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THE MODERATOR: All right. We ready to begin with Alabama. We'll ask Coach Grant for some opening comments on the game, and we'll take your questions just for the two student athletes, excuse them back to the locker room and finish with Coach Grant.
COACH GRANT: Well, tough loss. Obviously our focus coming in was to try to play for an SEC Tournament championship and we fell short today. Florida, obviously give them credit. I think they've been the best team in the league, you know, all year.
You look at the way they played during the regular season. You know, they made the plays they needed to make today. Very similar to the first time we played them, you know, the run they had in the second half there from the 16-minute mark to about the 11-minute mark, probably tells the story of the game. 13-0 run. You go from being up 10 to down 3.
Give them credit. They've got some outstanding players. I thought Kenny Boynton really stepped up today and made some big time plays for them. Their defense really turned it up and allowed them to get out in transition and get some baskets and, you know, we were able to fight back and cut into it a little bit but didn't have enough today to finish it and obviously got to give credit to Florida for that.
THE MODERATOR: We'll take your questions for either of the student athletes.
Q. Trevor Releford, can you talk about the run that they had there and how Boynton just kind of took over the game?
TREVOR RELEFORD: I mean, like Coach said, Boynton stepped up to the plate. He made some big plays for his team, got to give him credit for that. He just gave them that spark and they just kept building on it.
THE MODERATOR: Any other questions for the student athletes, raise your hands. Hands up? Let me just ask -- did you have one in the back?
Q. For either of the Trevors, at this point any thoughts of post season, hope that this team is done enough to be considered tomorrow?
TREVOR LACEY: Our goal this week was to come win the SEC championship. We just have to wait and find out tomorrow if we did enough or not. We can't tell you. I don't know.
THE MODERATOR: Other questions for either student athletes?
Q. For both of you guys, did it cross your minds at all when were you up 10 what had happened in Gainesville?
TREVOR RELEFORD: I mean, I think a little bit. We had to worry about the game today, and, I mean, they made plays again and they take the lead and finish out the game.
TREVOR LACEY: Yes. I was aware. Me and Andrew was talking about it on the bench. When we went up 10, we were talking we need to keep what we were doing, keep it on them, keep attacking them and just trying to make plays and just trying not to let what happened.
THE MODERATOR: Other questions for either student athlete? Raise your hand. We'll excuse you fellas. You can return to the locker room. Thank you.
We'll continue with questions for Coach Grant.
Q. Anthony, obviously basketball is a game of runs. What can you do to kind of stop that, especially when it's just one guy kind of doing the run?
COACH GRANT: If I had that answer, we would have done it. You know, obviously they're a very good team and there's a reason why they're SEC champions and in a position I think, you know, to go and try to win the national championship.
THE MODERATOR: Other questions for Coach Grant? Raise your hands. Hands up?
Q. Coach, with the goal of coming here and trying to win the tournament, what are your thoughts now on the next day or so and waiting to see what your post season brings?
COACH GRANT: You know, it's a tough loss. Our guys in the locker room are disappointed. I think what I try to do with every game is take lessons and learn, and, you know, I have to go back and do that from this game and see what happens.
But, you know, like Trevor said, that was the focus, come here try to win a tournament championship. Nothing more than that. To be honest with you, I've been with our team all year, you know, and I know for you guys it's a fun time of year and everybody wants to talk about what's coming back.
I live in the present, and I'm always going to do that and I'm going to look at my team and see where we are, where we need to get to, period, you know. So right now that was my only focus, and, you know, we'll find out tomorrow if we get a chance to play. Nothing is guaranteed. The season could end, it could be over today. So, that's why they call it invitational tournaments. We had an opportunity here to try to compete for a championship. Didn't get it done. That's all that was promised. After that, we have to wait and see.
Q. Coach, if you had to make an argument to the NCAA Tournament selection committee --
COACH GRANT: I don't deal in that. I don't deal with that. They got a tough enough job.
Q. Coach, during the run where Florida came from behind and took a lead, you called a 20-second timeout, then shortly after, a media timeout. Can you talk about what you talked about or shared in the huddle? What was taking place?
COACH GRANT: There's so many plays, I don't remember exactly what was said. I knew they were on a run and I knew we had to do try to do something to stop it. I felt they were getting out in transition, you know, couple of layup opportunities in transition off of misses by us. We just didn't convert and I felt like we needed to stop that. Unfortunately, we weren't able to do that.
I want to say within that stretch they had a couple of big 3s that went for them. I think Boynton hit one. I'm not sure if it was that stretch where they got an offensive rebound and Murphy hit one as well. I don't remember. There's so many different moments in the game. Yeah, it was just about trying to get our focus back where it needed to be.
Anytime, you know, especially -- we've had a lot of games over the course of the year that have kind of been like this, you know, where it's been a team going on some type of a run, either to build the lead or cut a lead that we've had, and now we've got to be able to respond to that and how we handle that and how we deal with that.
Like I sai, I think yesterday we've gained some valuable experience. Maybe that experience right now couldn't carry us through the day, but we've got a lot of young guys. Maybe the experience of what we've gone through this season and what we went through today will make a difference and make us better in the long run. Least that's what I hope for.
Q. Coach, could you talk about what Florida did defensively in the second half holding you guys to only 23 points? Was that a matter of what they did schematically or you guys just not making shots?
COACH GRANT: You know, I think they've been one of the best defensive teams in the country all year. They're very good and their pressure, they got good length and quickness. Some things they did schematically that we knew they were going to do, we made poor decisions with. Some things they're very good. We had some opportunities to stop the bleeding a little bit and I thought we kind of rushed. Missed a layup or two, had some inside shots that we rushed, you know, but I got to go back and look at the film.
There's a lot of different things that happen over the course of a 40-minute game. I to go look at it and see where our breakdown came and where we can get better, where I can get better as a coach, where we can get better as a team.
Q. Talk about the physical nature inside and what Patric Young was able to finally do. I know he missed some shots earlier. There was an awful lot of banking going on in there on both sides.
COACH GRANT: You know, I thought the physicality of it really jumped up in the second half and there was -- I think the officials made a conscious effort early to try to control some of it. You know, I don't know. At the end of the day, you know, I'm not good when I get into that kind of stuff. I'll leave that alone.
THE MODERATOR: One time for one more question for Coach Grant. Anyone? All right. Thank you very much.
COACH GRANT: Thank you.
Christopher Walsh covers Alabama football for BamaOnline, 247Sports, and is the author of 18 books.
The problem wasn't them trying to control the physicality. It was the fact that they did it by calling ticky tack crap and getting our guys in foul trouble in the process.
It would be nice to get a video of the press conference. Its the biggest week of the basketball season and BOL doesn't send any staff member to cover the SEC tournament? If I remember correctly nobody was sent to last year's SEC tournament or the NCAA tournament either. I understand the lack of recruiting info because that's the way Coach likes it, but the day to day coverage of the basketball team is severely lacking.
Well that's the first time I've read or seen Grant talk about needing to get better as a coach. Maybe he will adjust, change, and get better going forward now.
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