USC Upstate vs. Auburn Postgame Quotes

Dec. 21, 2010

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Auburn Locker Room

Head Coach Tony Barbee

Opening Comments...
"Frankie's (Sullivan) leadership is invaluable, and that is what is I was looking forward to with him having this group this year, because we need it desperately. If it comes from the coaches, we will provide it, but it makes it harder if it is not on the floor. Having him back, gives us that on the floor. I struggle because I am a man-to-man coach, and I have to come to the realization that we can't guard man-to-man. The zone looked good tonight. We just have to rebound better. We get so many balls in our hands that we can't hold on to."

On the Frankie being a disruptive force on defense...
"He has an alertness and an awareness. He has a very high basketball IQ that gives us a spark. All of what he brings to the floor is going to go a long way to help this team grow. He does it every day in practice. It is why he is back so soon, because he did it every day in his rehab. The way he attacks this game and the way he plays is the same way he attacked his rehab. "

On the eight day break for the holidays...
"The players are going to go home. I told them to have a good Christmas and be safe. It is a rather long break. One that is usually longer than one I would like to give, so I told them that if they like these kind of breaks during the year then they better come back refreshed, and ready to go. If they come back dragging, the breaks won't be so long in the coming years."

On going into the break coming off a win...
"It is huge. It is huge for the psyche on the team. Those guys have been giving me everything that I have asked for in practice. They have worked hard. They are getting after it. So it is always good to validate the things they were doing with a win. I told them I hope Santa puts some more patience under my Christmas tree. I hope Santa puts a little toughness and grittiness and some meanness under their trees, because we are lacking in those areas. We have to get some of that to compete against some of the teams coming up on our schedule."

On shooting 56 percent in the second half...
"We didn't do anything different. It really fed off what we did defensively. It is momentum. If you can get consecutive stops, what we work on in practice, and then turn those into easy points. We got some open threes, we got some early post ups in transition. I don't really want to play offense, I want to play transition where we can get up the floor and get shots up early. But if you can't get stops you find yourself trying to grind out a shot in the half court. We have trouble finding shots in the half court, because of what we are offensively."

23 Frankie Sullivan, G, Jr.

On getting back in the starting lineup....
"It really does not matter to me if I start or come off the bench. I just want to continue to help the team and get a win, like I did tonight."

On easing back into the game...
"I wouldn't say I'm easing into it, Coach (Barbee) is trying to play me as much as he can, because of my leadership and what I can do on the floor. I have been getting a little winded, but I am going to work on my cardio over the break and that is what I am really focused on right now."

On how he is feeling after playing three games...
"I got more comfortable, and I am not trying to do too much. I need to know what I can do coming off this injury. I can't cross over like I used to, and I am not as quick as I used to be. I'm a using what I got, like my jump shot to get me open. I am just helping out the team any way I can."

On going into the break with a win...
"It feels really good. You are not going in to the break thinking Coach (Barbee) is going to run you to death when you get back, because you didn't play hard enough because you were focused on going home. We actually put it together before we went home, and it is great to get a win."

On the defense...
"Defense wins championships. If you play great defense and make your free throws you are going to win every ball game. Our big's stepped it up tonight. Rob Chubb, Kenny Gabriel and Jake Drum all played great. Defense is really going to take us over the top because our offense is really struggling right now, so defense is the motor that is going to be running our team."

33 Earnest Ross, F, So.

On snapping the losing streak...
"This is as good as any other win. A win is a win and at the same time we have to continue working and getting better in practice. Hopefully there is more to come in terms of wins."

On what they did better in the 2nd half than in the 1st half...
"Defend. Our defense was a big part, but we can still continue to get better on that end. With Frankie (Sullivan) and a lot of the deflections he had, helped us a lot. The defense was the main part of the win today."

On success on defense helping the team...
"Our offense was a key too, but our defense is what we work on during practice. It is the key to most of the stuff that we do. I have to give the win to the defense, but the offense was important too."


USC Upstate Locker Room

Head Coach Eddie Payne

Opening Comments
"From my perspective we have to play a good bit harder to compete with a team like Auburn. Auburn is struggling, but they are athletic and bigger. We did a fairly decent job keeping them off the offense boards tonight. They only had eight offense boards tonight. That is well below what they have been averaging so that was a good stat for us tonight, but we didn't do a good job of containing the penetration which created a lot of problems for us. Once they got to feeling that they could win, they had some guys step up and make some shots. We didn't do what we needed to get ourselves a win. "

On what you can take away from this game...
"There is not a lot that we can take positively away from this game I think. I think what we can take out of this game is that we have to play a lot harder and a lot more consistent to win in our league. "

25 Tony Dukes, Guard, So.

On difficulty of getting shots off ...
"Once we started moving the ball and executing our offense, we got off some nice, easy shots. It was half and half." On adjustments made at halftime to counter the full-court press ...

"We have our offensive break to break the press, our press-offense, so we just weren't executing and doing what we had to do tonight. We didn't play hard at all."

On what is hoped to take away from loss ...
"What we need to take away from this is to just play harder. We did not have the energy, it was really low. If we came out at the half with the same energy we had in the first half, we would've gone the whole 40 minutes."