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Ga. Southern vs. Auburn Postgame Quotes

Dec. 29, 2010

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Auburn Locker Room

Head Coach Tony Barbee

Opening Comments
"Part of the maturation process when you have such a young team, is playing to win and not playing to lose. There was a big difference in play during the second half, but we did gain our composure. It concerned me also with a young team, or with any team, when you have such a big lead and the opponent hits a big three to send it into overtime. Often that team with the big lead gets deflated because of that and they come out flat in overtime. Before we came out for overtime, our guys' heads were hanging. I could see it. I told them, `We have five more minutes to win this game. This is winning time.' I think a lot of that is the starters or learning how to play together."

On Andre Malone leaving the team...
"Andre (Malone) and I met with his family during the break. He decided that this was not the right fit for him, and I agreed. He will be looking for another place to play - another institution. We wish him luck. He was great to coach. He was a great teammate. It just wasn't the right fit, so it was best that we parted ways now. At the end of the day, I want guys who are going to be here. He felt this was not the right fit for him, so I was not going to bait him to stay. We wish him the best of luck."

On building upon the narrow victory...
"I would teach a team from winning a close game than losing a close game or moral victories, which I do not believe in. Anytime you win, you can always teach from that. We are going to go back and work on our press. We have not spent a lot of time working on our press attack. We have had a lot more pressing concerns."

On Ty Armstrong dressing out...
"That is nothing to read into. He is getting close, kind of like Frankie (Sullivan) did. It is going to be a practice-by-practice evaluation by me whether he is ready to play or not. He is out there. He is practicing full time, but he still does not quite have it, physically. He is working his way back but he is not real close to making it back yet."

#23 Frankie Sullivan, Guard, Junior

On Coach Barbee being pleased with game ...
"He was pleased about the game, we're just living the spirit. We're a young team and we're going to have obstacles like this that we're going to have to cross. It was good for us that we got the `W' behind it."

On team being worn down in OT ...
"That's what we do in practice with conditioning, we're a great conditioned team, I think. I know from this summer that I still got to get my wind up and coach keeps asking me, can you go? I'm a winner and I like to be out there and help my team out. Fortunately we came out with the win."

On adjustments to be made without Andre Malone ...
"Yes. Unfortunately, that was a bad deal for us. We really needed Andre. The best of luck to him and his family about what he decides to do regarding his future. He could have helped us out a lot, especially with the zone and having another great player out there on the court with us and would have helped out a lot when they were in the zone. We could have knocked down some more shots and probably would have been an easier situation."

#22 Kenny Gabriel, Forward, Junior

On difference between the first and second halves ...
"In the first half, we came out with a lot of energy and we got up in double digits and in the second half. I guess we just got too complacent with the lead and once you give a team like that hope, they play off emotion and look at it like, `hey, we're back in it', and that's how they came back."

On what adjustments had to be made to stop the second half run by Georgia Southern ...
"First, we were just trying to get to the shooters because we were in a zone and at the top of the zone, it was hard on Frankie and the other guards so we were trying to get to all the shooters. They were whipping the ball around well. They were shooting well and making threes, so we'll get better at that though."

On Auburn possibly being vulnerable to the three because of zone defense ...
"I guess we are. We all know that we can shoot and make threes. I guess you take it personally when someone else shoots the three while you're close to them and you can go back on the other end and make one. That's all us being a young team and what we got to take from this game is not to shoot threes and rather get to the rim and make free-throws."

#33 Earnest Ross, Guard, Sophomore

On difference between the first and second halves ...
"I think the intensity in the first half, we came out playing extremely hard, ready to play. Coach prepared us well for the game. The second half we came out very content with the lead that we had, and we didn't really execute the plays that we were supposed to run in the second half. We gave them hope and they took the inspiration that they had and tried to come back and which they did come back. Now we know that when we're beating somebody that we have to continue to keep on beating them."

Georgia Southern Locker Room

Head Coach Charlton Young

Opening Comments
"This is probably the most disappointed I've been since I was named head coach here, but I was also proud of our guys. I've said before in the pregame that we have some character. We have something in our chest, but the break hurt us a bit. It sounds absurd saying this but having a little success, just one game, my young guys are just absolutely to giddy in preparation and not enough focused. Everything is a first for us. When you have five freshmen playing they don't know anything. They don't know how to handle success, and it showed tonight in the first twenty minutes when Auburn, after being off eight days, came out looking fresh. They delivered the first blow and they competed. In the first half we just laid down, but during halftime I got on them and challenged them. Every time I challenge them they respond. We have to continue to put ourselves in this position, and then try to win games."

On guard Zuri James ...
"He is a tough kid. He is a kid that has been through a lot, and he is very mature. He has gotten to this point by sheer hard work. He tried out for the team last year as a walk on. We recruited him out of the rack, and it was a heck of a recruiting battle and we didn't keep him last year. He kept hanging around and hanging around and finally I said `I'm going to give this kid a shot.' He has been through some things and had some disappointments, and he is very mature. He handled everything in a mature way, so he has been a tremendous addition to our team. We are going to keep him in the program, and hopefully he can keep shooting the ball for us. I'm proud of him and I'm happy for him. As a testimony to having faith and hard work, he is a special kid."

2 Rory Spencer, F, Sr.

On coming back from a 28 point deficit ....
"It was a good comeback, but we should not have dug ourselves in that big of a hole. We came out with no energy and just let the lead get ahead of us. We shouldn't have been in that predicament in the first place."

On what Coach (Charlton) Young told the team when behind...
"To just keep fighting, the only way we will get back in this is to play defense and rebound. That was our main goal to stop them and rebound the ball. We knew we could score, we can score on anybody."

On Georgia Southern's overall performance...
"We came out with low energy, we did not throw the first punch. In the second half we played with a lot of energy, the way we should have played the whole game."



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