Press Conference Transcript -- Georgia Tech Players

March 15, 2005

GEORGIA TECH GUARD B.J. Elder

On the playing a Friday game and the rest it affords the team — “Jarrett (Jack) with his ankle now and Ish (Muhammad) with his knee, just giving us some time to rest and get ready to go. We had a long weekend, playing three games in a row.”

On the teams experience heading into the NCAA tournament — “We definitely think about it. We had a good run last year. It gave some guys some opportunities to play in some big games, and we got a lot of those guys back, so I think that the experience will definitely help us.”

On his knowledge of GW — “Basically I’ve watched them play a couple of times. I know they like to run and I know they like to press. So that’s basically all I know right now. We’re going to go through a walk-through later on today and we’ll get more familiar with their personnel.”

On the condition of Jarrett Jack and how Jack contributed in the ACC Championship game — “The type of guy Jarrett is I know he’s going to suit up and go out there and play. You know he’s just going to go out there and give it a go and see how it feels. I guess he’ll see how it feels in practice on Thursday, so I mean hopefully he’ll be fine, tape it up and then get out there and play.”

On his excitement of getting back to the NCAA’s especially with not playing much in the Final Four last year — “It means a lot, you know, it’s definitely somewhere I wanted to get back to after last year, not being able to really finish out the season. Just getting another opportunity to play, I’m really thankful for that.

Confidence after battling two No. 1 seeds in the ACC tournament last week – “I definitely think we gained a lot of confidence off this past weekend. It just gives us some momentum going into this weekend and hopefully further on, so I think we got a lot of confidence from that and we’re looking to build on it.”

On what he learned from the close games of last season — “It just lets you know that every game is going to be a close game and you really can’t take anybody lightly, you know at this time of the year because everyone’s really just playing their hearts out, and trying to get on to the next game. So you definitely have to go out there and just leave it all out there.”

GEORGIA TECH GUARD Jarrett Jack

On the media’s changing opinion of the team — “That’s just how the media is — some days they’re on your side and, you know, some days they’re not. After the game when we beat UNC a couple reporters came to me and said `Is there still room left on the band-wagon.’ So you never know how it may be, one day everybody’s rooting for you, the next day everybody’s against you. So you just have to go out there with the 14 guys you’ve got in your locker room and know that you have something special.”

On the feeling of the team coming into the tournament this year as it compares with the feeling coming into last year’s tournament — “The thing is just to go out there and get the job in any way, shape or form. Not to let anything on the defensive side of the ball on the offensive side of the ball, you know, trouble you whether you go out there and win by one point or twenty points it doesn’t matter you’re still going to move on to the next round.”

On what he takes from last year’s experience and what he expects going into this year’s tournament – “Just knowing that you’ve got to battle hard for each possession. Each minute you’re out there counts. You never know which possession or shot or whatever the case may be, may come back to haunt you, and that could be the thing that ends your season.”

On the team’s magic in the ACC and NCAA tournaments and playing their best basketball now at the most important time of the year — “I think this is our best stretch of basketball of the entire season, being that we played three great, three good consistent games of Georgia Tech basketball. I don’t think there was any type of drop-off. Each phase of the game I think we really brought it. We stepped up our defensive pressure this weekend, and that’s something you’re really going to need if you’re going to stay in the NCAA tournament.”

On how his ankle feels — “It’s a little swollen, but day by day it’s getting better. You know I’m going to try and get as close to 100 percent as I can.”

On the confidence gained from the ACC Tournament — “Like I said, we played two number one seeds, and we beat one and battled the other one down to the wire. If you can’t get any momentum or confidence off of that, then I don’t know what would. Going into a tournament where it can be a one game affair, if you don’t bring your A-game, you know I think that’s something that really gets your attention going.”

How the close battles in last years NCAA’s prepared him — “Nobody wants to go home. It’s not like you can just lose and start over and say, `Alright we’re going to do this game over.’ Nobody wants their season to end, and I think that’s the beauty of the tournament, Each time you’re going to get that team’s best shot, regardless of what the situation is, it doesn’t really matter what seed you are. Everybody is 0-0 right now, it’s like a brand new season. You’ve got to take that approach to every game.”

GEORGIA TECH CENTER Luke Schenscher

On the finality of being a senior entering his final NCAA tournament — “I haven’t really thought about it too much, now that you’ve brought it up. There’s a lot of seniors on the team, so it’s definitely in the back of our minds, that you know this is the last run that we’re going to have, and this is the last time we’re going to play college basketball.”

On how far the team has come in the last four weeks — “It was just good to go to the tournament and get a couple of wins there. We always new we had it in us, and it’s just good to bring it all together on the court. Hopefully we can bring that all together in the tournament.”

On the one element they have this year that they didn’t have last year — “We’ve got experience. Last year we got a lot of good experience. We got that drive to the final game, but we didn’t make it past that extra step, so that’s also on the back of our mind as well.”

On the match-up with GW, especially Mensah-Bonsu — “They look like they’ve got a great team, and it’s going to be real tough, and like you say. He’s a tough player, too, it’s going to be a big challenge.”

On the rest afforded by playing a Friday night game — “I think that it helps a lot giving us some rest, obviously with Jarrett and Ism’ail, and a lot of the other guys are tired off playing three straight games in the ACC’s, which is pretty tough any way you look at it. So it’s definitely good that we got that extra day.”

On how the tough ACC tournament helped prepare the team for the NCAA tournament — “Playing in the ACC’s is pretty much the best preparation you can get going into the tournament, and thaving three ACC games in row like that definitely is something we can use to help us.”

On what he tells the young guys about the NCAA tournament, and it’s overwhelming effect — “Yeah it can be, but you know for me personally it’s just enjoying it. If you enjoy it and look at it that way and make sure that you soak in the whole atmosphere and that definitely helps.”

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