Feb. 3, 2007
– GEORGIA TECH HEAD COACH Paul Hewitt
“We knew one of the biggest keys coming into the game was going to be rebounding the basketball. We really challenged our guys to do a good job of keeping Clemson from getting second shots. I think the first 12 minutes of the game we held them to no offensive rebounds and then they had three at the half. Obviously Clemson picked up in the second half, but overall, I thought that was the key to the game.
“We played with a lot more intensity, a lot more energy, and we sustained that intensity and energy throughout the game. I thought Alade Aminu was a big reason why. Just plain and sample, our big guys sometimes don’t maintain their intensity and concentration. I think we’ve gone long enough watching some of it. Now, we’ve got to go to our bench and see who else is there. To his credit, Alade has practiced exceptionally well the last two weeks, so we were going to put him in the game. I can’t sit here and tell you I knew he was going to get 10 points, but just the energy level he played with helped us sustain our intensity throughout the game.
[Did you change the offense?] “It think it was Abe Lemons who said, It ain’t X’s and O’s, it’s Jimmy’s and Joe’s. It’s not about what you do, it’s how you do it. If you go back to the Carolina game and watch the tape, it was just a total lack of intensity. Same offense, same plays, just better movement and better execution. That’s the frustrating part. Quite honestly, our big guys have got to bring it every night. I don’t want to call anybody out, but those are the facts. We’re doing nothing different. Just finally the guys said, let’s execute and let’s play with some energy.
[Javaris Crittenton’s play today] I thought the reason he played better is because our bigs gave him more help. Clemson is an over-play team and they really get up into you, and we gave Javaris help by screening and getting the wings open or flashing. That released the pressure instead of leaving him out there on an island by himself.
NOTING GEORGIA TECH — Javaris Crittenton scored a career-high 26 points and grabbed seven steals – one shy of the Georgia Tech record of 8 (Kenny Anderson vs. Duke, 1990-91) . . . Alade Aminu tied his career-high with 10 points, set earlier this season against St. Francis. His previous high in an ACC game was seven points, also against Clemson in last season’s regular season finale.
GEORGIA TECH GUARD Javaris Crittenton
On his performance — “It feels great to get a win. Besides the points, steals and all the other stuff, it just feels good to get a win.”
On the difference between the first Clemson game to today — “They beat us the last time we played them, they were coming to our house and we owed them. We were on a losing streak and needed to get this win.”
On the start of the game — “We came out and played hard from the beginning. We did not wait till the second half when we were down 10 points or so, we got after it from the start.”
On NC State on Tuesday night — “We need to study film. We still made mistakes tonight and we have to improve upon that and play with the same intensity and energy as we did today.”
GEORGIA TECH FORWARD Alade Aminu
On where he came from today — “I was waiting for my opportunity to go in there and I knew that if I stayed focused and was ready to go out there that good things would happen. The opportunity presented itself today and I tried to make the best of it.”
On scoring 10 points in his first ACC game of the year — “He (Paul Hewitt) knew that I had the talent, the necessary energy and the work ethic to go out there and do well. He just didn’t know whether I was focused or not, but I showed I was. I was happy that we got the win today.”
On the win for the team — “We were on a four-game losing streak and in a slump, but after defeating a great team in Clemson today that gives us a lot of confidence. We got this thing going in the right direction today and it was very big for us.”
GEORGIA TECH GUARD Anthony Morrow
On defeating Clemson and the difference in the team today — “We played very aggressively on both ends of the floor and really played our game today and that allowed us to get the win.”
On the difference between this game and the last one against Clemson — “Last time it was two great teams really going at each other. This time we eliminated the mistakes we made last time. We challenged each other in practice and really competed, and it worked out for us today.”
On getting out of the losing streak — “We’ve been waiting for a break out game like this. We were on a four-game losing streak and its time to turn this thing around. We can’t be inconsistent. We have to keep this going in the right direction.”
CLEMSON HEAD COACH OLIVER PURNELL
Opening Comment — “I wouldn’t do anything to detract from Georgia Tech. I thought that they played well today and deserved to win. They seemed to be a team that worked a little harder than we did and they put themselves in a position down the stretch where we were chasing them. I apologized to our team for leaving them out there alone, but yet at the same time, enough is enough. We had the errors at Duke, an obvious no-call and walk that cost us the game at Virginia, and now in this game, we have the shot clock stopped in the middle of a possession and the ball on the side disadvantaged with 11 seconds to go in the flow of our offense in the middle of the game, we’ve got excessive contact on a foul that should have been called that way and now we have a situation where we are down 12 and shooting two shots with the ball back. We also have a backcourt situation, which I thought that the ball was clearly knocked away from K.C. into the backcourt, and so my frustration did boil over. Again, I apologized to my team for leaving them out there in that situation, but at some point you have to fight for your team. All we want for our ball club is to have a fair shake. It’s a battle out here. I take nothing away from Georgia Tech, who won the basketball game here today and my hat goes off to them. But as we come down the stretch, I want everyone to understand that Clemson basketball deserves a fair shake.”
Other than the foul situation, what was the difference between the game and the last against Georgia Tech? — “I thought that Georgia Tech took it to us from a standpoint that they played with a little more energy. I thought that they did a great job on the backboards, and overall, they played better.”
Were you surprised that your club had a slow start after having the week off? — “I don’t know that we were flat, I think that Georgia Tech was very energized. They were ready to play and I think that we were just hanging in there and would have an opportunity to creep back into the game at some point, the way that you have to do so many times on the road. You just have to hang around and maybe Georgia Tech starts to fear a little bit of pressure and the lid goes on the basket. I thought that started to happen, but they did a great job of getting on the offensive glass in the second half. But again, my hat goes off to Georgia Tech and I don’t want to do anything to detract from the way that they played.”
Are you worried about how much fight the team has after the dramatics of the last few games? — “Sure, I’m concerned about that, but as I told them, I’m going to fight for them and we’ve got to fight down the stretch. We’ve got to make sure that we fight down the stretch, battle, and bounce back and be ready to play Florida State Wednesday.”
Did you think you were playing well enough to win, had the game been called to your liking? — “I would not say that the officiating cost us the game, but in this kind of situation, we’ve seen it and we’ve been on the other end of it. We’ve seen where an eight-point game with whatever it was when I got kicked out. That’s not insurmountable, and again the pressure can shift sometimes. So I’m not saying that officiating cost us the game. What I’m saying is that our team deserves a fair shot to come back, just like anybody else in this league.”
“We were knocking on the door, and we needed to tighten it up a little bit more. We needed to get it down to under double figures and maybe get some turnovers with our press or that kind of thing.”
Is this a bad matchup for you guys because their guards are so much bigger? — “I don’t think so, we beat them the first time. They are a tough matchup for most anybody, and they do post their big players. Thaddeus Young is a bad matchup for any three-man, and they do actively post him. He’s their leading scorer, and that’s one of the reasons why. But with our pressure defense, we’ve got to get into bigger people to try to offset that.”