Jan. 19, 2008
– GEORGIA TECH HEAD COACH Paul Hewitt
Charlton Young just passed by and said in some ways, that was like getting a root canal.
“Just thank goodness for Matt Causey. He played with a lot of courage today, but that is just the way he plays. He stepped up and made some big plays and that’s what we needed. Obviously, we played very, very well in the first half. We were aggressive defensively and did the things we needed to do. In the second half, we were put back on our heels a little bit. They began on a 13-0 run, but Matt [Causey] came in the game and got us steadies once again.”
What did you tell your team at the half? You knew the Hokies would at least come back and throw a punch and get back in it.
“We ran a side out of bounds play and wanted to get the ball inside. I can understand Anthony [Morrow] taking that shot. He had made a bunch in the first half and had a lot of confidence. We wanted to establish the inside and maybe draw some fouls. We knew they would come out very aggressive and we wanted to temper their enthusiasm. They came out of the gates flying and knocked down some threes and things got interesting. “
You’re team learned some things. At some points this season, a lead like that gets away from you and then you give it back. Today, you gave some back, but never let them get the lead.
“If I’m not mistaken, I think at 11:42 there was a media timeout. I told the guys that this was an ACC game here so understand they are going to make some runs. We just need to finish out. I hope that we realize that if we just step up and make some plays. Then good things are going to happen. I thought Moe Miller made an important three-point play and Matt [Causey] was huge. I think he had 30 points today.”
You did a good job defensively. [A.D.[ Vassallo got some points, but he didn’t get them uncontested.
“We think we have a little thing going here with D’Andre Bell. One of the reasons why I think we are playing better basketball is that we’ve been better defending the perimeter, especially with D’Andre out there. What we have to do is get Lewis [Clinch] up to speed coming off the bench. I feel like we just lose too much if we don’t have D’Andre out there on the floor for 25 or 30 minutes.”
You told this team Wednesday night that if they were serious then they would come back in here today with a win and they proved it today.
“It was great in the first half. We got a little tentative and back on our heels in the second half, but that’s what teams do to gut out a win. Someone has to step up and Matt [Causey] was the guy who did it today.”
VIRGINIA TECH COACH SETH GREENBERG
“I was really pleased with how hard we played in the second half, and how we found a way to get back in the game. Our immaturity showed itself with seven minutes to go in the first half and it being a four-point game. We just made some really bad decisions. We weren’t as strong with the ball. We didn’t expect Causey to get 30 points, and we have to give him credit for making shots but we have to be tougher and contest shots. I thought we competed on the backboards and, at times, we did a terrific job of executing. We got it to a two-point game, were on the foul line and had a chance to tie the game up, but we shot ourselves in the foot a little bit. We made a couple of really bad decisions, and they are an athletic and good enough team to take advantage of that. You have to give them credit. I thought we played hard, but to win a game on the road you have to execute for 40 minutes, you can’t execute for 15 or 17.”
What were you looking for starting the second half, particularly with the smaller lineup that you started?
“We wanted to get into the offense a little bit better. I was particularly disappointed in the first half when we had one possession when our point guards didn’t get open and we had one possession when the shot clock went off. We didn’t communicate well enough, and I thought that we needed to get up and down the court, have another ball-handler on the court, and I thought we did a good job with that. Malcolm made some shots. He wasn’t as strong our tough with the ball in the first half as I would have liked for him to be, but he responded in the second half and did a good job.”
On how the immaturity manifested itself today.
“It manifests in that, in the last two days I told them what would transpire today and we did not understand that. The message was sent, I’m not sure if the message was received.”
What did you tell them?
“I told them that it would be a physical game and that we had to be strong with the ball, be able to compete on the defensive end, contain the basketball, and we had to take care of the ball. I don’t think we were as attentive to what we had to do as we needed to be. I told them a one o’clock game is a different game, and you have to ready when the ball goes up.”
On the technical foul in the second half.
“I didn’t even see the play, I haven’t even looked at it. He told me he was pulling his shirt out of his jersey and didn’t see the guy right away. He told me he said, `excuse me,’ when they bumped.”
On how many of the 24 turnovers were really mental mistakes.
“We weren’t as strong with the ball, we didn’t meet passes and we hung guys out to dry a bit. It’s a lot of things going on, they had 21. It was two teams mirroring each other, playing hard, trying to find a way to win. Both teams made good decisions, both teams made bad ones, they just made a few more good ones and a few more free throws. We had chances, but we just didn’t capitalize on them, so you have to give them credit and you have to give Causey credit. The guy has been in college about 15 years and he came up with a huge game.”