Vanderbilt-Alabama postgame quotes

Jan. 19, 2012

Recap |  Box Score |  Notes

Vanderbilt Head Coach Kevin Stallings

On how important it was to front the post against JaMychal Green:
"He's such a terrific offensive player. We felt like it was imperative that we keep the ball out of his hands as much as we could. He still got it a lot, but we were able to contest his shots and do a pretty good job. Our guys are very physical in there. It's nice to have big strong bodies to throw out there. I thought Festus Ezeli and Steve Tchiengang did a nice job. Even Lance Goulbourne got mixed on him some. I thought our front core play offensively, actually more so defensively, was the key of the game for us. Our bigs really stepped up and played well."

On how important it is to have a veteran team of juniors and seniors on the road:
"It's very important. We've been a good road team this year. What we did tonight, I thought was very impressive. We didn't play the first five minutes of the game very well and we didn't play the last five of it very well, but I thought the middle 30 we were pretty sharp. We're pleased with the outcome, obviously. We are pleased with the performance. We got a lot of contributions from a lot of guys. John Jenkins was trying to get more rebounds than Festus Ezeli and that's nice when you have a little competition going on there. I thought our guys rebounded the ball well and you have to do that against Alabama because they are so athletic up front."

On the fluidity of the offense and the effectiveness of ball movement:
"Well in the middle 30 minutes of the game it was very effective. The first five and last five it was not very effective at all. That's ok though. That's the second time we've had a game close like that. When you have it that far out of reach, I guess that's a good thing."

On the secret to stopping Tony Mitchell and JaMychal Green:
"I think you just have to keep the ball out of their hands as much as you can and do a good job of contesting their shots. I thought early in the game Lance Goulbourne was our best defensive player. He was making it happen for us. As the game wore on, those guys just never seemed to get in sync. That's obviously the goal of our defense is to keep the best offensive players on the other team out of rhythm. For the most part, I think we were able to achieve that."

On keeping Tony Mitchell scoreless:
"I didn't even know he was scoreless until somebody said something in the locker room."

Vanderbilt Player Quotes

John Jenkins, No. 23, G

On guarding Releford:
"I tried to stay in front. That's the biggest thing with Releford; he's so quick. He penetrates really well, splits ball screens, uses ball screens, so I just tried to stay in front. My teammates did a great job of being help."

On how tough it was shooting the three when he hit the ground:
"I didn't even know I made it until (they) told me. I felt, as soon as I let it go that it was a big three."

On how his elbow feels:
"I'm fine. I'm over it."

On answering Alabama's runs:
"We just wanted to come out poised. It's hard to play on the road, especially in this conference. I think being poised is a big key, so it's what we do."

On pushing the lead to start the second half:
"We knew we had to make a statement coming out in the second half, so we wanted to make sure that we came out strong. We came out strong and then let up the last five minutes, and like coach said, we can't let that happen."

Festus Ezeli, No. 3, C

On holding Green and Mitchell to low scoring:
"I think we just played physical. We came out here and set our minds to play physical and that was pretty much the key."

On if there was a key to the scouting report:
"We know their tendencies, but I think we just came in and decided to play aggressive."

On how strong the help defense was on Green:
"It was really strong. That was part of it as well. The guys did a great job swarming him every time he caught the ball, so that was good. We've just got to help everybody. There's five guys guarding the ball, so that was good for us."

On what the win can do for them:
"We've just got to keep getting better. It's good that we won on the road. That's a big thing. That's a big victory right here. We've just got to keep getting better. It's a confidence booster, but we've got to keep getting better."

On comparing themselves to Kentucky:
"We're not competing with Kentucky. Every day we come out and compete with ourselves, actually. We just come out and try to be the best we can be."

Alabama Head Coach Anthony Grant

Opening statement:
"I thought Vanderbilt was very good tonight. When you look at what they were able to do from a defensive standpoint, it really took us out of everything we wanted to do. They really limited our opportunities around the basket and contested everything on the perimeter. I thought in the second half they were able to get some shots to fall, which really opened the game up. Our guys really did fight all the way to the end, and they were able to cut the lead down, but we've got to regroup here in a very short amount of time."

On being outrebounded tonight:
"They were very big and very physical, and they contested our shots. They did a very good job of limiting us to only one shot. You look in the game they had 35 defensive rebounds, but we were able to come up with 15 offensive rebounds. I'm not really sure we were able to convert many of those offensive rebounds into points, so again, give them credit. They've got a very good team, and certainly very impressive, from what I saw."

On going scoreless for the last 6:48 of the first half:
"I really thought it was longer than that. We had some good looks that we could not get to go down. Give them credit, I thought their defense was outstanding tonight, and it made it very difficult to make some shots."

On Alabama making a run to start the second half and having Vanderbilt answer:
"They've got guys who are very capable of knocking shots down. We went to zone there and they hit a couple of threes coming out of the press. When you've got a couple of guys who are highly skilled and seasoned in the SEC, give them all the credit. They stepped up tonight and hit some big shots for them."

On Vanderbilt holding JaMychal Green to six points and Tony Mitchell scoreless:
"I think defensively they came in with a great game plan, and they did a lot of things to take us out of our game. They've been doing it all season. They're a big, physical team in and around the basket. Again, there were times we had some decent looks and we didn't do a good job of knocking them down."

On Moussa Gueye playing a season high in minutes:
"I thought he did a good job today. He's still learning the system, doing what he needs to do outside of practice and the last few minutes of games. I thought he did a very good job though."

On getting ready to face Kentucky:
"Obviously, we've got one day to prepare. We've got make sure when we come back we're ready to control the things we can control. We have to control our emotions, get our game plan set and get ready to go on Saturday."

Alabama Player Quotes

#12, Trevor Releford, Guard

On what the basketball team as a whole can improve on:
"We need to bring out the enthusiasm we had for the last six minutes for the entire game, from the beginning."

On what Vanderbilt did to win the game:
"They [Vanderbilt] came out, they played great basketball and they were able to hit their shots. We weren't able to come up on them in the first half, but that shouldn't have stopped us from playing defense. We just have to look back on the game and learn from it."



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