Dec. 5, 2011
ATLANTA – Head basketball coach Brian Gregory updates the local media on the Yellow Jackets and looks ahead to Wednesday night’s game against Georgia (7 p.m., FS South, 790 AM, 106.7 FM).
On both teams heading into the game at Georgia
“Both of us have a lot of similarities; maybe better defensively at this stage that we both thought, but we have struggled sometimes at offense on scoring points, where are they going to come from. I think it is going to be a hard-fought game for 40 minutes. At this point maybe it is the team that makes the least amount of mistakes and not put themselves in a difficult position, that will come out on top.”
On both teams struggling in the second half
“I think maybe both teams are a little thinner than what you would like to be in terms of depth so that may have something to do with it. I thought that we played a lot better in the second half than in the first half in the last game just in terms of, anytime you hold a team to five baskets, you have to be doing some things right on the defensive end.
“I think the two teams are both younger, finding it difficult to make baskets at times, both offenses are creating quality shots, we have some guys that we are going to count on making those shots, we just aren’t putting them in right now.”
On switching up roles in the 2011-12 season
“I think the one thing with us is the post is no different from the perimeter. Every single player on the team has been asked to do something different than they have ever done while playing college basketball. Each role that we have is completely different than anything that they have ever played here before. So with that there are going to be some inconsistencies.
“A week ago, our post was playing really well. Over the last two games, they haven’t played as well. In the past, they weren’t really counted on for (offensive) production, and as that process continues to develop, there are peaks and valleys and in the last two games our post haven’t played as well as they have early. You have to keep plugging along and keep doing the things that helped them to be successful and help them be more efficient.
“I think that their explosiveness in terms of being able to score has come from the perimeter, but the big guys have been very physical. They set big screens and can pound the glass. We need a really good defensive effort from everybody. It is going to be a defensive game, so we have to be ready for that physicality that is going to take place, not shy away from that, and offensively be more efficient. We have to value every possession, that means taking care of the ball and that means getting quality shots. When you get quality shots, you have broken down the defense and that gives you a greater opportunity to get to the offensive glass.”
On taking on Georgia on the road
“This is a great test for all of us. To go on the road in a difficult place to play with a rivalry game, that to be honest is more important than other games. The mental focus that you need to be successful is a great test for us at this stage of the season.”
“Our rebounding is kind of based on a gang mentality. All five of our guys need to rebound well. We need to get our guards on the glass which will create some opportunities in the open court. If the big guys are down there wrestling, we need our ones, twos, and threes to rebound well. I think that is important.
On Daniel Miller
“I think we need Daniel to be a little more aggressive going to the basket and seeking some physical contact as he makes some plays around the basket. He is much improved on the free throw line, so getting him fouled and getting to the line has been good for us. Again, it is new territory for him to be depended on to score. It is not going to happen overnight, there is going to be some inconsistency, but our players have a lot of confidence going inside, and I know as a coach that is something that I want to be done on every possession. If we can get the ball to our post players, I want to do that.
On the rivalry
“You go to a school like Georgia Tech because of the great tradition, that is what makes it so special. What you want to understand when you play Georgia is that tradition has a huge fiber running through it that goes through the Georgia game. With that tradition, you want to add pieces of your legacy to that. This is a good opportunity to do that with this one game. Even though it is only one game, it holds a lot and adding to the tradition and building to the legacy of our program. Obviously when you win a game you can say in recruiting that you beat those guys, but I think kids are smart enough now to know that one game shouldn’t determine what school you should go to, that priorities are much greater than that. At the same time, to be able to hold that card is great as well.”