Feb. 15, 2016
THE FLATS – Georgia Tech continues the back half of its Atlantic Coast Conference schedule this week by visiting Florida State (16-9, 6-7 ACC) in a 9 p.m. game Wednesday (ACC Network), then hosting Notre Dame (18-7, 9-4 ACC) at 8 p.m. Saturday at McCamish Pavilion (ESPN2). The Yellow Jackets split two games last week, defeating Wake Forest, 71-66, at home, and dropping a 66-52 decision at Clemson.
Following are head coach Brian Gregory’s remarks on his segment of Monday’s ACC coaches teleconference, audio and transcript.
On Marcus Georges-Hunt
“We all deal in reality, and the reality of it is that Marcus has had a great career here and has had a great senior year. Statistically-speaking, you can take a look at it in terms of overall impact and put him with just about anybody. But the reality is we haven’t won enough games to gain the notoriety as an individual, and that’s the way things go. He understands that. We all understand that, as well. But I took a look at Coach Krzyzewski’s comments after they beat North Carolina State, and he was talking about Cat Barber. He was talking about how great teams give their teams opportunities to win games, and that’s what Marcus has done. In some way, even more impressive because he’s done it many times at a position that maybe doesn’t have quite the control that the point guard position has in terms of doing that. You look at the competitiveness that we’ve been able to play to over the last two years in this league, and that all goes back to Marcus Georges-Hunt. We all understand that you have to win games to get more individual notoriety, and that’s the way it should be. I have no problem with that, but I do think it was just interesting. I really gravitated toward Coach Krzyzewski’s comments when he was talking about Cat Barber, and I really thought the same could be said about Marcus.”
On Charles Mitchell regaining his form
“I agree with you –that was the old Charles. The one thing that he did last week was he just played at a different energy level and didn’t let a missed shot or a mistake impact the next three or four minutes. He just really competed – he competed on every single play. So he kind of broke out of the slump that he was in. Now the next step is to have some conversion on some of those plays. He can make a better decision here and there offensively when he gets the ball in the post. That competitive level that he played at last week was much-needed.”
On what separates Mitchell from other rebounders
“Unfortunately, one of the things in that game was we missed so many shots, so there’s more opportunities. The thing is, he just obviously has a big body. He’s much quicker off his feet than he was. We’ve taken care of the ball this year – our offensive execution is better, so guys know where shots are coming from, too. He’s done a good job of reading that and knowing when the shots are going up and getting into the correct position. As I mentioned a minute ago, there’s a competitive level when the ball’s up there. It’s a 50-50 ball, and who’s going to compete hardest for the ball? Last week, Chuck kind of resurfaced in terms of making sure that everybody knew that that ball was going to be his. We’re going to need that the rest of the way, for sure.”
On the challenges Florida State poses
“We have to do what we do, and the three things offensively are we need to score in the open court, we need to take care of the basketball, and we need to rebound the ball and get some second-chance opportunities. Kind of blanketing all three of those is that you really need to execute your stuff. Defensively, as you said, they have changed it up at times and have gone with just one post player and then four perimeter players and really force your defense to guard on multiple spots and guard a stretch offense, and guys who are capable of coming off the bench and putting the ball in the basket from the three, high-level freshman scorers in (Dwayne) Bacon and (Malik) Beasley, and one of the most talented players in (Xavier) Rathan-Mayes. So you have to guard at all five spots. I took a look at our game last year, and two guys that really hurt us last year were Jarquez Smith and Boris (Bojanovsky). Those two guys hurt us. Offensively, you have to have great team effort because if you focus on one or two guys they have other guys that can really hurt you. That’s why they’re so much better offensively, becuae they’ve got really good balance offensively.”