Rick Barnes Media Availability (2/7/19)

Credit: UT Athletics

On what stood out from the Missouri game:
“It was physical. It was like the games we won a year ago, which are the type of games you get in at this time of year. Missouri played really hard, and their defense knew what we would do. Offensively, I think we weren’t very good. Other than the offensive rebounding, I thought we did well overall on defense. It was a game where both teams played really hard, and it was very physical. You expect that at this time of year, and you expect it to get even tougher.”

On what they learned about Florida during the first matchup:
“The change defenses and try to disguise some things where they will show one thing and then go to something else real quick. Everybody knows they are a spread, pick-and-roll team. The shoot very quick, and transition is a big part of that. Transition defense will be very important. We have to handle and recognize their changing defenses.”

On his thoughts about team’s shooting so well from three:
“I think some of it is teams making shots, but when we go back and look at it on tape, we always break down why we gave up shots. Sometimes, it’s because we were slow with our rotation. The fact is that they make them. Some of that may be teams coming out knowing they have a chance to beat a ranked team. I would say we have defended most of them well. It’s the ones where we don’t even get a hand up that bother you or the ones you give up when you break down your scouting report. Those are things we can fix. If they just raise up and make shots, there’s not a whole lot you can do.”

On Kyle Alexander’s play with Grant drawing so much attention:
“I think all of our guys benefit when the opponent tries to double-team one particular player. That is something that we have to work on every day. Once he is double-teamed, there are spots on the floor that our guys have to get to. Grant’s first look is to try and find Kyle right by the rim. Everybody knows it, so it’s just a matter of whether or not we can execute our red coverage better than they can execute their double-team coverage. When Kyle is playing his best, he’s not looking for points. When he’s locked in defensively, he’s aggressive, rebounding the ball and look for opportunities. There have been times where he should have gotten the ball more than he has when posting up hard. Those guys have to trust him. There have been times in the past where they didn’t, and that is understandable. He has gotten to the point now where he should want to get it.”

On Jeremy Pruitt saying the basketball team’s success helped football with recruiting:
“I would say the same thing about any of our sports here when they’re doing well. I tell people that no one is going to have a better fall visit than us because of what the football team does. We all have to feed off each other, and when good things are happening at the university or in the athletic department, it benefits all of us. I have been at football schools and non-football schools. I will tell you that you want to be around a football program. Even in the spring, we have people come in and they see what’s happening on campus, whether it’s a softball or baseball game. There’s excitement, and it helps all of us.”

On Lamonte Turner’s play the last couple of games:
“Our three guards have done a great job. Last game, Jordan Bone pressed a little bit too much. When he leads us in shot attempts, his mind isn’t totally where it needs to be. But we also know, when he is aggressive, that is when we play well. Lamonte has been as consistent as anybody we’ve had since he’s gotten back. He is getting better defensively. I think Bone worked hard defensively the other night. Bowden is normally consistent. Those three guys are unbelievably important because they get most of the workload on the perimeter. It goes back to day one, though, when we said we need them all. I like to think we haven’t played our best basketball yet. I just hope we can keep working towards that.”

UT Athletics


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