Nov. 17, 2010
– GEORGIA TECH HEAD COACH Paul Hewitt
I thought we came out with much better energy tonight. Yesterday in practice, I would not say it was long, but it was certainly intense for the short period of time we were out there, for about an hour and a half. We just stressed ball movement that was the major problem Monday night. I told the guys we can take two approaches on this, we can act like Monday never happened or we can never forget about Monday night and make sure we build on it. You know they are going to hear about that for the whole year, because we have to keep that in mind. When we don’t play a style of play that moves the ball and gets the defense to move, we take quick shots and we are not a good basketball team. There is nobody in this team that is going to get six to seven offensive rebounds a game, so we have to value every offensive possession. We need to guard like we guarded in the first half.
He took good shots and moved the ball. Four or five people were touching the ball each possession. It opened the game up, Wes Durham told me that we had eight assists on our first nine baskets or something like that. The basketball gods always reward you for hitting the open man.
On being able to rest guys in the second half after having three games in five days
That’s not what happened in the second half. We just didn’t play with the same level of care, these guys are young guys. We are pretty much going to be off tomorrow, and we won’t hit the floor at all. We don’t have a big margin for error, so we can’t play like we got two monsters down low that are going to erase our mistakes. In the second half I thought we got beat off the dribble way too easily. They outscored us, and that is something we talked about the whole second half. We had a lead, we came out strong, and then we fell back into the same thing that burned us Monday night. We took three quick three’s with maybe one pass and then the shot. Next thing you know, `bam’, they had the lead in the second half. We will keep stressing it to them, and I have talked to a lot of people about how you do that and the one answer everybody keeps throwing at me is that the bench is a great teaching tool.
On using the bench as a teaching tool tonight
I tried. I thought we played really well in the first half, we moved the basketball and took care of the ball, we had three turnovers, and we took great shots except for maybe one. We had four loose balls that we didn’t get that I wasn’t crazy about, but that was the only thing. In the second half we opened up great, but then we took three bad shots and next thing you know they come down and they get easy baskets. Just generally speaking, I think even the team will tell you that the second half was a reversion back to the first ten minutes of the game Monday night.
On Iman Shumpert’s potential
Iman is capable of posting some really good lines like this. But he is early in his junior year, so let’s see how we move forward. We have a game Friday night. Again, he can play like this. In my mind he is one of the top ten players in our league. But he is got to believe and he is got to play to that level. On having to coach the belief into Iman Shumpert
I am not good at that. I am too honest. You make a mistake; we are going to point it out. We are going to show you and take a technical approach to correcting it. When you do something good you are going to hear positive things, and when you do something poorly you are going to hear the truth about it. I always tell the guys when you leave here, the truth is really cold. I am talking to you, but when you leave here and you are not doing what you are supposed to they are not going to counsel you. The way you are going to find out is when they tell you to leave. If you want to play ball that is. It is probably like that in all your jobs too. They aren’t going to sit you down and counsel you. If you are not doing something they like, you are going to come in and they are going to say get out, you are no longer working here, whether it is basketball or whatever. They have the opportunity here, not to get too philosophical, to really learn. I am not going to sugar coat it. I am going to tell them, here is the deal, you have to correct this, you have to do this better. Because once you leave here no one is going to tell you.
On how to sustain this renewed focus
I don’t know. We will see. I just think it is funny that we have to go through what we went through Monday night to do it. We are not going to forget Monday night. I am not going to forget it, and they better not forget it. Because it was a classic case of team that is a good basketball team, but we have a very slim margin for error. We have to value every possession and take good shots. We had one play tonight where we tried to throw an alley-oop pass to the smallest guy in the floor. That’s just not smart basketball.
On Lance Storrs’ performance
I know as a senior that has to be tough not getting to play as much as he wanted the first two games. But his effort level in practice is great. That kid is going to be rewarded. I don’t know if it is going to be while he is here, but I guarantee you that Georgia Tech basketball is going to look out for Lance Storrs.
They still have some things to learn, but I love their effort level. I am really, really high on them. I see a future for Daniel Miller, Kammeon Holsey and Nate Hicks. I think those guys are going to be really good. In a perfect world, you wish that you did not have to play them as much. Maybe if you had one prime-time big guy in there, you could kind of bring them along slower. I think those three guys, and you add Julian Royal to the mix, are going to be a very solid rotation for years to come.
On Jason Morris
He makes some plays, and then he has some lapses. He is another one that has a very bright future. He has a lot of pride in himself. He shows himself academically, and shows himself in his work ethic. He needs to get more vocal, he has to talk more on the court. He is a quiet kid off the court, I said that’s fine, but on the court that can’t happen.
ALBANY HEAD COACH WILL BROWN
“This was probably the worst time to have to play Georgia Tech coming off of their loss to Kennesaw State. I knew that their kids would be ready to play, I knew that Paul [Hewitt] would have them regroup, and regroup quickly and I expected them to really get after us and pressure us. And they did that. We had 17 shots in the first half, and they had 36. We shot a decent percentage, we just didn’t get any shots. 17 turnovers, they scored 22 points off of our 17 turnovers, that’s really the game right there.”
“We had made a change in our lineup; our best player [Mike Black] was out, and he is our point guard. We had a freshman, Ralph Watts, who started the first two games for us, and we decided to start Jacob Iati tonight so we’ve got two young guys that we threw to the wolves.”
“They were ready. Their life, their strength, and their quickness really bothered us. [Iman] Shumpert was a stud coming out of high school and he is a talented kid. When I looked at his shooting percentages after two games, I kind of cringed, because I knew that we were going to get a Georgia Tech team that was ready to play, and in any game, Shumpert was going to go off. It just happened to be against us. We were walking out of practice last night at 9 o’clock, and Shumpert is walking in with the ball under his arm. I told him to make as many shots as he could so he would have none left for today. I guess he must have missed everything last night when he was shooting because he was on fire today.”
“Like I said, Paul is a great guy, and he is a terrific coach, and I knew he would have those guys ready to play.”