Paul Hewitt Interview - December 12, 2010

Dec. 14, 2010

ATLANTA – Georgia Tech will face Richmond in the Battle at Atlantis Saturday at the famed Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island, Bahamas. Head coach Paul Hewitt met with the media Monday as the team began preparations for this game.

On expectations of the players over the next few weeks in the Battle at Atlantis and in the few games before ACC play begins:
“Overall, we need to continue to progress. Specifically, I would like to see our big guys take another step forward, and I have been really pleased with how they have been coming along, particularly Daniel Miller. Nate Hicks has been a pleasant surprise. But overall, just some better execution, some sets.

“Defensively, I’m not sure if we are just not capable of maintaining our intensity or we are just not playing up to our potential. I think at this time, there are just too many lapses on defense. I would like to see some of those disappear by the time we get to conference play.”

On the two long scoreless stretches against Georgia and Savannah State:
“The Georgia one, I thought we were pretty good. I really thought we were pretty focused, pretty intent. I wouldn’t say it was a lapse in concentration, just we didn’t communicate properly. Against Savannah State, I wasn’t happy just watching sometimes with the movement when the ball moved; I think we were just shocked.”

On the players need to stay focused and not let up with a lead:
“That is the only concession I will make to youth. I think they are still in that mode of `We’re up, they are not going to come back’ instead of just taking every possession. Like the coach’s cliché, you never know which possession is going to be the difference in the game. So, we have to be in that mindset that we have got to win every possession. It is a game of runs, you can allow a couple of sloppy possessions, and it gives the team some confidence, some momentum, and it is tough to turn them back the other way.”

On if the big men were as aggressive on defense as he hoped they would be:
“Yeah, I thought they were pretty good, I mean the one kid, No. 20, he just went crazy from outside so they didn’t really have a chance to impact the game as much around the rim, although Daniel did have a couple of impressive blocks, Nate had two blocks. I thought they did a good job when it came inside.”

On considering an alternative defensive strategy to guard the perimeter, like a box-and-one:
“It’s got to be appropriate to the team. A box-and-one probably wouldn’t be appropriate for Georgia or for Northwestern. It’s funny; I was thinking that as I was watching the game yesterday. It all comes down to the team and the size appropriately. You play a box-and-one against a team that has a good inside players and they will just eat you alive. Northwestern, they spread it out so well in terms of three-point shooting. It’s not just Shurna or Crawford to shoot, and they have good kids coming off the bench. It’s definitely something I thought about and maybe (will consider) going forward.”

On the effectiveness of the change in the starting lineup (Moe Miller for Rice):
“There was some young blood on the floor. It gave the other guys a chance to step back and look what’s going on in the court. There’s nothing like a view from the bench.”

On how the redshirt has affected Daniel Miller:
“It really helped him understand how, especially with a big guy, you have to do your work early. Whether it’s getting post position or getting in position for help defense or catching a ball screen, it has really helped him a lot. It’s about doing your work early instead of having to react.”

On if Glen Rice provides a spark off the bench:
“He is guy who is definitely an explosive player, and he can definitely bring that. We just want to see more consistency from him. Just be consistently good, because we know when he is good, he is brilliant.”

On Mfon Udofia’s development:
“He is coming along. He is making the transition from being a point guard who had to score a lot in high school. He has been here and played nine games in college. And I know everyone thinks that makes you a veteran now. I still remember the old days when people used to say wait until the junior year before this kid is ready to play. But he has gone from a guy who had to score a lot of points and carry an offense and now, we just have to see the whole player, find out what he has. I thought he did a decent job on Saturday. He is getting used to it. He is getting better.”

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