"We couldn't be more proud of our kids and the effort they played with. They played with unbelievable effort. We didn't shoot the ball well and that is where the basketball game is won. At halftime, we were 0-12 (from three-point range). In the second half, we were 5 of 16. When a team zones you you have to make some outside shots. We had good shots but didn't make them. Shane Power is a young man who had been shooting it well for us, but he went 2 for 11."
How much of your shooting woes were due to Alabama's defense and how much was due to your team just having an off night shooting?
"We had good shots. We just missed a lot of shots. But I'm sure some of them were contested. Shane Power is a young man who has shot it well for us lately and he went 2 for 11, but you are going to have those days. The things that have to be constant with you is rebounding and defending and we did those well today. We didn't have a lot of unforced turnovers today. We just didn't make enough shots. You can sum it up anyway you want, but when you go 5 for 28 (from the three-point line) that is just difficult. You go 7 for 28 and you win the game. You shoot 25% you win the game."
What was wrong with Marcus Campbell?
"He pulled a muscle in his calf in a shoot around drill. To my knowledge, it is the first game that he has missed in his career due to an injury. It was very obvious that we could have used him (today), especially inside of that zone. But since we didn't have him that forced us to play small a lot."
Do you think part of the reason you shot so many threes today was due to not having Campbell inside?
"We did need somebody else down low to get the ball to. And that is what he is best at. He is a big target in the zone."
When you played them in Tuscaloosa it wasn't even close. Today, it was. What do you think was the difference today?
"There was no comparison. We are a better team now and it was obvious that we were at home. We won 3 of the last 4 coming into today and we just got beat by one of the best teams in the country. Our kids left everything that they had on the floor today. I don't think that anybody who witnessed the game today can doubt that our kids laid it on the line today."
Talk about Kennedy Winston.
"He is the best one on one player. When you pressure everybody, you are going to call on someone to manufacture shots and he is that one player that can do. It is very difficult to defend when a guy can shoot it, post up or play off that dribble. He was the difference in the game. I say that, but (Jean) Felix was probably the difference in the game. Felix came in and made some huge shots for them. The shot he banked in that tied the basketball game was a huge shot in the game. We had them reeling at that time, but that's the way it goes sometimes."
Talk about Ontario Harper's play.
"He played hard. He left it all on the floor."
Did you expect that Alabama would zone you?
"We knew they were going to zone us a bunch. They play a lot of zone when they go on the road. I just didn't know that we would go 0 for 12 the first half and 5 for 28 in the game. When Shane (Power) and (Winsome) Frazier are in the game, normally one of those two guys stretch things out enough where you can go inside a little bit. We just didn't do that today."
Did it surprise you that they limited Roberts' touches in the first half?
"The zone will do that. And when you don't have Campbell in there with him it makes it even tougher to go inside. When you are able to go inside the zone, it opens up the perimeter."
You only had 9 turnovers today.
"We took care of the ball today. We didn't have a lot of unforced, wild turnovers in transition today. That helps you get more shots."
What was your strategy doing into the game?
"We made the decision going into this game that we would choose our poison. You can try and zone them some and slow their inside guys down and allow their outside guys to beat you some or you can utilize our energy and our emotion of this game and guard them. We did a good job of fighting their post guys and beating them, but Kennedy Winston was that guy with the pressure to be able to manufacture baskets and get to the foul line. He and Felix were the two guys who were able to drive it on us and get to the foul line and make some shots."
How close are you to being able to depend on (Charles) Rhodes?
"He gives us some minutes. He brings energy, toughness and athleticism to the game. He had 6 minutes for us today, but it's tough on him to play long periods of time."
Talk about the Georgia matchup, your team's first game in the SEC Tournament.
"It's a new season; forget the records. Because they are a team that we have beaten, does that make it any easier? Absolutely not."
Gene Swindoll is the publisher of Dawgs' Bite, Powered by GenesPage.com, the source for Mississippi State sports on the Scout.com sports network. You can contact him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.