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March 3, 2010

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South Carolina Head Coach Darrin Horn

Opening Statement

As we talked the last couple of days, this was a game we wanted to come out and play with energy and give the kind of effort we think is required to represent us the right way. I don’t think there’s any question our guys did that. We got out to a great start. A lot of it was energy plays, (and we) made great shots which always helps. Without a question we accomplished that goal.

On the team’s energy

Great energy at the start. We got made shots which always helps things. We were active and created shots off our defense; that was something we definitely wanted to do tonight. We tried for weeks to sort of manage games. It worked against Kentucky but in most games it didn’t work unless we got something off our defense. It gave us some really good things and got us going, especially on the offensive end. No question energy was there from the get go. We just didn’t make the free throws down the stretch that we needed to.

On offense

We haven’t been a good offensive team all year, that’s why we wanted to press and create off our defense. There was a stretch we were good offensively and got to the foul line.

On Alabama battling after losing JyMachal Green

I think we’ve seen it a bunch of times when a team loses a key player that somehow they seem to find a way to play with great togetherness and purpose after that. Obviously that was the case for them. Credit them too (because) sometimes we forced some of the quick shots we wanted (but) they made some shots at the rim.

On the 49-26 rebounding margin

Just in general that’s a big number. Sam’s number surprises me. He had one (rebound) at halftime and played 17 minutes. On a night that he has four rebounds, we’re probably not going to look too good on the glass.

On the freshmen

The freshmen the last three games have shown you, specifically Lakeem Jackson and Ramon Galloway, have shown why we’re behind them and excited about the future moving forward. Even down the stretch we missed a couple and Lakeem was right around the rim. Those are the kind of guys you want to move forward with.

On a six-game losing streak

Obviously it’s frustrating, especially a game like tonight when you’re home and come out like you want to. You have the chance to get the seniors a win at home and break the streak, but bottom line is in this game either you won or lost. We didn’t. The bigger challenge is moving forward. Not making free throws is acceptable. Losing is not but if you give the kind of effort and work the way you want to, you just keep plugging.

On Devan Downey breaking the steals record

He’s a guy that’s really good at that. That’s a hard thing to do. Guys that steal the way he does are guys that have a knack for it. He broke Chuck Eidson’s record, and they’re different built kind of guys, but guys that steal the basketball have great instinct and feel.

On the freshmen

Those guys getting experience and being relied upon much more than we anticipated will help them in the future as we move forward. They would have been on the road and been in situations and been in games being counted on. Those things are always important. That’s a positive.

Alabama Head Coach Anthony Grant

Opening Statement

Devan Downey is the guy I’ve had a chance to see since he was going to his senior year in high school. He’s a guy that every coach respects and fears. I thought the emotion he brought and Raley-Ross brought at the beginning of the game put us back on our heels. I’m proud of the effort our guys gave and the ability to stick together to weather that storm and win the game. Today was a character win for our basketball team. It’s great to see them fight and stay together through the adversity we’ve had to face.

On the win

Great character win. We faced adversity early. It was a nip and tuck game back and forth. Our guys kicked in at the end of the game from a defensive standpoint. We were able to do the things we needed to do to come out with the win. There were a lot of different scenarios that came up that we showed great character.

On South Carolina

South Carolina is very aggressive with the way they come after you with the press. We felt like we had to attack. If you play on your heels you play right into their game. In the second half we did a much better job. We only had four turnovers in the second half. Anytime we did not turn it over we were able to get good looks at the basket.

On the rebounding margin

Our guys did a great job. Look at the numbers. Chris Hines was phenomenal in the first half. We did the things we needed to do to go on the road and get a (win) on senior night here.

On playing together

We knew they would be aggressive and we had to attack and guys had to be available and want the basketball. We did a good job of playing together and looking for each other. We had 14 assists on the night which is higher than our average. The key for us is to continue to be unselfish and play together, and we did a good job of that tonight.

There’s a process of learning what it takes to win. Tonight we took a step in the right direction.