Opening Statement... “That was a really hard fought game by two teams that wanted to win. I have to congratulate Alabama on their competitiveness and how hard they played. At the end, [Brad] Tinsley made some plays for us. He continues to be better and better. Festus [Ezeli] made some big free throws for us in the stretch. He also had a big block that felt like our only stop in the second half. It was a great game and I’m happy to win.”
On guard Brad Tinsley’s off-balance jumper where he was fouled... "We had called a wall screen for him and [an Alabama player] reached out and slapped his arm. [Brad] Tinsley reached out and made it. I am proud of that play and his courage to step up. With Lance [Goulbourne] still hobbling, we got some good productivity from the other four started. That’s what we wanted."
On sticking with the zone defense... "They carved up the zone defense and the man to man also. We had a hard time guarding their guys. We shot over 50% also and got 81 points. I imagine they felt the same way."
On Alabama’s play... "They are a very good defensive team and have been noted for that. [Jamychal] Green in the second half was phenomenal and played terrifically. And [Tony] Mitchell was phenomenal in the first half. We were dying to get some stops and I am sure they were too."
On guard Jeffery Taylor fouling out... "We were able to win down the stretch and that was big. We switched our two freshmen in and out. With Lance [Goulbourne] being less than 100% and Andre [Walker] not quite ready to play yet we just have to juggle a bit and see what we can do."
On a 38-hour turnaround before playing Kentucky... “We have a team rule against being tired until 3pm on Saturday.”
Vanderbilt guard Brad Tinsley On his shot at the end of the game... “We just called a pick-roll and I think it was Fes that set a great screen for me. I saw the screen which gave me the opportunity to get the guy off of me and I just shot it and it went in.
Vanderbilt guard John Jenkins On closing the game... “We didn’t want to end with a loss especially at home again so getting this big win was great for our confidence and for the future as well.”
On confidence of his last free throws... “I knew I was going to make them for sure. In situations like that, it is when my practice, my hard work and dedication comes in, and it paid off for me tonight.”
Vanderbilt guard/forward Jeffrey Taylor On being able to finish the game... “It was huge for our season to be able to finally close out a close game. It really really helps with our confidence in those situations and there were a lot of guys that made some really big plays.
On being on the bench after fouling out “My heart rate was like 140. I was dying over there. I wanted to be out there so bad. I was so glad that they closed it out and they came up with some huge plays.”
Alabama head coach Anthony Grant Opening statement… “It was a hard fought game today. Give Vanderbilt credit, they did the things they needed to do to win the game. The thing that we’ve hung our hats on all year is our ability to defend, and we had a tough time today defensively. Vanderbilt did a great job. They shot the ball extremely well from the field, they shot the ball extremely well from the three-point line. They have done what they’ve shown all year with the ability to get to the free throw line. We couldn’t overcome that at the end.”
On the out of bounds call at the end of the game… It doesn’t matter, what happened, happened. We have to move on and get ready for our next game. We have another tough game coming up on Saturday.
On Vanderbilt’s offense vs. Alabama’s poor defense… “It was combination of both. We gave them some looks that we knew we couldn’t give them. Give them credit, they stepped up and they made some big shots. They’re a very good team and we knew that coming in. we didn’t have enough to win it tonight.”
On the close loss… “You win or you lose, whether it’s by 10 or by one. Our guys fought. We’ve got to do some things better. We knew it would be a tough environment. Now we have to turn around in a short time and get ready to win on Saturday. “
On playing against Vanderbilt’s zone defense… “I thought we attacked the zone pretty well tonight. I don’t know what the numbers were, but I thought we were able to get inside and get some looks. Obviously we didn’t’ shoot the ball well from the three-point line but I thought we were able to attack it pretty well.”
On the call at the end of the game and trying to tie… “I’d have to go back and look at the replay, I don’t have the benefit of that right now. All I know is that a call was made and we have to respect the call that was made.
We’re going to go for the best opportunity we have and we felt like we had a good opportunity there, but it just didn’t work out for us.”
Alabama forward JaMychal Green On being out of bounds on the last play… “I think I was fouled. But if was in the referees hands, I can’t do anything about it.”
On the game… “It was a tough loss for us. We didn’t play good defense tonight and they shot 50% from the field, 50% from the three-point line, so that really hurt us. Defense wins games for us and we should have done a better job on defense.”
Alabama forward Tony Mitchell On the game… “It was a tough loss, but we have to regroup ourselves and get ready for Saturday.”