What John Petty Jr. Said After Playing in his Final Alabama Basketball Game

Alabama had four scholarship seniors, a graduate student and a senior walk-on on the roster for the 2020-21 season, which came to a close Sunday night in Indianapolis
Author:
Publish date:

Back on Aug. 3, 2020, the day of the deadline, John Petty Jr. announced that he would withdraw his name from the NBA draft and return to the Crimson Tide for the 2020-21 basketball season

It ended in Indianapolis on Sunday night. 

Here's everything he had to say during his post-game interview session with reporters:

Q. I just want to ask, there's so much emotion after the game, you, Herb embracing. Just kind of, what are you going to remember after this season, your senior year, going out the way you guys did?

JOHN PETTY JR.: I feel like the most I'll remember is just the bond this team created. This is probably by far one of the most -- the closest teams that I've been on outside of basketball. We were always together. We were always bonding. We were just so close together.

So I feel like that translated on the court, but I feel like mostly what I'm going to remember most is just the bond we shared, just all the memories that we had, and just how hard we fought for each other. I mean, throughout the season, if it was one man down, the next man up, and everybody had each other's backs. I feel like that's what I'll remember the most.

Q. Hey, John, congrats on an amazing season, but I want to talk to you about your full-time here at Alabama. You and Herb both, especially, have talked about how this has been a roller coaster, and you guys have gutted it out and stuck it out. I guess from your perspective, how well do you think you left this program? Just kind of your legacy and the senior class' legacy?

JOHN PETTY JR.: I feel like we left it in a great spot. When Coach oats came in, he put in a system that us four seniors bought in, and we did a great job with helping the other guys that just came in or our younger guys buy into as well.

I feel like we left our mark on this school and definitely in college basketball with this season. And I know the guys that's returning that actually bought in and that's going to get the other guys to buy in that's coming in, I just know that we left this program in great hands, and they're going to continue to progress and get better every year.

Q. Hey, John, congrats on a great season and a great team. Can you take me through your vantage point of the Alex Reese three, just what you were seeing on that play and just the excitement after he hit it?

JOHN PETTY JR.: We work on that play every day at shootaround. That's one of our go to plays. We actually do it around the same amount of time we had on the clock when we came out of the time-out. So once we seen that, we knew exactly what play we were going to, and we knew either one of us was going to get a shot. Luckily, Alex got the shot at one of his favorite spots at the top of the key, and he does what he always do, make big-time shots. I was real happy that he gave us a second chance to win the game. But like Coach said, it didn't happen that way. So that's that.

Q. Congratulations on your career, John. I just wanted to ask you, what did you tell yourself, what psychological ploy did you use with yourself at halftime to try to get your mojo and you had a much better second half?

JOHN PETTY JR.: I just knew we had to relax. I knew I was kind of rushing things, and all I needed to do was get one easy bucket to get myself going, and I came out of halftime and got two free throws to get myself going. So we just need to relax as a whole, and I needed to relax as myself, and I feel like I did that, and I kind of got going a little bit. Could have did a little bit more to help us get a win, but overall, I feel like I got going a little bit in the second half.

Q. John, you did such great things with this group of seniors, but when you look at the younger guys that you've mentored and that you've been teammates with, do you expect to see Alabama back in this position or further in the future?

JOHN PETTY JR.: Absolutely. I definitely expect them to be right here at this position or even farther, just with the talent level that we have coming here recruiting, and just the experience our guys are going to have coming in next year, the guys that actually played minutes, like Jaden Shackelford, Jahvon Quinerly, Juwan Gary.

And there's a bunch of guys, like Coach said, that didn't play that actually battled against us every day, so I just know that they're ready to actually play. So I definitely expect them to be here in this spot or further next year.

Q. J.P., congrats on a great career. I've got to ask, though, seeing as much talent, especially that we have in north Alabama, not go to in-state schools, you did, and kind of laid the foundation. What does it mean to you, as an Alabama guy, to help turn the culture down there in Tuscaloosa? What does it mean to you?

JOHN PETTY JR.: It means a lot, just especially all the struggles that I went through my first two years and just the adversity that I had my first two years, just to see it all turn around and unfold like it did, it means a lot. Like, we had a remarkable season. We made history, and we did great things for this school.

It feels great, just along with me and a couple more of the Alabama guys being able to come into this school in our state and change it around like we did. So I feel great about that.

Q. John, congratulations on a great season. I'm just curious, how much of an impact has Coach Oats made on yourself in your time at Alabama?

JOHN PETTY JR.: He made a huge impact. He came in, put in a game plan, put in a system that fits the players that we had, and he just let us loose. He let us be us. He let us do what we know we could do, and he never, not one time, told us not to. He always built our confidence. He was just a perfect role model as a coach, perfect coach that we needed to come in and change this program around.

I know all the guys that's coming in next year, even the guys that's coming back next year are going to love him and enjoy all the good things that he came and did for this team.

Q. About the game in particular, kind of the slow start out of the gate. Just if you could, kind of walk me through how it was out there from your perspective, J.P.

JOHN PETTY JR.: It was a hard-battled game, just like we knew it was coming in. Every team that makes it to this point in the NCAA Tournament, we knew they was going to put up a fight, and that's exactly what they did. We tip our hats to UCLA because they came out, like Coach said, they had a great game plan, and their guys played very well.

We could have did some things better, but things didn't turn out our way. But overall, it was a hard battled game. We fought to the end, but we came up short.

Q. Both you and Oats have been asked a lot tonight about how you guys want this team to be remembered this season, but to you personally, how do you want to be remembered with Alabama basketball in your time and your legacy with the Crimson Tide?

JOHN PETTY JR.: I just want to be remembered as a winner. That's all I wanted to do when I got here. No matter what it took, what I had to do, I just wanted to win. I wanted to make this school, make this season special. That's exactly why I came back, and that's exactly what we did.

Hat's off to my brothers because, without them, this season wouldn't have been as special as it was. I just want to be remembered as a winner. No matter how many awards we got, how many accolades we received, it really doesn't matter to me. I just always wanted to be known as a winner.

Q. John, do you feel this style of basketball that Nate Oats implemented was the best for you? And then just looking forward for you, do you have any immediate plans to prepare for the NBA?

JOHN PETTY JR.: I think this system that Coach Oats was definitely fit for me, fit for my game style, a running-type style that likes to shoot threes, and that's exactly what fits me. That's exactly what I do the most and do the best.

I really don't have any immediate plans. I'm just going to take some time, get back, see my family, my kids, and just enjoy and rest up some.

Transcript by asapsports.com