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March 8, 2012

Anthony Grant

JaMychal Green

Trevor Lacey


Alabama – 63
South Carolina – 57

CLAUDE FELTON:  All right, we would like to welcome Alabama to the interview room, Coach Anthony Grant and student‑athletes JaMychal Green and Trevor Lacey.  We'll start with an opening statement from coach and then take questions for the student‑athletes.
COACH GRANT:  Well, first of all, very proud of our guys for the effort today.  It's a great win for us.  I felt like from the beginning of the game, our energy, our effort was really good.  I thought defensively, the guys were really locked in, did a great job in terms of the things we talked about that we needed to do to be successful today.
Give South Carolina credit.  I thought they came out in the second half and they responded well.  We talked about our energy and effect in the second half and needing to get off to a good start, and they were able to get some shots to fall which gave them confidence and they went on a run.
But our guys stayed together, stayed poised, played with great heart and passion, and were able to come out with the win.  So we're excited to still be alive and have a chance to advance on to the next round.
CLAUDE FELTON:  All right.  We'll take your questions for the student‑athletes.

Q.  Trevor, just talk about the last three minutes.  You had seven points, made a big drive to the hoop, made a big three.  Just talk about your attitude and why you were so aggressive down the stretch.
TREVOR LACEY:  It was a late‑clock situation and I had to make a play on the ball screen one time when Nick came on, I drove through the lane.  And the second play when I shot the three, it was Andrew Steele took on a double team and found me at the top of the key, and I just had to make them pay for leaving me open.

Q.  JaMychal, Florida's a little bit thin in the post right now.  Do you see that as something that you guys can take advantage of, especially since you were out that first time you guys played them in Tuscaloosa?
JaMYCHAL GREEN:  If we get them into foul trouble, I think it will hurt them.  So we're just going to attack like we did today and just take the good shots as open.

Q.  They will have Patric Young and Erik Murphy obviously.  What makes those difficult or something you need to account for with them?
JaMYCHAL GREEN:  With Murphy, he can step out and extend the defense because he can shoot.  And with Patric Young, he just has legs and strong.  He can finish around the rim.

Q.  JaMychal, how would you describe the team's identity right now?
JaMYCHAL GREEN:  Right now, I think we are a real tight on offense and we defend on defense.  Just got to bring a lot of energy, like we did today, from now on out there, and we'll be a tough team to deal with.
CLAUDE FELTON:  All right, we'll excuse the student‑athletes and take questions for coach.

Q.  You talk about going up against Billy again.  This will be, I think, your fourth time, and just playing against.  Does it become old hat by now?
COACH GRANT:  We're obviously in the post season, a chance to continue our quest toward trying to play for a SEC championship, and that's where our focus will be.  Obviously, Billy's got a very talented team, and certainly we played them, whatever it was, two weeks ago.  So there's a level of familiarity, I think, we both have with each other, and certainly we look forward to the challenge of trying to get a win.

Q.  Could you talk about Trevor's ability to step up in the last three minutes offensively, and have you been looking for guys‑‑ seemed like against Ole Miss you were looking for somebody to step up offensively down the stretch and talk about his ability to do that.
COACH GRANT:  Well, I think he said it right.  I think he was in a position where we were in a late‑clock situation where plays had to be made.  And I'm very proud of him for his aggressiveness and willingness to make the plays that needed to be made.
I didn't realize it was seven points over the last three minutes, but certainly everyone that he made, they were big shots, points that we needed.  And I think that the thing we have talked about is our team has had a variety of different guys at different times step up and make plays for us, and tonight, he did that for us on the offensive end.
But certainly there were a lot of different plays that needed to be made on the defensive end as well.  So yeah, I think that just his ability to step up today and make those plays was huge for us.

Q.  Small lineup today, Carl played a little bit or didn't play at all.  Was that just a matchup issue?
COACH GRANT:  We got a lot of guys that are available.  I think the guys that played tonight all did a great job.  Whatever number of minutes they got, I think everybody was effective for us tonight.

