Jan. 23, 2012
Transcript of head coach Brian Gregory’s session on the ACC Teleconference Monday morning. Georgia Tech hosts Miami at 9 p.m. Tuesday night at Philips Arena, then visits North Carolina at 6 p.m. Sunday. Both games will be televised on ESPNU.
“I thought we bounced back with a better effort on Saturday. Unfortunately, it has happened in the last few weeks, a couple key aspects of the game we didn’t do a very good job of, in this particular game, we just turned the ball over too much against Clemson. Give them credit. Their defensive pressure hurt us. And we didn’t do a good job of handling that. At the same time, much better effort in terms of playing two forty minutes than we did the other night. We turn around in a tough stretch here, and have Miami which is a team that is at times, just showing how good they can be, and I know they have had injury problems and continuity problems, but it will be a great test for us to see if we can continue to build and bounce back.”
On what made the team competitive towards the end of the Clemson game:
“I thought we started out the game pretty well. At times, we are going to struggle to score the basketball, either one of two reasons. One, we don’t take care of the ball well enough, or two, we don’t shoot the ball well enough. But our defensive intensity, I think they started out 5 for 20 from the field. So I was pleased right off the bat with our guys’ response in terms of defending much better. Virginia shot 48 percent against us, and we got demolished on the glass in that game. I thought our guys responded well.
“We had the little snafu with the lights and we did not come out of that very good and they went on a big run there at the end of the half. Some turnovers, some lack of concentration, but I thought our guys, other than that five minute stretch cause we scored the first basket once the lights came on to cut it to 13-11. But the next five minutes we didn’t perform very well. And then in the second half I thought we came out and cut the lead to 10, and give them credit, they responded. Their seniors played extremely well for them and made some big, big plays.
“But then, just got to keep fighting, so it was the spirit that our guys competed with, even with the problems that we had in terms of turnovers, in terms of a little lack of concentration from some pretty good free throw shooters that did not shoot the ball well. But still again, to get that game into the last two minutes, when you still have a chance to be in it, I thought spoke volumes for our guys’ resiliency and understanding that it is a forty minute game and if you compete hard and play hard and do that for forty minutes, you are going to have a shot in a lot of games.”
On the inconsistency of Glen Rice:
“I said in the beginning of the year, one of the challenges was to become more consistent. I don’t think it is a phenomenon that is only starting now. He is not the only one, unfortunately, but because of the positives when he is playing well, I think it comes in the light a little more. I do think those are habits that are formed on a daily basis and I think that covers our entire team. And again, I think it is sometimes highlighted with Glen, but by no means is he the only one that performance of inconsistency is there. I think that is a lot of our guys. Sometimes it is brought to light a little more either during a game or from a game to game basis. It is difficult and I think you see that as a team, how can you go on the road and hold one team to 33 percent from the field and out-rebound them and then, two days later, a team maybe at the same level shoots 50 percent and you get outrebounded by 15. It is one of the markers along the process that we are at in terms of trying to rebuild the program and do it with consistent efforts every single day.”
“I think anytime a change is made in a program, there is going to be a learning curve. When you add to it the inability to have a continuous lineup and players because of the stuff that Jim has gone through with injuries and different things like that, guys sick, it makes it even more difficult. So the flashes of the team you know Jim can have down there has been just that, flashes. But at the same time, now that they have, maybe the last few games, they are starting to get all the pieces back in place, you are starting to see just how good they can be. You have tremendous guard play. Great explosiveness on the perimeter. You are seeing Larkin, as a freshman, starting to get a little more comfortable at this level with the different things. He is very talented. Sometimes, that adjustment, just understanding what he can get away with, especially at this stage of his career. Kadji is playing extremely well, maybe as well as anyone in the league. He gives them a very versatile big guy that can step out, shooting 40 something percent from three, but also really starting to score more around the basketball also. And Johnson is starting to get into a little bit better shape and a little bit more comfortable out there after his injury as well. They have a pretty good package, it is just unfortunate for Jim, a guy with his coaching pedigree and how good of a coach he is, not to be able to have all of those pieces together all the time to have the type of team. But there is a lot of basketball left to be played. And they are one of those teams, as we hit the end of January here, that is only going to keep getting better.”