Jan. 7, 2015
Recap | Final Stats | USATSI Gallery
South Carolina Head Coach Frank Martin
We got what we deserved. I know I said after the Iowa State game that we played hard, but we didn’t play well. We came back and the last two days of practice, we reverted back to the stuff we were doing before Charleston. We were good for six weeks headed into today’s game, we had the resolve because it created good habits to help us fight and give us a chance today. Our minds were never in a good place the last two days and when you line up and play the team that has won the league two years in a row, been to five Finals Fours, won two national championships in three national championship games, and four consecutive Elite Eights. Go on down the line. They’re coming off two consecutive losses and I told the guys that I don’t know if you’ve ever been in a fight, but when you go into fight the champ, he is going to punch you as hard as he can. If you don’t fight back, he is going to pummel you. We didn’t have the habits after the last couple of days to be able to sustain the punch that Florida threw at us today. We got hit and never responded.
On being able to win home games during conference play
You can’t lose at home. Period. You ever want to be any good, you have to be able to hold serve at home. If you start losing home games, you’re not going to be very good. We were up 38-32 at one point and we missed four straight lay-ups. They were missing and we just couldn’t convert. You have to give them credit, they went 5-for-19 (on 3s), but three of them were bang, bang, bang and that was right when they made their run.
South Carolina Senior Guard Ty Johnson
On what to take after a game like this
We have to take away that this is a new season. What we did in non-conference is over. We got some good wins, but that’s over. We know Florida is a good team and they have a winning tradition. They have been winning the conference for the past two or three years. We knew that they were coming off a loss at home to UCONN. We knew they were going to give us their best shot. They wanted it more than us. They made some tough shots. They have some guys that have been here and have been playing together for a long time. We didn’t rebound the ball well and we didn’t guard the ball well. You have to credit them and we have to learn from this.
On being able to make some stops throughout the game
I think we had gone on a good run and we got into the game. We started to get into our defensive concepts and we started to make a run. We made a run, then they made a run, and then made another run. Once we made our run, Coach Martin told us that we were starting to play because they jumped out on us. That kind of hurt us, but once we settled down, we started playing. We started playing like Carolina basketball, but at the end of the day, that lead in the first half hurt us. The game is over and all we can do now is move on.
Florida Head Coach Billy Donovan
On playing with desperation and not being complacent
Well, you know, obviously there have been some games this season where we’ve played pretty well for a while, in particular, our last game against UCONN. And then you know we kind of broke apart a little bit and I think a lot of that has to do with our selfishness as a team. And I don’t mean selfishness like you may think – in terms of guys wanting to score or that kind of stuff. Selfishness from a standpoint of not being able to stay focused on what you need to do when things are not going well for you. And you get so wrapped up in yourself – for good reason – they all want to play well, it’s not a bad intention. But you have to be able to move past that, and think when you are playing in a game, you know, against high-level competition, you have to be totally selfless in those situations. In terms of, what also is going on with you, there’s four other guys on the floor expecting you to do your job, and I didn’t think it was a cleanly played game, for both teams. I think South Carolina does that to you, because they are obviously very good defensively. They deny and they get out and they pressure and they certainly turned us over a lot in the first half, but the thing that was encouraging to me was it felt like we battled and fought as a group, collectively, together as a team and that was, for me, a step in the right direction I thought for this group.
Florida Junior Guard Eli Carter
On having 6.4 seconds left and going to the line
I just stepped to the line and went to do what I normally do in practice: take my time, follow through.
Florida Junior Guard Michael Frazier
On being open and having good looks
We did a good job of moving the ball. They were trying to deny us, so mostly, we were able to move the ball around and kind of get in the lane, you know, the kick-out shots were wide open. And I was the beneficiary to some of them.
Florida Junior Forward Dorian Finney-Smith
On the team’s ability to execute down the stretch
The way they were guarding took us deep in the shot clock and you know guys did a really good job of stepping up at the free throw line, making shots. Like I said, we did a good job just moving the ball and staying together as a team when things got tough.