Post-Game Quotes

Dec. 22, 2011

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GEORGIA TECH COACH Brian Gregory

Opening Statement
“Give Bob and Mercer credit. I said before the game that they’re a very good team. Anybody that can go into Seton Hall and take them to overtime, who is a very good team, you know they have talented players that play extremely hard. I knew this was going to be a tough game. I thought we had taken control with some defensive stops and being able to get the ball out on the break. But we just didn’t finish that run that we made. They were tougher than we were tonight. There’s no question about it. I thought we played fairly hard, but they made all the scrap plays that you need to make. That was disappointing. But we’ve got exactly what we deserved. We didn’t play well enough to win the game.”

On Mercer’s run after Tech took largest lead in second half
“Yeah a couple lapses and some turnovers and some bad shots – that’s a bad combination. I think we had two or three straight turnovers. They went zone one possession, and we threw two passes and jacked up a three. You can’t do that. Those are basketball plays that can’t be made if you want to be successful. It’s something that we have to learn and get better at.”

On the play of Mercer’s two centers
“I thought they were the more physical team. I thought they were the more aggressive team once the ball got into the post. And they made smarter plays with the basketball when they got the ball in the post. It’s hard to win a game when you have 16 turnovers. We had 22 the other night. So that’s 38 over the last two games. When you do that, and take some questionable shots, you’re not going to be very successful. I’m never been one to say “hey you can’t shoot that shot” but guys also have to take the responsibility that quality shots are something that we need to work to try and get.”

On team’s shot selection
We only took 16 threes, but it’s not only the shot, it’s when you take them. We have to break the defenses down, because our best shot occurs when we get the ball inside or if we can get a couple reversals and then attack the basket. We did not do that in the second half, especially after we took the lead. There was none of that, and that’s when you’re supposed to do that more. We’re still trying to teach them how to play the game the right way and respect how the game is supposed to be played. That’s just something that’s going to take some time, unfortunately.”

On rebounding margin
“The rebounding killed us in the last five minutes of the game. They really hurt us. Really, really hurt us. There’s a physical-ness that we needed on the glass, and we didn’t have that. Sometimes stats can be a little deceiving, I think that was one of them.

MERCER COACH BOB HOFFMAN

Opening Statement
“I’m really thankful for the guys I have on my squad. We have high-character guys and to turn around and do what we did those five days and to play the games that we did, you have to have high-character guys. You never have to worry about nothing – where they are or what they’re doing. They’re resilient and it showed today. We took some punches – not literally – we took some punches and stayed in there and fought. I told them before that we weren’t getting rebounds and we weren’t getting to the free throw line against really good teams, and it hurt us. I thought tonight if we could do that, we’d have a chance to win. It’s a blessing to see these guys rewarded for their efforts. I’m blessed to get to coach them.”

On team’s second-half run
“We went small for a little bit. I mean small for us, they’re still 6-8 guys, but they can play on the perimeter and we were able to spread the floor and got some layups to the basket. We had no post at that time and I thought that helped us a little bit. We changed defenses a couple times, which helped us. I thought, in general, it was that we finally made some defensive stops. The biggest energy play was when (Daniel) Coursey got the dunk. Our bench got juiced and I think they really believed. We kept telling them you’ve got to believe it can happen and they did.”

Ranking where this win stands in his career
“I think for the program, it’s huge because it’s in-state. We beat Alabama and Auburn a couple years back back-to-back and ironically lost to Georgia Tech in overtime at home and then went to Dayton and played Brian Gregory – the fourth game of that first year of mine – and they killed us. Dayton killed us. I think this is right up there. Just to see the guys’ energy and seeing them excited about what they were accomplishing together. That always is a big thing for a coach no matter how old you are, how young you are or how decrypted you are – like I am – just to see the energy and give energy back. I thought it was a big one (win). I wouldn’t say it’s the biggest, because I hope we have some more left in us this year.”

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