Postgame Quotes - NC State at Georgia Tech

March 3, 2013

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Georgia Tech Head Coach Brian Gregory
“Credit to NC State they played better than us and during this 40 minute stretch proved to be a team that we had a hard time beating.  At the same time I thought our guys fought, and showed some toughness and resiliency especially in that first half. 

The key was that we had two or three possessions where we could have tied it to taken a lead and we just weren’t ever able to get over the hump.  We did a lot of things wrong, but in terms of the effort and energy, it was pretty good.

 I thought we did a good job on the glass. Guys were getting in there; we just didn’t make enough plays against a good team.  We just have to bounce back and be ready to play again Wednesday.  We played against a good team; an NCAA Tournament team that made a good run in the tournament last year. 

We struggle taking care of the basketball at times for various reasons.  We have at the post, we have at the wings, and we have at the point guard spot.  It was an equal opportunity inability at times to handle the basketball and make good decisions.  You can put that on the youth, you can put it on different things, but it’s a common thread when we haven’t played well. I thought the post guys did a better job in the second half, but we struggled to get the ball inside in the second half too. 

We’re better when the ball goes inside and we move the ball.  One of the hardest things in this process is to be consistent and to constantly build on stuff.  I think this season kinds of shows that point.  You see good things and you think now you’ve got it, but you don’t.  It’s just not who we are yet.  It’s who we can be, but it’s not who we are.

I think Richard Howell is a great player, because he plays hard all the time and he’s tremendous on the glass.  We held him to only six rebounds, but he set the tone in those first 10 minutes and just killed us on the glass, but he might not have gotten an offensive rebound in the last 20 or 30 minutes of the game.  Their upperclassmen have had tremendous careers in this league and their tough to guard. 

It’s kind of where we’re at.  You shore up one thing that you know you had to do better, and then another problem opens up.  We’re just not at a point where all the pieces on a consistent basis lock in.

This team has shown great resolve and great fight, and you can’t do that without great senior leadership and Mfon (Udofia) and Pierre (Jordan) have done that.  Their impact in this program will unfortunately be more felt down the road.  They were part of a cultural change and they have been the key components of that.  They stuck with it when things weren’t great, and they stuck with it when guys didn’t want to be part of that.  Those guys have both been tremendous.  Their one of the reasons why we’ve been able to bounce back, and I give those guys a lot of credit.”

NC State Head Coach Mark Gottfried

Opening Statement
“The first thing that jumps out at me was that our defensive effort was as good as it has been in a while.  I thought that was the key to the game.  We had a game where we went 1-for-11 from the three, Scott Wood seemed to struggle to get in a groove, but I thought the difference was how we defended.  We had active hands, we really pressured the ball well, disrupted the post-feed pass to go inside, so I thought that was the key for us tonight.”

Something you saw on defending the post
“We just talked the last couple days about being sound fundamentally.  But again, being in a better stance, having active hands.  Instead of getting our hands by our sides, we’ve got to be more active with everything that we do.  We spent some time on that this week and I thought our guys carried that into the game.  For us to become a good basketball team, that has to get better for us.  Tonight was a good step in that direction.”

On the play of Richard Howell
“I thought Richard was great. You run out of adjectives for that guy.  He plays so hard, he had a big-time first half and I wasn’t sure that he could have a second half like the first half, but he was really good offensively and at rebounding the basketball.  He did everything he always does.”

On how big C.J. Leslie’s layup was with the score 51-49
“I thought it was a big shot.  I’ll tell you another shot that I thought was big for us was Tyler Lewis’ three (10:52 mark of second half).  There was a stretch where we had a couple empty possessions, were a little out of sync and Tyler’s three was huge for our team as well.”

On the early 28-14 lead
“We’re on the road and they’re going to respond.  I felt they would be really competitive and come back like they did.  I thought (in the first half) we played 17 minutes of great defense.  Then we had three in there right towards the end where we didn’t get a rebound, they hit a three pointer, got another three pointer.  But outside of that stretch I thought our defense was awfully good.”

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