Everything Bruce Pearl and Auburn’s players said after beating AUM

Auburn picked up a comfortable win over Auburn-Montgomery Wednesday night in their exhibition, cruising to a 102-66 victory in Neville Arena.

While the win was nice, the story of the game was the status of five-star freshman point guard Aden Holloway and center Johni Broome.

Holloway did not dress for the game and Bruce Pearl revealed after the game that he “tweaked” his ankle in a cruised scrimmage last week.

Broome took a hard fall early into the exhibition and immediately went into the locker room. He did not return to the game but returned to the bench soon after with ice on his shoulder.

Pearl did not seem worried about either injury, saying Holloway should be back for Tuesday’s season-opener against Baylor and that Broome suffered “a little bit of pinch in his rotator cuff” and that he “should be ok.”

Here is everything Pearl, Denver Jones and Chad Baker-Mazara had to say about the game.

Head Coach Bruce Pearl

Opening Statement…

“We played really well Sunday. We weren’t as excited about playing today. This has been our sixth day in a row, so I thought they were a little tired, fatigued. I am actually going to give them two days off now. We will watch film tomorrow, get in a lift and shoot some free throws. Friday is their day off and then we will get ready for Baylor. I just think they need that freshening up. Aden Holloway tweaked his ankle in the (closed scrimmage). He actually only played a couple minutes, so we played that whole game without him. He should be back for Baylor. I thought the last two games, we had great point guard play from Denver (Jones) and Tre (Donaldson). Obviously, Tre did a nice job, and for the second game in a row, Denver didn’t turn over (the ball). Playing a new position, playing point guard without Aden, that is pretty good. Our defense is really challenged, so I’m disappointed about it. We have to continue to work on some things or otherwise we will not get stops. Tonight, we didn’t shoot it very well. Probably the worst we shot in a while. I am not worried about it. We will shoot fine. Most of the shots we had were good shots, balls I think will go in, so I’m not worried about our shooting. We did a good job taking care of the ball in the second half. Playing without Johni (Broome) today and Aden for two days makes you do some different things, and that is what depth is for and that is what we have.”

On the team’s depth and balance…

“We could have 10 guys playing 20 minutes. That is a possibility. That won’t necessarily be the case, but that has been what it has been through practice. Take whatever position you want. Aden (Holloway) and Tre (Donaldson); Denver (Jones) and K.D. (Johnson); Lior (Berman), Chad Baker-Mazara and Chris Moore; Chaney (Johnson) and Jaylin (Williams); and Johni (Broome) and Dylan (Cardwell). Dylan Cardwell continues to play really well, continues to be an absolute factor in there. He’s so big in the air. Great offensive rebounding, tough defensive rebounding. He has really worked hard on his free throw stroke and simplified it. He went 5-for-6 tonight. Huge, just huge. That is all work and mental preparation, so I am very pleased with Dylan. If he doesn’t cramp up, he would get his first double-double.”

Chad Baker-Mazara

On his first experience in the Auburn Jungle…

“To be honest, I was really excited the whole day. And last night, I could not fall asleep. I was really excited because all the guys have been talking to me about how The Jungle is crazy. I felt like tonight we got a little bit of that. Overall, it was just great to be out there and representing Auburn.”

On the team’s defense in the first half…

“Basically, we were saying, ‘get one stop at a time.’ And not to underestimate our opponent, even though they were a Division II school. We came and respected them (AUM). As you can see, they are fast and they are quick. They are strong and like to play hard, but our guys followed the game plan and stuck to what Coach (Pearl) told us to do. That made us cause them a lot of turnovers.”

On successful offense due to lack of deep shots…

“This is a very unselfish team. I feel like even though our threes are not going in, the guys are not going to settle just for those threes. Even myself, I had a couple wide open that I could have taken, but I decided to get closer to the basket with an extra play from my teammates. Everyone has that mindset of, ‘okay something is not working out, let’s switch to see what happens.’ Today, we weren’t shooting our best, but we still somehow made it out and got the W.”

Denver Jones

On his first time in The Jungle…

“It felt good being out there in front of the Auburn Family tonight. I asked all of the returners about The Jungle. They told me it was crazy. We got a little taste of that tonight. It was exciting.”

On the team’s defense tonight and moving forward…

“We will keep improving defensively, especially for me. With shorter opponents, it is a little bit harder due to them being a little bit quicker. Every day, we work on defensive slides and closing out the ball. We will continue improving the defense and keep filling each other up. Getting into a grind and knowing each other’s tendencies. And then, we will feel better out there.”

Story originally appeared on Auburn Wire