Dec. 6, 2008
– GEORGIA TECH HEAD COACH Paul Hewitt
This wasn’t a pretty game and looked like your guys were not comfortable early, but it seemed like they did a nice job of adjusting.
“We certainly didn’t achieve the tempo we wanted to, at least on a consistent basis. There were times we were effective, but they did a good job of just bogging it down. They have a couple big guys and kept pounding the ball inside to draw out possessions, but I liked how our guys responded. They really made it tough for [A.J.] Ogilvy to get going. He ended up with 15 points, but I think he had to work for a lot of those. Obviously Alade Aminu played a very good game, but Nick Foreman is the guy that came off the bench and gave us a huge lift. He really saved us today.”
Can you comment on the play of Nick Foreman today and his hustle?
“We laugh that this is walk-on U. We have Mario West in the NBA and this kid comes out of nowhere. I didn’t even know his name before July. He played a huge role in a very critical game this early in the season.”
It wasn’t easy for Gani Lawal today, but can you talk about how the other guys stepped up?
“They came down and double-teamed Gani and that kind of took him out of his flow. I told him at halftime that he can still have a good game by going out and getting 20 rebounds. He went out and got 12 and will learn from this. He won’t go 3-for-10 from the field very often, but is still able to contribute in other ways if the shots aren’t falling.”
Can you talk about the offensive rebounding efforts and all of the second-chance points?
“No question. Iman Shumpert offensively was the biggest factor that worked in our favor today.”
What was it defensively that you tried to do today to Vanderbilt?
“Guard the ball a lot better than Wednesday night. It was all about ball pressure and containment. I thought we failed Wednesday night in that area miserably. We did a much better job today, especially on [Jermaine] Beal who is as good of a penetrator as we have seen all year. I thought we did a nice job on him.”
Can you talk about your rebounding as a whole today?
“Our big guys are the strength of this basketball team. Again, going back to Wednesday night I thought our big guys didn’t get the key rebounds. Today, they did and that’s why we out-rebounded them by so much.”
VANDERBILT HEAD COACH KEVIN STALLINGS
“The story of the game was obvious – it was lost on the backboards for us. They completely out-athleted us and outplayed us on the backboards. You feel like it’s something, as a coach, that you can control a little bit, but we did a very poor job on the backboards today, especially in the second half. We didn’t shoot the ball, didn’t get good shots, and they defended us well. The inside guys didn’t play very well, so we were struggling offensively – our guards didn’t play very well either for that matter. But you have to give them credit – they played harder, especially on the boards.”
What kind of game plan did you have on Gani Lawal?
“We were going to double-team him when he got it. We worked hard on it and executed it pretty well, forcing him into some turnovers. We didn’t want him to beat us from the block, and I thought that we did a good job of taking him out of his rhythm early, and he never really seemed to find one.”
Were you pleased with Ogilvy today?
“If that’s how he’s going to play, it’s going to be a tough year for us.”
How much of that was what Tech did?
“They came down and covered him, but he had seven turnovers. So [their covering him] doesn’t mean that he has to turn the ball over. Neither one of our returning guys that we depend on pretty heavily had a very good week, and we are 0-2 as a result. If those guys aren’t going to play well, we are really going to struggle because they are the only form of experience that we have.”
What happened after the eight minute mark of the second half? Comment on the energy level.
“Our energy was good. Defensively, if you think that they got 18 second-chance points and only scored 63, we defended hard but we just didn’t rebound. It wasn’t a lack of energy, it was just a lack of getting done what had to be done on the backboards. We played hard, it wasn’t a case of not playing hard.”