be successful. But he's a freshman, a young guy in a big time atmosphere and maybe he was a little nervous. But hopefully he won't be nervous next time."

#23 Trevon Lewis, G, Fr.

On tonight's game...
"We came into this game, and we had a couple of obstacles that we wanted to get through. We're a kind of young team, and we're getting better every day. Like Coach (J.P. Piper) said before the game, we really wanted to win the game, but we needed to take steps forward. That's what I think we did. We got better this game, and that's what really matters."

On being able to hang in there with Auburn throughout the first half...
"We were battling pretty hard in the first half, and in the second half we felt the fatigue come. That's one of our problems. We have to learn how to fight through the fatigue. That was the biggest problem in the second half."

On gaining experience from playing Auburn...
"We just have to learn how to get through that. That was my first time seeing a big crowd like that. We just have to learn how to fight through that."