Post-Game Quotes: Georgia Tech 88, Lamar 69

GEORGIA TECH HEAD COACH JOSH PASTNER

Opening Statement:

“I want to give a lot of credit to Lamar and Coach [Tic] Price. He does a great job there at Lamar. He’s done a great job with the program. I’ve known Coach Price for a long time, so I want to give him a lot of credit for the job he’s done at Lamar. Secondly, I was really proud of our guys [during] that first 25 minutes. We really had great energy and played well. I thought the last 15 [minutes], our energy dropped, and that’s just part of, like I said, we’re a brand new team basically with this season. That’s just something our guys have got to figure out, the difference and the feel between when we are playing with that energy and when the energy level drops. We’re just a better team when we’re playing with the right energy. I love the fact – and I’ve said this many times – when you’re shooting the ball like we did tonight, everything is just better. I was happy about that.

“We had 26 assists on 32 made field goals, which is outstanding. We have a goal to get 60 percent of our field goals assisted every time we play. So that was an outstanding stat for us. We had five kills, we call them kills [when we get] three stops in a row, during the game today in the first half. We didn’t have any in the second half. That’s a direct reflection on Lamar having a really good second half. Of course we missed some free throws. But there’s a lot of positives in the game, and it was a good win. It’s a good first win, and I was proud of our guys. We’ve got a lot to clean up and get better at, and we will do that … A lot of good to take from and a lot of opportunities to get better with the film, and we’ll do that on Sunday. And, most importantly, let’s get a win tomorrow versus Miami so we get bowl-eligible.”

On Sylvester Ogbonda:

“Sylvester, again, he has gotten better and you could see it tonight. I’ve said it from the beginning – we have to be perfect in player development. Every guy that has played for us has gotten better, and that’s a credit to [our] staff. [It’s] my third year here, and I’ve had great assistant coaches, I’ve had great support staff, strength coach, all that stuff. The assistant coaches have done a tremendous job of player development, and we’ve got to be perfect on that. You can see Vess’s improvement and, I’ll tell you, in our scrimmage, he produced. In our exhibition game, he produced. And tonight, he produced.”

On Georgia Tech’s three-point shooting:

“We’re going to live a lot of times by the three-point shot. I’m hoping we don’t die by it. But we’re going to live a lot by the three-point shot, because I really believe in our shooting ability.

On having eight players play 15 minutes or more:

“I would prefer to play six guys. But we don’t have a lot of separation. And if we’re going to press and play a little wild, or helter-skelter, in a sense, you’re going to have to play more guys. I’m more comfortable playing six or seven, I’ve always been that way. But for this year, because we don’t have a lot of separation and until we get that, we’re probably going to have to play a lot of guys.”

On areas for improvement:

“Obviously we’ve got to clean up some of the things on our press break. We’ll clean up on some of that stuff. It was interesting – we press against each other every day in practice. And, again, we were fine – it was just late, the last 8-9 minutes, we struggled. So we’ll get better at that. There’ll be some other things. I need to watch the tape and really dissect. We’ve got to be better probably at a couple of things in transition defense and conversion from the press once they beat the press, back to our half-court defense. Defensive rebounding, they hurt us on the glass a little bit. I didn’t feel our guards stuck their nose in there enough to come up with defensive boards. We’ll continue to get better at that.”

LAMAR HEAD COACH TIC PRICE

Opening Statement:

“I thought Georgia Tech got off to a good start. They hit some shots. They pounded us inside and exposed our post players. When we tried to double, they had kick-outs and knocked down some threes. I like their team. I thought they did a good job. Based on what I saw this year compared to last year, they’re shooting the basketball better, but we might have had something to do with it. They run some good stuff on the offensive end and their length bothered us. We don’t see that type of length in our league, but Georgia Tech’s got a fine basketball team.”

On Lamar’s defensive success in the second half:

“What we tried to do as much as we could was channel the ball to the sideline, which enabled us to try and get some traps and in-rotation steals. What we’re fighting right now is trying to develop some consistency [and] knowing the push points on the floor for us. We can be successful getting steals [and] that helped us get into our transition game. Unfortunately, we were very hesitant and apprehensive about making our traps in the first half. We quit on the first one once they threw out and we didn’t continue the traps. If you don’t match an opponent’s effort, obviously you come up a little short, and in the first half we didn’t do that.”

On his takeaways:

“Our guys didn’t quit. In the second half, we stayed the course even though we fell short. I am proud of the fact that our guys continued to fight, but we’ve just got to be better at getting off to a good start. Staying the course is important for us. We gave them too many second-chance opportunities in the second half. I am proud that we did fight and battle on the boards and ended up winning the boards. We couldn’t overcome their size. We need to recruit bigger guys to match their size.”

On Lamar’s slow start:

“That was huge for us. I just felt that starting the second half, if we could just keep working at it, stay persistent and take each possession one at a time, maybe we could claw back into it. I challenged our guys not to quit and to play all the way until the clock hits zero. When you dig a hole that deep, it is very hard to dig out of it.”

On Lamar’s offensive rebounding success:

“It’s not always the shot that beats you, but the shot that follows. And sometimes our best offense was second-shot opportunities. Our kids just kept fighting. We were overmatched with their size. That really gave us a lot of problems.”

On Lamar’s transition game:

“It was spotty. It was inconsistent. That’s probably when we’re at our best, when we’re running. But in the first half, I thought they did a good job in their transition defense. You have to give them a lot of credit for that.”

On Georgia Tech’s Curtis Haywood II:

“We didn’t [know much about him]. We had limited information about Georgia Tech. They only had one game against Florida Tech and that really wasn’t a whole lot to watch. Florida Tech was overmatched too. We looked at some games from a year ago – not necessarily looking at the same personnel, but looking at the same system. We had an idea of what Josh [Pastner] would be watching. It’s like when the Bulls were running their triangle offense. When you’ve got Michael Jordan, it looks good. But when Michael Jordan retired, their triangle offense just wasn’t the same. Their personnel is different now. They’ll have some success this year if they can get off to a start like they did tonight.”

 

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