Jan. 24, 2011
– Opening Statement
We are generally playing some very good basketball. We lost to a very good Virginia team on Saturday, they outplayed us and really shot the ball well, Virginia did. We played a very good second half, but obviously disappointed that we didn’t get the win, but very encouraged by how we have been playing over the last couple of weeks.
How will a potential lockout affect early-exit decisions?
I think the mechanisms to gather information remain in place. The underclassmen committee is there, you can certainly put your name in, get an idea, get a reading as they call it from that group general managers, scouts, player personal people where you will go. At the end of the day, it comes down to what the young man is comfortable with. We had situations over the years here where kids have felt comfortable going with the idea that if I am a second round pick, I am going to go ahead and do it anyway. Then you have some kids that said unless I am safely in the first round or safely in the lottery…so it comes down to each individual case.
Do you think more kids may come back this year because of a potential lockout?
No, because I think if they look at it as I am going to be a first round pick, at some point they are going to play again. I don’t think anybody sees the whole season being canceled out. So even if it takes them until December or January, which it did last time, I think what will happen, people will tell them to get your clock started and move it towards your second contract. Unless somebody can make a strong argument that there will be no season, I’m not sure it will impact somebody’s decisions.
On how to get the defense to play consistently
Obviously, part of it is not running into hot shooting teams like we did on Saturday. We did not do a good job of defending the three-point line. I thought that there were too many times where we just lost sight of our man on the perimeter. With that said, I’ve been in game where guys have been open, or even more open, than Virginia was the other day and they just didn’t make it. When I looked at the first half, they made seven out of eight. I think it was actually seven out of nine, the stat sheet was wrong; they took nine threes in the first half. Four of the ones that they made I thought were pretty well contested. I think we are getting more consistent, maybe instead of allowing those guys to get off contested threes, when you play a team like that that shoots the ball that well or is in the midst of shooting like that, you’ve got to make them put it on the floor.
What was the difference in the Tech defense between the first half and second half?
We made an adjustment in terms of how we were going to defend the those three-point shooters. We were more conscious of where they were; I think too many times we just got caught ball-watching. They were maybe three of them that were complete breakdowns. There were four that I thought were pretty well contested. When we looked at the film yesterday with the team and broke it down, the next step you’ve got to do is the guys that are making threes, you’ve got to make them put it on the floor and become two-point shooters. I thought in the second half we forced them to the basket, did a better job forcing them to the basket. I thought our length around the basket forced them into some tough shots. I think they shot 31% in the second half. We’ve got to play them again, I’m sure Tony will make some changes and we’ve got to make some changes in how we defend. We will see how it goes.
On running into so many hot shooting teams
I have never seen anything like it. In 25 years that I have been around this game, I don’t think I have seen a team run into so many hot-shooting teams. With that said, can we do a better job contesting shots, yeah. But Northwestern was 10-for-12, Clemson was 9-for-9 in the second half against us, and then 7-for-9 in the first half against us. I watched Clemson in their very next game against Carolina, I caught that game on ESPN, and they had equally open shots that just didn’t go down for them. Some of it is bad luck, but we just need to do a better job making them put it on the floor when they hit those hot streaks.
On Virginia Tech’s defense
They are very active in that zone. A guy like Delaney just seems like he covers a lot of ground, all of them really seem like they cover a lot of ground. We played Syracuse earlier in the year, and I see some of the principles that Syracuse employed in terms of when the ball is on the baseline they will trap the ball on the baseline with the center and one of the smaller guys on that side. They are just really active; they don’t just stand around and watch the ball. Even though they are in a zone, they are employing some of the man principles in that they see the ball and the next man in their area so when the ball is in flight they are moving. They do a great job with that. Again, they are just very, very active. Every time the ball moves, their entire zone moves appropriately.