Vanderbilt Head Coach Kevin Stallings Opening Comments: “Another close game that was disappointing for us. [Alabama] played a lot better than we did down the stretch. That’s been our MO. We need to work to try to fix that. It was the same stuff for us. We missed free throws, we missed layups, we took bad shots. We can’t win that way. We have to make winning plays at the end of games, not losing plays.”
On wow to correct Vanderbilt’s end-of-game struggles: “Just keep working. That’s all I can say.”
On Alabama’s press: “You can’t win in this league if you don’t have good guard play. It was just bad guard play. We had bad handling of the ball, bad decision-making… We weren’t effective enough with the ball, we weren’t strong enough with the ball, we weren’t tough enough with the ball.”
On his mentality up 11 Points with seven minutes seft: “I thought we were going to win. Maybe I was the only one who thought we were going to win. We have guys who play not to lose.”
On Alabama’s Trevor Lacey’s final three: “The play was something we’d seen. Multiple teams run it. When I asked in the locker room who was the guy guarding the screener, [the person guarding the screener] didn’t even know.”
On what he told his team after the loss: “We have to get better. We have to figure out ways to win instead of ways to lose. It begins with our guard play and good decision-making. When you see your guards have 10 turnovers, that’s not good.”
Vanderbilt guard Kedren Johnson On the end of the game: "We strung together, once again, a whole bunch of losing plays, made bad decisions, and took some questionable shots."
On Alabama's press: "They have some pretty lengthy guards and they're pretty quick too, so they were just flying around."
On Alabama's Trevor Lacey's scoring nine points in the last five minutes of the game: "Trevor's a good player. I've played against him for a long time now and he's really aggressive and tonight he got really aggressive at the end. He was making shots and his shot was looking pretty good the whole game."
Vanderbilt guard Kyle Fuller On Vanderbilt's struggle to break the press: "Our point guard coach, Coach Cason, told us exactly what to do. He told us not to cross-over in front of them and we still went and did that and it cost us."
On the emotions after a close loss: "Right at this second there are a lot of emotions. It's sad because we lost, mad because we know we could have won. There were just some plays that we could of stopped or maybe some plays we could have made, some layups we could have made, and better decisions down the end that we could have made in order to win this game, so it is very frustrating."
Alabama Head Coach Anthony Grant On the overall game: “Big time win today by our guys. I thought the fight in the second half, the resiliency was awesome. Andrew Steele, our senior, did a tremendous job throughout the game, keeping our guys focused and motivated and on-task in terms of what we needed to do. We always talk about it being a 40-minute game that we have to play, stay the course and play all the way through.”
On what this win means for Alabama: “The challenge for our guys was coming out in the second half and staying together, showing their heart and their passion – and they did that. I couldn’t be prouder. Big road win for us, obviously we all know the history of this serious. The University of Alabama’s last win here was 1990, and we’re happy for our team and our players that came before these guys associated with this university... I’m not trying to overdramatize it, but it was important to us to come in here and play well today.”
On Trevor Releford’s eye injury: “[Trevor Releford] sustained an injury to his eye. He got hit on a rebound, a loose ball, had a contusion, swelling and blurred vision. Hopefully he’ll be okay, we’ll get him evaluated after the game and when we get back in town.”
On preparing to play Vanderbilt: “The thing we talked about is that Vanderbilt is awfully close coming into this game. They had Ole Miss down at home, double figures at the end of the game; they had a lead on Kentucky in the last minute or two. They had two shots to win the game at Tennessee. We’ve been fortunate that we’ve had games that came down to the wire and we were able to make a play or two. It allowed us to come here 5-2. There’s not a whole lot of difference in the two of our teams, really. We understood that they have some young guys who are battling, figuring it out. For them, they’ve lost some close games.”
Alabama guard Trevor Lacey On the shot he made out of the timeout: “In the timeout, Coach (Grant) drew up a play for me to come off a double screen. (Vanderbilt) didn’t switch like they had been doing all game and my man was trailing, so I was able to get the shot off.”
On if they knew the game was close at the end that Vanderbilt would have trouble closing: “As we look back on our season, a lot of our games have been like this, whether we’ve been down at halftime or going into the 10-minute mark left in the game. It just seems like our intensity picks up the more the time ticks away. We just try to go all out and try to play as hard as we can till time runs out. We don’t want to have any regrets, so that’s what we tried to do.”
Alabama guard Andrew Steele On what it means to finally win at Vanderbilt: “It took too long, but for me personally, my brother never got a win here so I can hold that against him. There have been a lot of great players that have played before us and never got a win here. My last two trips here were extremely tough. For this team, the way we fought and we never gave up and we kept believing and finally got a win. It’s important for us to have confidence going forward.”
On if they talked about the losing streak in Memorial Gym beforehand: “We did. Before the game (Coach Grant) brought it to our attention and with me being an Alabama fan before I got here, I knew it was something ongoing. Other than Trevor (Releford) and I, no one had played in this building before, so it was a new environment for most of our team. The confidence and mental toughness they showed to overcome so much, I couldn’t be more proud.”