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March 10, 2016

Andy Kennedy

Stefan Moody

Nashville, Tennessee

Alabama - 81, Ole Miss - 73

THE MODERATOR: We're ready to begin with Ole Miss.

COACH KENNEDY: First I want to give credit to Alabama and congratulate them on an outstanding game. They came in and made plays when they needed to in order to advance. Honestly, that's what this time of season comes down to. I don't think you ever have to worry about guys playing hard and playing with a sense of desperation, and I thought both clubs did that. Ultimately, Alabama just made more plays. Outstanding job by them.

Q. Stefan, it just looked like at one point -- at some point, it felt like you needed to score, like you weren't getting enough help. Did you feel like you needed to take the game on your shoulders?
STEFAN MOODY: Well, some of that is my job. I embrace that. I don't look at my teammates and complain at them for anything. It's my job, and I embrace it. So I do what I can.

Q. Stefan, what was going through your head when you got that ovation at the end?
STEFAN MOODY: I wasn't even paying attention to it at first. I don't even know how I found out. I was trying to stay on the court still. I guess it's a good feeling, but I'm still consumed by the fact that we lost, you know, because I like winning.

Q. Stefan, you had eight rebounds in the game. Did you feel like you were getting really aggressive in the paint, really driving a lot more, and then sort of laid off that as you needed to take some more threes and get the team back in a hurry?
STEFAN MOODY: I mean, I was just playing the game, you know. I was letting it come to me. I was just picking my spots as they came. It wasn't one thing I was looking more towards than the other. I was just taking it as it came.

Q. There was like a nine-minute stretch in the second half where they just really limited your ability to get any freedom, time, space. What were they doing differently?
STEFAN MOODY: Well, they were just giving more attention to me. They put two guys at the top, and it made it real hard to make a play. So that was when I started relying on my teammates a little bit more.

Q. Coach Kennedy, Alabama finished with 12 blocks as a team. Donta Hall with 5. They seemed to really affect your team's game inside. Just talk about that in the second half.
COACH KENNEDY: I thought it was huge. Donta Hall did that to us in Game 1. He's got a great presence at the basket with his ability to block shots. They really started pressing up on Moody as he was making plays. So driving lanes were available. We drove, and he did a good job of limiting any points in the paint for us.

I thought that Sebastian Saiz, I thought Marcanvis Hymon at the end made a couple plays, but Saiz was pretty much neutralized with their size and length at the basket.

Q. Coach, 42% in the first half, 32% in the second half. What were some of the troubles that you were seeing?
COACH KENNEDY: As Moody was just saying, they run a defense called double fist, which is kind of a two-three and they're going to come trap the ball. So they were doing that obviously to get it out of his hands. And I honestly thought we had pretty clean looks.

I thought Gielo and Brooks had looks on the wings, cleaner looks than Riley Norris was making, cleaner looks than Arthur, and we just didn't make plays.

They go 12 for 24 from three, a tribute to them. We go 11 for 34. And ultimately, again, at this time of year, all teams are going to play hard. We're plus eight on the glass. We didn't really turn it over. We're battling. Our inability to make a play when we needed one was ultimately the difference.

Q. Andy, you've talked a lot about Moody's impact, but it's pretty rare in the SEC Tournament to see a situation where a guy fouls out and every fan in the building, no matter their allegiance, stands up and applauds the effort.
COACH KENNEDY: He's been a special player for us. I've said that a lot here at the end. You try not to heap too much praise on one of your current players while you're in the grind, but now that we're done and you look back, I mean, obviously, he's the most dynamic playmaker in the history of our program, most certainly in my ten years.

But I think what he's been able to do in leading this team to back-to-back 20-win seasons and last year's run in the NCAA Tournament, obviously, he's been a tremendous playmaker for us, and I appreciate the fans acknowledging that in his last game here.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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