Post-Game Quotes

Dec. 6, 2014

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GEORGIA TECH HEAD COACH Brian Gregory

 

Opening Statement

“Give Coach Payne and his team a lot of the credit.  They outplayed us.  I thought we played well for about 11 minutes and that was it.  We had five games in eight days and a quick turnaround after Wednesday night.  It takes maturity and a certain amount of toughness and grit to be able to compete and play against a very good team for 40 minutes.  And we’re just not there yet.  That’s the bottom line.  They took advantage of it played well.  They were able to sustain and hang in there when some of their best players weren’t playing as well.  But when you play a team with three senior guards that all shoot over 40 percent from the three-point line and have an off-the-chart assist-to-turnover ratio, you’re going to be in for a game.  They can get good play from one or two other guys, and they got that in the first half from Cuthbertson and got it in the second half from Buchanan.  They are a good team and have won a lot of games.  I have been at this for 25 years so I’m not disappointed in the way we played, but they deserved to win the game.  So you’ve got to figure out why and hopefully move forward.”

 

On the team settling for long shots

“We’ve got to penetrate a little better.  Our post guys need to do better job of posting up and getting the ball.  They need to work on finishing plays or making free throws if they get fouled.  I think that’s important.  When you face a team that plays like that, you’re going to get some three-point chances and you need to knock a couple down.  You need some guys that can make some shots.  And unfortunately we didn’t have enough today.  Twenty-one three’s is probably too many for us to take.  You have to do a better job.  You have to have some poise. You have to have some patience to break the defense down.  This is a team that’s going to make you get into the last 10 seconds of the shot clock sometimes, and you have to be OK with that.  If you’re a low percentage three-point shooter, you can’t take a quick three in those instances.  I thought there were probably five or six possessions where we did that.  And in a one or two possession game, which is what this game was, you can’t put yourself in too big of a hole by doing that.”

 

On contribution from the bench and starters’ struggles offensively

“I think our bench has been able to give us a lift.  If you look at some of the guys coming off the bench in Tadric, Chris and Robert Sampson, those guys are helping us out on the scoring side.  Getting a good boost offensively from them is important.  Again, we were trying to keep some guys fresh.   DeMarco played the most minutes at 28 and everybody else was in the 25 minute range.

 

On Upstate’s perimeter defense

“You show them that on film.  You talk to them about being stronger with the ball and not making any automatic passes.  Those three guards know that and run the system.  They’re crafty.  The one thing they do is they play every possession to its fullest every time.  You can tell our guys you need to watch the outlets off the rebound and not to screw around.  Twenty times you have no problem with it and then the 21st time they’ll get the steal like they did in the second half.  It takes a discipline and a maturity to play a very disciplined and mature team.  And we didn’t have that today.”

 

 

USC UPSTATE HEAD COACH EDDIE PAYNE

 

Opening Statement

“Obviously I’m very pleased and proud of our team. We had one day to prepare, as did they, and even though the stats don’t bear it out I thought we did a good enough job on the glass to keep them from hurting us on the offensive boards. Their second chance points was only eight even though they out rebounded us by 12. I thought that was very significant. Very significant. We knew they were a little challenged from the perimeter and so we really tried to take away the inside and protect the inside out, and I thought we did an excellent job of that. For us this is the kind of thing that’s really a celebratory thing. It’s hard to do what these kids did, but I’ve got a really good group of youngsters – probably as good a group as I’ve ever had. They try to do what you tell them and what you coach them to do and they did a very good job of this afternoon.”

 

On adjusting to foul trouble

“We just had to keep alternating. Moving them in and out and use the depth. Ty [Greene] played 34 minutes, but for him that’s easy. Nobody else played over 30. Excuse Fred [Miller] did. I think we didn’t shoot the ball well from the perimeter; we shot 29 percent the first half and only 30 percent in the second half and won the game. That’s an unusual statistic. We made a couple free throws down in the end. Everybody who played contributed. There’s nothing magical about that you just have to rotate people and try to keep them fresh.”

 

On Josh Cuthbertson’s four threes in the first half

“It kept us in the game. He really did. We were struggling offensively, and he made those shots. He’s a high-energy guy who can make shots, but he hasn’t made them like that this year. You’re absolutely right. That was a key thing that kept us in the ball game. It allowed us to stay in it and we were able to scratch back and tie it at halftime.”

 

On challenging Georgia Tech inside

“Without getting into some slides, we play this matchup thing. We try to slide to protect on the block against those two big guys. They play high-low, but often times they’ll get a couple blocks. We tried to emphasize that even if we had three guys out that was better than allowing them to operate. Our kids did a great job of staying above them, not allowing direct line feeds and, if they entered it, making it be a lob pass. That was fairly effective because I don’t think they got direct line post feeds that frequently. If you watch tape of them, that’s when they’re really hard to guard. They get the ball up on the rim and they’re in close and then they get the rebounds. I’d say probably those two things.”

 

On forcing three pointers

“If they make them, it’s probably a different story. The defense in itself is designed to do that pretty much as a rule. When you get to play really good perimeter shooters you have to change it up and there’s a way to do that which we can do, but that wasn’t the game plan today.”

 

On causing steals

“We’re pretty good at getting deflections. We’re seventh nationally in steals. So we’ve been pretty good getting deflections and disrupting possessions and we did a good job of that today.”

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