Post-Game Quotes

Jan. 3, 2015

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Georgia Tech Head Coach Brian Gregory

 

Opening statement…

“Obviously it was a heck of a college basketball game. I have all the world of respect for Mike (Brey) and his team this year, how hard they play, how well they play together. We knew it would be a difficult challenge for us, opening up on the road, playing against them, but I thought our guys responded well. We played with great energy, great effort. We defended well; we rebounded well; we shared the ball well. We just couldn’t make quite enough plays right around the basket. The only disappointment is we didn’t finish as well as we needed to finish in this league around the basket. You can’t fault our effort; you can’t fault our competitiveness. It was a heck of a game and they figured out a way to win the game.”

 

On defending against the three-point shot…

“You’ve got to guard (Jerian) Grant and you’ve got to guard (Demetrius) Jackson off the bounce. A lot of time the dribble-drive creates the 3s, but they’re such a good passing team. They make extra passes. If you say, ‘We’re going to take away the 3,’ they’re going to shoot layups the whole game. You’ve got to play great, complete defense. They shot 53 percent, which is a good percentage — probably the highest that we’ve let up — but we forced 13 turnovers, which we normally don’t do. We were really active and we got 13 more shots than they did.”

 

On Notre Dame’s improvement this season…

“Here’s one: every player in America should look at Demetrius Jackson, because there are 400,000 guys transferring because their freshman years don’t go the way they want them to. He just kept working. His freshman year didn’t go the way he wanted it to and now he’s one of the best guards in the league. Guys don’t have that patience. The first thing they’re going to do is point a finger instead of pointing their thumbs and I don’t know, but that’s the way it’s supposed to be. I’m proud of that kid and I don’t even know him. I watch film and I watched some of the Michigan State game and I was (thinking), ‘Wait a minute. That kid couldn’t even play last year.’ I was happy when he came in the game, now I’m happy when he leaves. That doesn’t happen anymore, unfortunately.

 

“I think those guys have improved. … They’re tough; they’re physical; they can shoot the ball. And they seem to play without a care of who gets a shot and you’ve got a Player of the Year candidate in (Jerian) Grant. They’re playing with great confidence.”

 

On playing active defense…

“We’re pretty good defensively and we were active. What we need to be able to do is continue that and get some of those in the last eight, 10 minutes of the game. We got some big stops, but being active on the ball, we’re not a team that can pressure and extend out like Notre Dame. Jackson can do that. Grant plays for some steals. He’s got the freedom to make some of those plays. We’re not that type of team. We have to be solid but use our length and be active that way.”

 

On Notre Dame playing tougher in the second half…

“We shot 48 percent in the second half, but they forced more turnovers, probably. They pressured us more in the second half, extended their defense out. They only played maybe one possession of zone in the second half. I thought defensively they played pretty good the whole game, to be honest with you.”

Georgia Tech Player Quotes

 

Charles Mitchell • Junior • Forward

 

On the game-plan to use a size advantage in the paint…

“Just staying aggressive and being the most physical down low. You always want to state your presence early, which opens up a lot of options. Being the most physical one down low helps us win the game.”

 

On trying to stop Notre Dame’s 3s…

“Before overtime, they were 1-for-12. It was great for us, but they started hitting them in overtime, which was our downfall. Making someone score other than their 3-point shooters was one of our keys to the game.”

 

On the rebounding edge…

“I wish we could have rebounded more. I wish we could have grabbed more rebounds in a game like this when you lose so close to a good team. Knowing that you’re a good team, you wish you could have done more. You wish you could do more things today and we fell short on that. You look on that going to the next game — knowing that we see them in two weeks — that’s something I’ll look at myself, or the whole team.”

 

On Notre Dame leading early in both overtimes and battling back…

 “There’s always a chance to win. There’s a never-give-up attitude. We try to never give up in a game. Especially in an ACC game, knowing all 18 games are going to be a good game, you have to have that never lose and never give up attitude and play until that clock hits double-zero.”

