Feb. 6, 2012
ATLANTA – Here’s a transcript of head coach Brian Gregory’s regular Monday aession with the Atlantic Coast Conference media. Georgia Tech hosts NC State Thursday night at 7 p.m. at Philips Arena.
“I was pleased with our win on Saturday, against a team that is difficult to play and obviously, down the road, I believe is really going to be more challenging to play. Our guys had to do a lot of good things to be successful in that game. We had a pretty good effort out in Florida State, just couldn’t take care of the ball enough against their defense. Again, I feel like we are making some progress and that’s, as we head into the second half of the season, the most important thing for us to continue to do.”
On NC State’s Lorenzo Brown:
“If you remember, going into our (first) game, when we played them, I thought he was playing extremely well. His pace of play and his control of that pace were tremendous. There is no question about it that he is a guy that has really stepped up his game this year as a sophomore; the ball is in his hands quite a bit. So when he plays well, they are a much different team. Anytime a guy has the ball in his hands as much as he does, there are going to be some games when maybe there are a few more turnovers, especially as he is only a sophomore. I think he had some of those games. But he does so many other things, his ability to score, his ability to create shots, his ability to push the ball, and he uses his length on defense as a pretty good combination at that point guard spot. As I said, I think he is right on the cusp of being an elite guard, not only in this league, but I think as he continues to progress, in this country.”
On the rule that allows players, like Pierre Jordan, to transfer and be eligible immediately after completing their degree:
“I haven’t really thought about it that much, but I think it is a good rule. If our number one objective is to get the players their degree, then that objective has been reached. And then to give the guys the freedom to play somewhere else if it puts them in a position to get a second degree, or the master’s graduate degree is something that they want. In Pierre’s case, to put him in a position now where he is now back at home, and maybe a greater opportunity to play but also to get a prestigious graduate degree, I think it is good. I think you are going to see maybe some more of that. I think this year you have seen some more of that as well. But at the same time, I think the ultimate goal is to have those guys get their degrees, and that has been accomplished. You put them in a position that now they have that diploma in hand and you have to make a decision and usually maybe one that is a pretty good one, either to stay and play, or to go someplace else. I think we’ve got a couple of guys in this league who have done that, and I think it has worked out extremely well for them and the teams that they went to.”
“I think because guys are just starting to figure out that they can do that, and that it is an option. The guys who redshirt and so-forth will now, instead of maybe having their coursework go through the five years if they have an opportunity to finish it up in four, then they have some other options. If they get their degree, and they want to pursue a graduate degree and maybe their school doesn’t offer that, or they go to another school where they might have an opportunity, in that one year, to play more than they have in the three years prior to that, whatever the case may be. So you can see that with guys not only who are redshirted, just a redshirt, or guys who have redshirted medically. Maybe due to an injury, they are not quite the player they were before, they dropped down a level, and they get to play and finish out their college career with a diploma and hand, with some credit towards an advanced degree and maybe even enjoying the basketball aspect of it even more as well.”
On the performance in the previous matchup against NC State in Raleigh:
“We shot the ball extremely well. We took care of the ball. Whenever we do that, if we defend the way that we are supposed to defend, and our guys they did a great job of that on Saturday afternoon as well. We are just a different team. And whenever you go through what we are going through, in terms of trying to reestablish ourselves and so forth, as I have said, time and time again, the biggest thing is to grow consistent in that. Our longest flashes have been some nonconference games but also the Duke game in which we lost, the NC State game in which we won. So we were just more consistent through that entire 40 minutes than we have been in other games. It was more of us than the matchup per se.”
On the first win in Philips and the home-court advantage present there:
“As I said, the people at Philips and before that at Gwinnett have been tremendous to us. Philips is a wonderful facility and they have done everything possible to make it as much of a home court as they can. The simple fact is, it’s not. It is what it is. I thought the crowd was tremendous on Saturday. I thought in some key moments of that game, you could feel it, and obviously we had that in the Duke game as well. There was a little more electricity in the place, but it is difficult. You can’t use that as an excuse.
“Now getting a win there will make it easier, obviously. I think that was a monkey on our back that needed to be eliminated, and we were able to do that. We just have to move on. It’s really how you play and how you compete and the execution of the game plan more than anything else. And in its simplest form, we have to play better. And if you do that, then you get a little better home-court advantage too because people recognize that also.”