Here’s what Andy Kennedy had to say after the Rebels’ win at Arkansas including the handshake comments. Special thanks to Bob Holt of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
(On road success)
More than than anything, and we have talked about this, we have been uncharacteristically inconsistent at home. It’s obviously a controlled environment and you’re not dealing with the things you deal with at home. Our guys are forced to communicate. This group, despite its experience, in a number of positions has not been the greatest of communicators. So I think you’re forced in an environment such as this — and you can tell by my (hoarse) voice — they’re forced to communicate and I think this makes us a better team.
Tonight when we got our big three of Snoop, and Jarvis and Moody being productive handling the ball versus that pressure, putting our guys in position to be successful, and then our front court is getting better each and every day. Sebastian Saiz and Dwight Coleby have really come miles as sophomores early in this season. I just thought it was a quality team win.
Arkansas is fantastic. To me it’s a pleasure to coach in this environment. Great fans, energy in the building, loud. We knew they were going to make a run at us and our guys were able to sustain.
(Asked about whether Mike shook his hand after twitter went nuts saying he didn’t)
No, he did. He had another conversation going on. Mike and I are great friends, he coached my alma mater, man. You know he was at UAB.
(So you guys did shake hands?)
Yeah, we’re fine.
(What was going in in first half that you guys shot 74 percent?)
We made a bunch of shots, didn’t we? We need one (kind of games) of those because we’ve had a couple of people do that to us. First time we’ve done that in quite some time. I thought we were really aggressive early. We were reading, they had some switching things going and we were trying to make sure we had the proper read and we had some bigs roll to the basket early and make some baskets and I think that calmed us down.
(being 5-3 at Arkansas)
I’m a basketball fan and I enjoy the tradition of this place and the passion of the fan base is second only to Kentucky. It’s the best venue not only in the SEC but throughout the Southeast and to me it’s always exciting to play here. I told our guys before there is no place I would rather be in the battle against all odds. Let’s come in here and give it a shot, and I thought we really competed and put ourselves in position to walk out with a win.
(Second-half lead never small, how nice to have that comfortable cushion. Hogs never got it 1-2 possession game?)
It’s not very comforting to me because I’m always worried. With their pressure, they can go on a 9-0 run in a blink. We were fouling way too much. … When is the last time Arkansas lost in their building when they made as many free throws as their opponent attempted? (don’t know). They made a bunch of foul shots. We committed 25 fouls. We really did a good job battling them on the glass, early. In the first half Portis and Qualls, their two best players, had all their production. So I thought we did a better job of at least not letting their all-league players beat us. I thought Ky (madden) made some shots in the second half and Anthlon Bell always makes shots against us. That’s a quality Arkansas team. Obviously we came in and played very well and that’s what it is going to take to beat them in this building.
(Won 5 times here, how do you do it?)
It’s a nice stat to have and I’m glad we’ve been able to do it, but each and every game is an adventure in and of itself with different guys making plays.
I do think our guys get excited to play here because of the fandom and because of the energy that is in the building. I think it does give you an extra push. We went into Rupp, the SEC opener on national TV, and got down 15-2 and battled back and made some shots. We didn’t make them as prolifically as we made them in the first half today but we made some shots and hung around and hung around and let an opportunity slip through our fingers. Our guys from that experience understood, hey, we can’t let this one slip through our fingers and so when Arkansas made that run and cut it to nine, and you could feel a little bit of momentum going their way, we stepped up and made some plays.
(Asked about ruling by officials that a 3 was a 2, so lead was 12, not 13 points)
They told me at the beginning of the second half. I don’t know what shot it is, but I like that rule a lot better than all the stoppages of play. They used to stop play and measure it right then, now they go to the next media timeout. So I hadn’t seen the tape. I don’t know if it was a good call or a bad call but I trust those guys. They were put in a bit of a bind. I am sure you guys saw there were only two officials out there. Anthony Jordan, the lead official, got hurt in warmups (pulled hamstring). So they come to us and say, ‘Hey, there are only two of us here and the show goes on. There were only two officials the whole game.
(How did having 2 refs impact game?)
I’m not sure it did. We had 25 fouls and they had 22 fouls. We shoot 56 percent from the floor and 87 percent from the foul line and we out-rebound the and only turn it over 11 times. I think you could even officiate (says to reporter) and we would have a chance.
(Started 8 of 9, got some pretty good looks or bad defense by Hogs?)
I don’t think they were wide open by any means. I felt we were making the right read with the ball. The majority of the time it was Jarvis Summers with the ball in his hand and we were making the extra pass. And because we were making some early – in our sport it is such a confidence game. Your psyche can change so much when you see they ball go in the basket. The first half the way we shot gave us great belief.