 

Chris Bolden • Junior • Guard

 

On perimeter defense…

“We wanted to limit their 3-point shots or, if they got a 3-point shot off, contesting it. We did a fairly good job of doing that. We had some breakdowns and, on some of the breakdowns, they made us pay. Give all the credit to (Notre Dame). They played their hearts out. We played our hearts out. They just came out on top.”

 

On positives to take from the game…

“Building off of what we’ve done here — we know we can play with the best of them. We kept fighting and played tough. Different people stepped up and made big shots. We’re really close as a team and we’re all happy for each other. We don’t mind passing up the good shot for the great shot and that’s something that’s going to help us going forward.”

Notre Dame Head Coach Mike Brey

 

Opening statement…

“I talked to my group the past couple of days about getting ready for hard games, the easy stuff is over. I’m really proud of us because we had to scratch and claw and nothing came really easy for us. They (Georgia Tech) got out of the gate pretty well offensively, making shots, and we are in a hole, digging the whole time. I thought our defense really responded well and I just thought we made a lot of really big winning plays, to find a way to get a league win. That’s what conference basketball is, hard games, grinding games, and we’re thrilled to be 2-0 in this league. We expected it to be really hard and it was.”

 

On the resilience of the team…

“We’re in the hole right away, they’re making jump shots, they hadn’t been shooting it well all year, and they’re knocking it down. We knew they were going to bang on us inside, and they did, a lot like Michigan State. It was hard to get into a flow offensively and you’ve got to give credit to Georgia Tech, they really physically and athletically guarded us. In the first half I’ve never seen Jerian’s passes get deflected so much, because of their length and their athletic ability on recovery. Second half we got into a little bit better rhythm and we figured we just had to drive the ball. I thought we did a heck of a job with a number of different guys just driving.”

 

On Steve Vasturia…

“They had put the big on him [Vasturia] instead of on (Pat) Connaughton and we felt he had driving areas and he really attacked. I know he didn’t get off to a very good start so it was good for him to bounce back like he did. The other thing Steve did, he made it really hard for (Marcus) Georges-Hunt to really get going. He had a nice game, but Steve really defended him, because he’s a driving, slashing guy, and Steve forced him into some really difficult shots.”

 

On Pat Connaughton in the second OT…

“Circle-Rip. The one thing about Pat: he was so mad about the free throws, he’s so competitive that he’s the kind of guy that’s going to answer back and try and win the game. So instead of driving it he sticks the 3, we run it again and he drives it and then he takes the one in front of the bench up six and I’m thinking, ‘Do I send him back to the Orioles?’ But I love the fearlessness. Our two seniors [Connaughton and Grant] were leading us. I thought Demetrius Jackson’s ball pressure the whole game on their point guard really helped us. We had to guard to win. We were able to rebound a little bit better in the last couple minutes of regulation and overtimes.”

 

 

 

On winning eight of the last nine OT games…

“That’s a great question, Jack Swarbrick and I were just talking about that. We’re on a great run there. In a lot of those games we’ve had Jerian Grant as a great closer, Demetrius Jackson is becoming a closer, and Pat Connaughton has been in a lot of those games. I would put a lot of it on Pat Connaughton and Jerian Grant, not only what they do skillwise, but on how they talk to our group. We go into the huddle after regulation and they’re like, ‘Our time, overtime is our time.’ It was disappointing that we didn’t win it at the end of the first OT, with the layup and Zach’s putback. But, they were laughing, like, ‘All right, let’s win it in this one,’ and I think they’ve become very confident in OT. But a lot of it leans on Jerian and Pat.”

 

On feeling pressure with the upcoming difficult games…

“You know, you’ve got the weight of the world on your shoulders. You’ve been winning, you’re ranked 13th, everything has been easy. I fully expected a really, really hard one today, and for us to find a way to get it is a great win for us. For us to be have been invested like that and then come out 1-1 would take a lot of wind out of your sails, physically and mentally.”

