Dec. 17, 2003
– Georgia Tech head coach Paul Hewitt
“Luke played big. He has always shown good touch around the basket, and he really took advantage of the size mismatch he had by posting up strong. He did a much better job of catching the ball. I’ve told him that even if the pass is a little off-target, you’ve still got to go get the ball, and he did a much better job tonight of getting the ball and finishing plays.
“We started to show some immaturity. We did some things that aren’t characteristic of the way we’ve been playing so far this year. We turned the ball over 12 times in the second half, we missed a ton of free throws, and we missed a ton of wide-open threes. You start missing free throws and you miss open shots that you’re accustomed to making, then your concentration starts to drift. But we’re 9-0, and we’ve got a great opportunity coming up on Sunday against St. John’s on national TV. I just told the kids that we’ve got to learn some things from this game, but let’s start looking forward. That’s what we need to be focusing on now.
“I thought our pressure defense was good, and it’s going to get better, especially when you add a guy like Will Bynum. What he brings is better depth, and that depth is going to translate into better defensive pressure. I think people are starting to see why our players and our coaching staff have been so excited about him becoming eligible. He’s still a little rusty. He’s an explosive player. He can create things defensively, and he can create things offensively, whether it’s shooting, breaking guys down off the dribble, or making solid passes.
“There’s some concern [about the second half], but always tell people, Those other guys are trying, too. Give them credit for battling back. They were down pretty deep at the half but they didn’t give up. But we showed a little immaturity.
NOTING GEORGIA TECH: The 41 points allowed by Tech is the second-best defensive effort of the Paul Hewitt era and the best since Saint Louis managed 40 points on Feb. 16, 2002 . . . Alabama A&M’s field goal percentage was the lowest by a Tech opponent under Hewitt and the lowest by any Tech opponent since UNC Greensboro managed .254 on Dec. 31, 1996 . . . Luke Schenscher scored a career-high 22 points . . . Tech’s 9-0 record continues the Jackets best start since the 1989-90 team started 10-0. The current nine-game winning streak is Tech’s longest since a nine-game streak in 1995-96.
Alabama A&M head coach L. Vann Pettaway
“It’s really what we expected. We knew they were going to be an aggressive team and our kids got intimidated in the first half because of their pressure. They apply a lot of pressure and play a lot of people. They are worthy of their top-five ranking.”
On outscoring the Jackets in the 2nd half “Our kids played with pride in the second half. We’re not used to people beating us like that so at halftime, all we did is challenge them. And in the second half, we had some people step up and play.”
On cutting down the turnovers “That and they came out of the press. So we were able to get the ball up the floor and we made better decisions in the second half.”