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Post-Game Quotes

Nov. 14, 2008

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Georgia Tech Head Coach Paul Hewitt


How do you think your team played for an opening night?


“I thought the defense in the second half was really strong and I was especially pleased that we only had six turnovers in the second half. My goal is to have 12 or less [turnovers] a game. Defensively, we really can’t ask for much more. To hold them to 18 points in the second half says a lot for the great job the guys did.”


Gani Lawal put on 20 pounds in the off-season and went from about 212-213 pounds to about 233. Can you talk about how his game has changed?


“Yes, and he’s also getting a better feel for the game. That’s one of the things we have talked about when watching film. He has been working on his ability to create easy baskets for himself instead of banging with people down low all of the time. He is developing a nice jump hook and a real nice turn-around jump shot. How he can get some separation from his defender and not take on so much contact. He is also learning how to use the glass really well.”


Mo Miller had 17 points and let the offense come to him in the second half. Can you talk about some of the adjustments that he made both shooting and distributing the basketball?


“In the first half, I think he was pressing a little bit offensively in terms of his shot. He did distribute the ball nicely. He did a nice job in the second half of attacking the high paint and getting those pull-up jump shots. Both he and Iman Shumpert did a tremendous job in the first half rebounding. I always tell our big guys that I know they are doing what they are supposed to be doing on the glass when I can look at the stat sheet and see that our point guards are getting a lot of defensive rebounds and they each had five in the first half alone.”


Lance Storrs was 4-of-24 from three-point range all of last season. Tonight, he was 3-of-4. How much has he improved his game?


“He’s a better three-point shooter now – no question. In terms of what he did last year, there were times when he would knock down sic or seven in a row in practice. He shot it well in the early season and then kind of tailed off. Now, it’s nice to see him get his confidence going.”


Is [Storrs] a significantly better player on both ends of the floor than a year ago and is it just a mental thing more than physical?


“It’s more mental. He’s been a very good player for a while, but last year may have struggled with the adjustment to the college game. He struggled with his confidence a little bit, but I can see it starting to come back up. He was really playing well at the start of practice and then kind hit a little bit of a rut about 10 days ago. Now, he’s starting to get out of it.”


It’s interesting to watch this group play. They’re not as flexible as some of your past teams, yet you can still get into it and get some guys experience as evidenced tonight with eight guys seeing double-figure minutes.


“The roles are very well defined on this team. We need to bring along one or two more into the mix. I’d like to see Bassirou Dieng get involved more. He’s come a long way and understands what we need him to do until Lewis [Clinch] can come back and be that ninth man.


“He can shoot the ball and is a tremendous athlete, but I thought there were too many times on the defensive end where instead of boxing out he was running to the glass and kept some shots alive for them.”


How important of a stretch is this now? One game and now seven days off before you play Mercer next weekend. Is this a critical week coming up?


“It really is. Tomorrow, we are going to work on our press break offense. I didn’t think we were ready for it tonight. I can’t blame the kids though. We didn’t do as much press offense preparation as I would have liked. Tomorrow, we will spend the whole day working on it. We will also work on some defensive things in terms of getting back and helping on a shooter.


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