Feb. 17, 2008
– GEORGIA TECH HEAD COACH Paul Hewitt
“It was a tough one for us to swallow. We had a three point lead, and they missed a shot. We’ve got two guys down there, and we have to come up with the ball. Give them credit. [Anthony] King got the rebound, made the basket, and made the free throw to tie the game back up.”
Did you think there was a foul on the last shot of the game?
“I didn’t see it.”
How is Matt Causey?
“He hyperventilated at half, and actually I didn’t think that he was going to be able to play. But then he came down and said he felt better, and obviously he played really well in that second half. He made some big plays for us.”
Was there difficulty getting the ball into the post?
“It was just a sloppy game overall. We ended up with 22 turnovers – we had trouble getting the ball everywhere. We just didn’t take care of the ball. We did better in the second half. We had 15 turnovers at the half, we only had 7 in the second half. But still, that’s too many.”
It looked like your team played hard defensively, but didn’t make any free throws?
“In addition to that, just some of those loose balls and rebounds that we got our hands on we just couldn’t quite corral. A couple of times we tried to dribble loose balls, and you just can’t do that. In a game like this where you know that it’s going to come down to one possession, a game where both teams are battling to try to move up in the standings, you give them credit for coming up with more loose balls than we did.”
Did you see a contrast to the way the team played at Clemson on Thursday?
“We played better here. Clemson played really, really well. I don’t think there’s much correlation to what happened there and what happened here.”
Did you have trouble stopping Jack McClinton?
“Until the end, I thought we did a pretty decent job. He took 20 shots and made 8 out of 20. Purely on percentages, you like that, but at the end we did lose him a couple of times. The one where we had the turnover, and usually turnovers turn into open shots, and he gets the open three to put them back up by two. Then Matt comes back down and makes the three to put it at 54-53.
“But again, it came down to 60-57, they miss a shot, we’ve got two guys under there and they have one. We just have to come up with that rebound. It changes the whole game. With 1:27 left you are up three with the ball, as opposed to tie score. And then Anthony got another good look, but we went to the well one too many times. We could have gone inside at that point, but he did have the hot hand. We ran a pretty good set and we got him a good look.”
MIAMI HEAD COACH FRANK HAITH
“Obviously it was a hard fought ballgame. In the first half, I thought that both teams were struggling offensively to get any kind of rhythm, but, I thought our defense was really good in the first half. I thought we turned them over. Both teams had active hands. We were sloppy with some passes and they ran through some passing lanes and I thought that in the second half, we got a little rhythm going. Enough that every time they made a play, we made a play right back at them.
“I want give our kids a lot of credit for that. They really stuck in there and never got down. They made some big shots, Causey made some big shots, Morrow had two threes, bang, bang, but, our guys stayed with it and it’s a big win for us. Huge win for us. We’ve struggled a bit to win two games back-to-back on the road, and it’s big for us.”
(on closing down the inside game)
“I thought that we left our post guys out a little bit in terms of that we were afraid to leave those shooters and they were a little bit one on one and they made some plays in the lane. I thought in the second half we changed defenses and that helped us keep them off balance. A little zone, a little man, sometimes we showed zone, went man and we changed it up quite a bit and I thought that helped us.”
(on getting comfortable on the road)
“I thought we obviously had two tough losses on the road, at NC State and at Wake Forest where we lose on last second shots. There’s no question that our guys have been poised the last two games and finished the game off on the road. Execution was really, really good tonight and a big part of it is making plays. You’ve got to make shots, and our guys made shots, but, we also executed well too. Getting the ball inbounds, and there at the end, we switched out on all their ball screens and made them have to take a tough shot. That’s all execution stuff and I thought our guys did a good job with that late in the game.”
(on Jack McClinton’s performance)
“He was outstanding. One of my coaches on the bench and I were talking and saying we need to get Jack to be patient, that he’s going to be fine. We don’t need to rush things for Jack right now, and he’s going to have opportunities as the game loosens up. I think that’s got to be the key, we don’t want to feel like we have to rush when we’re struggling scoring to get Jack the ball. We want to get him the ball, but we don’t want him to rush shots. I thought that was a key that he got into a rhythm in the second half.”
(on Causey’s final three and a potential foul)
“It wasn’t a foul. I thought we played good defense. I’ve got to see the play. People are going to make plays and Causey made a hell of a shot and kept it alive for us having to get the ball inbounds.”
(on forcing turnovers)
“I thought we were very active with our hands. We changed defenses and got our hands on a lot of balls. Last ball game, we got a lot of turnovers at Virginia Tech and we’ve become more active defensively. We talked about that as a team, that we’re not turning people over and that if we do that, it’ll give us a chance to get some buckets in transition. Jack hit a huge three off of a turnover late in the game in transition.”