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March 11, 2006
THE MODERATOR: Okay. We're ready to begin with LSU. We'll ask Coach Brady for some opening comments on the game, and then we'll take your questions for Tasmin and Darrell. Coach.
COACH JOHN BRADY: You know, I think Florida played really well. I think they did what they needed to do in order to win the game. You know, we -- Glen Davis could never get into the rhythm he had last night or the way he finished the year.
You know, I thought even against the zone the last eight, ten minutes of the game I thought we got some good opportunities to score. We got the ball in the middle of the zone. I thought one key play was coming out of timeout when we ran a set play against a zone and we blocked them for Darrell. The bottom forward came out. We threw it to the short corner and threw it to Glen in the middle of floor and for whatever reason, I don't know if he was off balance, I thought it was about to be a lay-up, and I don't know if he lost his balance and they called a charge and now his fourth foul and when that play happened, the momentum kind of swung the other way.
But I thought, you know, the shots that Glen made last night within 10, 12 footers in the middle zone today that we did not make, but, you know, Florida played well. You know, I've always thought that when we played Florida in Gainesville I thought that their bigs were aggressive and tough to guard and, you know, they proved that today.
Horford is a load for us. We're one guy short really to play them like we would like to have played them today but -- and I think the game wore on a little bit. We didn't handle the fatigue as well, it seemed. They had something to do with that because of the way they played.
But, you know, I compliment their team. They deserved to win by how they played. We missed some opportunities, but it was good to see Darrel Mitchell make some baskets today and get back in the rhythm of play a little bit. You know, Tasmin Mitchell played well. Garrett Temple shot the ball last night for us. He didn't make as many as we needed tonight. Those things happen.
You know, we shot the ball really well last night. We didn't shoot as well today. When you're not shooting the ball as well, you need to defend and rebound and get some easy baskets, and I think we got several easy baskets early, but I think the last ten minutes we weren't able to get as many. And I think the Florida zone kept us from getting to the rim as we should have, but I thought we still had some good opportunities to score the ball in the zone, but we weren't able to do it today.
THE MODERATOR: Okay. We'll take some questions for Tasmin and Darrell, either one. If you have questions for either, raise your hand and we'll get a mike reason to you. Go ahead.
Q. Darrell, can you talk about your game a little bit and just getting your confidence back and scoring and so forth?
DARREL MITCHELL: You know, today I was feeling really good. I've been out with an ankle injury these last couple of weeks, and tonight I got back in the flow a little bit of playing with my teammates and it felt real good.
THE MODERATOR: Another question. Go to the aisle there.
Q. Can you talk about Tauren Green and what he was able to do? He kind of struggled towards the end of the season, but he had a good night tonight.
DARREL MITCHELL: He got going late on the high wall screen. He was able to hit a couple 3s and drive past us on defense, and that was some big plays for those guys. He did a nice job for them tonight.
THE MODERATOR: Hands up. Come to the middle.
Q. This is for both players. Do you think the last few games without Tyrus in some way has been beneficial because it caused other players to have to step up heading into the NCAA tournament?
THE MODERATOR: Tasmin, you go first, please.
TASMIN MITCHELL: Basically Tyrus is a big aspect to our team. We do miss him because it's at least 12 points a game, about four, five blocks a game. But we still can play tremendous without him. We can play better with him. We really miss him. Tyrus is a key point of our team but, you know, we still could have converted on the ends and still could have won the game.
THE MODERATOR: Same for Darrell.
DARREL MITCHELL: Like he said, Tyrus is a big part of the team but, you know, Darnell and Magnum, they stepped up these last couple of games and helped us out and filled in for Tyrus.
Unfortunately, you know, we could have used Tyrus out there tonight, another big body, but that's just the breaks. I think those guys did a nice job with him out, and it's just unfortunate that we couldn't win tonight.
THE MODERATOR: Question down here. Let's go right there and I'll be back.
Q. For both you guys, what made it so tough to get the ball inside to Glen especially in the first half?
THE MODERATOR: Tasmin?
