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Post-Game Quotes

Jan. 31, 2009

Recap |  Box Score |  Notes


Opening Statement

“The guys played with a lot of energy. Alade did a great job of blocking shots around the rim. And Iman Shumpert obviously made some big plays down the stretch. Overall, the difference between this game and the others is that we made free throws and kept our turnovers down. When we do that, I think you’ll see some good basketball out of this group.”

Was last possession designed for Shumpert to go one-on-one?

“The last one was. The one before that, we thought that our motion was doing a good job and guys were moving the ball. The ball wasn’t stuck in neutral like it has been at times. We ran a set, and a continuation of that, Zach made a nice decision to play a two-man game with Iman. He got the handoff, and got in the lane to tie the score at 74.”

On Shumpert

“He’s growing up, he’s a freshman. I told him in his living room that he was going to have the ball in his hands at the end of games. And early on, he was unsuccessful. But you don’t stop going to a guy that you know has talent and courage. Today he made them, and hopefully this is a hump that he has crossed.”

On this win giving the team momentum

“I’m not a big believer in that. I think you have to go out and play really well. The most disappointing thing about the first six games was that I thought in at least four we outplayed our opponent convincingly in my mind, only to lose because of turnovers, free throws and things like that. Other than USC, I don’t think there’s been a game where we walked in and I thought that I was outmatched. Every game, I’ve said we should win this game if we go out and do what we are supposed to do. The difference was 23-of-30 from the four line and only one more turnover than we are supposed to have – we had 15 turnovers instead of our goal of 14. That’s the difference, plain and simple.”

On the win

“It’s great for the guys. You get to 0-6 and you start to doubt yourself. That’s been the biggest thing. We were playing poorly, and I kept telling them that they were doing all the right things. Since we got back from Alabama, our practices have been outstanding. We have had some really intense practices, probably more intense than at any point in my career. We are doing the right things, we just have to get rewarded. Today was a great reward, especially for a young man like Iman.”

On Tech’s defense

Nick Foreman deserves a lot of credit, because Teague is so good at the end of the game. They just give him the ball and they go 1-4 flat and he makes a play. I thought the key to that possession was Nick Foreman keeping the ball out of his hands.”

On the Aminu brothers

“Until we play them again, at least Alade can talk a little junk now. He has trash-talking rights right now. They are really good team, and Dino has done a great job with those guys. They are very tough around the rim, they absolutely play to their strengths. They are a very talented team. I think a lot of them, and if we can play with them then I think we can play with anybody in this league.”


Opening Comment

“I want to congratulate Georgia Tech. They played really well and I think that the team that deserved to win won the basketball game. I wasn’t happy with our defense in the first half. The thing that really hurt us, where we might have been able to put the game away and it was the same thing on Wednesday night, was that we didn’t make our free throws. It’s as simple as that – and many of them were the front end of one-and-ones. We make those free throws, and it might be a different game. We make our free throws on Wednesday night, the game doesn’t come down to the last possession of the game. We make our free throws tonight, same thing. But they deserve tremendous credit. I thought they played very hard, I thought our kids played hard and battled the whole 40 minutes, but give the young guy credit, he made a big shot.”

Comment on if it was a letdown after Wednesday’s win

“I don’t think so at all. We had a big win over (North) Carolina and then we went to Boston College and won. And we went to Clemson and won – I think it has a lot to do with Georgia Tech.”

Comment on playing zone late

“Our ball-screen defense wasn’t good. We worked on that for two days. Our ball-screen defense wasn’t good. They hurt us with that – they hurt us with their ball screens.”

Comment on the inbound play at the end

“We were trying to rub James Johnson. We were trying to rub James off of Jeff (Teague) so that Jeff could pop back to the ball. Watching tape, Paul likes to run at the ball. Watching tape from last year, in a couple of our games when we go flat, Paul likes to run at the ball. So I’m thinking that we are going to get it in to Jeff, Paul is going to run at us, and now we have Harvey (Hale) shooting in the right corner, the guy that just inbounded, and we have Gary (Clark) in the left corner, who is a pretty good shooter. And then if you leave any of those guys and double us, you make one pass and you have time to shoot. We (also) have a timeout, as we know, left, and maybe I should have yelled at the referee and called it.”

Comment on the offense sputtering down the stretch

“It’s a credit to the defense. We went a little bit stagnant, and we were trying to go a little bit too much of one-on-one and not running our offense the way that we needed to on the road.”

Comment on Chase (McFarland) getting his fourth foul and him not returning to the game

“It was really physical, and I felt that the other guys would maybe do a better job for us in there.”

Comment on Tony Woods coming up with a big game in front of a home crowd

“He’s done that all year in practice. I’m happy for Tony – he’s going to be a good player for us. He is going to be a terrific player – he plays hard, he has some toughness and he will rebound in traffic. His offense is a little behind his defense, but we are really happy with him.”

Comment on being ready for the scrappy game that happened today

“We should have been. One of the things that we did last night was we must have showed them 15 physical plays from last year. We clipped our game and their game, and that’s one of the things that we showed them after our meal last night – how physical the game was going to be. Gani (Lawal) is a big, strong kid and he really posts up hard. So does Alade (Aminu), but we knew that the backboard was the number one key to the game for us but we gave up 15 second shots.”

Comment on being ready for the scrappy game that happened today

There are no upsets in this league. I don’t care where you are playing, this is the best league in the country. And we have the luxury of a week off before Duke, and we have the luxury of a week off before North Carolina, and Georgia Tech had, what, six days off? Timing in these games is so important – don’t think that it’s not. But Georgia Tech deserved to win.


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