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Post-Game Quotes

March 12, 2009

Recap |  Box Score |  Notes

Georgia Tech Head Coach Paul Hewitt

On his observations on the team’s play today

“They have played like that the whole year. They have played very hard. We have done some good things. The difference in the end – we made our free throws at the end of the game, 12-for-16 is a big difference for us to close the game out.”

On Clemson’s pressure

“We handled their pressure all year really well. Their pressure didn’t beat us when we played up at their place and at our place. We didn’t turn the ball over there. In the first game, [Terrence] Oglesby made five threes – that was the difference in the game. Other than that, it was a nip-and-tuck game. In the game here, we had a 17-point lead, and [Trevor] Booker played an outstanding game, much like today. About the 12 minute timeout, we talked about not letting him score. We said if he doesn’t score the rest of the game, we will win the game. So we put a great deal of emphasis on trying to stop Booker from getting offensive rebounds. Their pressure never bothered us all year. The difference was that we closed the game out.”

On significance of winning an ACC Tournament game in Atlanta, and the benefit of playing in your home city

“It’s a big positive, because you don’t have to travel. This time of the year, as much rest as you can get is really important. We were fresh today, and we played like a fresh team. Mentally, I’m sure that we’ll be very fresh tomorrow because our guys are excited to play.”

On the difference in Maurice Miller’s play today as the first game without the face mask

“It has bothered him the whole year. Yesterday in practice he was a different player.”

On Lewis Clinch’s performance

“He’s been playing well over the last few games. He’s been very consistent. He’s in midseason form because he missed some of those games early in the year. I don’t except him to be tired at all tomorrow.”

“He’s been a big time player for us for a long time. He’s had some issues with injuries and missing some games. If he’s on the court consistently this is what you see from him. This is probably the first time in his career where there’s not an injury or something that’s kept in off the court. He’s in midseason from right now, everyone else is getting to the end of the year. He’s just getting cranked up right now. I expect him to go out tomorrow and play the way he’s played through the last six or seven games.”

Thoughts on the final minutes of the game

“At that point you’re just hoping that we continue to be consistent and strong with the basketball and get to the foul line and make shots. They made some tough shots. It wasn’t like they were making layups, they started bombing threes. You’ve got to give them credit, but I definitely applaud my guys for not turning the ball over even though Clemson was making a run.”

On the team’s defensive strategy

“[Trevor] Booker was going so well you’ve got to throw it in to them. Our guys have been playing good defense the whole year. This is the second best defensive unit I’ve coached since I’ve been at Georgia Tech. But you give credit to [Clemon’s] staff too. Booker had it going and if we’d have let him keep going he would have beat us single-handedly. Those last 12 minutes we just talked about not letting him scored. Just stop Booker and we’d win the game. It worked out in our favor.”

Georgia Tech Players:

Lewis Clinch

Thoughts on the game

“It’s nothing that we haven’t expected. All year our coaches have done a tremendous job on scouting plans and what we need to do offensively and defensively. It’s really about us going out and executing. Tonight I think we did a great job of going out and executing the game plan and containing K.C. Rivers. Once Booker got going Coach Hewitt made a great point, that if he’s not scoring they haven’t been scoring at all. Once we slowed him up they really cooled off.”

On his shooting performance

“Guys like Gani, guys like Aminu, Peacock, and lots others on our team, they do a great job of getting me looks when they get open. I’ve got the easy job of getting the shot down when they get me open. I’m a shooter, when they give me open looks I’m supposed to knock them down.”

The benefit of being home

“I feel like I’m right in my backyard. Campus is two minutes away. To be in Atlanta and not having the feeling of having traveled and going through baggage claim is great. To be home feels great.”

What he was thinking on his final trip to the free throw line

“Swish Game. It’s a free throw game that we play. In order for the basket to count it has to go straight in, no rim. That’s all I think about. You think about your free throw routine and making no shot. There’s really no pressure because we do it everyday.”

On his ankle injury

“Tanner Smith was contesting me on my 3-point attempt and when I came down I landed on top of his foot. It was a light roll. They taped my ankles well. He didn’t do it intentionally.”

Gani Lawal

On his rocky start

“I wasn’t really being aggressive and strong like I know I can. After I had that shaky start I really just wanted to come out and play hard and really assert myself and make myself a presence.”

Thoughts on the final minutes

“We made key plays down the stretch. In many games this year it went into overtime. Other teams made defining plays and it was a 50-50 ball and they’d come up with it. Today we withstood Clemson’s runs. Every time they came up with a punch we came with a punch of our own. We really kept our intensity up and withstood their runs to make the big plays.”

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