Dec. 13, 2003
– Georgia Tech Head Coach Paul Hewitt
“It’s a good win. We knew Saint Louis was going to make us work. Especially on the defensive end of the floor because they’re very patient and took us deep into the shot clock. It was important that we continued to defend right until the end of the shot clock. There were times in the first half where we got deep in the shot clock and then had a breakdown, whether it was a foul or an easy shot. In the second half our tempo started to establish itself and we started to wear them down a little bit. And we just made some plays. As I’ve said since New York, it’s great to have all the x’s and o’s in place, but it’s better to have guys who go out and make plays. Right now, my focus with this team is just on the defensive end of the floor. Offensively, we’re giving them a lot of freedom because we have guys who can do some things on the offensive end of the floor. If we defend and we rebound, we’re going to continue to be a good basketball team.
“They had five offensive rebounds in the first half. Against a team that sends so many guys back, we thought we should have done a better job. In the second half, we did a better job of keeping them one and done, and then we got out in transition. We have some guys that are pretty creative in transition. When we can get in transition by defending and rebounding, we can be pretty good.
“I am surprised (by margin of victories). We’re playing quality competition.
“He (Bryant) was a priority in our scouting report. We have tried to make it difficult for the other team’s top perimeter scorer to get touches. I thought in the first half his nine shots were way too many, but a lot of the credit goes to how well they screen. In the first half, they did a great job of getting him free. In the second half, we did a better job of either fighting through the screen or calling the switch when we needed to.
(Impressions of Will Bynum’s first game ) “What I expected. I thought he’d be a little rusty. He played 18 minutes today. I’d like to see him get a little more. He and Isma’il are two guys who can provide a lot of energy off the bench. With Clarence Moore, those three guys are terrific energy players, especially at the defensive end of the floor. Towards the end he got a little winded, so his defensive off the ball got a little slack, but on the ball, he can really be dispruptive.”
Saint Louis Head Coach Brad Soderberg
“I don’t really know. I’ll go back and check the tape for sure. I should start by saying that Georgia Tech deserves a lot of credit. They are exceptionally good. That’s about as good as a backcourt, in combination, that we are going to see all year, certainly. The four guys that have been playing a lot so far, plus the addition of [Will] Bynum, I don’t think you can get a better fivesome. We just played Arizona last Saturday and they don’t have that kind of depth. They don’t have five guys that are that good.”
“I’m quite disappointed in the way we played in the second half. I’ve been challenging this group since I took over a year ago and they fight hard, are very competitive, but our execution against the best people has not been good. We have not defended well against West Virginia, Arizona or Georgia Tech in the last three games. Now granted, those are three excellent teams, I’m not trying to pile on our guys. If we want to improve this program and its image, we have to execute better. But I want most of the credit to go to Georgia Tech.”