I think we gave a winning effort, more so in the second half than we did in the first. We came out kind of sluggish in the first. We picked up on the defensive end, competed a lot more and got the win. Alabama player said
Alabama players took their turns on the interview teleconference after coming back to win 73-68 against Tennessee in an SEC tournament semifinal on Saturday afternoon.
The Crimson Tide reflect on the comeback win to advance to the SEC Championship title game
Q. Walk us through the 14-0 run.
HERBERT JONES: At halftime we decided to just come out and play our brand of basketball. I don’t think we did that the first half. I think that’s what the 14-0 run was. We came out and competed on the defensive end, that led to our offensive end.
Q. You have a chance tomorrow to win the first tournament title for Alabama in 30 years. What would that mean for you being from Alabama and being a senior?
HERBERT JONES: I mean, it would mean a lot. That was part of the reason why I came to school here, to try to turn it to a basketball school. I think we’re doing that right now.
We just got to show up and bring the energy we brought in the second half for 40 minutes tomorrow.
Q. What did you see from Keon Ellis in the second half? How much did he step up for Josh?
HERBERT JONES: Yeah, I mean, Keon, he does what Keon does. He defends well. He make plays on the offensive end. He plays with a ton of confidence. That’s what he did today. Especially with Primo going down, he had to play a lot more minutes. I feel like he stepped up and did what he had to do.
That was a big win. That was a dogfight. We came out a little bit slow, down 9 going into the half. We fought our way back slowly but surely. I’m just so proud of my team and the coaches.
Q. That’s the 11th game in a row that you’ve had double-digit points, it’s all coming off the bench. Why does it feel so comfortable to you to do that?
JAHVON QUINERLY: I started, what, the first seven games of the year. Then I was out with a medical condition. Since I been back, coach has told me he wanted me in that role. It’s something that from the get I accepted. I never really cared about who started the game.
I’m just comfortable in that role, as you could see, coming off the bench, bringing a spark to the team. That’s kind of my job. It’s just been comfortable. Most of the year I’ve been coming off the bench. It’s been getting more and more comfortable for me.
Q. What does it say about this team that when everything is not going right, seems like it’s a lost cause, you can battle back and pull out a victory?
JAHVON QUINERLY: It’s big-time. It’s big-time. A lot of teams would have folded in that situation. It just goes to show you the type of guys we have on our team, what type of leaders we have in our seniors, like Herb, Reese, J.P., Jordan Bruner. Just goes to show you what type of guys we have, the culture we built here at Alabama.
Q. You’re going to be playing tomorrow for an SEC title. What does that mean to you to reach this point, be able to have that opportunity?
JAHVON QUINERLY: It means a lot. I remember after my sit-out year, coming into the season, speaking with the coaching staff. That was always a goal of ours. Just to be able to have a chance to compete for it is so big-time.
Like I said, I’m just so proud of my team, all the work that we put in. I always say, I say to Primo, I say to all the guys: The work will show. So I’m just humbled and proud of my teammates and my coaching staff.
Go ahead and talk about the three-pointer you hit in the second half, what you saw on that play.
ALEX REESE: My teammates have always done a good job getting me open shots. I haven’t shot the ball well really all year. I’ve been shooting all my life, so I try to step in with each shot, step in with confidence, think I’ll make it, and make every one of them.
Yeah, I think it was JQ who got me the shot. I don’t know who it was. I’m amped up right now, as you can tell (smiling).
Q. You have a chance tomorrow to win Alabama’s first tournament title in 30 years. Being from the state, a senior, what would it mean to accomplish that tomorrow?
ALEX REESE: It would mean everything to me. That’s what we came here to do, me, Herb and J.P. We came here to change the culture, get us in the winning direction. It would mean a lot.
It’s what we’ve been working for all summer. It’s been our goal since we got back to campus with the whole coronavirus thing, sat out a little bit longer. But ever since we got back we’ve been working for it. The work is starting to show. We’ve been playing pretty well so we have to keep it rolling.