Post-Game Quotes (Game 4)

Nov. 24, 2017

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GEORGIA TECH HEAD COACH Josh Pastner

Opening statement
“Grant does a great job with their team. They play hard and he’s a high-level person and high-level coach. Secondly, it’s a good win for us. We found a way to get it done through our defense even though I didn’t like that they shot 53 percent from three, we did force them into 19 turnovers and we only had six. It helps when you make three’s and we did in the second half. Curtis [Haywood II] ended up hitting 5-for-7, Jose [Alvarado] saved us in the first half with 12 of our 22 [points]. When we couldn’t score, he hit some shots. It was a good, gutty win. They came in averaging 86 [points] a game and we held them to 49 and that’s great. That’s who we are. We’re going to have to find ways to get things done defensively. … Moses Wright hit two nice jump shots in the second half. I thought Tadric Jackson looked a little rusty but it was nice to have him on the fast break to be able to do those different things. I thought he took some shots and maybe tried to force the issue, but overall he came up with four defensive rebounds and even though he was a little rusty, it was good to have him back.”

On deciding to go with a small lineup in the second half
“Part of it was, defensively they didn’t guard AD [Gueye] at the start of the game. They didn’t guard a couple of our guys and so we needed to size down. So we’ll have to do different things at different times and each game is going to be its own unique situation. With our team, in this major rebuild that we’re in, until we get a full recruiting class of back-to-back-to-back, there’s going to be some times that, when you’re not old, it’s going to be a game-by-game situation.”

On Jose Alvarado’s stat line of 19 points, seven rebounds, four assists and three steals
“I knew when we were recruiting Jose, I knew what he was about and it’s sticking your nose in there on tough inside rebounds and 50-50 balls. I believe that guard rebounding is a reflection on the head coach – defensive guard rebounding. When the guards stick their nose in there and rebound, that’s everything. It sets the tone. It’s very important to me when guards rebound the ball because it shows they’ve got some fight and energy about them. It’s a toughness mentality…. I’ve told our guys, that’s important to Georgia Tech fans and to alumni. It’s a blue-collar mentality and it’s a blue-collar school. You have to work really hard to get through school here so having a tough mentality in rebounding is a direct reflection on that.”

On the explosion of the offense in the second half
“We had better pace and were able to get some fast break opportunities. We had better pace in some areas. It was very reminiscent of last year when we played Boston College where we couldn’t score in the first half and then in the second half we came out and really scored. It was really similar to that.”

On Ben Lammers still drawing so much attention despite not being 100 percent
“I really hope Georgia Tech fans really appreciate and don’t let this year go by and not come watch Ben Lammers play. One, he’s such a joy to coach but he just works his rear end off. He does everything exactly right and he’s an excellent player. He’s an unbelievable representative of Georgia Tech and people should really enjoy watching him play because you only get this year. So, don’t take it for granted because you only get this year.”

 

NORTH TEXAS HEAD COACH GRANT McCASLAND

Opening statement
“Well first of all, it was a great atmosphere and a fun place to play a game. It is my first time in this facility. I just want to give Coach [Josh] Pastner a lot of credit. He has got a short-handed team you can tell and I know [Ben] Lammers got hurt a little bit at the end of that last game before they played us. He just did a really good job of changing defenses and keeping people, I think, just kind of off based and it was tough on our young team. I could tell that we struggled with the changing of the defenses. We tried to simplify it for them, but it was effective against us, obviously, as we had 19 turnovers, which is a credit to their aggressiveness. When that ball was loose, I felt like we didn’t win very many of those loose ball wars. We tried to do some things on the glass offensively, but it just wasn’t enough with our turnovers that just led to baskets. Really, that’s what I thought was the difference in the game and that’s to their credit. He’s got a team that is playing hard and you can tell that they’re trying to play together.”

On Curtis Haywood II’s shooting from three-point range
“If you look at his numbers, he has shot quite a bit of three’s in a percentage of how many total shots. It looks like that is where he is comfortable shooting, which is what I told them before the game. We had a miscommunication on the first one. We weren’t guarding some guys, to be honest, and he wasn’t supposed to be one of them. But they went small and that is to Coach Pastner’s credit. He [Pastner] did a good job of kind of recognizing what we were doing and moved the lineup smaller. He [Curtis] was out there with that smaller lineup around Lammers and he hit that first one and nobody was guarding him. And anytime a good player like that can see that first one go in without anybody contesting it, you can tell he fed off it and played well the rest of the game. It wasn’t our intention obviously to leave him open.”

On Georgia Tech going to a smaller lineup in the second half
“Well, it won them the game to be honest. We couldn’t really guard them because then we had four guys around Lammers and it took our guys out of help. We were really trying to help off a couple of guys and we didn’t care if they ever shot it. Unfortunately, when they went small we didn’t have anybody we could help off of as much. They did a good job in spacing and that offense is tough to card with all of those cutters and with somebody like Lammers that can drive and make 15-footers and back you down and make post touches. And then he goes to the line and makes free throws. It’s a tough cover. We tried to go zone there for a segment and then they made a couple three’s out of it. Really, credit their defense because we turned the ball over and I thought that was the difference in the game. We kept them off the glass, that’s something we haven’t been doing very well – defensive rebounding. So that is something I can take away that is positive. We shot it well from three, I just wish we would have shot more of them.”

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