 

On having a large deficit in the rebound category…

“One of the things we’ve looked at is, ‘Do we have to play bigger sometimes?’ But, I don’t want to give up on the ship yet. I think we can get our guards down there to help us. We did it against Florida State’s size better than we did against Georgia Tech and Michigan State. But certainly, it’s a challenge. But what helped us today was playing some zone. In the first half we went to some matchup and that helped us get our breath, and made them shoot some jump shots and not pound on us, and we got some run outs on that. We’ll have to think about that on Monday as well.”

 

On Jerian Grant’s dunk…

“I haven’t seen it, you know I had a weird angle. But all I know is it looked like the rim was about at his chest. I don’t know how he got there, I got to see that and I’m sure they’ll show me in our video room. But, that was certainly a play that got our crowd going, and our crowd was great. We didn’t have our students but our crowd was a key today. I was worried about that, students aren’t here, but they (the crowd) help us on defensive possessions when they’re loud, and they really got into it in the second half and the overtimes.”

 

Notre Dame Player Quotes

 

Jerian Grant • Senior • Guard

 

On Georgia Tech…

“The most important thing is we got the win. They had success early. They were making shots early and we had to come back and late, we were missing free throws, which helped them stay in the game. ”

 

On learning about the team through the double OT win…

“We can win games like this. They are a good team. They have a lot of bigs and they are the best offensive rebounding team in the country, so as long as we came in and got the W against a tough ACC team, that’s all that matters.”

 

On his monster dunk…

“I just saw the rim and the lane open up and I took off and he just boosted me up and I slammed it. It was by far the best dunk I have had. I don’t get too many of those, but it was exciting. When you can get a play like that, it leads to a lot of momentum.”

 

On moving on to North Carolina on Monday…

“We did not rebound the best that we could, but we will learn from it. We are playing with a lot of confidence right now. We did not shoot well tonight, but we got shots and made plays when we needed to.”

 

On struggling on offense and still getting the win…

“I think the biggest change with us is our defense. Defensively, we are going to be great no matter what. We know our offense is going to come. We ended up scoring 83 points and we didn’t shoot the ball well. Making sure we get our stops is going to be the difference in the game.”

 

On excitement for the North Carolina game…

“We are extremely excited. It is a big week for us and it starts Monday. If we can go down to North Carolina and get a W that will be a huge boost for us.”

 

Pat Connaughton • Senior • Guard/Forward

 

On struggling beyond the 3-point line…

“We are a great shooting team and when we get open looks, we are going to shoot it every time. We don’t want to do anything differently because eventually they are going to fall. I was talking to Steve [Vasturia] in the game to just keep shooting; they are going to fall.”

 

On his aggressiveness in the second overtime…

“Coach called those 2-3 plays for me to attack the mismatch and I think one thing that makes us so dangerous is we have guys that can get going at any time and I think it was just a matter of staying aggressive. I just wanted to make the plays that were necessary in the second overtime to get the win for our team.”

 

On North Carolina on Monday…

“We are very excited. I think this game will really get us ready for what we will see at Carolina. This was a very tough game and we hadn’t had a lot of them prior to this game. I think this is something that will really help us make those winning plays that we need to make at UNC.”

 

Demetrius Jackson • Sophomore • Guard

 

On Georgia Tech’s physical play…

“We knew it was going to be physical. Like I said before, it looked like those guys had been in the weight room this morning. They had strong guys, great team, great defense and we just wanted to continue to play great defense and continue to do the right things to win and it benefitted.”

 

On struggles from the 3-point line, but still pulling out the win…

“Continuing to play and share the ball the right way, continuing to play Notre Dame basketball, and guys tonight did a great job sharing the ball, stepping up, making shots, and rebounding too, that helped lead to a hard-fought win.”

