Postgame Quotes vs. Furman

AUBURNTIGERSDOTCOM
AUBURNTIGERSDOTCOM

AUBURNTIGERSDOTCOM

Dec. 15, 2012

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Auburn Head Coach Tony Barbee

On having a rough second half after a good first half...
"I agree. We have to mature as a team. We have to get better. We came out with good defensive energy. We didn't come out as sharp offensively as I would have liked. Defensively, we were really good. We held them to 20 percent in the first half. I thought we guarded the 3-point line, which was our main focus. In the last game, they made 15 threes, and today they only had five. They are a team that can shoot the ball. We wanted to concentrate on the 3-point line. I thought we got content with the 15-point lead at halftime. I told the guys it is not about who we play, it is about us getting better. Obviously, we want to win against whoever we play against, but tonight was not good enough for some of the teams we have coming up fairly soon. I think they understand it. We have to mature and grow as a team."

On not forcing Furman to shoot ill-advised shots late in the shot clock...
"When you look at them on tape that is kind of what they do. They want to grind you out and guard a whole shot clock and make you break down late in the clock. It is usually a three. We wanted to be disciplined defensively and not gamble and get out of positions and have them make those shots early. To hold them to 30 percent shooting was pretty good defensively. We have to better offensively. We had to have missed 15 to 20 shots within five feet of the rim. I am talking about point blank layups, post moves. We have to better, tougher and stronger around the rim.

On Ashaun Dixon-Tatum's performance...
"He was good. Those two guys (Rob Chubb and Dixon-Tatum) played well off each other. We played them a bit together tonight when they were playing their big lineup in the second half. I probably should have played Ashaun a little bit longer in the second half. He's getting better and more comfortable at this level."

On Jordan Price shooting 8-for-8 from three in his last two games...
"Tell him to keep shooting."

On Chris Denson's performance since returning to the lineup...
"Chris has played well. It is no surprise what he is doing offensively. The biggest thing I have noticed is his maturity and his attention to detail on the defensive end of the floor. That is where he has been a little deficient in his first two years here at that end of the floor. I told him that is where he has to grow as a player. It just can't be offense. I know he is going to score. He is hard to guard. He shoots it better from the perimeter. Where he has had to make the transition is on the defensive end of the floor. He has not just gotten better as an on-ball defender, but a team defender as well. I think that is where the biggest adjustment has occurred."

On Price growing as a player...
"He has been settled on the offensive end of the floor. That is not my gripe with him. My gripe with him has been when we were in that zone and that shot came from the opposite wing and he is one on one with a man on the opposite wing and he just stared at the rim and the guy ran right by him, got the ball and laid it in. Leave it up to a coach to win by 14 and not be happy with something. Jordan Price has a chance to be a really good player here over the course of his career. His intensity level has to come all the way from down here to way up here. Unfortunately for us, we need it in a hurry. He is working on it, but it has to be better. He is going to be good offensively because he can make shots. I just need his defense and intensity to be at a higher level.

He is like a typical freshman. He is going to be good one day and the next day you are going to wonder what happened to him. That is what freshman are. That is why they drive you nutty. We need those freshmen to be good. The one freshman that is starting to get it is Shaquille (Johnson). He is not polished by any means on the offense. He is an energy guy for us and he knows it. He is working on his shot and all those things, but he is not fighting me at all. He is working on all the things we want him to work on every day in practice. He is playing tough on defense. He is giving us extra possessions on running at the rim and making athletic plays no one else can make on the floor. That is his role on the team."

On the health status on Rob Chubb and Shaq Johnson...
"I don't know. I haven't talked to the trainer yet."

On Chubb and Dixon-Tatum shooting 5-of-18 from the field...
"It is toughness. It is all toughness. When you get the ball, at 7-foot and 6-10, within five feet from the rim, there is a skill level to it. Those guys are really skilled, but the next part of it is having a meanness and a toughness. That is my biggest problem with this team. We don't have that. We don't embody that. We have talked about it from day one that it has to be our identity. We have enough talent, but we are not overly talented team so the great equalizer is how hard and mean we play. We don't have that on a consistent basis. We don't have that from Ashaun and Rob. That is why we miss so many bunny shots."

