Jan. 18, 2014
Head Coach, Frank Haith
"Obviously, it was a great win for us. I thought our guys played extremely hard. I thought defensively we were outstanding. The back line of our zone and Johnathan Williams, III was just terrific. We had great close outs and I thought our team's defense was outstanding on (Trevor) Releford and knowing where he is at and how good of a player he is. I thought our guys did a really good job on him."
On this game being the best defensive performance the team has had all season...
"Yes, because I think Alabama is a really good team and I think that we did a really good job. We are getting better and better on the defensive end. With defensive rebounding though, we still have to continue to grow. Obviously, I thought second half we were outstanding."
On the length of the Mizzou players contributing to turnovers on the defensive, and playing off that advantage...
"No question. I think our length on the perimeter and on the backline with Williams, III. Our big guys all have good length, quickness and good feet. If we are active, shrinking the gaps, rotating and having good closeouts then it can be a positive factor. When you are not as aggressive and when you are not assertive and you are not using your length, you become a nonfactor. I think this was the best game we had with guys doing work early and anticipating it and having great closeouts."
Junior Guard, Jordan Clarkson
On whether or not they have to adjust the way they play this season with the new foul rules...
"I don't think so. We're going to stay aggressive and keep attacking. We try to go to the rim as hard as we can and hoping the ref calls a foul. We're just going to keep attacking and do what we do."
Junior Guard, Jabari Brown
On guarding Alabama's Trevor Releford...
"We wanted to keep six eyes on him. He's one of the best players in our league and we know he's capable of going for 20 or 30 points every game. We just had to key in on him and know where he was at at all times and I feel that we did a good job of that the whole game."
On the closeness at the end of the first half that became a big lead in the second half...
"Coach Haith just said we played a good half; in terms of effort we were playing hard. We just had to keep them off the boards a little bit. They were getting offensive boards in the first half, and we just had to keep getting good shots on offense. I feel like our defense turned into a lot of transition opportunities and I think that was one of the keys."
On getting past the loss to Vanderbilt to prepare for today's game...
"It's just a mental thing. We've been around for a few years so we know that's the grind. You're not going to win every game and you might have some tough losses. The good teams are able to bounce back and we're trying to be a great team. We told the younger guys `look, it's frustrating but let's learn from it. Just let it go.' Coach said he was letting it go so that's what we all had to do as well. I feel like we did a good job of being focused from the jump."
Head Coach, Anthony Grant
On Mizzou's defensive strategy against Trevor Releford...
"They did a good job. Obviously, the 3-2 zone allowed them to close the gaps and keep multiple defenders within range in terms of what (Trevor) tried to do. I thought he got good looks tonight that he normally makes, but they weren't able to go in for him tonight. The numbers tell you in the second half we really struggled when you look at it from an offensive productivity standpoint. I have to give Missouri credit for the defensive game plan that they had on us. They took away some of the things that we've been able to do well. We weren't able to get out in transition and get easy buckets at the clip we needed to. They did a really good job of forcing the shots that they wanted us to take.
On what Alabama did well in the first half...
"I thought we had good ball movement. I thought we were able to get stops and get out in transition. You look at the field goal shooting percentage for Missouri in the first half (35-percent). When we can get stops and get out in transition with quick ball movement and quick player movement, we're pretty good. When we're bogged down playing the half court game, that's not when we're at our best. The game changed obviously because we missed shots in the first half and they were able to make shots in the second half and get their defense set."
On the 12 minutes Missouri played without Jordan Clarkson...
"Missouri is a pretty good team when you look at Jabari Brown, who I think is one of the elite guards in the league if not the country. He did a great job in the first half. I think he had 12 points. He hit some big shots for them and got to the free throw line. They had 16 free throw attempts in the first half and 18 in the second half so they have guys that can attack. I thought Williams, III did a great job tonight with his energy and effort defensively and then offensively he gave them an extra guy tonight with his ability to drive and finish plays. They have good talent and they have guys that on a consistent basis provide what they need in terms of productivity.
Senior Guard, Trevor Releford
On what went right in the first half for Alabama...
"We were executing and being aggressive. That's what you need to do, then in the second half we just didn't execute as well."
On the team length of Missouri...
"They're an athletic team. They have great length, but we just didn't execute down the stretch."
On what Alabama did well despite the loss today...
"We kept fighting all day. I mean we lost by twenty today, so we could have done better obviously."
On what the team needs to brush up on before their next game...
"We're going to watch film, try to eliminate the mistakes and just keep grinding it out."
On what halftime adjustments the team tried to make...
"We didn't really make many adjustments. We just needed to keep being aggressive out there. We were only down one at half, so it wasn't like we needed to make any big changes. Missouri just made their shots and executed while we didn't."
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