Jan. 7, 2015
Syracuse 46 Georgia Tech 45
January 7, 2015 McCamish Pavilion
Georgia Tech Head Coach Brian Gregory
“It was obviously a tough one in terms of not being able to finish the game. We did a lot of good things in this game against a high quality team, but just not enough. So it’s disappointing. A play here or there was the difference in the game. Some key areas I thought we were exceptional on defense. We did really good job in terms of guarding the post. Christmas is a tremendous player. He gets 18 points and eight boards, but we made him take 17 shots to get that. So I thought we did a good job there. We did a good job on Trevor Cooney. We lost him a couple of times and he hit that big three off of an offensive rebound. And unfortunately, we just weren’t able to make enough plays in the last eight minutes against the zone. We had some good looks. We had a couple of costly turnovers. But our formula has put us in a good position. So now we need to take the next step and get into a position where we are able to finish the game. Again, it was disappointing, but in this league you have to play well for 40 minutes. Unfortunately there were pockets in there where we didn’t.”
On team’s struggles to finish at the basket
We had countless layups that we just missed. We missed a couple on the break. We missed a couple of dunks off of some really good offensive action. We have to finish better. When you couple those misses with the 14 turnovers, it’s tough. The good of that is that it shows where we are good in some other areas. Unfortunately we need to tighten up those crucial areas. Finishing plays around the basket, in both these ACC losses, have been key contributors to a double overtime loss against a Top 15 team and the last possession loss tonight.
We get the ball to Marcus and create a gap for him to drive. And he did a good job on that.
Obviously they all swarmed so that’s why Chris Bolden had that space to get the shot. He had a pretty clean look initially, but with their length they were able to get out there. We wanted to take the shot with enough time to get the offensive rebound. We had a chance on the tip. A lot of times in those situations, it gets a little chaotic and you have to make a play. And a lot of times you win on the second shot. Quinton Stephens was in a good rebounding position and he just kind of fumbled the tip. But he did exactly what he was supposed to do. Again, we wanted the ball in Marcus’ hands. But with there length in that zone, sometimes you just have to get it in and go make a play.
On Charles Mitchell’s play
He’s had a great year for us and did a lot of good things tonight. The problem is that turnovers. We have to cut the five turnovers we had in half. That’s the issue. He gets the ball a lot, but he just needs to do a little better job of protecting the ball. But his effort was really good tonight. Demarco Cox’s effort on the defensive end was really good tonight. We just need to finalize a few of those plays.
Syracuse Head Coach Jim Boeheim
“Last game we missed ten free throws at the end of the game, fortunately that didn’t carry over to this game. Rak [Rakeem Christmas] going to the line in that situation and making those two is big. You like to see a senior be in that position and make those free throws. They’re hard to make. You’re down one. The game is on the line. You have to make the free throw. You have to make at least one of them to continue playing. I thought it was great composure to go to the line to make those two free throws.”
Defense picking up the offense tonight
“I have to say — I’m trying not to get negative. I’m trying change my posture – without a doubt, the worst offensive game I’ve ever seen. I can’t say anything else, I mean literally. I mean really. I just can’t even describe it. We started the game and I think we missed two or three layups. We started the second half and I think we missed three layups. It was just a struggle. That’s all I can tell you. It was an absolute struggle all night. Rak [Rakeem Christmas] got the ball a little too far away and settled a little for shots outside his range. But when he got in position he was able to score. They’re a very good defensive team. We’re a very good defensive team. Or else they’re a very, very bad offensive team and we are a very, very bad offensive team. Take your choice.”
Defensive strategy against Georgia Tech’s final possession
“We were just playing the percentages that they weren’t going to make a shot because they hadn’t made any. We didn’t want to let them get it inside. We wanted them to have to throw it out. If they make a three, then it’s just one of those things. We had the foul to give which helped a little bit. [Marcus Georges-Hunt] would have gotten a good shot, if we hadn’t had that to give. That was fortunate to have that one to give there.”
Fast break opportunities
“I don’t even know if we scored on them. I don’t know how many that we even scored on. We tried to push it. You want to get some transition baskets because they are a very good half court defensive team. We are tough to score and now you get these opportunities. Trevor [Cooney] had the ball when he should have kept it, he passed it and they get the ball. Then he’s going 3-on-1 and he should have passed it and he tries to shoot it. Then somebody grabs the rim and I’ve been coaching for 39 years and I’ve never had anybody just go grab the rim like that. I mean what are you thinking? You’re not. We’ve got to get somebody else going.”