March 1, 2008
– GEORGIA TECH HEAD COACH Paul Hewitt
“Right from the beginning we couldn’t get into any kind of flow. Neither team could get in any kind of flow. There were a couple of long injury delays. Obviously very happy to get the win, now we’ve got to turn all our attention to Virginia (Monday night). Turns out it could be a bit of a break for us, given the streak we’ve been on, to have two games at home back-to-back like this. Fortunes can turn pretty quickly if we come out and play well against Virginia Monday night.”
Jeremis Smith took a lot of physical hits today, how is he doing?
“I haven’t had a chance to talk to him, but he’s known to bounce back quickly.”
What is it about Anthony (Morrow) and Wake Forest? “It’s the same thing as with Harvey Hale and Georgia Tech. For us, today, we came up on the right side of it. But obviously he feels very comfortable against them.”
You got several of their guys in foul trouble early, long game obviously people are going to foul out, especially James Johnson, was there a special emphasis on attacking the paint?
“Yes, we did, but not with the idea of trying to go at Johnson. He’s a great player and (there are) a couple schools of thought on that, but I think if you try to focus your offense on trying to stop a certain guy and put fouls a certain guy you kind of bog it down. We just ended up in a couple situations where he fouled, and we were obviously the beneficiary of that.”
Did you make some changes in overtime against McFarland?
“We got some turnovers out of him and I felt we were a little more aggressive digging down when he bounced the ball. But you have to give him credit, he played with an awful lot of poise. He knew when the double team was coming and got off the ball before the double team could get to him, he got the shot off. He’s really turned into a really nice player.”
Any concern this week with a couple guys a little banged up and three games coming up?
“Matt will be a game time decision again. We’ll see how he feels. All of us kind of felt like there’s no guarantee that he won’t get hit on the head again.”
Zack and Jeremis took a couple spills today, any word on them?
“I haven’t had a chance to check with them yet. Zack said he felt better towards the end that’s why we put him back in the game. Jeremis, like I said, he’s known for going down hard in practice and bouncing right back up.”
What do you have for your players after the game with such a short turnaround?
“Just get ready for Monday night. Short turnaround… I thought one of the reasons it was such a strange game was at this time of the year everybody kind of knows what everybody wants to do on offense. Sets are really tough to execute, and the fatigue factors in. Tonight, we’ll get some rest and practice tomorrow at 4:00 and be ready to roll on Monday.”
Were you concerned they might have momentum going into overtime?
“No, I knew it was going to be just a matter of making a play early and us just having a 4-0 run. It was very similar to the Virginia game with Singletary hitting a remarkable shot to send the game to overtime and we just focused on executing and we executed pretty well and got a couple of baskets and got the 4-0 run we were looking for.”
WAKE FOREST HEAD COACH DINO GAUDIO
“I thought our kids scrapped. I told them in the lockerroom that this game is a simple game. You’ve got to do the fundamentals: you have to make free throws, you have to box out. We gave up 14 second shots; those are just fundamentals of the game that you need to do. We’re looking for a little more consistency from different guys. When guys come off the bench, they have to give us a lift too.
“It was 74-74 with four minutes to go and we had the ball. I turned to look at the assistants and next thing you know, I didn’t see what happened but we fumbled the ball. We had a chance with the ball to take the lead but they took the ball out and scored, and then it’s 76-74 and we’re down again. We just kept climbing uphill. Then we got into overtime. I thought it would help us – five more minutes – a fresh start. Let’s get this thing done now, but we weren’t able to do it.
“We were hoping to get off to a good start, but we did not. They were reeling a little bit, they were 4-8 and 11-15 coming in, and we thought we could jump on them a little bit and maybe we could put them away. But we’re the ones who struggled a little bit.
“It was a difficult turnaround for us. We played Thursday night and drove down yesterday morning. We weren’t able to get on the floor here at the Coliseum, so we had to practice at a local high school (Norcross). And because of the early game, we couldn’t have our normal shootaround six hours before the game. We came down early and got some shots up, but it took us a little while to get into the flow.
“We have to guard well without fouling. We sent them to the free throw line 44 times, probably six of those we fouled at the end. But sending them to the line 44 times is way too much. We’ve got to learn to guard without fouling.”