Feb. 11, 2013
THE FLATS – Transcript of head coach Brian Gregory on the weekly ACC Coaches Teleconference. Georgia Tech hosts Clemson at 7 p.m. Thursday at McCamish Pavilion.
COACH GREGORY: Pleased with our performance on Saturday on the road. Obviously I think the world of Erick Green and the job he’s done this year and for our guys to bounce back after a tough loss at home against Florida State who played very well in that game.
Just proud of our guys the way they have been able to stay the course and keep improving and we are a much better team than we were the first time we played Virginia Tech, and that showed. We just need to continue that same course of action and every day be working to get better. Our young guys are getting better, but so are our veterans.
So just, again, pleased that Georgia Tech has won at Virginia Tech, so happy to get a text from Coach Clemens that just said “finally,” and kind of move on from there and get ready for a great week. We play three games and six games, or three games in six days coming up and it’s going to be a great test for us.
Q. Does getting that road win for a young group give you something that you can carry on in future games?
COACH GREGORY: Yeah, you hope so. You know, I thought other than a five-minute stretch at NC State and about a five-minute stretch at Duke, and a four-minute stretch at Clemson, that we actually played pretty good on the road.
The problem is, those stretches, when you’re on the road instead of that being a 6-point stretch, ended up being a 12- or 14-point stretch, but we’ve seen that with younger teams where there’s a snowball effect there.
I thought you saw a little bit of that even in the second half on Saturday, you know, where a guy almost forced the issue a little bit too much to get it back, and if you have a couple bad possessions on offense, you give up a couple baskets on defense, you think you can make up a 6-point lead on one possession on offense and you can’t do that.
That’s where some experience and poise comes in and that’s just an area we need to keep highlighting with our guys so they understand that that is part of the process and it’s not just, you know, singled out on them. Everybody has to go through it. But the faster and better we learn, the better off we are going to be.
Q. Wanted to ask you about Erick Green, he’s putting up phenomenal numbers, is he the only thing you worry about with them or how do you cope with them?
COACH GREGORY: Well, first, he’s a tremendous player. He’s what college basketball and ACC basketball is supposed to be all about. Here is a guy every year has made significant improvements, and has stayed the course in terms of becoming a great player. He averages two points a game as a freshman and now he’s averaging 26.
I’d be hard-pressed for anybody to find that kind of jump, No. 1, if they are pressed, find anybody with that kind of jump in college basketball, and then that kind of jump where a kid stayed at the same school.
Usually the kids are like, ‘I’m outta here.’ You give him credit for his steadfastness and understanding that Virginia Tech was going to be a place where he could excel at.
With that being said, they have had some guys that have had some big games. Their big guys that have always hurt us. Raines has always hurt us. So you can’t just concentrate on Green, but you have to come up with some different things to give him some different looks.
I thought, you know, we did a good job of just, even though we scored 28, we made him work for every single point, didn’t put him to the free throw line when the game was still in the balance. We got there eight times or nine times, but the game was in hand at that time. So those are things that you have to do. You can’t give him anything easy because he’s good enough still to make the hard ones.
Q. Watching the game, he was still trying to create, even though he’s their leading scorer and scored half their points, he was still trying to set up his teammates, they were not able to convert a lot, but he was giving them the ball. That’s something that’s pretty admirable, isn’t it?
COACH GREGORY: Well, he could shoot it every time because he’s one of the few times in college basketball, he can get a legitimate shot any time he wanted, he really could. He could take 30 shots a game if he wanted to, 35, but he probably wouldn’t, and they wouldn’t be as successful.
They have lost some close games, you look at their record and some of the games they have lost, they could easily have won the other night against Maryland. They have had some tough — they lose at North Carolina.
And he does; he’s a quality guard where he can create some scoring opportunities, and is willing to draw other teammates, as well.
Q. You’ve got a really nice game from Kammeon Holsey. How has his game been coming around the last month or so? Looks like there’s been some times where he’s been really good.
COACH GREGORY: Yeah, he has been, and over the last five games, he’s actually leading us in scoring and right around the top in shots attempted, as well.
You know, we look at him as kind of our sixth starter. He’s playing as many minutes as Robert or as Daniel. And the one thing he does know is that when he comes in the game, we are going right to him, because we need his scoring and we need his rebounding, and so I think he’s comfortable with that.
I think it’s luxury for us that in some of the better games we’ve had, we’ve been able to exploit and here is a guy that’s started every game for us last year and now coming off the bench, in a little different role in terms of the start of the game but not a different role in terms of what we need him to do.
So there was a stretch where he wasn’t playing as well, and I think he felt he needed to get stuff done right away, as soon as he got in, and now he’s letting the game come to him a little bit more, and he’s been very, very effective for us.
Q. Not everybody adjusts well, especially when you’ve been a full-time starter to that sixth man role, and is he handling that mentally, or the way that you like to see?
COACH GREGORY: Yeah, I think he has. I think he has. He knows his minutes, like I said, take over the last five games, averaging right around 23 minutes a game, has not been in foul trouble at all since I think the North Carolina State game, which is big. And last year as a starter, he was constantly in foul trouble. So I think that’s helped.
Again, sometimes you have to take a step back and say, not only is this the best thing for the team, but it’s also going to put me in a better situation as it continues, and I think he’s starting to