Jan. 19, 2010
Tennessee Head Coach Bruce Pearl
On winning an away game: "Road wins are hard to come by in league play and this is an Alabama team that is going to finish in the top three I believe. This was a tough one for them because you've got to win your home games and beat the people you can beat and Alabama certainly could have beaten us tonight.
"I thought the fact that in the first half when Wayne Chism was on the bench in foul trouble and we only went down one at half was a real key. Also early in the game we weren't playing very well defensively. They got a lot of good looks but didn't make them. They could have run us out of the building early. We hung around, but continued to play really good defense throughout."
On taking Mikhail Torrance out of the game: "He is the key. He is the guy that they really need. We guarded the ball-screen and we just wouldn't let him get to the ball-screen. We over played his left hand dramatically. We provided help with the ball-screen defender in case he refused it and we built a wall on him and it was very, very effective. And that, I think defensively, was probably the biggest key to the game.
"What happened was after Torrance wasn't effective in the ball-screen offense and the spread, they relied on the full scheme and you can see how challenged we were to guard Green on the inside and they had a couple guys, like Hines. But they aren't going to beat us with Hines shooting 16-foot jump shots. He had a nice drive to the basket. But it was just a good solid team defensive effort and that's what you've got to do to win on the road."
On defending Mikhail Torrance: "We really just wanted to send him into the left and keep the ball out of his strong hand. He's really the life of their offense. He gets them going so I knew that it was important to get him out of his rhythm."
On limiting offense rebounds: "Well we came together around half way through the second half and told each other that we were going to get every rebound for the rest of the game. In the end, that really helped us limit their opportunities down the stretch."
On teammate Kenny Hall: "Kenny Hall is really a great player. When he's on the court he doesn't really look like a freshman, he plays like a sophomore or a junior. He's doing a real good job of backing up Wayne (Chism)."
Alabama Head Coach Anthony Grant
Opening Comment: "Obviously in the second half (Tennessee) really turned it up. I thought we played with great energy, but their energy got the best of us early in the second half. They were able to get out in transition and get on the glass a little bit and that hurt us and put us in a little bit of a hole. I thought our guys did a good job of fighting and putting ourselves in positions where we had opportunities, but we couldn't capitalize on those."
On Tennessee closing Alabama opportunities to take the lead late in the game: "Tennessee is a very good basketball team. They were able to make some plays today that allowed them to win in a hostile environment. We had opportunities that we weren't able to capitalize on. I think there is a process that we have to go through to learn how to win these types of games. Hopefully this is another learning experience. It's a tough way to learn by losing, but hopefully our guys will develop that resolve, get better and do the things we need to do to win."
On how the Tide held Tennessee to 24 points in the first half: "I think a big part was that (senior forward Wayne) Chism had two fouls in the first half and he is such an important part of what they do. From an offensive standpoint, not having him in the game affected some of the attacks that they hurt us with in the second half. I thought we had opportunities on offense in the first half. We left a lot out there."
Freshman forward Tony Mitchell
On your role changing as a starter: "If I start or come off the bench, I just come in and bring it and play good defense."
On preparing for Miss. St: "We just have to come back and not worry about this game and get it behind us. We just have to get ready for Saturday."
Sophomore forward JaMychal Green
On what was going on defensively: "Coach tells us to get down and break down early and try to stop them from getting in angles to score."