Georgia Tech Post-Game Quotes (Game 12)

Dec. 27, 2017

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GEORGIA TECH HEAD COACH Josh Pastner

Opening statement:

“We win the game today because – and I said this at the very beginning of the year: for us to have success, we need to have marginal gains in two key areas – we have to be better at taking care of the ball and free throw shooting. We had four turnovers in the first half, they had nine points off those turnovers and then we only had two in the second half and no points off our turnovers…. We were 20-of-21 from the free-throw line. Those two things for us, to have a chance to keep moving forward and keep continuing to get better; those are two huge areas for us. We have to value that ball. There’s nothing more important than taking care of that ball. …

“We needed that as a team. We’re a little bit there as a wounded animal. We just needed to get through that hump and I was really happy that in the last six/seven minutes, maybe, we got the old Georgia Tech back. Who we were and some of these guys like Josh [Okogie] and the rest of the guys sort of got their mojo back to how we want to be.”

On how the players responded to the challenge today:

“It was great to see Ben [Lammers] in those last six/seven minutes play like the old Ben Lammers. Evan Cole came in and gave us such a huge lift defensively and had a great put-back. We talked about Josh [Okogie] and his defense and he hit a big three for us as well. Brandon [Alston] had to play point guard for us because Jose [Alvarado] went out [with an injury in the second half]. He had four assists and one turnover. And Tadric [Jackson] was extremely efficient. I brought him off the bench. We’re better with him coming off the bench.”

On how important it was to shoot such a high percentage (.952) from the free-throw line:

“It’s important but whenever we get fouled, we just have to go up there and make free throws.”

On what clicked in last seven minutes of game:

“I don’t know. I could write a book on this year in the first 80 days. The breaks haven’t gone our way and that’s just, you know, sports is a funny deal. Sports is funny. You never know in sports. All of a sudden, something clicks in those last six or seven minutes and then that gives us a spark to get us moving forward. We found a way to get it done.”

COPPIN STATE HEAD COACH JUAN DIXON

Opening statement:

“We gave a great effort tonight as a team. We started keeping this stat where we want to try and win four-minute segments and we won four out of ten tonight. The ones we lost in the second half, we lost in big stretches: 9-3 and 12-3. We struggled shooting the ball in the second half, but we didn’t defend very well either. That’s something we talked about at halftime. ‘Guys it’s time to grow up. It’s time to take it to the next level and defend away from the bench.’ We didn’t do that very well. We didn’t rebound. We usually defend pretty solid, but we struggled rebounding the ball defensively. We’re going to keep getting better. We’re missing two of our best players [Dejuan Clayton and Taqwain Drummond]. We’re just going to keep trekking through the storm.”

On Ben Lammers strong performance:

“We were familiar [with his style of play prior to the game]. He’s a big body. He’s skilled. He’s a good passer. We knew he wanted to go over left shoulder, right jump hook. We’ve just got to do a better job of getting more resistance on the block. That’s something we work on as a team in practice. He had a solid game. He’s a big body who uses it well. I thought they got a lot more free throws than us. I thought we attacked the basket and got in the paint. They took 21 free throws to our three. I thought a call in the second half was questionable when I got the technical and it allowed them to go on a little run.”

On Cedric Council’s career-high 17 points:

“As a team we are pretty confident in Cedric to make shots like that at a high clip. When we recruited Cedric we evaluated him through film, but we noticed that Cedric was a 6-foot-8, long, athletic, stretch forward that could really shoot the ball. He hasn’t been shooting the ball particularly well this season, but we knew he was due for a game like this. If Cedric can shoot the ball like this, he’s going to open it up big time for our guards.”

On preparing for Georgia Tech’s defense:

“We prepared for their zone and we made shots early. We did a good job executing our simple zone offense and our guys made the right play. We made shots. As far as our man offense, we got good looks. [On the] pick and roll, they like to keep two on the ball and that’s why Cedric [Council] was able to get so many open looks. When he gets those opportunities, he’s got to hit the shots and he made them tonight.”

On competing with an ACC team:

“Not at all [surprised the game was close]. Like I said, we’re missing two of our key players. We’ve played these Power 5 schools pretty well all season. It’s the games that we are supposed to win that we don’t play very hard on the defensive end. People’s size gives us issues, whether it’s giving up second chance points or beating us up inside in the post. Offensively we normally get the shots we want and defensively we usually defend really well. Georgia Tech had 16 second chance points [and] 40 points in the paint. That’s where the game was won. But we’re confident coming into every game that we can win. Our record doesn’t indicate how well we’ve been playing on the defensive end and how we’re able to execute offensively and get the shots we want. Like I told you guys before, you’re going to read about DeJuan Clayton later in the year and we’re going to make a run in our conference. We’re confident that we can have a lot of success moving forward.”

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