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March 10, 2016

Mike Anderson

Anthlon Bell

Dusty Hannahs

Nashville, Tennessee

Florida - 68, Arkansas - 61

THE MODERATOR: We're ready to begin with Arkansas.

COACH ANDERSON: First of all, I was just very disappointed in our performance today. We played good enough defense, I thought, holding Florida to 68 points, but on the other end, you've got to be able to put the ball in the hole. We get to the free-throw line, couldn't make free-throws, and we missed a lot of layups.

But let's give Florida some credit. I thought they grinded it out. It was kind of a grinding kind of game. So kudos to them. When you don't shoot the ball well, that's what happens, and our bench, which has really been playing well. We only got 5 points from our bench, and the bench is a big part of what we do.

This is very -- we, in this position last year, we got to the championship game, and that was our mind set coming in. But I can't say enough about these guys here, especially these guys to my right. They've been kind of the heart and soul of this basketball team. They made this season a memorable one because you've got to remember, no one had us -- probably had us picked dead last in the league, and we ended up 9-9. So there was some improvement with this team.

Q. This for both guys. Anthlon, what did you think of Dusty's game? Dusty, what does it feel to have a big game like that with a 30 and it comes at a loss?
Anthlon Bell: Dusty carried us the whole game. They didn't have an answer for him. He just did everything he could. Me, myself, I should have stepped up more. I should have, but it don't work like that sometimes. But give credit to Dusty. He came out and did what he had to do to help the team.

DUSTY HANNAHS: I mean, it's tough. I'd trade in all those points for a W just to keep playing in March. That's the bottom line. It doesn't matter. We're going home. I'd rather have zero and us moving on to play A&M.

Q. Dusty, you obviously were hot. What was it like being out there and being able to score on drives, threes, free-throws, the whole thing?
DUSTY HANNAHS: It's fun. It's fun getting to go out there and play aggressive and succeed. In the moment, getting our run back, we cut it to one, and just didn't get a crucial stop there. Kasey Hill got a layup.

It was fun in hindsight, but it isn't anymore.

Q. It's probably hard to put this in perspective so soon after the game, but maybe you could both talk about the season, like Mike alluded to. You guys were picked pretty low, and you ended up playing pretty competitively most of the year.
DUSTY HANNAHS: Yeah, we were a team that we just came up short. I would say ten games we lost by four points or two possessions or a possession. We were just so close so many times. In hindsight, that makes it painful because a couple more balls roll our way and you make a different play here and there, it's a totally different season.

I had a lot of fun playing with these guys and this coaching staff. Like Coach said, everyone is we guys, and we were all coming every day trying to figure out what we could do better. We ended the season on a good run and then lost those last two. I think it was a testament to everyone battling adversity on our team and throughout the whole year.

ANTHLON BELL: This team got better each game. We had some mishaps throughout the season, but didn't nobody give up. Everybody just stuck with it. Going to SEC play, we got some key wins we needed. We just grew. Didn't nobody expect us to do what we did. People probably expected us to be playing yesterday, but we're playing today.

So I wouldn't pick a different group of guys and a different group of coaches to play with.

Q. Mike, what did you think of Dusty's game?
COACH ANDERSON: I thought Dusty was -- he carried us. I mean, he was -- I thought he was engaged. I thought he moved well without the basketball. They were really guarding our shoes real hard, and I thought he also did a good job of getting to the free-throw line. But his floater is a patented shot that he has in his arsenal.

In the second half, he got loose for a couple of threes that he made, and even to the one that he missed there at the end, I thought it was in every time he shot it. And our guys understood that, that he had it going.

We were trying to get the inside game going with Moses, and I thought we were successful for the most part because he was getting to the free-throw line, but, again, you got to knock some shots down. In this game here, it was a grind-out game. He shot 36 percent. They shot 38 percent. So I think, if you look at the free-throw line, it's probably the difference in the game.

Q. Mike, what were your expectations relative to John Egbunu's availability. I know yesterday you said you expected him to go full blast.
COACH ANDERSON: I did, and he played too. I just thought his presence out there was big for them. He probably played better with the cast, slowed him down. He went perfect from the field. His free-throw shooting, oh, man, it was unbelievable. But I know he's a big part of what they do. I thought we did a good job on some of the other guys, but we lost him a couple times.

In this setting, as you get to this part of the year, I know for me -- and I'm sure Mike will say the same thing. You've got to have somebody who can come off that bench and spark you, and I thought the guy that came off and sparked them tonight was Kasey Hill. I thought he was big for them.

Egbunu did what he did, but I thought Kasey -- we cut it to one. I thought he got the reverse shot and got a layup, and we come down and didn't get a shot, and then we got an offensive foul on Anthlon.

Again, you want somebody to come off that bench to give you a big lift, and that was probably big in this game.

Q. Mike, you guys have been a really good three-point shooting team all year. Florida hadn't been. Today, the roles were kind of reversed. What was your take on the three-point shooting for both teams?
COACH ANDERSON: Well, they were guarding. They were guarding us. I know that. I know they made some in the second half. They were really guarding our guys and opened up the floor. We got to the free-throw line, probably should have been more than that. We got there 25 times, but we didn't do anything with it. We missed a bunch of one and ones. We got in foul trouble. They were extending and really switching a lot. So they allowed lanes to get to the hole.

That's why you see with Dusty. He took what the defense gave him. He really, really played them hard. When we got out in transition, we may have gotten one or two, maybe one three. We had shots, but we just didn't make it. We had some open looks that we normally make, didn't knock them down.

Missed a lot of layups, a lot of layups. Momentum layup. Moses. We come out in the second half, and we cut it, I think, maybe to two or three, and he actually has a dunk, and he misses the layup, and it gave them some momentum, and it allowed them to get maybe six, seven, eight-point lead. So we battled that all game long. And then we cut it to one with an opportunity to -- we were still in the game.

Q. And Florida shot uncharacteristically well for them.
COACH ANDERSON: Yeah, they did. They made some shots in the second half. The first half, they were 3 for 8. In the second half, they made multiple shots early on. Later on, you could see, I thought -- maybe, I don't know if fatigue became a factor. They didn't make those shots. But we did a good job of adjusting as well.

Q. Coach, can you just talk about the end of the first half and the beginning of the second, how that kind of allowed them to dictate the tempo of the game the rest of the way.
COACH ANDERSON: Going down to the second half, I think we had some mishappens. Kasey Hill hits a big shot right there at the end there, and we had an opportunity with the basketball.

So, again, there are so many opportunities that you've got to take an advantage of, and I thought some of the bigger opportunities were at the free-throw line, where we had opportunities to make some one and ones. Right there at the end, I guess an offensive rebound. We inserted Moses back, and we hit an offensive rebound, and they score on that.

There you have it. The little things add up to be big things at the end. They ended up winning the game by seven, but that could have been a big difference. Going in, we were down six at halftime, but maybe five or four or three. That could be a big difference.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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