TASMIN MITCHELL: Well, they were really denying him the ball big time because they know what he can do when he gets the ball. We thought we could open it up for them a little bit, you know, hit a couple jump shots. But, you know, our shots weren't falling. Like the coach said, the shots weren't falling like they were last night.
If they were falling like last night, Glen would have had a better opportunity. We just -- it was really hard to get the ball into him and know what he's capable of when he gets the ball. When he got the ball, he did something with it. He gets to the goal and got fouled.
THE MODERATOR: Darrell.
DARREL MITCHELL: We couldn't not necessarily get the ball to him in the first half. We just got a lot of easy transition baskets and lay-ups. We didn't have that much half-court offense as we did in the second half, and he got the ball in the second half and got some fouls, and his foul trouble slowed him down a little bit. He couldn't really get in the rhythm. It's just one of those aspects he knew he was coming into the game, he was going to get doubled like they did in Gainesville, and it's just one of those breaks.
THE MODERATOR: Okay. Back to the front here.
Q. Darrell, considering how Tasmin and Garrett and other people and Darnell stepped up with Tyrus out, if y'all get Tyrus back for the NCAA tournament, how do you think y'all will do in the tournament?
DARREL MITCHELL: I mean, we're going to continue to do the things we've been doing, you know. When he gets back, we're going to get him back in the flow of the team and just got to continue to play hard, execute our offense and play tough defense, and I think we'll do okay once that time comes.
THE MODERATOR: Let's get the players first. Then we come back to the coach. Okay. Question in the back.
Q. Hello. Okay. This is for both you guys. Did you guys seem to hit a wall physically about the 7-minute mark? Did y'all just kind of run out of gas at that point?
THE MODERATOR: Who was that for?
Q. Both players.
THE MODERATOR: Tasmin.
TASMIN MITCHELL: I wouldn't say we gave out of gas. They were playing really good defense, and they was really moving in the zone, playing physical in the zone. We couldn't execute like we wanted to. We didn't run into a wall.
DARREL MITCHELL: Like he said, you know, we were -- we were lackadaisical and an offense and didn't execute as well as we should have. We missed a couple shots, and they went down and scored.
So, you know, you know that's a big key thing, stop up us and go down and score. Couple trips down and they bridged the gap on us.
THE MODERATOR: We're going to excuse the players. Fellas, you can return to the locker room. Thank you. We'll continue on with questions for Coach Brady. And Glen, we'll let you have the first question.
Q. Considering what you've learned about your team and in Tyrus's absence, how do you think they'll do in the tournament with Tyrus back?
COACH JOHN BRADY: Well, I anticipate us doing well. You know, seeding and match-ups will be -- you know, be interesting to see what happens there. I think where we're sent, you know, that will be part of the equation but, you know, I like our team. We were able to win three games and a half without Tyrus.
The second half of the Kentucky game, on the road at South Carolina, home against Ole Miss and beat Vandy here without Tyrus Thomas. Our team probably played one of our best games of the year last night.
I think we were able to work through Tyrus Thomas's injury, but it's time now for us team to get back whole, get a couple good days of practice, and, you know, I would like to have Tyrus Thomas in a practice uniform and doing some things contact-wise by Tuesday, particularly we play on Thursday. I'd rather play on Friday, but I don't decide those things.
You know, Randy, back to your question about not throwing Glen the ball the first half. I think Darrel Mitchell was correct in the fact that if you really watched the game, there was a lot of transition baskets being made. We scored the first half, you know, 20-something, 24 points in the lane without Glen touching it so what that means was we were getting the ball up the floor and breaking down the defense and getting some layups before Glen got to rundown the floor almost.
The game -- they paced the game like they wanted to, and we played with them. You know, you told me Glen Davis would score two points or four points in the first half and LSU would score 41, I would say would you, somebody is doing something pretty good.
But we couldn't sustain that and in the zone, slowed the whole game down the second half. I think they didn't like what we were doing because we were getting easy baskets out of them pressing us, so they just changed the whole tactic of the game, didn't try to pick us up full at all, fell back in the zone and make us shoot balls over them.
