March 3, 2015
GEORGIA TECH HEAD COACH Brian Gregory
“We knew maybe being a little short-handed was going to put us in a tough spot. I’ll give Quinton [Stephens] credit. Obviously, he got hurt in the second-half of that Clemson game. He tried to play a little bit after he got hurt, but just could not finish out the game. He has not done anything the last couple days. But he tried to go through warm-ups and wanted to play. But at this point, with an abdominal strain, he couldn’t really do anything. Josh [Heath] has not practiced the last couple of days. So we knew we would be kind of short on the perimeter a little bit and then, unfortunately, Marcus [Georges-Hunt] got hurt. It kind of threw us out of sorts a little bit. We had guys playing different spots than they have really ever played before. Some guys who have not played much having to play. I thought we got out of sorts on the offensive end. I thought that defensively we were pretty good in the first half. So many of their [North Carolina’s] points came off of our turnovers, though. And so you really could not blame our defense on that. And then I thought that in the second half we came out with some energy. We did some good things. Just not enough firepower to kind of cut into that lead. I think unfortunately, at the end, our defense did not perform as well as it had the first 30 minutes and ran out gas a little bit.”
On playing three power forwards and Charles Mitchell’s first-half struggles
“Obviously that is a big thing we need to work on. He [Mitchell] does some really good things out there. He gets 16 [points] and eight [rebounds] for us and goes 4-for-5 from the free throw line. But, at times out there, with one or two guards it’s hard to play against North Carolina. They are going to pressure and trap you. They use their length very well. Obviously, with only one or two ball handlers out there today put us in a tough spot. Eighteen turnovers kind of speaks for that. You put your big guys in some tough spots because of that. Charles [Mitchell] has four turnovers. Demarco [Cox] has two. But give Demarco Cox credit. He played a heck of a game for us. He has been tremendous for us all year long. He gets 14 [points] and eight [rebounds]. He defended the post and held Meeks to eight points. We did a much better job of guarding the post in this game than we did in game one.”
On Marcus Georges-Hunt’s injury
“We will get an X-ray tomorrow. It’s his right foot. It’s not an ankle sprain; it’s the foot. So he will get the X-ray tomorrow. You hope for the best. But my experience tells me that in a situation like that it did not look good. It did not look good. He did not hit anybody or step on anybody. And unfortunately sometimes those are the worst.
What did you tell your team after the game?
“We have got to get some rest. We have got to get healthy. We got to have some guys ready to go that maybe have not played as much. If we go with that bigger lineup, we have to look at what we are going to try to execute offensively. We just have to get some rest the next couple of days and get ready to go to Greensboro and play well out there. Again, I thought there were times you could have picked out some plays that were forced or a little sloppy. And I am not sure you could blame the players on some of that stuff. Guys were trying to make plays and were put in difficult situations with some of the lineups we had out there. They are disappointed because, all things being equal, our guys were ready to go tonight and ready to play. They wanted to make up probably for one of the two ‘effort games’ where we did not compete at the level you need to compete at. Even in the first couple of minutes, we were ready to defend the post, ready to defend the transition. We had a couple of early turnovers that were unforced. But again, we get 16 offensive rebounds. Our big guys were going at it hard and we played with much greater physicality than we did in the game one just ten days ago.”
NORTH CAROLINA HEAD COACH ROY WILLIAMS
“I think the big, huge part of the game was the injuries and how short it left Brian [Gregory] club. I think we did some good things halfway through the first half and had a good spurt, but without [Georges-] Hunt and Stephens… those guys have been so competitive all year, I think they just ran out of gas. That was at least if not the biggest, one of the biggest parts of the game. They just ran out of personnel. And yet I think this club played extremely hard the second half and drilled us on the backboards in the second half. We got some good help in the first half and a pretty good run there with Joel [Berry II] off the bench – making his threes. I think that was big for us. Their big guys in the first half had eight of their 10 field goals. I don’t know what they finished up with 13 so they got five in the second half too. But I think for us we tried to do a better job on the big guys in the second half. We sort of meandered around there a little bit, but we got enough breaks, got enough layups and we got enough shots to go in the basket. I do believe the whole thing was that we just had more bodies than they did.”
On getting 21 points off turnovers in the first half
“I think that was the whole key to the whole game if it was not the injuries for Brian’s [Gregory] club. It’s a four or six point game then all of a sudden it’s an eighteen point game because they turned it over a couple times – four or five times in fact – and we were laying it up on the other end. [On] one of them we ended making a three off of it. I think that little spurt for us offensively was the most important part of the game for us particularly on the offensive side. Then when you add in the fact that they had their guys hurt I think that was it.
On defensive activity that created first half spurt
“We were active. We went to some scrambles. We got a 32 and 42 and both came up with turnovers. We came back with them and got another turnover. Then we tried to jam down a little quicker on the post and got a turnover there as well. It was a good spurt for us.”
On the 11-0 run in the first half
“I think it started with our steals on the other end. Nate [Britt] made a three during that time period also. We shot too many threes in the first half. We shot 11 threes and only shot two foul shots. That’s not what we usually do, but they were going in.”
On Joel Berry II helping outside shooting
“Well it was a lift, but Joel’s [Berry II] percentage was awful before tonight too. If you tell me it’s a trend then I am as happy as I can be, but sometimes the ball goes in the basket for you. But 6-for-18 is not something to get excited about, our women made 14 out of 26 on Sunday and lost. But we needed them to be going in for us during that time period.”