Auburn Player Quotes

Chris Denson, Jr., G

On how he can begin to play better defensively...
"I said it comes with what I've learned over time since my freshman year. My freshman year, I was terrible defensively. I've watched a lot of film. Coach Barbee said in order to play a lot of minutes on this team, you have to do good defensively, so I picked it up on the defensive end."

On if he has felt comfortable from the start on offense since rejoining the starting lineup...
"I do. When Coach Barbee put me back in the starting lineup, that was an automatic boost for my confidence, and I knew what I had to do when I came back."

On if the team sees Jordan Price hitting 3-pointers in practice...
"I didn't know he was 8-for-8, but we see it in practice. Like I said in the last interview in the last game, Jordan Price will score. Put him in the right place in the right time, and he'll knock any 3 down."

On the alley-oop toward the end of the game and how much he missed that when he was out of the lineup...
"It hurt. Just seeing my team just struggle, I feel like I could've done so much to help them. That really hurt, so when I get those plays like that, you see me have so much emotion and just yell because I'm just so happy to be out there."

On if the team can continue to win after winning back-to-back games for the first time this season...
"I believe so. Coach Barbee always says two things are contagious. Losing is contagious, and winning is contagious. We're trying our best to stay on that winning side."

On if he was surprised that Josh Wallace set up the alley-oop on a fast break...
"I was. We were talking in the film room, and I was like, `Man I'm surprised you even threw it,' but that's just how Josh is. Josh is a pass-first point guard, and he said I had the hot hand, so he gave it up to me for the alley-oop."

Jordan Price, Fr., G

On if he thinks he'll ever miss a 3-pointer...
"Hopefully not."

On if he feels locked-in after going 8-for-8 from 3-point range over the last two games...
"It feels pretty good. I really didn't realize it until they told me, so hopefully nobody jinxed me. It's just a blessing for my teammates to be able to find me on a break and throughout the offense for me to even be able to shoot these shots."

On how a shooting streak like that starts...
"Really it starts in practice just working out every day and getting in and getting shots with my coaches and teammates. That's basically what they've been stressing with me for the last couple months is just getting in the gym every day and working."

On if feels any urgency to improve his play defensively...
"Yes sir, defense equals more minutes, so I know I need to get better on the defensive end so I can be able to help my team on the offensive end."

On how much he feels he's settled in as a freshman...
"It's better from when it started. It started real fast, and I wasn't really ready. As time goes on, and this Christmas break really helped me out, I'm getting in better shape. I'm getting more accustomed with the game and the speed of the game."

On when the speed of the game started to slow down for him...
"Just being able to execute on the defensive end and the offensive end and just being in practice with my seniors. They're also helping me out taking me through the ropes and things like that."

On when he started to sense the game slowing down and grasping things better...
"It's kind of recently. Just still trying to work on making it become slower, also."

Furman Head Coach Chuck Jackson

On the game...
"I thought we really battled. We just missed some shots in the first half against a team of that quality and we got behind the eight ball, because we didn't shoot the ball well from the 3 in the first half. We were chasing the game a bit. I thought we shot the ball better in the second half. I was real pleased with Colin [Reddick] and Kendrec [Ferrara]. They did some good things in the second half as well. I thought we did a good job of taking care of the ball most of the night, but we just have to get off to a better start shooting the ball and I think we'll be alright."

On Auburn's defense ...
"I thought we did a pretty good job executing our man offense and then they went zone. We had to play with a small lineup because of foul trouble so they had to go zone, and then I thought we went a little stagnant there. The second half I thought we had the zone a little figured out and that's why I think we were a little more proficient in the second half offensively."

Furman Player Colin Reddick, sr., F.

On what didn't work offensively...
"We didn't shoot the ball very well in the first half and I think that's what put us in the hole. We just weren't finishing the shots, so I feel like we would have been in the game if it weren't for those missed shots."

On using this game to improve...
"It was a really good test, because they're a good defensive team. We handled the pressure very well. We didn't turn the ball over that much. If we can take care of the ball like we did today, we can continue to do it in the rest of our games."