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March 14, 2013

Shavon Coleman

Johnny Jones

Johnny O'Bryant

Andre Stringer


LSU – 68

THE MODERATOR:  We're ready to start with LSU.  We'll ask Coach Jones for some opening thoughts on the game, and we'll take your questions just for the student athletes and excuse them back to the locker room.  Locker room is still open for about another 10, 15 if anyone wants to go back and catch any of the other players.  Then we'll finish up with Coach Jones.
Coach, if you'll begin.
COACH JONES:  Thought our guys did a great job in terms of getting off to a great start in this basketball game.  I thought they were extremely focused and executed offensively and really got on the defensive end of the floor and played tremendously hard.

I thought the second half, which knew that Georgia would make plays, just a week ago they did the same thing against Alabama team, they fought extremely hard in the second half, got back in the game, thought we let up.  Wasn't as focused at times, but I thought you have to give them credit.  They were a very well-coached basketball team.  Caldwell-Pope had an excellent second half.  We were fortunate our guys were able to hold on.  Stringer made some free throws down the stretch.  Got some tough rebounds there at the end.  Very fortunate to have an opportunity to play tomorrow.
THE MODERATOR:  We'll take your questions for any of the student athletes at this time.

Q.  Andre, great finish for you.  Talk about the 3 with under a minute left and take me through that play, what were you thinking?
ANDRE STRINGER:  The shot clock was going down.  I believe when I looked up it was 7.  I initially wanted to drive the basketball, but I tried to create some room and I let it fly.  I felt it was going in when it left my hand, so...
THE MODERATOR:  Other questions, go to the left side.

Q.  Big Johnny, can you kind of talk about how this game kind of reflects how your guys' season has gone.  You've done a lot things well, hit some rough patches, but you kind of found a way to win at the end.
JOHNNY O'BRYANT III:  You know, earlier in the season we had a lot of close games.  We had trouble finishing, and then later in the season we finished games well, and I think being up 20 in the first half and Georgia fighting back and then Andre hitting the big shot just shows that we can finish down the stretch pretty good.

Q.  I think, guys, just this is for all of you.  What was different offensively in the first half and second half?  They made a switch to the zone at some point.  It seemed like that kind of took you guys a little bit out of rhythm after having success in the first half.
ANDRE STRINGER:  The first half they tried to pressure us.  Our guards got a chance to drive by them.  You know, they're a lot taller than us.  We got a chance to try and pitch out for 3s.  The second half they played more containment defense.  We couldn't drive.  Made the tough shots.
We just had to like find gaps when they were pressuring us, like get a gap and kicked every time you got in the gap and kicked, we made open shots and that's what we did all game.
JOHNNY O'BRYANT III:  Offensively we just getting easy buckets.  Getting steals.  Guys were hitting guys for open passes.  We got our confidence going and other shots started falling.
THE MODERATOR:  Other questions for student athletes?

Q.  This is for Shavon.  Last four regular season games you scored 24 points.  Tonight you scored 24 points.  Coach started you.  What was the difference?
SHAVON COLEMAN:  I don't think it was a difference.  It's not about scoring.  Different things I can do for my team to help my team win like rebounding, defense, things like that.  So tonight I just had the hot hand and the team kept coming to me, so when you got a hot fella like that, you got to keep coming to him.

Q.  Johnny, I know last time you played Florida your ankle was still bothering you a little bit.  Talk about how much better equipped are you to play against Florida and how much better your team is.
JOHNNY O'BRYANT III:  The last time we played was very early.  We were still trying to find out who we were as a team.  We done a lot better since then.  I've gotten a lot better since then.  It's going to be a great game tomorrow.  Can't wait to play.

Q.  Obviously you guys know what kind of scorer Caldwell-Pope is for them.  Seemed to do a nice job on switching in the first half containing his looks.  What allowed him to get free in the second half, just what he was doing to have some success?  I think he had 25 in the second half.
THE MODERATOR:  Who was the question for?
SHAVON COLEMAN:  We know he was going to come out in the second half and play.  We were up like 20 points.  We know he was going to come out shooting the ball, playing aggressive.  That's exactly what he done.  He got shot.
ANDRE STRINGER:  He's a very tough guard.  Got a lot of upside to him.  He got loose a little bit.  I tried to stay attached to him as much as possible.  I think I did a decent job in the first half.  Second half we knew he was going to come out and look for his shot.  He made tough shots.  I tried my best to contest those, but he's a great player.
THE MODERATOR:  Any other questions for any of the student athletes, raise your hand.  All right.  Thank you, fellas.  You can return to the locker room.
We'll continue on with Coach Jones if you have a question.

Q.  Coach, you see Stringer make some big shots this year.  Talk about how big that 3 was in this game.
COACH JONES:  He's very capable.  I saw him looking, just trying to get some room and start getting the kind of little rhythm bounce and was excited for that and hopeful that he could get some space.
When they gave it to him he was able to raise up and knockdown a 3.  He was one of the top 3 point shooters in our conference and very confident basketball player.  We're excited about the big shot he hit there at the end.