When we did get the ball to Glen in the lane or around the goal, because he hadn't got involved and he had some foul trouble, he wasn't able to score the ball and shoot the ball as easily as he did last night.
THE MODERATOR: Other questions. Alright. Go ahead, Pat.
Q. John, can you talk about Tauren Green, what he was able to do tonight and two straight games with 20 points?
COACH JOHN BRADY: Well, Tauren Green tonight had 18. You know, he was 3 for 8 from the 3-point line. He made three of them or at least two, maybe all three of them in the last eight minutes of the game, and he made them in a timely way.
You know, sometimes it's not how well you shoot from the 3; sometimes it's when you make them. And certainly I know he made two, and one of them he made was really a remarkable distance from where I was sitting.
When he plays well, their team is usually, you know, pretty good. I like the Florida team. I've watched them a bunch and their post men are good, they're three-deep across. They're real physical guys. They got nice perimeter. You've got to guard every one of their guys. There's no guy out there on their team that you cannot guard.
You would think, you know, Brewer is a guy you can back off us tonight against us. He's 6 for 9. They get some perimeter play. Humphrey didn't shoot the ball as well today as he today last night. Really he didn't need to. They took advantage of us around the goal a little bit and made some timely perimeter shots. And I think that was the difference in the game.
Florida is quite good. They're well-coached. They're talented. Their team seems to fit together well, and for our team to beat them, we need to be, you know, full strength.
THE MODERATOR: Okay. Let's go to question over on this side.
Q. John, obviously everyone wants to win the title, but all things considered with your team, where your team is now, did you pretty much get what you wanted out of this tournament and Darrell's ankle aside?
COACH JOHN BRADY: Well, in my opinion, we won the title that's the most one, the 16 game SEC schedule when you go 14 and 2 and win the league outright. To me, that's the team that shows its worth when you can go on the road and play at home, defend your home court and go on the road and win games, that's really the one to me that shows how good a team is over the course of a 16-game schedule, not three games in three days. That's too many factors can happen.
South Carolina getting to the championship game. Nobody picked that. So, that's what this kind of environment will do. So it doesn't allow the best team to win here sometimes.
But we got what we wanted out of the tournament. I suppose. We played extremely well last night. We played a very good team today. The last ten minutes either we didn't execute as well, we didn't, make some shots that we made yesterday, we may have got a little fatigued, and against a quality team like Florida, in all fairness, for our team to beat them over a 40-minute game, it's not a 30- minute game or a 35 minute game, we need to be full strength and obviously we were not.
But we will be full strength next week and, you know, people talk about seeding. I hear that UCONN loses, they're still a 1 seed. So if LSU loses today, I would say we're still a number 3 seed. What's the difference? I don't see there's any difference there.
So I think we accomplished what we needed to here, and everyone knows that we played without the Freshman of the Year for four straight games, and everyone knows he's going to be back next week and help our time be a little bit better than it is right now, I think.
THE MODERATOR: Got time for a couple more. Anybody? Hands up. Alright. Right here.
Q. Just to add to Scott's question, how would you have felt to play three games in three days again having to get out there tomorrow physically?
COACH JOHN BRADY: You know, I can't control that. We wanted to win the tournament. We wanted to play as well as we possibly could. We wanted to win this thing.
I would never turn down winning to say losing is better than winning. I don't think that way. I want to win in a conversation, in a debate. I want to win everything I do. So to think our team were not coming here to play good and win would be wrong to think.
So, if we had to play tomorrow, we would get as much rest as we possibly could. We would have prepared as well as we could have in a short period of time, and we would have tried to play the best we could tomorrow.
I don't know any other way to answer that except that's the way we try to do things.
I don't know what kind of affect it has on you if you play Thursday or Friday. If we would have played tomorrow and had seven guys available and we played them all and we had to go back to Boise on Thursday, I wouldn't have liked that. That takes about a day and a half to get there.
You know, that's why with my team right now I would prefer to play on a Friday somewhere, you know, Jacksonville or Dallas or somewhere where we can get there easily and our fans can get there easily and help us win.
THE MODERATOR: Got time for one more. Anybody? Alright. Thank you.
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