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March 10, 2017

Mike Anderson

Dusty Hannahs

Daryl Macon

Nashville, Tennessee

Arkansas - 73, Ole Miss - 72

THE MODERATOR: We'll ask Coach Anderson for general comments on the game. And then we'll take questions just for the student-athletes and then finish up with Coach. Coach, would you begin.

COACH ANDERSON: Saw a typical Arkansas, Ole Miss game go down to the last possession. The possession had to be where we had to play defense. Couldn't say enough. We had a lot of guys make a lot of plays. Moses protecting that rim was big going down the stretch and allowed us, I think we're down 1, get to the free throw line. We block another shot and get fouled and have the right guys shooting the free throws.

Ole Miss had a much better rhythm, I thought, to the game than we did. You could see it played out even to the end. And the game went back and forth, back and forth. So for an opening game for us, we're just glad to get the win. I mean, I don't think Ole Miss lost. I think they ran out of time. We're fortunate. But defensively, I thought we kicked it in gear going down the stretch.

THE MODERATOR: We'll take your questions for Dusty or Daryl. Raise your hand.

Q. I guess for both guys, there's obviously a lot of ties and lead changes. What was it like being involved in a game that was that competitive, and what was going through your mind the last possession? I think Ole Miss got off three 3s in five shots.
DARYL MACON: Very exciting game. Had to stay together and trust Coach and trust what he was telling us. We came out on top.

DUSTY HANNAHS: Those are the games you live for. Obviously our goal would be not to be changing leads with a team and just beat them the whole time. But when it's going back and forth like that, that's when it's really fun to be out there playing basketball. And, you know, we really were physical tonight and we didn't shoot the ball really well, but we got stops and rebounded and took care of business.

Q. What was going through your mind on the last possession when Ole Miss got off all those shots?
DARYL MACON: Don't let them get a 3 off. I saw the time going down, they're going to run out of time. When they shot the last layup like .2 seconds, I knew it was over. They couldn't get a 3-point shot off or even a good shot, period.

DUSTY HANNAHS: When Moses blocked it, he blocked it to Burnett in the corner. He still got over there to contest the shot after he blocked it to him, which was unbelievable. When he got up to contest that one, we probably won the game. It showed our effort was at an all-time high.

COACH ANDERSON: I can tell you what I was thinking about, how long was it when they first got the ball, 16, 17 seconds? 27 seconds? It was the longest 27 seconds I've seen in a long time.

THE MODERATOR: Any questions for Dusty or Daryl.

Q. You guys are getting another shot at Vandy. Y'all split, each one at the other guy's place. What's your feelings about playing Vanderbilt?
DUSTY HANNAHS: You know, the last time we played them, they came and stole one at Bud Walton and really took the fight to us. And at the start of the game they were up 24-4, and we never really recovered. We're excited to have another shot at them.

DARYL MACON: Just like Dusty said, I'm very excited to have another shot at them. They came and stole one from us. We didn't play our best ball when they beat us at Bud. We just want to go out and play as a team and try to execute and play both ends of the floor.

THE MODERATOR: One more question, anyone?

Q. Dusty, one question. Just about going back the last year, you guys were in some really close games and it didn't come out your way. Now you've won a lot of one-possession games, another one tonight.
DUSTY HANNAHS: I do. I think there's a correlation. Last year it happened, I would say, eight to ten games that were decided by 2 points or less. I think that was a tough lesson the whole year we learned. And now the seniors that went through it last year and the people that were on the team last year, we know what to be thinking about in those situations now and what to execute, and it's helped us a lot this year.

And having guys like Daryl that are going to hit free throws at the end of the game and Jaylen making plays, all the guys that come and help us, that helps us win those kind of games.

THE MODERATOR: Dusty and Daryl, you can return to the locker room. Thank you. We'll continue with questions for Coach Anderson.

Q. Coach, you were able to, your team last time, in the first and only meeting this season, y'all were able to hold Sebastian Saiz under 10 rebounds. Tonight he gets 17. What makes him a difficult person to guard?
COACH ANDERSON: He's flying to the glass. Obviously they got good guard play. When you have that with Davis and Tyree, I thought he started off the game really, really good. And Burnett, those guys are tactic. So a lot of times Moses is in position trying to block a shot. So that means our guards got to come in there and keep them off the boards.