 

On Jerian Grant’s dunk…

“I had a nice view of it. Steve [Vasturia] said it reminded him of Space Jam and I have to agree. It is really special when guys can make plays like that and that ignited us tonight.”

 

On the different feeling heading into overtime this year versus last year…

“I feel like we really stayed together. When things aren’t always going the right way for us, shots aren’t falling, we just want to continue staying together and continue to be positive and tonight was one of those wins that will help us in the future.”

 

On North Carolina on Monday…

“We are very excited. It’s another big opportunity to play on a big stage against a great team, so we just want to go out and play hard, rebound the ball, and go out and have fun.”

 

Notre Dame Player Quotes

 

Jerian Grant • Senior • Guard

 

On Georgia Tech…

“The most important thing is we got the win. They had success early. They were making shots early and we had to come back and late, we were missing free throws, which helped them stay in the game. ”

 

On learning about the team through the double OT win…

“We can win games like this. They are a good team. They have a lot of bigs and they are the best offensive rebounding team in the country, so as long as we came in and got the W against a tough ACC team, that’s all that matters.”

 

On his monster dunk…

“I just saw the rim and the lane open up and I took off and he just boosted me up and I slammed it. It was by far the best dunk I have had. I don’t get too many of those, but it was exciting. When you can get a play like that, it leads to a lot of momentum.”

 

On moving on to North Carolina on Monday…

“We did not rebound the best that we could, but we will learn from it. We are playing with a lot of confidence right now. We did not shoot well tonight, but we got shots and made plays when we needed to.”

 

On struggling on offense and still getting the win…

“I think the biggest change with us is our defense. Defensively, we are going to be great no matter what. We know our offense is going to come. We ended up scoring 83 points and we didn’t shoot the ball well. Making sure we get our stops is going to be the difference in the game.”

 

On excitement for the North Carolina game…

“We are extremely excited. It is a big week for us and it starts Monday. If we can go down to North Carolina and get a W that will be a huge boost for us.”

 

Pat Connaughton • Senior • Guard/Forward

 

On struggling beyond the 3-point line…

“We are a great shooting team and when we get open looks, we are going to shoot it every time. We don’t want to do anything differently because eventually they are going to fall. I was talking to Steve [Vasturia] in the game to just keep shooting; they are going to fall.”

 

On his aggressiveness in the second overtime…

“Coach called those 2-3 plays for me to attack the mismatch and I think one thing that makes us so dangerous is we have guys that can get going at any time and I think it was just a matter of staying aggressive. I just wanted to make the plays that were necessary in the second overtime to get the win for our team.”

 

On North Carolina on Monday…

“We are very excited. I think this game will really get us ready for what we will see at Carolina. This was a very tough game and we hadn’t had a lot of them prior to this game. I think this is something that will really help us make those winning plays that we need to make at UNC.”

 

Demetrius Jackson • Sophomore • Guard

 

On Georgia Tech’s physical play…

“We knew it was going to be physical. Like I said before, it looked like those guys had been in the weight room this morning. They had strong guys, great team, great defense and we just wanted to continue to play great defense and continue to do the right things to win and it benefitted.”

 

On struggles from the 3-point line, but still pulling out the win…

“Continuing to play and share the ball the right way, continuing to play Notre Dame basketball, and guys tonight did a great job sharing the ball, stepping up, making shots, and rebounding too, that helped lead to a hard-fought win.”

 

On Jerian Grant’s dunk…

“I had a nice view of it. Steve [Vasturia] said it reminded him of Space Jam and I have to agree. It is really special when guys can make plays like that and that ignited us tonight.”

 

On the different feeling heading into overtime this year versus last year…

“I feel like we really stayed together. When things aren’t always going the right way for us, shots aren’t falling, we just want to continue staying together and continue to be positive and tonight was one of those wins that will help us in the future.”

 

On North Carolina on Monday…

“We are very excited. It’s another big opportunity to play on a big stage against a great team, so we just want to go out and play hard, rebound the ball, and go out and have fun.”

 

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