Dec. 30, 2014
GEORGIA TECH COACH Brian Gregory
“All you have to do is to look at Charlotte and who they have played, and that is maybe the best 6-6 team right now, not only in the country, but for a long time. They are really good. They’re talented. They’re really playing well together. With conference play coming up, I think they have a chance to have an excellent year.
“What they did to us, they’ve done to Georgetown, they’ve done to Miami, and they’ve done to other high quality teams as well. They can come back in games and keep fighting. We knew they were going to do that. A lot of it was sparked off of some of our turnovers that they forced, which is something that they do really well. And I’m very proud of our guys. We needed to show some heart, character, and some toughness there at the end. And we made some crucial plays. You can go down the list. Robert Sampson got an offensive rebound, gets fouled and makes both free throws. We get a couple of crucial stops. Quinton Stephens was a little banged up, but comes up with a big defensive stop. Travis makes a big three for us. Demarco Cox made a couple of clutch baskets in the second half when we couldn’t score. He made a couple of big plays for us. So a lot of guys did a lot of good things. The guy that probably came to the forefront for us was Marcus. 25 points and seven rebounds is a heck of an effort against a high quality team like Charlotte.
On Charlotte’s physicality on defense
“If you look at the boards, we were plus-9 on the glass and had 15 offensive rebounds. The positive for us was that our 15 offensive rebounds led to 17 second-chance points. We finished much better today. Our last game out, we did not finish around the basket. We did today. That was good to see. We very nicely reminded our guys that it is something that we need to do. And they responded extremely well to that. We are 9-3. We’ve played a pretty darn good schedule. And we’re a much better team than we were on opening night. We have gotten better. We need to continue to improve. And we have shown a lot of heart and character in these first 12 games.”
On Charlotte’s offensive changes in the second half
“They went to a smaller lineup. They did not play Clayton and Thorne together a lot. They took advantage of some matchups. We had a few instances where we had a guard defending a post. We didn’t do a good job of fighting through switches on one stretch. And that’s something that we need to work on. And a lot of it was created off of some of our turnovers. We ended up with 13 assists and 13 turnovers. And they did a good job of capitalizing on those turnovers. It’s something that we are constantly working on.
On Marcus ability to attack the rim on offense
“That’s what we need from him. He did a great job of that tonight. No question about it.
On Travis Jorgenson’s minutes at point guard
“Because of the break, he’s getting a little more rest. He’s not walking to class during the day. But he came back from Missouri and said he felt really good. We went really hard on Dec. 27th and did not practice on Dec 28th. We just need to keep doing that. He’s played well the last few weeks. That was a big three. He’s shooting the ball a little better for us. He had five assists and one turnover. That’s a good game for him. I was concerned about the matchup with him and Braxton Ogbueze, but he held him to 1-8 shooting. He did a good job.”
CHARLOTTE COACH ALAN MAJOR
“Obviously it’s a disappointing loss there. Our guys fought hard. Score tied eight times, 15 lead changes. I thought Tech did a good job of getting some second-hand points to keep them alive at some key points in the game. We came back in the second half and really set the tone. [We] got ourselves back scoring in the paint and doing some really good things. I think it just came down to some of those 50-50 balls and a few of those hustle plays that gave them a little extra life.”
Quick start in the second half
“I thought our energy level was higher. Sometimes if you have a tough offensive half, it can kind of take a little steam out of you. I thought guys came out and set the rules for the game in the second half in terms of energy and playing hard. We got the ball inside and we got a couple easy baskets off of steals. We just kind of settled into doing what we do best.”
Playing physical against Georgia Tech
“They’re a physical team, so you have to match that. There’s times that we did and there’s times when we didn’t. They got the ball to the rim a little more than we like, but that’s what you’ve got to against a team like that. They haven’t, to this point in the year, shot the ball well. Everything they do is transition inside the arc and on the glass. Those are the things that at times we took them away, but we probably needed another level of doing it to finish off a team like that.”
Defensive strategy on Georgia Tech’s last possession
“Just trying to force a jump shot. He [Travis Jorgenson] got a little bit of a head of steam. We actually did a pretty good job of making Jorgenson get rid of it. That was the big thing. Just trying to make sure that we kept the ball out of the lane.”
The effect of Willie Clayton fouling out
“It shortens your bench a little bit. It’s a physical game. You know he and [Charles] Mitchell have known each other forever, so I knew there were going to be some tie-ups. I’m not going to blame the refs publicly. It’s a physical game. Things go both ways at times. Sometimes it’s a tie-up and the first guy gets the whistle and sometimes it’s the second offender that gets the whistle. You can’t really say. I’m not going to use that as an excuse. We are going to own the way that we played and continue to stay accountable for everything we’re doing. But when you have foul trouble it forces you to adjust your lineup and do some things differently.”