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 17, 2019

Rick Barnes

Grant Williams

Lamonte Turner

St. Louis, Missouri

Auburn-84, Tennessee-64

THE MODERATOR: We are ready to begin with Tennessee. We will take some opening thoughts on the game from Coach Barnes.

RICK BARNES: Congratulations to Auburn. They played terrific basketball really from start to finish. We came out, you know, you go through the first half where you have seven straight turnovers, give a team like that, who is an explosive offensive team, a chance to get down the court. They end up getting 13 more shots than us, 21 points off our turnovers.

Give them credit. They played the game. They deserved to win. Our hats are off to them.

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Grant or Lamonte.

Q. Grant, was it hard to come down after yesterday's emotions and focus today?
GRANT WILLIAMS: We just came out with no energy. We came out like we expected things to happen. It's hard to bounce back from that, especially how Auburn plays, how explosive they can be, especially when they start making shots.

You have to give credit to them. Can't take anything away from them. They wanted it more today. Hats off to them.

Q. Lamonte, how much of an issue was the defensive quickness getting all the turnovers?
LAMONTE TURNER: I think we came out a little too amped up. We had more turnovers than assists. Any time you do that, you don't give yourself a good chance to win the game. I think our turnovers early gave them momentum. They got an open court and were able to make threes.

Q. Grant, at this point how quickly do you try to turn your attention to the bracket announcement in a couple hours and the next tournament?
GRANT WILLIAMS: We play for the big one. That's how you got to think of it. It definitely hurts right now. You definitely have to recollect your emotions, pick your heads up, because you really wanted this one pretty badly.

The biggest thing is we practice the entire year for the big one. We're coming into the tournament where we put ourselves in a good position this year. Credit to the team. We just got to do a good job of understanding that it's not over, and it will never be over.

Q. In the first half, you only got three shots up. How were they able to so effectively limit your touches?
GRANT WILLIAMS: They do a good job of keeping the ball out of the post. That's what they do. They typically top front, and try not to let you catch the ball at all. Just good scouting, I guess. I didn't work hard enough to get it. I didn't fight for my positioning. That's mostly on me. Our guards were looking for it. We became stagnant at one point.

I think a lot of it was just me not working for my positioning.

Q. What went into being too amped up? What was different today?
GRANT WILLIAMS: Well, after a hard-fought game last night, all the energy and emotions, you got to keep a level head, understand that we played the top team tonight. We came out with the mindset expecting things to go the way things happened yesterday. That kind of came and nipped us in the butt.

I think that we kind of calmed down, got a level head, tried to fight back. It's when you give a team that much energy, with the offensive ability, it's hard to dial it back in.

Q. Lamonte, if you take a positive away from this weekend, do you feel you found your stroke back with the shot yesterday, 24 points today?
LAMONTE TURNER: Honestly, I'm not really focusing on that. I think most of all as a team looking forward, I think we got a lot of stuff to correct defensively going into the tournament. I think that's a positive thing going forward. During losses we learn a lot. We have great film sessions, a great coach that teaches us. I think that's the most positive thing we got going for us.

THE MODERATOR: We'll excuse Grant and Lamonte, and we'll continue with questions for Coach Barnes.

Q. Do you think it was tough for guys to come down from the emotions of winning yesterday, get back into the grind?
RICK BARNES: Right from the beginning, I told the coaches, I said, I thought we looked like we were drained a little bit. I thought the guys tried to do as much as they could before the game, trying to get themselves going, all that. It was a quick turnaround.

With that said, some of those turnovers, I mean, we fumbled balls, passes where guys weren't ready, those type of things. We know they're a team that feels good when they get going.

The fact is we weren't very good. Lamonte used the term 'amped up'. I don't think we were amped up. I just felt like it was a quick turnaround. It was a hard-fought, physical game yesterday. Then coming back...

You go back to the game against Mississippi State was a hard-fought game, too. I haven't really kept up with Auburn's games coming into this. We do what we did with the scouting. But the fact is, we weren't very good today. You got to give Auburn the credit for it.

You think about it. We did so many things uncharacteristic. I could sit here and blame it on this, that, whatever. But still, we've got to play. I think they played, what, one more game than we did? What have they played?

Q. Four.
RICK BARNES: Four? Again, I felt like emotionally we were just not where we needed to be. When your emotions -- during that period of time, some of the things we did, we turned it over, everybody was trying to make something happen as opposed to staying together. We weren't moving on offense, stagnant, stationary. Again, I think you have to give them credit.

Q. What did you see with how they were able to take Grant out?
RICK BARNES: Again, plain and simple: I don't think Grant fought for his positioning. At times he just wants to catch the ball 10, 12 feet from the basket. I mean, I go back to that. I go back to our transition game. We weren't doing anything that we wanted to do we talked about at the beginning of the game, in terms of fighting for our space, where we wanted the ball, fight for the elbows, fight for the lane. We just didn't fight hard enough to do those type of things.

We really wasn't trying to get the ball where we wanted him to get it. Again, give them credit because he went out there, they let him get out there, and then they were trying to do the things they wanted to do. He was holding the ball too much. They'd come down and try to swipe from behind, those type of things.

We were stagnant. The ball didn't get moving. We didn't get moving. Again, give them credit. You just have to give them credit.

Q. How do y'all use this to not have this kind of performance in the NCAA tournament?
RICK BARNES: Again, they understand tournament play, it ends very abruptly. It's tough. I mean, it's tough. As good as they were feeling yesterday, obviously we weren't able to put that behind us enough to know we're going to have to come out and try to remanufacture it again. I think Grant alluded to that, thinking we're going to walk on the floor, just because we played hard yesterday, it was going to happen today.

It was the details. Again, turnovers were huge. Some of them, they had something to do with. Some of them, they didn't. The fact is, I've coached teams that have gotten knocked out of the first round of a tournament and gone to the Final Four, teams that get beaten in the championship game, go to Elite 8. So the fact is the mentality of the team.

They're hurting right now because they wanted to play better, obviously had a chance to play for a championship, it didn't get done.

But they're young. We'll learn from it and bounce back and see what we can do.

Q. Despite the loss today, do you think you've done enough to get a No. 1 seed for this program or is it wait and see what you got?
RICK BARNES: I don't know. I think our league is that good. I said it coming in, I think our league deserves a No. 1 seed. I'm not a great person to talk about that stuff with. I think the tournament, you get in it, 1, 2, whatever it may be. You got to play regardless of who you're matched up with.

I don't know. I just know I've got so much respect for this league, the way that we ended, we ended our regular season with one of the toughest schedules in basketball. We had to play here in these three days, it's tough. Every team we've lost to has been a ranked team.

But the fact is we'll just wait and see what the committee thinks.

Q. During most of the season everybody talked about LSU, Tennessee, Kentucky as kind of the class of the league. Today Auburn looked like it belonged in the same group. Do you feel that way?
RICK BARNES: Yeah, if you look at the way the pre-season looked, Auburn was a team that we shared a title with last year, with basically everybody back. You look at them, 26-9. They certainly went through a stretch where they had some issues they had to deal with obviously.

The fact is, this league is good, I'm telling you. When you think about Auburn, you throw in Ole Miss, you throw in Florida. You keep going. This league's got some teams that I'll be surprised if it doesn't do well next week.


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