March 15, 2013
TENNESSEE HEAD COACH Cuonzo Martin(Opening Statement)
"Well fought game by both teams. Both teams competed. We had some looks, just didn't capitalize on them. Thought we had good energy. 10 turnovers against their press, I thought we did a good of handling the press. They played the plays down the. Trevor Rutherford had one assist in the game but did a good job of controlling tempo, controlling the game."
(On a NCAA Tournament berth)
"Well, I think our overall resume, teams we've beaten. In the SEC, you win -- I think up until last Saturday, you had nine teams were the top 100, SEC. The only league that had more was the Big East. You finish 8 out of the last 9, 9 out of your last 11 at this point in one of the best leagues in the country. So we beat top 25 teams, four if I'm not mistaken, you beat top 50 teams, top 100 teams. Our resume stacks up against the best when you're talking about a bubble team, per se."
(On what Alabama did differently inside)
"I think the case we had some 3-point shots that were long that initiated some of the transition offensively. They only got, I think, 6 fast break points and got fouls. Those loan corner 3 points shots allowed those guys to get long rebounds. Jarnell did a good job of fighting around the rim of making plays with a total of 13 rebounds, if I'm not mistaken. They just had four, five guys helping around them. We had certain lineups making guys sag a little bit on Jarnell. We have certain guys on the floor. So they had three, four guys helping around the rim. We just didn't make shots on the perimeter."
(On taking 23 3-pointers)
"I have to go back and watch film to be exact. I thought at least 15 or 20 were decent shots. I thought even though Josh isn't a traditional 3-point shooter, those guys spent a lot of time working on it. Josh is a solid 3-point shooter as well as Armani with certain areas on the floor. I thought the second one he took wasn't a good 3-point shot because of the time. Other guys, that's what they do."
(On playing in desperation)
"I don't know about that. I think both teams competed. They just happened to win the game today. Most teams played hard. They made the plays to win the games. I think both teams were fighting for the same thing. I feel like we're an NCAA Tournament team, win or lose this particular game."
(On guard play)
"You have key players that don't make baskets, it's hard to win games. That's part of the game. You miss shots. It goes with it. I don't know many teams that go a hundred percent all season long. We gave ourselves the chance to win. We didn't make the plays down the stretch to win the game."
(On Jordan McRae's game)
"I think for him just being in foul trouble, probably wasn't able to get in a flow. He played 37, 38 minutes a night, leads the league in minutes played. Couldn't get into a real flow of the game more than anything. Sitting down, being hesitant, not being aggressive. He got one, two, offensive fouls. Made it tougher for him to be aggressive and attacking the rim."
(On the team's schedule until Sunday)
"Business as usual. We'll take off tomorrow. We'll meet on Sunday, if I have my days correct. We'll go from there. I said the same thing to the guys in the locker room, I feel that way."
(On Trae Golden)
"He's the point guard. He's important to what we do, how we go about it. I don't think if there's anything different. I thought he had some looks offensively. I thought he had some opportunities to penetrate. He hit a couple guys, I think he hit Jordan late in the corner. So he had some opportunities to hit guys and shots just didn't fall. I thought he was looking for guys."
(On Alabama's Trevor Releford)
"Well, I saw Trevor run for quite a bit in high school when I was recruiting him at Missouri State. So I knew what he could bring to the table. His level of toughness, his mental preparation. He competes at a high level. He makes plays, makes other guys better. So I knew that going into the game. You had to contain him, slow him down. I thought we did a good job in the second half. Second half I think made some big plays and Randolph made some key plays. Other guys step up and make plays. They did that."
(On the team watching Selection Sunday)
"We'll watch it privately whether it's at my house or somewhere at the arena. We'll watch it, certainly."
(On a possible play-in game)
"No. Bottom line just playing games. That's the most important thing. Where we're playing, when we're playing, whether it's Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, we playing some. It's the most important thing just to be playing."
TENNESSEE SOPHOMORE FORWARD Jarnell Stokes(On keeping him out of the paint)
"I think they did a pretty good job, you know, running the press and then getting back into a zone. I think anytime a team plays a zone, it's hard for the big man to score."
(On Alabama's Nick Jacobs)
"He's a physical guy. I think they did a good job, you know, double teaming, controlling the glass especially in the first half, and I think they did a good job in transition, too. That's where they got a lot of their points throughout the game, in transition."
(On a NCAA Tournament berth)
"I believe we're a tournament team. We beat the top teams in our conference. As far as the midpoint of the season, we had to adjust to a couple things, but I think we went 8 for 9 to end -- so far, so I think we're a tournament team."
TENNESSEE SOPHOMORE GUARD Josh Richardson(On scoring struggles)
"You know, it was part of it was us not hitting shots, but, I mean, they did a good job of pressuring the ball the whole game and, I mean, shots were tough to come by."
(On transition defense)
"Coming into the game we knew we had to stop them in transition. We weren't taking as good a shots as we wanted to have. We weren't getting back fast enough. It wasn't really just locating."
