Feb. 20, 2012
ATLANTA – Here is a transcript of Coach Brian Gregory on his weekly talk with the ACC media. Tech plays twice at home this week, Tuesday night against Clemson (7 p.m., RSN) and Saturday against Maryland (2:30 p.m., ACC Network).
“At this point, everything remains the same in terms of the indefinite suspension of Glen Rice, so he will not be with the team tomorrow. I thought we played well on Saturday. I thought that was a great college basketball game, a great ACC game. Unfortunate the way it ended for us, but I was proud of the way our guys competed for 45 minutes, and I thought we played some of our best basketball. And we have done that at a much more consistent basis now. We need to do that for 40 minutes tomorrow night against a Clemson team that got after us in the first game. We were able to cut the lead down at the end, but a game that will be a great challenge for us to hopefully continue to make strides that we have made over the last few weeks.”
On the balance of the team without Glen Rice on the court:
“I think we’ve grown in that area and one of the things that we have tried to do is, especially with some of our younger post players, is to give them the confidence that we want to go into them and play some inside-out basketball. Those guys have responded all year long in a real positive manner. It is completely new for them, and so with that, there has been some inconsistency. But if you look statistically, not just in minutes played but also in production, and you add in Julian Royal to it as a freshman, where he started, what he is doing now, those guys have really grown up during this year.
“And with that, I think Brandon Reed is playing his best basketball this season. I think Mfon is playing his best basketball this season. The thing that is hard, because you want to be playing your best basketball at this time of the year, but what we need, and it is harder when you are in the process we are in, is to also have some positive results at the end of that. I do think we, the last few games, have moved the ball better. In particular, the Virginia Tech game, I thought offensively, we were really sharp. Defensively, we did some good things as well. We were able to go back to establishing ourselves on the backboard, which we did not do against Wake Forest. And those are key components for what we try to get done. It is not any secret, when we do those things, we play much better and perform much better.”
On Kammeon Holsey and his development:
“We kind of touched on that with Daniel, and him, and Julian as a kind of a collective group. Kam did not play much in the past, he redshirted his first year, he kinda had an injury-plagued last season. In fact, when I got the job, he still wasn’t full-go in the individual workouts. He has only really had a fall with us in terms of his skill development. But what he does do every day, he comes with great energy. He has a real passion to get better. He has really improved in terms of his attention to detail on a daily basis, and I think because of that, you have seen performances like the Virginia Tech performance.
“There are some aspects of his game that I think are going to continue to improve. He has shot the ball well from the free throw line, and that is going to be important because he is a guy that seeks and finds contact around the basket, so he is going to get fouled quite a bit. And he is getting better on the defensive end as well. When we talked about some objectives this year, in terms of establishing the effort and intensity that we play with, and at the same time, really seeing guys’ individual games improve. I think he is kind of a model for that, he has done a great job for us.”
On Holsey drawing double teams:
“I think with Kam and Daniel, they are both drawing some more double teams. With Daniel off the post, he can shoot the ball. Kam can play in that long post and put the ball on the floor and make some moves, some spin moves, some face-up and put the ball on the floor and attack the basket. He is going to have to keep getting better at that, because it is harder to double team once you are in that long post. One thing that we talk about with improvement is Kam needs to make some better decisions when those double teams or traps come. I think he had four turnovers on Saturday. If you get the ball inside as much as we are trying to, those big guys are going to have some turnovers, but we probably need to cut those in half right now.
“I think that is one area where when the double team is drawn, the ability to kick the ball out to an open shooter is going to be something maybe that next step that we need to take that will really help both parties, help the guys inside because now you have to make a decision if you are going to double team, and help the guys outside, because if you get shots coming from the inside out, number one you are going to shoot better, but number two, we are all human, guards are going to feel a lot better about throwing the ball under the post knowing that they can get the ball out too if a double team comes.”
On how much more vulnerable Virginia Tech was in the interior without [Victor] Davila:
“Obviously, that kid has a great physical presence about him, and he is a kid too that as you watch, has really developed. There have been times when they have gone to him in crucial situations, and he has scored some big points for them. But they are young kids, that is one thing coach said, and I think those young big kids are going to be good and they played pretty good. They had some big baskets for him. But they went small on a couple of times, playing [Jarell] Eddie at the four. We wanted to get the ball inside in those situations. After that game, I thought Virginia Tech showed some great toughness in their ability to battle. Like us, not as many scholarship players are available as you would like as so forth. That was a point of emphasis, to get the ball inside and make those big games, or their lack of depth in the post, a factor in the game.”