Jan. 10, 2007
– Georgia Tech Head Coach Paul Hewitt:
“It’s nice to get our first conference win. Ra’Sean Dickey did a great job leading our team. He started out strong and established himself inside and then was there for us the whole night. He made good plays for us the whole night, like that one play when he dove on the floor and got that loose ball, and then Anthony Morrow picked it up and he got fouled. That was as aggressive as I’ve seen him on defense probably in the three years I’ve been here.
“Javaris lit the fire. He got that steal in the corner after [Morrow’s three-point attempt was blocked]. He stripped it and went in for the dunk, and that gave us a little bit of a lift.
[Second half drought] “We just got really tentative. Our cuts weren’t sharp, our passes weren’t crisp. They’re going to fight and battle – that’s how Duke plays. So it was us getting tentative and Duke getting aggressive, and you saw the result.
“We wanted to try to go inside. Ra’Sean’s been playing better and better. We felt that one thing we did not do a good job of Saturday was getting the basketball in to him. In our film sessions, we showed it over and over that he was available. I thought our guys made a real strong effort to get him the basketball tonight.
[More on Dickey] “I’m like everyone else in that I fall into the idea that if a kid is not a great player as a freshman or sophomore, then maybe he’s not quite what you thought. Back 15 or 20 years ago, you waited until the junior year before you got a kid to play at a very high level. He’s just one of those guys who is maturing a little later.
[Crittenton’s development] “He’s still going to make some of those youthful mistakes He’s a very confident player, and also plays extremely hard. This team has a chance to be different and better because of energy, not necessarily because of his skill level. He’s a good basketball player, but he just plays so hard that his pulls his team along with him.
NOTING GEORGIA TECH: Tech defeated Duke at Alexander Memorial Coliseum for the first time since the 1995-96 season . . . Ra’Sean Dickey scored a season high 21 points. He is now 18-for-20 from the field in three ACC games . . . Tech shot better than 50 percent from the field for the fourth straight game. After hitting 59.2 percent against Clemson, the Jackets have hit 51 of 88 shots from the field (58 percent) over the last two games.
Georgia Tech G Anthomy Morrow
On the winning each possession — “That film session of the Clemson game, we really saw some possessions that we could have really made a big change and one possession could’ve won that game. It was a big game for us, we pushed ourselves in practice everyday, possession by possession, and it really paid off today.”
On being a veteran leader — “Sean (Ra’Sean Dickey) and I really stepped up. Sean had a great game tonight and really established himself early. But it wasn’t just us; Mario West played a great game. Stats might not show it, but he really made those big plays. I tell Mario everyday that I’m going to miss him when he’s gone, because he really gets after it on defense and pushes it on offense. It was a 55-53 game, and I told myself that we’ve been there before and after they made their run, I knew that we had to make one of our own and we did. Javaris (Crittenton) made a big play when my three-pointer was tipped and he grabbed it and had that dunk. I told him that’s the biggest play I’ve ever seen him make.”
On the team coming together — “Practice to practice, minute to minute. Off the court and everything. We look after one another so much, it’s starting to show on the court. Our chemistry off the court has spilled over to on the court and that’s going to help us as we go along in the ACC.”
Georgia Tech G Javaris Crittenton
On making big plays at the end — “I just never gave up. No matter how I’m playing as an individual, I want the team to win. I just never gave up, I wanted me team to win and was going to do whatever it took for that to happen.”
On the Clemson game giving him a boost — “I’m a very confident person at all times. I came into this game tonight with the mindset of winning. If I would’ve had two points tonight, as long as we win, I don’t care. I mean I want to play well individually, but all that matters is the team winning. This is an ACC game, as long as we win, I’m happy.”
On this being his team — “Not to sound cocky, but as a point guard, it has to be your team. I’m the floor leader, the coach on the floor, so I feel like it’s my team.”