ALABAMA HEAD COACH ANTHONY GRANT(Opening Statement)
"Well, first of all, you know, you got to take your hat off to Tennessee. I thought they came out and really, you know, they're playing great basketball right now as a team, and we knew we would have to come out and compete at a high level today and, I'm really proud of our guys for answering that bell. You know, you look at -- we played two games against them back in January and they were both games down to the wire. So, we understood what would be required today, and, you know, the thing we talked about as a team is, we've had so many experiences over the course of the year in games like this that we were prepared to go out and do the things that we needed to did and just really proud of our guys today for handling everything that came at them. It was a highly contested game, physical game, a game of inches, you know, and we answered the bell and it's a good win."
(On bench play)
"We got great efforts out of everybody that went on court today. Like I said, we talked about the experiences that we've gained over the course of the season and what we needed to do from a scouting report standpoint and a preparation standpoint today, and I thought we had everybody, you know, did a great job, not necessarily showing up in a stat sheet in terms of points and those things. Obviously Retin was very good today. I thought he was very aggressive, made some big plays for us. Nick Jacobs came in and got some great rebounds. I thought we got great play today from Devonta Pollard. I thought everybody that came in today really did a good job for us."
(On Nick Jacobs)
"You know, I think we've talked all year, you know, about how much better of a team we are when Nick steps up and performs for us, and I think Nick's journey over the course of the year, he's really grown and matured. It was great to see him go out today and compete and just battle the way he did, went up and got some big time rebounds for us, got some big-time defensive stops for us. That type of effort really makes a difference on our team, and just really proud of him for the growth that he's made over the course of the season."
(On defending Jarnell Stokes)
"He's a load down there in the post. 12 and 13 with 8 offensive rebounds today. So, you know, I think the biggest thing was to make him have to work for everything that he got, you know, and I thought our guys were able to do that. I thought the zone helped some with that as well. But, you know, it was just a matter of, you know, stepping up and competing like we're capable of competing, and I thought both of those guys today did that."
(On recovering for Florida)
"I don't see that being an issue, you know. Obviously, you know, Florida played a game today as well. It's the same situation for both teams."
(On playing Florida)
"I'm excited our team is still alive and has a chance to advance in the tournament, you know, and obviously we knew we'd have to play, you know, a very good team. Florida is a very good team. So it's just a matter now of getting prepared for the turnaround and getting ready for tomorrow."
(On playing so much zone tonight)
"You know, I think the last time we played them we played a lot of zone as well. I think the difference today, you know, was, you know, they got 17 offensive rebounds, but I think if I'm correct, previous two games that we played them we were out-rebounded by 15 and a half rebounds in both of those games, you know. So today obviously they won the rebounding battle but it was by a significant amount less. So we felt like it wasn't the first shot that was beating us no matter what we did, man or zone, but it was the second shot. Obviously, the other important thing was being able to keep them off the free throw line. I think if you look at their success of late, with Stokes and McRae and Golden, those guys have been able to do a great job of getting themselves to the free throw line and converting along with the other things they do well. So we just felt like it gave us a chance to limit some of those opportunities."
(On defending Florida's perimeter play)
"They're a very good shooting team. They have been all year. We'll get together today. We just finished this game right now, so we'll get prepared for Florida here today and be ready to go tomorrow."
(On their NCAA Tournament hopes)
"Don't take this the wrong way, but right now we're in the SEC Tournament. We play Florida tomorrow for a chance to advance and play for a tournament championship. That's just where we are right now. That's all that really matters. Nothing else really matters."
(On riding high after last week's buzzer-beater win)
"I think we were prepared for today. I don't think there was any lingering effect from the emotional win the other day. Our guys were locked in and prepared for today."
(On playing zone against Florida)
"I've done nothing in preparation for Florida. Our focus has been on Tennessee. We'll cross that bridge as soon as I get out of here."
ALABAMA SOPHOMORE GUARD LEVI RANDOLPH(On the success of the zone defense)
"We just tried to come out and be aggressive and do the things the coach asked to us do. He asked us to go zone, and we tried to limit them to second chance points, so when the shot went up, we tried to block out and get the rebound."
(On defending Jarnell Stokes)
"That's one of the things we talked about in scouting report. When they take shots, to make sure we find him and block out because he's great at offensive rebounding. You know, we had guys step up and get the big rebounds when we needed them."
(On a NCAA Tournament berth)
"Like Trevor said, we're just trying to take it one game at a time. You know, we made the one today, so now we're just looking for tomorrow. We're not necessarily at the NCAA Tournament right now. We're just trying to take it each day at a time."
ALABAMA JUNIOR GUARD TREVOR RELEFORD(On the success of the zone defense)
"I mean, I agree with what Levi said. Coach told us at the beginning we're going to go a lot of zone. Our team is pretty good in the zone. We active and everybody communicating and talking. When the ball go up, everybody is finding a man and blocking out and helping us get in transition."
(On playing in transition)
"I mean, our team, I think we like really successful when we get out in transition, just play up-tempo and push the ball and try to get easy layups. We tried to do that today. For the most part it worked."
(On a NCAA Tournament berth)
"I think we're looking at each game is a great opportunity to get closer to a championship and not necessarily worrying about the NCAA Tournament, because we know we take care of what we need to take care of here, then, I mean, we get a championship, it will be automatic. We're worrying about one game at a time and doing that."