Nov. 28, 2008
– Georgia Tech Head Coach Paul Hewitt
“I’m going to have to study the tape and see what happened with seven minutes left that let us give up a lead like that. Thos game has fit the pattern of how Jacksonville has played all year. They never give up and keep coming at you. They had a game against Georgetown earlier in the year where they were down and cut it to a two possession game with four minutes left. They also just played a very good Baylor team tough and hung in there all night. I thought we were very good until 6:59 left and then we just let go of the rope as they say.”
What do you do with the free throw situation?
“We just have to keep working at it. That’s all you can do. We shoot 50-100 every day and it can become a mental thing, which may be the case now. We’ll just keep working at it. We have some capable free throw shooters. I’ve notice some improvement in Gani [Lawal] in particular in practice. 3-for-6 is not great, but it’s certainly better than what he’s been doing. He will become a better free throw shooter as the year goes on.”
Can you talk about the play of Zachery Peacock?
“He struggled a little bit in the first half, but in the second half he took a shot in the face. He is at the hospital right now getting checked out as a precaution. The doctors told me they think everything is fine, but want to make sure there is no concussion. He took a shot in the eye and then banged his chin on the same play. I’m sure his absence hurt us down the stretch, because he is a stabilizer with the basketball. After he got hit, he made a couple of really uncharacteristic plays and then asked out which he never does.”
What’s the biggest difference you’ve seen in the play of Alade Aminu?
“He’s always been a very talented player, but he’s cutting down on some of those mental mistakes. He’s playing like a senior and I’m happy for him.”
What did you think about the play of Maurice Miller tonight?
“I thought he played well considering everything. He was sharp after missing the last game.”
When you look at the upcoming schedule, where do you think you stand?
“I’m glad we are 4-0. I know we are capable of playing quality basketball. If there’s one concern, its how do we avoid some of those stretches. We had one against Mercer, one against Arkansas-Pine Bluff and now one tonight where we just play bad basketball offensively or hit cold spells. Tonight, we just got a little lax with the ball after going up by more than 20 points and made some bad decisions.”
Jacksonville Head Coach Cliff Warren
On the five minute stretch where the team picked it up and started to make a comeback
“I think we still turned the ball over too much. In our last couple of games, our turnovers have been dead ball turnovers. Our defense has been good and our full court pressure has been good, so we have been able to get some stops. I think when we tried to attack the basket we turned the ball over. Ben Smith had too many turnovers tonight, and Georgia Tech did a great job of taking those turnovers and going to score the other way.”
On Ben Smith’s 30-point performance
“He tried to do a little too much out there tonight, but I can’t knock his fight. I love his determination. Now we have to get the rest of the team to play the exact same way.”
On having a shot to tie the game with 17 seconds left in regulation
“We had our best player with an open three-point shot and I thought it was down. We ran a good ball screen and their post player dropped back. I thought Ben [Smith] had a wide-open shot on the wing and he just missed it.”
On if there are any positives coming out of the loss
“I do appreciate our team’s effort and fight. This is the way our team is going to play and I want to be known as a team that fights the entire game, a team that is hard and tough on defense, and I thought we did that tonight. Unfortunately, offensively we turned the ball over too many times, which is uncharacteristic of our team and we have to make some corrections.”
On the disparity of free throw attempts. (Georgia Tech had 39 free throw attempts to Jacksonville’s 21)
“We expect that coming into places like this and playing teams like this, but what we have to do is make sure we attack the basket a little stronger and finish plays. I think when you finish plays, you can get to the foul line a little bit more. I think Georgia Tech did a great job of attacking the basket, finishing the plays, and getting foul calls. I think we have to continue to attack the basketball like we were but you have finish some plays. I think once you finish some plays you can get a few more trips to the foul line.”