Anthony Grant, Andrew Steele news conference comments

Alabama basketball coach Anthony Grant had a regular game-week news conference this afternoon to talk about the 49-37 loss to Auburn and Saturday’s contest against LSU. Senior guard Andrew Steele joined him to share some thoughts.

Here are the highlights:

On what he saw after challenging his team to take a ‘good look in the mirror’ after Auburn game: “We have to play a lot better. We didn’t play well. Anytime you look at the offensive numbers that we put up, the defensive numbers that we gave up, it going to be tough to win in those situations when you don’t bring your best. We have to understand that.”

On how do you pick up the pieces from a loss like Auburn: “Every game counts as one, whether it’s a big win or a loss. It is one game; we have a very talented LSU team coming in our building, so our mindset is on LSU. They are playing their best basketball right now so we’ve got to do a really good job. It starts on the defensive end as always for us. They have a lot of guys that shoot the ball extremely well from the three point line. They are very good in transition and have size and physicality up front so we’re going to have to do a great job on the defensive end first and foremost.”

On whether Devonta Pollard is passing up shots or not: “I don’t think so. Watching the film, I don’t think so. We never go in and try and designate the number of shots that each guy is going to get, the game kind of takes care of that. I think all these guys will tell you, the only thing we ask is to execute and take good shots. That’s what we try to do.”

On LSU guard Andre Stringer: “Stringer has been through the league a couple of times. I am really impressed with the way he shoots the basketball. Obviously, he’s extremely dangerous from three. He’s got unlimited range. He’s done a really good job for their team on the defensive end as well. I think they, right now, lead the league in steals. Between him and [Anthony] Hickey I think they are doing a terrific job of creating havoc from a defensive standpoint with the way they get after the basketball. Both of them both really shoot the ball well.”

On what he saw when he looked in the mirror: “What coach said is right, but after every game, win or lose, we always try to find a way to get better as a team. That’s always our focus so that’s what we are trying to do.”

On his leadership and what he’s taken upon himself: “To try and do the same things that I’ve been doing. I think the way I play, with the right attitude and mindset; I can have a contagious effect on my teammates. I kind of take that role personally, but the biggest thing is to keep encouraging them and to help them recognize that we still have a lot to play for. What happened on Wednesday we can’t do anything about, but we just have to look forward and take care of one game at a time. For me, I’ve been in situations like this before, so I think my experience can kind of help them get through these kinds of situations.”

On LSU guard Andre Stringer: “He’s a really good player. He impacts their team in a lot of ways. He’s one of those guys that you can’t necessarily shut him out, you hope to contain him and make it tough for him and limit his opportunities. He’s a good player and we just have to do a good against him and the rest of their team.”

On the state of the team after the loss to Auburn: “Obviously, losing hurts no matter who it is. When it’s against Auburn, it hurts a little bit more. The thing is there is nothing we can do about it. The game is over, we can’t go back and change it but what we can control is what we do going forward. What we can’t do is let one loss turn into two or three. Our only focus right now is a good LSU team tomorrow, so anything other than that is pretty much irrelevant at this point.”

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