Nov. 23, 2012
Georgia Tech Coach Brian Gregory
“Pleased with our defensive effort throughout the entire game. We’re a team that’s still searching to get into a little bit of a better rhythm offensively, but at this early stages of the year our rebounding kind of has to carry us through and we’ve got to be ok with that. I thought our guys responded well in the second half in terms of our ball movement even when we didn’t make some shots we were really able to do a good job offense. Any time you hold a team to 23 percent from the field, you’ve got to be pleased with your effort. I thought that was good tonight, the only disappointing thing was our 14 turnovers. That’s going to be key for us this year, taking care of the ball.”
- “We’ve worked extremely hard on our transition defense. We know there are going to be times, especially early, when guys get their rolls defined a little more offensively and we start understanding where different shots are going to come from that we don’t give up any easy baskets. We being able to sprint back and force some challenge shots in the open court was a big key in the first half. They took I think a 3 or 4 point lead and in the last six minutes we outscored them, I think by maybe 12. There were a couple times in there they could have stopped the bleeding a little bit, but our guys did a good job getting back and stopping some difficult shots.”
- “I told our team after the game we have to be ok with blue collar, black and blue basketball right now. We’ve got to be ok with that. We’ll continue to get better on the offensive end, making shots and so forth. So for us right now we need to continue to defend and rebound and on offense share the ball. We had some pretty good shots we just didn’t knock them down, and we’ve got to be ok with that.”
Player Mfon Udofia – (On winning) “Defense. Just doing what we do. Executing the game plan. We prepared all week for this team. Coach prepared us really well. I thought we did what we needed to do in the second half to close out the game. Some games aren’t going to be perfect; we just have to grind it out. It’s the third game in the season and the first game in the tournament, so we happen to be 1-0.”
- (On no one scoring more than 11 points and nobody getting over 6 in the first half) “Sometimes you’ve got to win games like that. We rely on our defense and continue grind it out. As long as we score more than the other team and defend well, we come out on top. A win is a win.“
Rice Coach Ben Braun
“I thought our guys battled. We battled defensively against a team where we were undersized, but our team battled hard. We had some stretches with some pretty good defense. We obviously struggled tonight at shooting the ball, and believe it or not we’re a pretty good shooting team but you wouldn’t know it by our stats today. We struggled at times tonight getting into a rhythm – Austin had a pretty god shooting game, but we obviously missed some shots and pressed when the ball wasn’t going to the basket, but when we dug in defensively we battled and held Georgia Tech down in the 50s. Usually when you hold teams down and come up with some pretty good offense, you have a chance to be successful.”
- (drive enough?) I felt we over-penetrated. I thought we drove, but we missed a couple of opportunities to kick out. We’ve got some pretty good drivers and penetrators, but we’ve got to do a better job. I asked our team today if we made one pull-up jump shot and the answer was “No”, we didn’t meet one.
- Their size is impressive, they stayed really patient, they really make you guard them inside. They’re looking for inside presence. They run an offense very similar to the offense we ran last year. They’re constantly looking for their post guys, they’re taking advantage of you helping, and when you help inside, that had some looks. I thought we did a pretty good job challenging their shots. But inside they battle you and they test you. Because they’re big and strong inside – they kind of know their identity.
- We cut it to 11, I thought we were in pretty good shape in the second half and I thought we were starting to make some pretty good strides, but we hurt ourselves offensively. I thought we were in a pretty good spot, of course they get off to a good start and we came back. Of course they get off to a good start, we battle back…but we dug a hole in both halves. There was two times in both halves that I thought we went through a stretch where we struggled to score and they went on a run, and they always seemed to be interrelated.
- We had five consecutive stops on two different occasions. That’s pretty good defense. But we couldn’t capitalize on those. We kept telling our guys, `keep battling, the shots are going to go down,” but probably other than Austin the shots didn’t go down. He was the one in the right spot for us knocking down shots. We’ve got some guys that can shoot it; we’ve just got to do a better job in distribution.
- (on Austin and his Dad) “He coaches him on his hands and I coach him on his feet.”
- I was impressed with Austin’s defense. I thought he really battled defensively, I think that probably went unnoticed with the shots he hit. He played a total game, it wasn’t just on offense.
Player Austin Ramljak – “It was a pretty cool experience; a lot of my family was here today. My Dad gave me some pointers from the stands before the game today and that helped out, and I was able to shoot it pretty well today.
- He wanted me to have the ball more in my fingertips and less in my palm. He wanted me to hold onto my release a little bit longer.
- “It was my first time seeing him in a few months.”