home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


March 14, 2019

Bruce Pearl

Bryce Brown

Horace Spencer

St. Louis, Missouri

Auburn-81, Missouri-71

THE MODERATOR: We are joined by Auburn. We will take some opening thoughts on the game from Coach Pearl.

BRUCE PEARL: Start off by congratulating Missouri. Those guys had won three out of the last four games. They stayed engaged. They're a good enough basketball team to beat the 22nd ranked team in the country. That's a credit to Cuonzo Martin, his coaching staff and the character of that team.

I didn't start off caring for Jordan Geist very much when he first started competing. He was sort of one of those players that if he was on your team, you'd love him. If he was on the other team, he bothered you. I want to congratulate him on a great career.

Then when you see the combination of Geist and then Watson, you see sort of the torch being passed. Those guys beat us in here a couple years ago. But now they've got some young players, that torch is going to be passed. I want to congratulate these two seniors for getting their first SEC tournament win. It had been three years without a tournament win. That was a big win for them.

I think the players thought about those guys, making sure we got one.

THE MODERATOR: We'll take your questions for Bryce and Horace.

Q. Bryce, no points in the first half, then 17 in the second half. What was your mindset coming out of the locker room? What changed for you?
BRYCE BROWN: I just got to thank my teammates. They do an unbelievable job of just supporting me no matter if I miss 10 or make 10. They have the same feeling, same confidence in me no matter what. That's just kudos to them.

Me as a leader, my last year, possibly my last tournament, SEC game, I have to keep on shooting, help my team win. A couple times I tried to pat it a few extra times. Threw me out of my rhythm. That's what coach wants me to do, so I continue to do that.

Q. Horace, talk about your game tonight. You had four steals, four blocks, the double-double. Talk about how you played.
HORACE SPENCER: I mean, my focus is really on defense. The ball just came to me, it just came to me the way it did. I wasn't really focused on my offense. I was focused open helping my guard, slipping through the ball screens, trying to protect the paint, be a presence in the paint, take care of defense.

Q. Bryce, what really were they doing in the first half to try to mess with your game?
BRYCE BROWN: Nothing that I couldn't handle, me and Jared couldn't handle. Came down to making shots. I feel like that's what we did in the second half, just made shots. First half I felt like they came out strong, tried to run me off the line a little bit. That's nothing I haven't seen all season long. Wasn't nothing I wasn't prepared for.

Came down to making shots. Wanted to go out strong.

Q. Horace and Bryce, you have been around for a long time. What is the feeling like to finally get a W here?
HORACE SPENCER: It was really good to get a first win, SEC tournament. We just wanted to come here, get one win, move onto the next one, get another win, just keep going.

It feels good, me and Bryce getting our first win. My team is in a really good spot. We have really good chemistry. We're going to keep that going throughout the tournament.

BRYCE BROWN: It definitely felt good getting our first SEC win. Took me four years. My fourth match, my fourth year. Like I say, I just got to give everything to my teammates. Coach trusted me with the ball. My teammates trusted me.

Me and Horace going to do everything we can to make sure this team doesn't go out on a sad note. We want to end our senior season on a strong note.

THE MODERATOR: We'll excuse the student-athletes and continue with questions for Coach Pearl.

Q. Talk about the minutes you got from Malik Dunbar.
BRUCE PEARL: I think if you look at the stat sheet, we had nine guys in double-digit minutes, four guys score in double-digits. Malik, he's just been super patient. He works hard. He's a physical presence. He'd like to do more, but he knows when he forces the issue sometimes, gets himself into some trouble situations.

I thought he was just patient. That attitude, that effort, that unselfishness, it's just contagious. Our guys see him being locked in, handling the moment, contributing, it's impressive.

Q. What did you see from the Danjel Purifoy minutes?
BRUCE PEARL: Danjel played maybe 16 minutes in the first half. He played a lot. The fact that he was in shape to be able to play that many minutes, the fact that his teammates trusted him to be able to be out there. Then the second half he made a big shot that really made a difference. He had a really nice slip, made some good passes. We're best when everybody contributes. I think that's the danger of our team.

This might be the first big game we've won where Jared Harper didn't have to carry us. Missouri did a good job defensively on both Bryce and Jared. A lot of pressure on Jared to run the club, my biggest communicator defensively. He's a leader. Just was a little off tonight. Missouri had something to do with that. The fact we could win without him having a big game was huge.

Q. You said the torch might be passed to Watson for Missouri. What have you seen from film?
BRUCE PEARL: He's fearless. He has guts. He sees it, he can shoot. He has good size. Those young freshmen were highly-recruited kids. They've gotten better. Coach Martin, he's got a great staff. They got some really good guards coming back.

Q. Moving ahead to South Carolina, you saw them January, what do you remember about that matchup?
BRUCE PEARL: Frank Martin has my number, not just my phone number but my number. I think he's won three out of the last five, something along those lines. What they do defensively bothers us. They extend. Makes it hard to run your stuff. You overplay.

They're physical, they're tough. Silva is a major factor, how the officials referee him is huge. He's so active, athletic, bouncy. He gets himself into some trouble, he draws a lot of fouls. Draws a lot of contact.

I remember we had a chance when we went to South Carolina. Had a couple last possessions. They got the better of us.

Q. Austin has been back out there this week, may be available. What was the plan with him?
BRUCE PEARL: Austin had his first contact practice this week. He's getting closer. But I thought Anfernee and Horace at this time of the year here right now are playing well together, playing well, complementing each other.

I think Austin, he's getting closer to being available. Right now, Anfernee and Horace are doing a nice job.

Q. What are your thoughts on Horace's impact when he came in tonight as a sparkplug?
BRUCE PEARL: Just that. Energy, offensive rebounding, physicality, toughness, courage. He knows who he is. Had some big plays. Made his free throws. I mean, blocks and steals. He's so athletic and experienced. Really, really happy for Horace. We don't win without him.

Q. With the bigs they have, including Silva, would tomorrow be a day you might need Wiley?
BRUCE PEARL: We've needed Wiley all year. It's a good question. Don't mean to be glib, if that's the right word. You guys are all writers. I don't know if that fits.

Sure we do. But we need Austin. Yesterday was his first contact practice, how would he be out there in the SEC tournament against Silva when he's been out for four weeks? So Horace and Anfernee right now are playing, rotation has been good.

Yeah, we miss a healthy Austin Wiley. A healthy Austin Wiley would be dominating out there. He's as good as any center in the league. Not only getting healthy, it's having your first contact practice, it's actually having several practices so that you can get timing. It's tough in March.

Q. I know you're very proud of the recovery Anfernee has made from the injury of a year ago. Talk about how much work he's put in the gym. Making threes at big times.
BRUCE PEARL: He made a couple tonight. If you talk to coaches that prepare for us, it's one of the most difficult things to prepare for, a shooting five man. Sometimes you have to give him some shots and hope he doesn't make them.

The other thing is he has abilities outside of that. His defense, ability to block shots. It takes a while to recover from such a horrific injury. The fact that he's played every game for us this year is a testament to his toughness.

But I think there's still another level that he has. We may not see it till next year.


FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

ASAP sports

tech 129
About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297