You look at our guards and look at Saiz. He's a big boy. So he's doing what he's been doing all year long. But we did try to make it difficult for him to score. But he just eats the glass up. That's his job. He knows that, and he's really, really good at it.

Didn't he lead our lead in rebounding? Okay, so that makes sense. We're fortunate tonight they pounded us on the glass. Twenty-one offensive rebounds. In the first half they scored off those rebounds. We did a little bit better job in the latter part of the second half. I thought tonight the free throw line won it for us.

When you go 20 out of 23 and they go 8 out of 14, it's a big plus for us and we had to. We didn't shoot the ball well. We didn't play our best basketball. But I think the sign of a good team is you can win when all those circumstances kind of show themselves.

Q. Mike, I know Moses got in foul trouble there early in the second half. I don't think he scored in the second half. But obviously he was really big on defense. How big a factor was he, even though he didn't score in the second half?
COACH ANDERSON: That's a plus with Moses. I think he uses what God's gifted him with. That's an instinct so deep with him, to make things happen for his team. To help his team win, whether it be blocking shots. I thought his presence in there was big for us. He had some shots that, like I say, just a timing. Seemed like the timing was off a little bit. I thought that's why, even our whole team. We shoot 36 percent from the field. So hopefully it will be a much better rhythm tomorrow. He had a lot of chippy shots he could make.

Thank goodness he had the presence to block some shots. And you got the other guy, a big tree in there. He got 7 rebounds for us. So again, we just brother-in-lawed it tonight, because he got in foul trouble, threw Cook out there, and of course Dustin gives us those minutes, too. It's a team effort.

Q. Coach, tonight you had -- most of the season you have played a big lineup whereas Ole Miss has had to play either seven or eight players due to the lack of depth. As a coach, how difficult is it to play a short lineup versus a team that plays anywhere from nine to 11 players?
COACH ANDERSON: Ole Miss is a very good basketball team. They're so dangerous because they have so many guys that can shoot the basketball. Then you have Saiz, he can step out and shoot the ball as well. Stretch the floor out. I think it's to your advantage for the most part because you can spread and you can attack. They're a team that gets to the free throw line quite a bit.

Our size I thought came into play at the end because we did a good job of forcing them inside. Our big guys did a good job of changing shots. They played all year long like that. We're not the biggest team. We've seen some bigger teams. I thought tonight our depth was very critical in this game and not necessarily the size. I think just our deep bench. It made them -- had some guys that played a lot of minutes, Saiz, he played a lot of minutes tonight. And to play the way we played, up and down the floor. Then you got to play defense too and play offense. It takes a lot of wear and tear on a person. I thought fatigue was a factor in this game.

Q. Can you just talk about what you've seen from Vanderbilt in those two games this year and what kind of matchup you expect tomorrow?
COACH ANDERSON: They'll spread the floor and shoot 3-point shots and layups. You get them to the free throw line, it's automatic. They've played a tough schedule, and you can see they're starting to find some continuity. It's going to be a tremendous challenge, but it's going to be a good opportunity for us. They get a chance to go sleep in their own bed and just come back up here tomorrow. But we're in the semis of the SEC Tournament. We're trying -- they're trying to win a championships. We are as well.

Continue to try to play some of our best basketball. Our defense is really going to have to be on point. As a team with Kornet, he can shoot it from 30 feet out. Every guy on their team is a threat. So we got to be able to guard the 3 and we got to be able to guard their cuts, and they do a good job of mixing it up.

Q. Do you think the reason y'all shot 35 percent was because you hadn't played in almost a week, or do you think it might have been because the guys -- obviously some of these guys have never played in the SEC Tournament? What do you think?
COACH ANDERSON: Our timing was off. Even the shot -- you saw Dusty make one and then he came back and made one in and out. I just think our timing, little rusty maybe. But it's our first game in the tournament. Now hopefully we sweated out there on the floor and played in the arena. Now maybe we can play a lot of more comfortable. I thought the nerves were going a little bit. Ole Miss had something to do with that as well. We'll shoot it better.

THE MODERATOR: One more question. Anyone? Thank you.

COACH ANDERSON: Y'all have a good night.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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