TUSCALOOSA, Alabama — The Crimson Tide beat Lamar 75-47 at home Tuesday night, and here are the opening statements from the Tide’s Anthony Grant and Lamar’s Pat Knight:
–Grant’s comments: “It’s always going to be about our team getting better and understanding what we have to do in terms of where we want to be as a basketball team. I’ve got to do a better job as a coach making sure we get that across. We’ve got to do a better job in terms of understanding how we need to play for 40 minutes.
“I thought in the second half our defensive intensity picked up. Offensively, we have to get better in some areas in terms of understanding what allows us to have success. I thought the intensity from the defense, the focus in terms of what we need to do in the press, being matched up in the press and being effective with the style of play was good in the second half.”
–Knight on Lamar’s success in first half, before he was ejected near the start of the second half: “I thought our guards did a really good job breaking their press by going up the sidelines. If you go into the middle against that kind of press that’s where the trap is and I thought our guards did a great job breaking the press. I thought we did well changing up the defenses and not letting Alabama get in a rhythm. We just attacked the basket really well and I thought that really helped us. Talking to my assistants, (Alabama) picked up the pressure more in the second half even more so and added more traps to it and we just didn’t handle it well. We kind of backed down a little bit, because they picked up the pressure and instead of us picking up our intensity, we kind of let down.
“That’s my fault — when the head coach isn’t in the game it’s tough for the kids — especially for all the young kids. I’m not there telling them to get it up the sideline, not reminding them to call a timeout if they get in trouble. So it’s really on me for that last 15 minutes. I was proud with the first 25 minutes; I thought we played really well. Talking to my assistants, I think (Alabama) amped up their intensity and we kind of backed off.”