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What Coach Pearl Said After the LSU Win

Following Auburn’s 93-78 win over LSU, Coach Bruce Pearl sat down with the media to discuss the game. He downplays the team in attempt to keep hubris from entering the program.

Opening Statement…
I thought we played really well in the first half. We had the advantage of watching LSU win its first two games over Vanderbilt and Texas A&M, and then coming in just prior to the game, we heard the final to the Kentucky-Texas A&M game. The LSU win at Texas A&M obviously speaks volumes about what kind of job that (LSU Head Coach) Matt (McMahon) has done and how good that team is and just how good the league is. The ability to get excited about playing every night, I thought we did fairly well. I thought we played good basketball in the first half, we shot it well, we turned them over, and then in the second half, obviously on the lead, we didn’t play as well. We only turned them over 3-or-4 times in the second half. We sent them to the foul line way too much, and then up 28 with 11:34, we only had three assists the rest of the way.

We had a wonderful announcement tonight in our locker room. (Senior walk-on) Carter Sobera earned a scholarship and the celebration will be out on social media momentarily. I’ve always, almost always, put 12 guys on scholarship, play 10 or 11, just don’t like having guys on scholarship that aren’t playing. Sometimes, it happens, but it allows me to be honest in recruiting and try to recruit the right way. Not a bunch of guys sitting on my bench that I promised minutes and roles to that I could not deliver. Enough (guys) just in case we have an injury or something like that.

The fact that I also can have a scout team made up of Jalen Harper, Blake (Muschalek), Carter, Presley (Patterson) and Haston (Alexander). AD (Addarin Scott) is on scholarship and he’s part of it as a five man. Every now and then, Lior (Berman) goes and helps them. Getting ready for LSU, I don’t have to go best-on-best and I think that really helps us lock into our scouts and execute. (Assistant Coaches) Ira Bowman and Mike Burgomaster had the scout tonight and I thought they both did an outstanding job.”

On not calling a timeout during LSU’s late-game run…
Well part of it is, I don’t want to call a timeout and let them rest. Let Matt (McMahon) get a hold of them and let him rest his guys in the sense that Will Baker played 28 and Jordan Wright played 36. I thought we did a really nice job on (Jalen) Cook. He had zero assists and five turnovers, so we did a great job on him. Denver Jones has locked in the last two guards he has faced. Denver Jones has played against (Texas A&M’s Wade) Taylor and (LSU’s Jalen) Cook. Cook had 28 (points) I think against A&M or it could have been against Vanderbilt, but it was one of those two schools. Denver’s not getting a lot of shots. We need to get Denver more shots. We need to do more for him offensively. I’ll tell you what, you talk about locking in, so therefore if Jordan Wright is going to play 36 minutes, I’m not going to call a timeout and let him rest.”

On forcing turnovers and getting steals…
Well, just having Chad Baker-Mazara on the floor and that’s 3-or-4, before you even get started. Just Chad’s length and IQ – he’s a problem out there. He’s so versatile offensively. The fact that he knocked down three 3s tonight and shot a good percentage. I trust him as a playmaker, and obviously, trust him defensively. He does all that, but he did manage to get 27 minutes tonight. That might be Chad’s high in minutes played, but he’s earned it. LSU does turn it over some, they force you into 15 or 16 a game. But they themselves turn it over 12 or 13, so they are a team that we knew we could turn over.”


On the team’s defense against LSU’s Jalen Cook…
He was splitting the ball screens. Some to start the game and he was being productive with that, so we just tried to slow that down. Once we slowed it down, it just messed up his rhythm a little bit. But, he is a good player, so we had to slow him down.”

On Auburn’s dynamic point guard duo with teammate Tre Donaldson…
I would definitely put us as the best. Just being competitors. We just try to go out and prove that every night.”


On the importance of his late three-point shot…
I feel like after that three, it kind of killed their (LSU’s) energy. The crowd and everybody got really excited, really hype. I feel like it just killed their energy.”

On his team-and season-high 19 points…
I didn’t know it was the team high, but it was good being out there and hitting shots and helping my team in many ways. It was a great feeling, especially because it was my season high at Auburn. I wanted to do a little more, but it will come through (the next games).”

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