Georgia Tech C Ra’Sean Dickey
On it being a team effort — “It was great to see our second string guys come in and play like that. If they play like that, I think we can beat anybody.”
On his performance — “It feels great (to play like that). Not just because it was against Duke, but anybody. You always want to play like that.”
Duke Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski
Opening Comment — “I have to congratulate Paul and his kids. They played really hard. I thought we played hard. We wouldn’t have forced 28 turnovers if we weren’t playing hard. Our team has struggled all year to score, and is still struggling to score. The important points of the game were, in the middle of the first half, the three threes – two by Young and one by Smith – those were huge and gave a little differential there. Dickey, throughout, was a force. Morrow had that streak of points in the second half. A couple of times we left him open, which we obviously should not have done. His play was big, especially in the second half. The play of the game was when we got the rebound and Crittenton stole the ball from us after we played good defense and it was 55-53. We were playing very, very well during that time and the kid made a big play. They scored and they scored again, and that gave them the game. So that play [by Crittenton] was the play of the game. We have a chance, whether we score or not, to tie the game or go ahead. Instead, they score a quick bucket and are up by four, we don’t score and they score. They are up by six at 59-53 and the game just got away from us. Our kids would fight to the end, but they had good poise and hit their free throws and deserved to win.”
What was the difference about your defense in the seven minutes of the second half prior to Crittenton stealing the ball?
“I think we put better pressure on the ball. Our defense wasn’t bad throughout the game, except that we left more guys open today than we normally do, and they punished us for it. They just punished us. Again, I’d like to play every game and force 28 turnovers. We got 24 points off of turnovers. We just had a hard time scoring. They played good defense, and they are very long and athletic and they play hard. So it’s not like you’re getting layups, but we have to get better finishes.”
Duke was 4-for-20 from three-point range. Was the team just off tonight, or was it Georgia Tech’s length that affected the three-point shooting?
“It’s probably both. I thought that we had some open looks. We had as many open looks as they did in the first half, but they hit theirs. With their length, you think that you have something, but then you’re concerned that Young is going to come at you, or Faye, because they have long reaches. You have to be ready to shoot the ball right away.”
How much adjustment did you have to make defensively with Dickey?
“We were concerned about Josh (McRoberts) being in foul trouble. We didn’t really change our defense all that much. You know that they have good players at every position, so you try to take certain things away. They are going to score. Dickey was very aggressive today, and he also hit a 12- or 14-footer. He played very well. He did a good job tonight.”
Did the atmosphere of the first road game affect Duke?
“I don’t think that had anything (to do with the result). Our guys got out to a lead, and I didn’t sense us being nervous at all. You’d rather play in a gym that’s loud than a gym that where there is nobody. The crowd was great for their team, don’t get me wrong, but I don’t think that we were nervous.”
Talk about Greg (Paulus’) play, and how he has struggled offensively.
“He’s had a very interrupted year. He started out breaking his foot in his second practice and is out for five weeks. And then he came back and got mono, or close to mono, and he got over that. Then he came back from after Christmas and almost breaks his middle finger on his left hand and is out for four days. That has an affect. It’s no excuse, because other guys get hurt. But certainly, you’d like the continuity of play. But we’ll stick with him. We’ve got confidence in him, as we do all of our kids. It’s a different team–we have a real young team. We have eight scholarship guys right now and four of them are freshmen. We’ve got to find a way to win with that combination, and that’s what my job is supposed to be, so that’s what I’m going to do.”
Did the overtime loss to Virginia Tech hurt Duke going into this game?
“Well, it would help if we’d won. I don’t take that last game into the next game, or put that on our team. I don’t think that you become a winner by doing that. We had a chance to win that game too. Young teams have to learn how to win. Just because they are at Duke doesn’t mean that they’ve inherited winning. We’ve won a lot. You inherit money, or at least some people do. You don’t inherit how to win, you learn that. Our young guys have to do that with the fact that we are Duke University and have won. But I’d rather have that, than not have it.”