Q.  What went into your decision to start Shavon Coleman today?
COACH JONES:  Shavon against this team, they're extremely quick, great post player.  Was hoping that we could get some driving lanes really to the basket as well and I think that Shavon allowed to us do that and starting traditionally our other two post players.

Q.  Just a quick follow-up.  Can you talk about the job defensively he did late on Caldwell-Pope?
COACH JONES:  It was a great switch out.  We was trying to make sure we didn't give him any easy looks at the basket.  They set the screen.  He did an excellent job of switching it, getting there and didn't allow him to get his shoulders turned for an easy look at the basket so it was a great defensive play by him.

Q.  Coach, Shavon came into the game shooting 25 percent from 3.  He was four of five tonight.  What gave him the confidence to shoot?  If you're shooting 25 percent you may not have a lot of confidence.  He's four for five tonight.
COACH JONES:  We actually have a three man that we've kind of converted into a 4.  We look for him to play more inside.  We know that he's very capable out there.  That's not something that we look for and we allow him to stretch out there a little bit in games and take one or two to try to loosen the defense inside for Johnny and tonight we were very fortunate that he was able to get into a rhythm, knocked a couple down and became very confident out there and made big plays.

Q.  Johnny, can you talk about that first matchup with Florida?  I know Johnny was talking about your team trying to find yourselves at that time.
How much better you are now to be able to play against a team like that?
COACH JONES:  First of all, Florida is a very talented basketball team and they're very balanced on the floor at both ends.  Offensively, they're very fluid, great shooters, guys understand their roles, play extremely well on the defensive end.  They're very solid and sound basketball team as well.  Make it very difficult for you to get easy inside passes and they play really well.
I think we're a better basketball team than the first time that we played them early on but I think, at the same time, as well as Florida played, I think they've continued to improve as well.  So I think it would be a great challenge for us tomorrow and one we're excited and looking forward to.

Q.  Coach, the field goal stat is pretty low.  Can you talk about Georgia's, I guess, more concerted effort to drive the ball, get to the free throw line the second half?  That seemed to be a major difference for them.
COACH JONES:  They did an excellent job of being more aggressive in trying to get to the rim and we were trying to make sure that we put them in position try and make pitch plays.  It's hard to come off Pope.  He's a tremendous player and great shooter. 

We wanted to make sure we stayed down on him.  The guys were doing a great job.  They didn't do the type of job probably as needed getting there and containing the basketball which allowed them some driving lanes.  I think they got to the foul count, 1-and 1 pretty early in the second half.
I think that's what they were looking forward to doing.  We didn't do a great job of containing the ball like we should have.

Q.  Johnny, the first meeting with Florida the rebounding margin was pretty significance.  Have you seen growth in that area from your team or how would you say you're rebounding the ball now compared to in January?
COACH JONES:  I think even tonight you look at Georgia, I thought in the second half they played with more of a sense of urgency and really attacked the rim and they beat us on the boards tonight.
That's an area we're going to really have to improve in.  It's going to be a war zone down there.  Florida is strong, they're very physical and they'll get to the basket and also rebound the ball strong.  That will be an area we'll have to cleanup tomorrow.

Q.  Talk about the difference offensively in the second half.  I think there was an 8 minute stretch there before Andre hits the 3.
You had been five minutes without one.  Was the zone really of much of a styming or shot selection?
COACH JONES:  We weren't as patient as we were in the first half.  I thought we did a great job of getting in the gaps, making a pass.
I thought having the lead there we were almost like trying to hold on instead of just making plays which our guys are capable of doing.  They put the zone out there we worked the ball, got it in the middle.  Didn't make plays but at the same time we didn't knockdown free throws.
We didn't do a great job of knocking down free throws when we had those opportunities there in the second half which allowed them to continue to come back as well.

Q.  Did you guys change anything defensively in the second half?  It seemed like they did a much better job of valuing the ball while being aggressive going to the rim.
COACH JONES:  They changed something in the second half.  I think Caldwell-Pope got going and making big shots.  He stretched our defense.  He's a great player and I mean he hit some big 3s out there as well.
I thought Stringer was guarding him, did an excellent job of trying to force him to screens but a couple of plays were broken where we were going after loose balls and he got a couple of looks that way and a couple of scramble plays.
When you have a great player like that you have to stay connected to him and I think that was the big difference.  They drove the ball but I think Caldwell-Pope was the big difference in the second half.  Had two guys that really had scored a lot for them tonight.
THE MODERATOR:  One more question.  Anyone?

Q.  Johnny, you said a couple of times whenever Andre shoots you're surprised when it doesn't go in.
In that situation where he hits the 3, said he thought about driving.  You almost prefer that he look for something from the perimeter because of his ability to shoot?
COACH JONES:  Well, when Andre gets a good look at the basket, he's a very high percentage shooter, very confident shooter.  I just want him to do what the defense allows and if they're crowding him he's great in terms of getting it to the rim, very explosive in that manner but, at the same time, if he get his feet set, get a look at the basket I like our chances.
THE MODERATOR:  Thank you very much.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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