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SOUTHEASTERN CONFERENCE MEN'S TOURNAMENT


March 12, 2014


Anthony Grant

Levi Randolph

Trevor Releford


ATLANTA, GEORGIA

THE MODERATOR:¬† We'll go ahead with an opening statement from coach and then take questions for the student‑athletes.
COACH GRANT:  We're excited to be here in Atlanta to participate in the SEC tournament.  Obviously for our guys, this is an opportunity to play for a championship, an opportunity to get back on the court.  We ended the regular season with a good win.  Hopefully it will give us momentum as we head into the tournament.
Playing a team in LSU that we played once this year, fortunate to win the game at our place.  But obviously we understand they're a very talented team, a team that has a lot of different weapons on the inside and on the perimeter.  We have got to be able to do a great job from a defensive standpoint, offensively be able to handle their pressure as well.  So looking forward to the challenge.
THE MODERATOR:¬† Questions for either of the student‑athletes.

Q.  For Levi, you're averaging 17.8 points per game over the last five coming into the SEC tournament, one of the best stretches of your career at Alabama.  What, if anything, have you done differently over the last five games?
LEVI RANDOLPH:  Coach preaches to us every day to try to play with confidence and just to be able to take what the defense gives you.
I have great teammates that are able to find the open man, and when they're able to find me, I try to knock down the shot or do what it takes to help the team win.
So I think just playing as a team has helped everybody be successful.

Q.  Trevor, your thoughts on the team coming into the tournament.
TREVOR RELEFORD:  Oh, I think the team, as well as myself, are pretty excited about playing the SEC tournament this year.  Like coach said, we got great confidence from finishing the season with a win against Arkansas and we're just looking forward to start playing.
THE MODERATOR:  We'll excuse you.  You can return to the locker room.  Take questions for coach.

Q.  Since Nick Jacobs took a leave of absence, and Jimmy Taylor has really picked up his game and asserted himself as a defensive interior presence.  Can you talk about that.
COACH GRANT:  Well, Jimmy, I think, as a freshman has really improved all year.  Obviously of late, he's had more opportunities to get out there and get some extended minutes.  I think that like most freshmen, the more experience he gets, the more comfortable he gets, and especially when you go out there and you can have some level of success.
I think his teammates have done a good job kind of coaching him through things on the floor and off the floor, in games and in practice.  So he like Shannon Hale, our other freshman, I think both of those guys have gotten some valuable experience throughout the course of the season.  I think it will hopefully pay benefits for him as we approach the SEC tournament.

Q.  Your team won last time against LSU.  They gave up a conference season high 80 points.  What will you be looking to do defensively against LSU this time around?
COACH GRANT:  LSU is a great team.  They have got a lot of weapons.  So the for us from a defensive standpoint, obviously we're going to try to limit the opportunities.  They really hurt us in transition the last time we played them.  Obviously their size and physicality is a problem.  They have got two dynamic guards that can really stretch you with the way they shoot the ball.
So first and foremost, transition defense is going to be critical.¬† Our ability to take care of the basketball and try to limit them from getting in transition and then trying to limit their opportunities in and around the basket and guard the 3‑point line.
Certainly a lot of things that go into trying to get prepared for a team as talented as they are, but I think our guys are excited about the opportunity and looking forward to the challenge.

Q.¬† Your team is 0‑14 in games played outside of Coleman this season, 10 of those 14 losses have been by 10 points or less, so your guys have obviously competed well on the road, they just haven't been able to finish.¬† Why do you think that is?
COACH GRANT:¬† Well, a lot of factors.¬† As you mentioned, it's been a variety of different things that have come up during the course of the season.¬† I think for our guys like Levi said and like Trevor said, I think that a lot of this game is mental.¬† A lot of it is confidence.¬† I think with the experiences that we have had in the non‑conference and throughout the SEC, even though we haven't had the final results that we wanted, I think we have learned and gotten better from it.
So we're looking forward to the challenge of coming here on a neutral site and playing against great competition and taking it one game at a time and trying to get a win.
THE MODERATOR:  All right.  Thank you very much.
COACH GRANT:  Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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