Q.  In the last meeting, their zone in the second half, Florida zone, obviously caused you some problems.  How do you feel about your team's ability to attack the zone now as compared to a few weeks ago?
COACH GRANT:  Every game is different.  We're going to take it one game at a time.  We saw a lot of zone today.  So we just got to be able to attack whatever defense they give us.  I think Florida has done a great job with mixing up ‑ press, man, zone‑ so there's a variety of different things that we have to prepare for, not just one thing.
Certainly a lot of very talented players on their team that we got to prepare to guard as well.  So I don't think it will be one thing that dominates our focus in terms of what we have got to do.

Q.  You only took, I think, seven 3‑point shots and didn't make one until near the very end.  Would you have been happy with zero 3‑point attempts?
COACH GRANT:  I thought I tell our guys all the time, we need to take good ones, we need take good shots.  Probably today we took six.  We were 1‑6, probably one or two of them I thought were unnecessary, untimely for us, that we didn't necessarily need to take.  But we got to the free throw line 29 times today.  Which was great.  Considering the way that they defended, I thought our guys did a good job of showing patience, attacking and being aggressive and taking what the defense gave us.
So that's all you can ask as a coach.  I can't dictate where the shot's going to come from or what's going to happen, but we got to be prepared to step up and make plays when we can.
I would never put a number on how many threes that we take.  I think it's well‑known that we haven't excelled at shooting the three this year, but if our guys are taking good ones, as a coach, I'm going to live with that.

Q.  Last time you guys played, Patric Young had 19, and you didn't have JaMychal.  Do you feel better equipped to handle their inside game with JaMychal now?
COACH GRANT:  I think Florida's got a very good balance in terms of the way they play.  You look at their perimeter guys all shoot the three, all are outstanding free throw shooters, have the ability to drive the basketball and make plays.  They really space you with their offense.  They got front court guys that can step out and shoot the three.  And then Patric Young inside, the combination of the talent they have and the skill they have, I think probably outweighs any one individual.
I think he's done a good job of balancing inside to out and making sure that everybody takes advantage of the opportunities they have.
So as a defense, we have got to be aware and alert to understand that it's a variety of things that we have got to prepare for, along with the way they defend.

Q.  I know it's sort of the obligatory question about NCAA, do you feel better, worse, any thoughts about your chances at this point?
COACH GRANT:  Hadn't, I'm not even really thinking about it, to be honest with you.  We're excited to be in the SEC tournament, excited to be here with an opportunity to play, again, on tomorrow, toward the goal of trying to play for an SEC championship and win a championship.  So we're going to live in that.

Q.  Trevor came in with a lot of hype, two‑time Mr.Basketball, and I know he's had to overcome some physical things this year.  How much did that set him back and how much has he improved to the point where he was both willing and able to step up the way he did tonight?
COACH GRANT:  I was very proud of what he was able to do today.  I think like any freshman across the country you have your highs and lows over the course of a season.  You just hope they learn and continue to grow and develop.  I think that he along with our other freshmen are doing that.
I think that you've seen at different points, from different guys, being able to step up and make plays and do things.  And I think with every game through the good games, the highs or the bad games, the lows, individually or as a team, I think they learn every time they're on the floor.  This was all of our young guys, all of our freshmen, their first SEC game ever.
So to say that they have figured anything out or what they're doing is going to be what, who they become, you can't do that.  It's one game.  And tomorrow will be a different challenge.  The whole key is to stay consistent, to stay consistent of who we are and what we try to do.

Q.  You talked a little bit of that level of familiarity with playing, having played Florida already.  Is it a little bit more of an advantage that it was just a couple weeks ago as compared to maybe, say, first week of January?
COACH GRANT:  I think that both of us will be familiar with each other because we played, whatever it was, two weeks ago.  So to say it's an advantage or a disadvantage, I think there's a familiarity.  And obviously, Florida's a great team.  We have got to do a great job to prepare for them in a short turn around here.
I told our guys after the game that we can take a few minutes to enjoy this win, and then we got to refocus and get prepared for tomorrow.
So there's certainly a lot that we'll have to prepare for in a short period of time.
CLAUDE FELTON:  Thank you very much.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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